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If you stay on St Simons Island you must go to Jekyll Island and see Driftweood Beach. It is a site to see. Go south on route 17 and make a left to go to Jekyll Island, pay the $3.00 toll, make a left onto riverview drive and a few miles up on the left park you car and walk toward the beach, you will not be disappointed, make sure you bring your camera and plently of film!
Written Feb 26, 2004
St. Simon Lighthouse, 1815, replaced many times, 1st one was a harbor light then a coastal light replace it. Located on the southern point of St Simons Island it marked the entrance to St Simons Sound. The lighthouse board raised the status in 1857 by installing a 3rd order lens. Civil war destroyed it. In 1870 work on the new one was started and completed in 1872 and lit in Sept. It can be seen for 16 miles and is still working to date.
Museum is open Monday - Saturday
10:00AM - 5:00PM
Sunday 1:30PM - 5:00PM
Written Feb 25, 2004
Address: Ocean Blvd.
This Sculpture was made by Keith Jennings in the fall and winter of 1995. In February of 1984 an expidition was launched from St. Simons Island which discovered the calving grounds of the North Atlantic Right Whale. The mothers give birth in near by coastal waters in the winter months. The calves and their mothers are in great danger and many die from collitions with ocean vessels, other die from unknown reasons, there are fewer than 300 left. The artist fashioned this sculpture to raise awareness, and try to save the few remaining.
Updated Mar 13, 2004
Address: The park in The Village
This is the site of both a fort and a town. You can see a substantial part of the battlements, the street pattern and the foundations of many buildings. This was sort of the boundary between the British and the Spanish in the 18th C and was even called the debatable land because of the dispute over ownership. The fort was established in 1736 to guard Georgia's southern frontier. The troops were commanded by Gen. Oglethorpe, the founder of Savannah and Georgia. It was only about 5 miles from here that his troops won a decisive battle over the Spanish at Bloody Marsh (so named because of the carnage of the battle). In its heyday Frederica was a substantial town of seventy houses but died when peace came and the garrison was disbanded. There is a lot of helpful information on site and some amusing stories about the inhabitants.
Written Jun 20, 2005
Phone: 912 638-3639
This is an early (1730s) congregation of Anglicans but is a shrine for Methodists as the church was founded by John and Charles Wesley and before the first church was built they used to hold services on this site under what Methodists call "the Wesley Oak." The tree is no longer standing but there is a garden across the road dedicated to the Wesleys which is a nice area in the woods and worth a walk over, especially in the spring when the azaleas are in bloom. I wonder how the current Episcopalians feel about their church being constantly invaded by Methodists?
Written Jun 20, 2005
Address: 6329 Frederica Road
Phone: 912 638-8683
This second (1872) lighthouse is a round brick tower painted white which was designed by Charles Cluskey and erected near the original 1810 station. Cluskey was a very prominent architect who assisted in the renovation of the U.S. Capitol. The stagnant water in the area caused a severe malaria outbreak in 1871, which claimed the lives of many of the builders, including Cluskey, who never saw the completion of his tower. It is an active lighthouse with the original 3rd order Fresnel lens - the light is at 104 ft with a continuous white light with a more intense flash every 60 seconds. In addition to the Keeper's house, there is a brick oil house (1890) and a Victorian gazebo on the grounds. Photos 2 through 5 show the gazebo in front of the lighthouse.
This lighthouse replaced a 75 ft early federal octagonal lighthouse built which was destroyed during the Civil War. In 1972, the lighthouse and keeper's house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The tower was restored in 1989-91 and again in 1997-98. On 26 May 2004, ownership of the lighthouse was transferred to the Coastal Georgia Historical Society under NHLPA. St. Simons Lighthouse has total accessibility. Although I didn't climb it, because I wasn't able to do the 129 cast-iron steps of the tower, I understand that at the top there is an exquisite view of the shoreline and horizon. The tower is open for climbing every day except the major holidays.
Hours of Operation
Monday thru Saturday 10a.m. - 5p.m.
Sunday 1:30p.m. - 5p.m.
The Lighthouse closes at 4:45p.m. every day. The last climb to the top of the tower is at 4:30p.m. Please allow 30-45 minutes for a complete tour of the Museum and Lighthouse.
