Site of Fort St. Simons
The St. Simons Lighthouse
stands on the site of earlier
British and Confederate forts.
One, Fort St. Simons, was
built by Georgia's founder.
St. Simons Waterfront
The lighthouse is one of the
fixtures on the charming St.
Simons Island Waterfront,
which features the beautiful
Neptune Park.
St. Simons Lighthouse - St. Simons Island, Georgia
St. Simons Lighthouse - St. Simons Island, Georgia
ST. SIMONS LIGHTHOUSE
St. Simons Island, Georgia
St. Simons Lighthouse
Overlooking the shore of St. Simons Island on
Georgia's Atlantic Coast, this beautiful old tower is
a noted Southern historic landmark.
Georgia's Haunted Lighthouse
Lighthouses dot the Southern coastline, but
few are as beautiful or accessible as the St.
Simons Lighthouse on
St. Simons Island.

The distinctive white tower was constructed
during the 1870s to replace an earlier
structure and is still in use today. The
lighthouse and adjacent keeper's cottage are
preserved by the
Coastal Georgia Historical
Society.

The lighthouse site has been important for
centuries. General James Oglethorpe,
Georgia's founder, built
Fort St. Simons here
in 1738 to help defend Georgia against
Spanish attack. The English evacuated the
post four years later as a Spanish fleet and
army approached from Florida.

Spain then used the fort as a base for its
operations against
Fort Frederica. The plan
to lay siege to that post came to an end at the
Battles of
Gully Hole Creek and Bloody Marsh
and the Spanish withdrew from St. Simons
Island. Fort St. Simons was left in ruins.

Some three-quarters of a century later, the
point on the southern tip of the island where
Fort St. Simons had stood was selected by
the U.S. Government for a lighthouse. John
Couper, a plantation owner, deeded four
acres at Couper's Point for the project.

Built by James Gould, the first tower was an
octagonal structure built of tabby (a form of
concrete made from oyster shell, lime and
sand). It stood 85-feet tall from the base of
the tower to the top of the lantern and was lit
by oil lamps. Gould was appointed its first
keeper in April 1810.

British troops launched a
raid on St. Simons
Island during the closing days of the War of
1812. The adjacent Couper Plantation was
looted, but no major damage was done to
the lighthouse itself.

War returned to St. Simons Island in 1861
when Georgia seceded from the Union. The
strategic location of the lighthouse led
Confederate forces to build an earthwork fort
on the grounds. They named it Fort Brown
and occupied the work until General Robert
E. Lee ordered the evacuation of the coastal
islands in early 1862. As the Confederates
withdrew, they destroyed the original tower to
prevent it being used by Union forces.

The current St. Simons Lighthouse was
completed in 1872. Designed by Charles
Cluskey, a noted architect, it is 104 feet tall
and remains in use today. Cluskey also
designed the adjacent keeper's dwelling,
also completed in 1872.

From bottom to top, it takes a strenuous
climb of 129 steps to climb the 104 foot
tower, but the view from the catwalk is
definitely worth the effort. The catwalk around
the top of the tower provides visitors with a
spectacular panorama of the "Golden Isles"
and Atlantic Ocean.

The beautiful tower on St. Simons Island is
the centerpiece of a fascinating Georgia
ghost story.

According to the legend, the St. Simons
Lighthouse is haunted by the restless spirit
of Frederick Osborne, one of its former
keepers. Osborne was shot and killed by an
assistant after he allegedly made "improper
remarks" to his assistant's wife.
The assistant was arrested and tried for
Osborne's death, but was acquitted after the
jury heard the facts of the case.  Since that
time, however, people have reported seeing
Osborne's ghostly figure in and around the
lighthouse.

You can read more about the ghost story by
clicking here.

The St. Simons Lighthouse and adjacent
museum are open to the public from 10 a.m.
to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from
1:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Sundays. The last
tour is at 4:30 p.m.

The admission price is $12 for adults and $5
for children 6-11 years of age. Children 5 and
under are admitted for free.

The lighthouse is located at 610 Beachview
Drive, St. Simons Island, Georgia. Admission
is $12 for adults and $5 for children 6-11.
Kids under 6 are admitted free.

Please click here to learn more about the St.
Simons Lighthouse.

The lighthouse is at one end of beautiful
Neptune Park. Stretching from the Village
and pier to the St. Simons Lighthouse, it is
one of the most scenic public parks in the
South.
Georgia's Haunted Light
The Ghost of the St. Simons
Lighthouse is one of the
Peach State's best known
hauntings.
Copyright 2012, 2013 & 2014 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Update: May 22, 2014
St. Simons Lighthouse
Completed in 1872 on the
site of an earlier tower, the St.
Simons Lighthouse is one of
the most beautiful landmarks
in Georgia.
St. Simons Lighthhouse
Visitors can climb the tower
daily for a spectacular view of
the famed Golden Isles of
Georgia.
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