One thing I’ve realized in spending an extended amount of time on St. Simons is just how little I actually know about the island and its history. Visiting here as a young girl, I wasn’t interested in really “knowing” about it. To me, St. Simons meant seeing my grandfather, going to the beach, and eating ice cream cones on the pier!
As an adult, however, I am hungry for such knowledge. And to be honest, I’m a bit ashamed at how little I actually know about this place that I've come to love so much! So I’ve made it a personal mission to learn the ins and outs of SSI, with a particular focus on the history of it. This part of the USA has quite a storied past – some of it to be proud of, some not so much – and to be respectful and appreciative of a place requires really understanding it.
Since the St. Simons Lighthouse is my favorite lighthouse in the world and one of the most recognizable landmarks on the Georgia coast, I figured it was a perfect place to start! Here are a few fun facts about it that you (and by “you” I mean me) may not know:
💡 The original SSI lighthouse was built in 1810, but was destroyed by Confederate forces in 1861 in an effort to prevent its use by Union troops during the Civil War. The lighthouse you see here was built in 1872 to replace the original.
💡The Keeper’s Dwelling was built at the same time as the new lighthouse, and housed keepers from 1872 until the 1950s. Today it serves as the Lighthouse Museum.
💡 This round, brick tower stands 104 feet/32 meters tall: 21 feet/6.5 meters at the base tapering to 10 feet/3 meters at the top.
💡 There are 129 steps to reach the viewing platform at the top, from which you can enjoy views of mainland Brunswick, Jekyll Island, Sea Island, and the southern end of SSI.
💡 Its light beam reaches 23 miles out to sea and is still actively used today as a navigation aid for ships entering the St. Simons Sound.
💡 It is one of only 5 surviving lighthouses in the state of Georgia.
📍 610 Beachview Drive
🗓 Monday to Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm | Sunday 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm | Tickets sold until 4:30 pm each day
💲 Adults $12 | Kids $6 | Military $2