Well Preserved Southern Gem – Savannah’s Tybee Lighthouse

Tybee Lighthouse_Georgia_Beach

Near Savannah, Georgia is the Island of Tybee where the immaculately preserved Light Station can be explored, courtesy of their historical society. Tybee Island was named “Savannah’s Beach” in 1950 and has long been a quiet getaway for residents of Savannah. The Island holds a strategic position near the mouth of the Savannah River which made it an ideal location for the lighthouse, first built in 1736. The lighthouse actually used to be the tallest structure in America.

Before the lighthouse was converted to run on electricity in 1933, three Light Keepers were needed to man the Light Station. They made frequent trips to the top of the lighthouse carrying fuel in large pails. Each keeper had his own house and today each of them still stand, immaculately intact.

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The main Light Keeper’s House (from a window in the lighthouse).

Tybee Lighthouse_Georgia_Sailboat in Cottage

Original pieces of art inside the Light Keeper’s house. Everything inside is untouched.

The 178 steps to the top of the lighthouse will offer an expansive view of the Savannah River, 154 feet above sea level. It’s definitely worth the trip to the top!

Tybee Lighthouse_Shrimp boat Window Tybee Lighthouse_Georgia_Stairwell window
At the top of the lighthouse you’ll see what’s called a Fresnel Lens, which uses mirrors to intensify the light (generated by a 1000 watt bulb) so it can be seen out at sea. The Lighthouse remains fully operational to this day and the light never turns off.
This is the fresnel lens which intensifies the light at the top of the lighthouse.

This is the fresnel lens which intensifies the light at the top of the lighthouse.

I also learned something totally unsuspected; Tybee has pirate history!! In 1520, the Spanish claimed Tybee Island and they named it Los Bajos. The island was frequented by pirates who used the island to hide from those who pursued them. They also used the island’s waterways as a source of fresh water. Hundreds of years and a couple major invasions later, the islands were depopulated, allowing new English settlements such as the colony of Georgia. 

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Meet Suzette
suzetteWelcome! I'm Suzette, an Emmy Award winning visual effects artist and travel photographer passionate about doing some living! I have been traveling for the better part of the last ten years in an effort to get out of my bubble and gain some understanding of the world. No matter where I go, I seek out gems off the beaten path and this site is my attempt to show you how to do the same.

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