Last weekend I had the opportunity to spend some time over in the Savannah/Tybee Island area and I got some wonderful photographs, overcast, rainy weather and all. Here are some of my shots from inside the Tybee Island Lighthouse; it brought back great memories of my childhood and climbing that lighthouse every summer. Different (and harder to climb) as an adult, but still worth the 178 steps.
Ordered by General James Oglethorpe, Governor of the 13th colony, in 1732, the Tybee Island Light Station has been guiding mariners safe entrance into the Savannah River for over 270 years. The Tybee Island Light Station is one of America’s most intact having all of its historic support buildings on its five-acre site. Rebuilt several times the current lightstation displays its 1916 day mark with 178 stairs and a First Order Fresnel lens (nine feet tall).
The lighthouse’s history is actually pretty fascinating (and kind of funny): the first one (made of wood) was blown away in a storm. The 2nd one was built too close to the ocean and literally had the waves at it’s front doors after a few years. The 3rd was burned down by confederate troops from nearby Fort Pulaski to keep the Yanks from guiding their troops up the river. The fourth was built on top of the surviving 60′ of the previous tower; it’s the one that stands today.
The U.S. Coast Guard occupied the Lighthouse site until 1987 when they formed a joint partnership lease agreement with the City of Tybee Island and The Tybee Island Historical Society, which took on responsibility for full maintenance and restoration of the site. The U.S. Coast Guard still maintains the light as a navigational aid.
It’s a beautiful old lighthouse and well worth your time if you’re ever out that way. You can climb right up to the top & go out on the ledge that runs around it. Gorgeous views (you can even see Hilton Head off the coast!) but very windy, so brace yourself.