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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
St. Simons Island in Glynn County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Historic St. Simons Lighthouse

 
 
Historic St. Simons Lighthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2008
1. Historic St. Simons Lighthouse Marker
Inscription.
Altitude   Longitude      Latitude
  104 ft.   81°12'06"W    31°08'00"N
[ Globe Emblem ]
" The axis of the earth
sticks out visibly through
the centre of each and
every town or city."
     Oliver Wendell Holmes

 
Location. 31° 8.045′ N, 81° 23.616′ W. Marker is in St. Simons Island, Georgia, in Glynn County. Marker is on 12th Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Located on the southern tip of St Simons Island, marking the entrance into St Simons Sound. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 12th Street, Saint Simons Island GA 31522, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort St. Simons (a few steps from this marker); Early History of St. Simons Island (a few steps from this marker); The First Light House ~ 1810 (a few steps from this marker); The Historic St. Simons Light Station (a few steps from this marker); Couper's Point (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Fort St. Simons (within shouting distance of this marker); Keepers of the Light
Historic St. Simons Lighthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 2, 2008
2. Historic St. Simons Lighthouse Marker
(within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to St. Simons Light! (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Simons Island.
 
Regarding Historic St. Simons Lighthouse. The first lighthouse was built in 1810 on the site of Oglethorpe's Fort St. Simons. This original structure was destroyed in 1861 as the Confederate Army retreated from Union invaders. A new lighthouse and the lightkeeper's cottage were built by Charles B. Clusky in 1872. In 1950 the last keeper retired, but the beacon is still operated by the U.S. Coast Guard. This is one of the nation's oldest continuously working lighthouses and one of the most accessible, located near the Pier Village and Neptune Park.
 
Also see . . .
1. St. Simons Lighthouse. (Submitted on November 9, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
2. The Ghost of the St. Simons Lighthouse, by Dale Cox. The St. Simons Island Lighthouse has stood on the Georgia coast since 1872 when it was constructed by the U.S. government to replace one destroyed during the Civil War. Only eight years later, however, a violent episode occurred here that is reverberated through the years and developed into one of the South’s most well-known ghost stories. (Submitted on January 21, 2013, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
Historic St. Simons Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2008
3. Historic St. Simons Lighthouse
This property has been placed on the National Register Of Historic Places by The United States Department of the Interior
 
 
Additional comments.
1. National Register of Historic Places:
Original structure
The original St. Simons Island lighthouse was built in 1810, which was a 75-foot-tall (23 m) early federal octagonal lighthouse topped by a 10-foot (3.0 m) oil-burning lamp. During the American Civil War, U.S. military forces employed a Naval blockade of the coast. An invasion by Union troops in 1862 forced Confederate soldiers to abandon the area. The retreating troops destroyed the lighthouse to prevent it from being an aid to the navigation of Union warships.

Current structure
The U.S. government constructed a new lighthouse to replace the original, building it to the west of the original's location. It is a 104-foot (32 m) brick structure completed in 1872 and was outfitted with a third-order, biconvex Fresnel lens. The lens is one of only 70 such lenses that remain operational in the United States. Sixteen of those are in use on the Great Lakes of which eight are in Michigan. The rotating lens projects four beams of light, with one strong flash every 60 seconds. A cast iron spiral stairway with 129 steps leads to the galley. In 1876 the lighthouse was overhauled. In 1934 the kerosene-burning lamp was replaced by a 1000-watt electrical light. In 1939 the lighthouse was placed under the
Historic St. Simons Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2008
4. Historic St. Simons Lighthouse
Oil House seen at base of "Tabby" construction Lighthouse
jurisdiction of the US Coast Guard. About 1953 the lighthouse was fully automated. The tower underwent restoration in 1989-91 and again in 1997-98. In 2004, ownership of the lighthouse was transferred to the Coastal Georgia Historical Society under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act.

The two-story Victorian light keeper's residence, located at the base of the lighthouse, has been converted into a museum. For a fee, the public can tour the museum, and climb to the top of the lighthouse for a view of St. Simons Sound and the surrounding area.

The St. Simons Lighthouse, along with the northernmost water tower on Jekyll Island, creates the demarcation
line that separates St. Simons Sound from the Atlantic Ocean.

The lighthouse is a picturesque and beloved symbol of St. Simons Island, and Glynn County, GA. It is the subject of many paintings and other artistic renderings.
    — Submitted January 31, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.

 
Categories. LandmarksNotable BuildingsNotable PlacesWaterways & Vessels
 
Historic St. Simons Lighthouse , National Register of Historical Places Plaque seen at left of door image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 2, 2008
5. Historic St. Simons Lighthouse , National Register of Historical Places Plaque seen at left of door
St. Simons Lighthouse and Lighthouse Keepers' Building ** (added 1972 - Glynn County - #72000386)
600 Beachview Dr., St. Simons Island (36 acres, 1 building, 2 structures)
Historic Significance: Information Potential, Event, Architecture/Engineering
Architect, builder, or engineer: Cluskey,C.B., Poe,Bvt. Gen. O.M.
Architectural Style: Gothic, Other
Area of Significance: Architecture, Historic - Non-Aboriginal, Transportation
Cultural Affiliation: 19th C. coastal American Period of Significance: 1850-1874
Owner: Local Gov't , Federal
Historic Function: Domestic, Transportation
Historic Sub-function: Multiple Dwelling, Water-Related
Current Function: Recreation And Culture
Current Sub-function: Museum
Historic St. Simons Lighthouse , todays beacon image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2008
6. Historic St. Simons Lighthouse , todays beacon
Oil House image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 2, 2008
7. Oil House
Constructed in 1890 to house fuel for the 1872 lighthouse lantern. To the left is the site of the first St. Simons lighthouse built by James Gould in 1810 of tabby.
Historic St. Simons Lighthouse , the Oil House image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 2, 2008
8. Historic St. Simons Lighthouse , the Oil House
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 9, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,137 times since then and 63 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on November 9, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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