Monday, January 14, 2013

Way Up...in the Tybee Island Lighthouse

We decided to go to Tybee Island, located about 18 miles from Savannah. It is a popular vacation spot and the easternmost point in the State of Georgia.

We passed the salt marshes along the way. The salt marshes stretch in a band four to six miles wide between the mainland and coastal barrier islands. A major reason for Georgia's extensive expanses of salt marsh is that its coast experiences the highest tides along the southeastern shoreline.

Georgia's salt marshes are some of the most biologically productive natural systems on Earth. The  environment helps to make the salt marshes primary nursery areas for blue crabs, oysters, shrimp, and other economically important fish and shellfish. Young shrimp and other marine organisms also use salt marshes as shelters and hiding places from predators. In addition, salt marshes help filter pollutants from the water and act as buffers against offshore storms.

This is part of the intracoastal waterway. Some of these people have a long walk to their boats!

The turtle is a popular symbol on Tybee...

We decided to climb the 178 steps in the lighthouse to get a nice panoramic view of the Island.


There was a landing every 25 steps so you could pretend to look out the window and catch your breath.

The view from the top...

Stephanie and Kim at the top...

And not to be outdone...out popped Jim. Well done!!

Stephanie and her dad...

There are some beautiful homes and rentals here...

This large cargo ship didn't appear to be that far off-shore...

Fort Screven was commissioned in 1899 and served as a valuable part of coastal defense until it was decommissioned in 1947. Part of it now serves as a museum.

We decided to tour the Lightkeepers' cottages. We watched a 15 minute video featuring one of the children of the last lightkeeper who was there between 1933 and 1948. She said it was a great place to grow up and whenever they went up in the lighthouse they had to sign the guestbook, so they would always sign some movie star's name thinking their father wouldn't know it was them. Cute!

This was the summer kitchen which was built in 1812 and used by all the keepers and their families until 1910.

This was the Head Lightkeepers cottage built in 1881. He had two assistants who lived in cottages nearby.

Just about all of the furnishings are original and were donated to the Historical Society by the family of the last lightkeeper when they set about restoring the cottages.

A phone like Uncle Oscar's! Ring, ring, ring...

They have volunteers from the Historical Society to answer questions and give you information about the way the family lived at the time.

This was a pretty nice cottage, compared to some that we have seen!


The last lightkeeper was George Jackson and they had 4 children, two boys and two girls. A collection of their toys...

Pretty nice bedrooms for the children...

The parents slept downstairs. Notice the icebox outside the door...

George Jackson had a twin brother and they were orphaned at a young age. They were raised by different families and when they finally reunited 48 years later, it turned out that his brother was also a lightkeeper. What are the odds of that!

The front of the lightkeeper's cottage...it was a really worthwhile visit...

We didn't have time to go through the museum as it was getting close to closing time, but you have to walk that way to get to the beach. Stephanie and I trekked over...

And this explains the turtle signs. Sea turtles come each year to lay their eggs before heading back to the ocean.

The boardwalk to the beach...

It was low tide. The sand was so hard that people were bicycling on it.


Go, Stephanie! I took a burst of 12 photos of her jumping and got a kick out of playing it back and forth. Jump, Stephanie, jump!

I wasn't that smiley when the water washed over my feet. It wasn't bone chilling cold, but it wasn't warm.

Tybee's City Hall with the storm surge elevations on the side...

It was a great day!

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