St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum
$6.00 Adult (over 12 years of age)
$3.00 Children (6-12 years of age
Five and Under Free
There are ghost stories about the lighthouse - from Lighthouse Ratings
In March 1880, the lighthouse received its most notorious story and legend. John Stevens, an assistant keeper at the lighthouse, got into an argument with the head keeper, Frederick Osborne. The outcome was that Stevens killed Osborne.
A primary legend states that Stevens' growing affection for Osborne's wife started the argument, as all three lived in the same residence.
A second legend says the murder resulting from an argument that stemmed from Osborne's criticism of Stevens' efforts cleaning the lighthouse lens.
With either story, as tempers flared gunshots went off. Stevens was arrested for killing Osborne. He was acquitted for the crime quite quickly, as some say he was aided by an oncoming storm in which a light keeper was very much needed.
To this day legend has it that Frederick Osborne's footsteps can be heard climbing the tower at night to check on his lens. Several light keepers' wives have heard these footsteps over the years.
St. Simons Island has become synonymous with author Eugenia Price. In her works, Price features a historic trilogy of literature about St. Simons Island (The Lighthouse, New Moon Rising and The Beloved Invader), which all emphasize the beauty and history of this southern island. Price's first book, The Lighthouse, is said to be based on St. Simons' first lighthouse keeper, James Gould.
Updated Dec 10, 2009
Address: 101 12th Street
Phone: (912) 638-4666
fort frederica is st. simons most visited historic attraction. this fort and fortified town was established by general james oglethorpe in 1736. fort frederica was built to protect the british georgia colony from spanish attack. in 1742 the british defeated the spanish in the battle of bloody marsh at st. simon island. pictured is the last remaining tabby building of the fort.
Updated Oct 21, 2008
Address: 6515 frederica road.
when general oglethorpe built fort frederica he also built a fortified town to supply the fort. the town of frederica was laid out with 84 90X60 ft lots which housed settlers and tradesmen. during the 1740's frederica had a population of over 500 people. after the battle of bloody marsh fort frederica was no longer needed and the town declined. today only the foundations of stores and houses exist. many of these foundations have descriptive plaques that tell about the original buildings.
Written Oct 21, 2008
Address: 6515 frederica road.
the st. simons maritime museum is located in the historic 1937 coast guard station on the east (ocean) side of the island. the museum is open mon-sat 10am-5pm and 1:30pm to 5pm sundays. this small museum has exhibits on georgia coastal history.
Updated Oct 22, 2008
Address: 4201 1st street
Fort Frederica has
* A 23 minute park film
* Museum area with artifacts (some artifacts in photo 5)
* Self guided explorations
The sign titled "Tavernkeeper and Doctor" which is about the foundation shown in photo 4 says: " This ruin represents two houses which may have shared a common wall, much like English row houses of the period. The houses stood on adjacent lots. Unfortunately for the families who lived here, it was too close for comfort.
In this case it was the doctor (Thomas Hawkins who would not administer "one dose of physic to any poor person, but refused unless paid...") and his family that were the problem - not Samuel Davison who operated a tavern and made gunstocks.
The sign notes that Thomas Hawkins "was frequently embroiled in lawsuits. His wife, Bentre, was not noted for hospitality. In this house she threatened to kill the Reverend John Wesley with a pair of scissors and a pistol. Wesley escaped, but only after Mrs. Hawkins shredded the sleeve of his cassock with her teeth"
Additional information on my Fort Frederica page.
The Visitor Center is open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm seven days a week
$3.00 per person, children 15 and under are free
Frederica was named for Frederick, Prince of Wales, the name was feminized to distinguish it from Fort Frederick in South Carolina
The timeline of the fort
1736 Battery of cannon are mounted and road is built.
Oct. 23, 1739 England declares war on Spain. Commonly called the War of Jenkins Ear.
April 15, 1741 The Trustees divide Georgia into two counties, Savannah, with William Stephens as executive and Frederica, with James Oglethorpe as executive
July 7, 1742 Battle of Bloody Marsh
March 22, 1743 The magazine at Fort Frederica on St. Simons Island explodes.
May 29, 1749 Oglethorpe's regiment at Frederica is disbanded
May 26, 1936 Fort Frederica becomes part of the National Parks System
Updated May 25, 2007
Address: On the west side of St. Simons, north of town
2 Reviews and 420 Opinions This lovely old (but completely renovated) hotel on the beach orginally opened in the 1930's as a...