Hi, I’m Elizabeth Gray. I grew up in St. Marys. My family and friends are here and so has been my career as an artist. When I finished school, I started my own business, Gray’s Gallery and Custom Frame Shop. It’s been a place where I have framed lots of artwork for other people, and where I have displayed and sold my watercolors. It has been fun to furnish this space with my work and other local talent for you to enjoy.
Elizabeth Gray purchased this bungalow in 1983
When my father’s family moved down here, there was a little Scottish enclave that occupied four homes on the end of this block. Gilman Paper Company was just setting up, and from New York came my grandfather to head the power plant. His wife’s sister, Aunt Laura & her husband lived in this sweet little house and my grandfather lived next door. Eventually, both of his sons, my uncle and my father, found the loves of their lives, married and built & bought homes next door. And so began all of our lives in this sleepy little town, St. Marys by the sea. I remember stopping by Aunt Laura’s house in the morning to pick up treats lovingly wrapped in wax paper for recess, and by my grandfather’s house to pick posies for my teachers. To this day, I can still smell the sweet peas. What a gorgeous array of colors! Deep purples, fuchsias, lavenders, pinks, periwinkles, reds, whites, and blues. When I returned from college, I bought my grandfather’s house and started my art gallery and framing business there. When Aunt Laura’s house became available, I was able to keep it in our family. Now it is time to share it with you.
Comfort, efficiency, and fun were the themes as we furnished this house. There was lots of laughter as my friends and I pulled together and scrubbed and painted and bounced decorating ideas off of each other. Some of my original artwork is hanging here and my entire collection of St. Marys watercolors. It is fitting that Aunt Laura, the original owner, did the crochet hanging in the dining room. Art and antiques harmonize with modern conveniences. Privately nestled in a quiet neighborhood, this home is five blocks from both the Meeting St. Boat Dock and the St. Marys waterfront. You are one block away from watching boat traffic on North River or a small town parade on Main St. On a morning walk, you can see boaters headed out for a day on the water, shrimp boats trawling with their outriggers ready, an occasional dolphin, and every once in a while, a couple of little marsh bunnies. Laughing gulls, pelicans, cormorants,ibises, herons, mourning doves and red-winged blackbirds welcome you to the water. Every day you can visit with the river kitties that faithfully wait for a rub and a scratch as you round the corner. Golfers are 15 minutes away from two public courses. Ferry rides to Cumberland Island & Fernandina Beach are five minutes away, along with our beautiful waterfront park, restaurants, kayak rentals, and shopping. For those of you on temporary duty at Kings Bay, you are five minutes from the base gate. Life in the slow lane is but 30 minutes to the Jacksonville International Airport.
The bungalow remains a work in progress as I continue to upgrade with stained glass, nautical charts, gardens, wind chimes, patio furniture, and privacy fencing in the immediate back yard.
Now you can strike out on some new beach cruisers as you explore your new downtown and waterfront areas.