Our goal at HollyOaks on the Marsh is simple:
to make every couple fall even more in love on a wedding day.
We do that by ensuring your unique and personal vision for your wedding is exactly that. We are in the business of creating experiences you and your guests will want to remember forever. We believe that every element of your celebration should be special, starting with a signature destination -- starting with HollyOaks.
HollyOaks on the Marsh was established by King’s Grant in 1747 along the Grove River. The original estate, known as Hollyhock, encompassed 500 acres and was only accessible by water. Today, no vestiges of any original structures remain.
The name was changed to HollyOaks which remained in place until the 1940’s, when it was changed yet again to Drifton. During this time, the estate was whittled away to its current 40 acres. Research is currently underway to find out more of the fascinating history of the land and the area.
The current owners purchased the estate in 2018 and returned the name to its former “HollyOaks.” HollyOaks on the Marsh is privately owned by people, not corporations, and offers venue space for weddings and events to the public.
Our perspective and philosophy are to grow this land to a better place. Our goal is to revitalize this estate, bring all people together, and radiate joy. Thankfully, we are able to write a new story for HollyOaks, one that joins people together with love.
The Manor House was built in 1941 and designed by prominent Savannah architect John Lebey, who designed many of the stately homes along Victory Drive. The mansion was designed to look like a historic home but utilize the modern building techniques of the time. Exterior concrete block walls were reinforced by rebar and poured, and the original lead roof remains and is in great condition. Over time, various additions have served to enlarge the original structure but care is taken to ensure that every addition speaks to the architectural design story and enable the home to serve the needs of the family therein.
Designed for the glamorous Savannah social soirées and parties of the 1940’s and 50’s, the interior living areas feature custom-designed doors that fold open to create large spaces for entertaining. "We like to say that the home was an open floor plan before the term was coined," the owner said. The pine walls and floor in the hearth room and guest cottage were made from trees felled on the property. The marble fireplaces are original and sourced in Georgia from white, pink, and green marble, and the fresco on the mantel in the main room was custom created in Italy. Brass fittings and fixtures are original, and the banister on the front stairs was hand-carved to follow the curve of the wall. A gentle slide of the hand along it will detect the slight variations that speak to its being hand-made. Walls are plaster and the original moldings are in place throughout. The upstairs foyer is known for its oval shape complete with rounded door moldings.
In the 1970’s, the Manor Home underwent a massive building project with the addition of several rooms and bathrooms, as well as central air and heat. The interior was decorated in the colors and patterns that were popular during that time, and the 70’s décor was still in place when the current family purchased the estate in March 2018.
Since that time, the interior of the home has been completely renovated. The crystal Swarovski chandelier in the formal dining room adds an opulent sparkle to dinner parties. Gorgeous finishes such as designer wallpaper, paint, and carpets have brought a modern touch while respectfully giving nod to the past. Custom furniture and furnishings create a grand but comfortable atmosphere.
The gardens are constantly undergoing renovation including bringing the heirloom camellia and azalea gardens back to full bloom. There are over 50 camellias on the estate. The abundant live oaks, with their gently swaying moss, are admired far and wide. There are estimated to be over two dozen oaks. They are inspected annually by a professional arborist and many are estimated to be over 200 years old with several being over 450 years old. The oldest tree on the estate is to the left of the barns and has a wooden swing that is a beautiful spot for photos. The magnolia trees are beginning to blossom again after many years of neglect. Careful tending, fertilizing, and trimming makes a healthy, beautiful tree.
Lawns are carefully tended as well. The land management aspect of running an estate is important to the health of the gardens as well as the comfort of the resident family and guests. Insects are controlled with regular professional spraying regardless of season. Gardeners oversee the trimming and mowing, edging and blowing. Finally, professional lawn experts fertilize to keep the grass healthy and free from insects and critters.
The estate is continuing to build into a working farm behind the scenes. Barns are currently being renovated for structural safety and beautification. The horses love the peaceful and pastoral paddocks, and the chickens produce the most delicious and healthy eggs from their organic care. We have plans for the additions of several other animal species so expect an ever evolving scene.
Resident wild animals include hoot owls, screech owls, foxes, squirrels, and deer. There is a family of deer that travel along the bluff at the marsh in the mornings and along the lake and woods by the driveway at night.