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A Man With A Vision

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My search began with personal interest about a man by the name of Howard Coffin. I knew him as the founder of Pirates of the Spanish Main, a local organization that he established in 1931. His purpose in founding the club was to welcome dignitaries, promote the Golden Isles, and aid the community. As a member of the club today, I thought it might be interesting to trace the roots back to the founder. Little did I know, Mr. Coffin was much more than just the founder of a club. He was also a man with a vision, who made huge strides in developing much of the Golden Isles.

Mr. Coffin was born in 1873 and grew up on an Ohio farm, and in Ann Harbor, Michigan. He first discovered one of his visions while attending the University of Michigan. His vision was somehow to produce a low cost car, which would sell for less than a thousand dollars and that would attract a mass market. In 1902, Howard Coffin went to work for the Old Motor Works of Detroit, where he began his phenomenal career as an automobile builder. After the Olds Company decided to stay with their expensive car, he worked at other companies until he was finally able to achieve his dream. With the financial support of the Hudson Department Stores of Detroit, he invented the Hudson Car. The car was the first model of a four-cylinder roadster that sold for about $900.

The first visit that Mr. Coffin made to the coast of Georgia was in 1910 to attend the Savannah Road Race. Early automobile manufacturers liked to watch their cars perform, but also they made it a vacation trip. While attending the races and enjoying their vacation, Mr. and Mrs. Coffin fell in love with the beauty and history of the Golden Isles of the Georgia coast. Since Mr. Coffin was well able to afford just about anything he wanted, he and his wife decided to purchase the 20,000 acres that made up Sapelo Island.

They would have a place to vacation, a wonderful place to entertain, and a reason to return to the Georgia coast.

Howard Coffin's real importance to Golden Isles history was in the vision that he had for development with the ongoing process of automobile roads. After the end of World War I, the sales of automobiles far surpassed the condition of roads for their travel. Gradually, a highway began to inch its way south and would soon be bringing in the tourists. Mr. Coffin knew that this was an opportunity for money to be made, so he began buying strategic places of land where there could be resort activity.

Not long after the causeway was built in 1924, Mr. Coffin purchased the land of the



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