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2009 Graduate – Katie Campbell

Katie CampbellSt. Mary’s was established in 1787, and at the time was called Buttermilk Bluff. But long before the British Colonial Council decided St. Mary’s was a desirable site for a city, the Guales, the Timucuans, the Creeks, and the Yamacraw Indians roamed the area, living off the riches of the land. Evidence suggests that as early as 200 BC, Indians hunted wild game, fished the rivers, and waded for clams and oysters along the St. Mary’s waterfront.

During the Revolutionary War, St. Mary’s location on the very border between the freedom loving Colonists and the sometimes-Spanish, sometimes-British Florida, placed the area in a position of protector for all of Georgia. During the War of 1812, British soldiers said they found plenty to plunder in St. Mary’s. And a little known fact is that the last battle of the War of 1812 was fought just a few miles from the St. Mary’s waterfront at Point Peter, contrary to most people’s belief that the Battle of New Orleans was the last battle.

Many famous people have made visits to St. Mary’s throughout history, some not so welcome as in the case of the pirates who roamed the shores in early times. After the infamous duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr in 1804, Burr fled to St. Mary’s, and was a guest in the home of Archibald Clark. The Clark home on Osborne Street is the oldest private home in St. Mary’s.

St. Mary’s was an important port in the early days. Boats and rafts loaded with cotton, hides and furs, dried meats, honey and beeswax could be seen plying their way to the port. The area’s abundant resources determined St. Mary’s’ industrial development. Its first sawmill was erected in 1869, and with lumbering, the area prospered by shrimping, fishing, shipbuilding, and canning plants.

Today, St. Mary’s is a thriving tourism destination and is known as the Gateway to Cumberland Island. As many as 300 visitors a day take the ferry from the St. Mary’s waterfront to the Island. Settled by the renowned Carnegie family in 1881, Cumberland Island became a national park in 1972, and its pristine shoreline along with the wild horses that roam the beaches are protected by Congress. In 2005, Cumberland Island was named the most beautiful wilderness beach in America by the Travel Channel. JFK, Jr. was married on the Island, and Carnegie descendents still live there.

Also living in St. Mary’s is our graduate of the month Ms. Katie Campbell. Katie graduated back in January. Katie only needed her senior year of course work to graduate. She had stuck it out in public school for three years. She found it increasingly difficult to stay at the pace set by the curriculum. Katie discovered that by the end of her junior year that she learns much better alone at her own pace. Katie finished the entire senior year curriculum in seven months.

She has goals and plans that required a high school diploma to achieve. She wants to be a. endodontist. Katie has a terrific plan to reach that goal. Her intermediate goal is to become a respitory therapist to finance her education in endodontics. She is currently attending the Concord Career Institute in Jacksonville Florida to earn that certification.

When Katie is not hitting the books and completing assignments, you can find her outdoors. She loves anything related to farming. Living in St, Mary’s affords her lots of great days outside.
Katie is Citizens’ High School graduate of the Month for May because of her desires and achievements. She has demonstrated maturity and discipline beyond her years. She will make a great endodontist some day. If you find yourself in St. Mary’s with a tooth ache, stop in and see her.

Katie Campbell is Citizens’ High School
“Graduate of the Month” for May 2009.