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.
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
Even if you don't want to climb the lighthouse (which I did not), you can still get a lot out of the museum and it is less expensive if you don't also want to climb the lighthouse. The museum is in the former Lighthouse Keeper's House. In the museum are rooms set up to be as they were when the lighthouse keeper was in residence, and other exhibits related to the lighthouse.
The lighthouse keeper's house served as a home for the lighthouse keepers from 1872 until 1950 when, following the complete automation of the lighthouse in 1953, the last lighthouse keeper, David O'Hagan, retired... In 2004, the lighthouse was deeded to the Coastal Georgia Historical Society under the Lighthouse Preservation Act
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. You will probably need 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
located across the street from christ church is the wesley garden. the focal point of the garden is a large celtic cross. the best time to visit wesley garden is in late march or early april when the azaleas are in full bloom.
pictured is the st. simons lighthouse and museum. the first st. simons lighthouse was built in 1815. over the years there were several lighthouses on this site. the lighthouse you see today was built in 1872 after the previous lighthouse was destroyed during the civil war. at the base of the lighthouse is the museum of coastal history. for a fee you can visit the museum and walk up to the top of the lighthouse.
pictured is one of two slave quarters on the site of the james hamilton plantation. located on gascoigne bluff. the hamiltion plantation was developed in 1793. in 1931 these houses were given to the cassina garden club. these tabby houses are listed on the national register of historic places. an interesting site to visit to see a relic of georgia's pre civil war past.
Besides some other events on the island, most people come to the beach to get into the sand. The beaches are not as crowded as other places and Brunswick is close by for other activities. Find a home to rent, or a condo. It is what most people do. The current is slow and peaceful and the water clean
In the summer of 1742, Spain invaded the British colony of Georgia. The governor, General James Oglethorpe, led the local forces on the battlefield now known as Bloody Marsh. Here, they defeated the Spanish in one of the most decisive, yet obscure victories ever fought in America.
James Oglethorpe's chaplain Charles Wesley in began a church here in 1736. Years later, the Wesleys returned to England. But after that, John Wesley began the Methodist Movement here. During the Civil War, the church was destroyed. The present Episcopal church was built in1884 by Anson Phelps Dodge, Jr., in memory of his wife.
St Simon's Island has a beautiful lighthouse, built in 1872, that offers some great views. At the base of the lighthouse is the Museum of Coastal History, a modest but interesting museum dealing with the area. It also has an exhibit on the early lighthouse keepers.
The beaches here are beautiful and long, 6 miles long! You need to be careful swimming though, very strong currents. The sand is very hard so don't look for a soft patch of sand, you won't find it here. So bring a chair!
This is where the Georgia colony began. James Oglethorpe took charge, and defended the colony against the Spanish, who controlled Florida. Oglethorpe defeated the Spanish at the Battle of Bloody Marsh, fought on St Simon's Island. The remains of the old fort and battlefield are still visible. One can see that General Oglethorpe chose his site well; the main fort has a commanding view of the nearby channel, in both directions.
Fort Frederica is an old English fort established in the mid 1700's to help the English establish their dominance in North America and serve as a protection against the Spanish and French to the south and west. Originally established by Oglethorpe, the founder of Savannah, Frederica was his favorite town. The Military base grew into a small town. The military was called on several times to defend the English claim to North America. In the Battle of Bloody Marsh, a few miles south of Frederica, the Spanish were defeated. Unfortunately, with the British Victory there was no need for a large Garrison at Frederica and with the departure of the soldiers went the city as well.
There are quite a bit of ruins here, mostly foundations but parts of the fort and barracks also remain. Lots of artifacts have been found as well. The Size of the town can be felt with the excavations and the layout of the streets which are still visible.
The St. Simons Lighthouse is actually the second lighthouse for St. Simons. The First was built in 1807 and destroyed by retreating Confederates during the Civil War. The Second, and current structure was built after the war in 1872. In addition to the Lighthouse, there is also a small Keepers House adjacent.
The Coast Guard still maintains the light. Visitors can climb to the top and enjoy the view of St. Simons from above.
While planning our vacation to St Simons Island, in coastal Georgia, we found information on the internet about golf cart rentals on the island and after looking at other activity costs for family fun that would just last a couple hours; we decided to reserve a cart for a day. It was a no brainer because we saved a bundle on our entire family fun. So much so, that we rented another one for a couple more days! The company we found was High Tide Carts. They were very friendly and accommodating. They have great looking carts and they ride much faster than on a golf course. We saw them on the roads everywhere we went.
We cruised around the island going to the beach, seeing the sites, going to dinner, shopping and generally enjoying all the beautifully live oak canopied streets on the island everywhere.
I would highly recommend this mode of island transportation. It was the highlight of our family trip.
PS: It's a real good idea to reserve before you get there because this is a very popular thing to do.