Scenic USA - Georgia

Tybee Island Lighthouse

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Tybee Island Lighthouse - Savannah, Georgia

Photos by Marcia Colelli
Marcia Colelli Photography

     Tybee Island, a name passed down from the Native Euchees, was first claimed by Spanish explorer Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon in 1520. Unable to control the entire southeast coast, the French moved into the area in 1620, later followed by the British. General James Oglethorpe arrived in 1733 and established a new colony called Savannah. Located on the mouth of the Savannah River, a fort and lighthouse were built under the guidance of Oglethorpe. Tybee Island Lighthouse - Savannah, GeorgiaThe first lighthouse on Tybee Island, built of brick and standing 90 feet, was the tallest structure in America at the time. The tower's cedar base was no match for the strong currents and was soon replaced with a 94 foot structure. The third beacon was thoughtfully moved inland, away from the punishing sea.
     The latest news from Tybee Island tells of a long awaited celebration for their beloved lighthouse. The Tybee Island Lighthouse had deteriorated over the years and was in desperate need of restoration. Spearheading refurb efforts, the Tybee Island Historical Society managed to pull together a masterful job. A complete rework of the interior and exterior, the lighthouse has been restored to its former glory, revealing an original paint scheme dating to 1916. The black exterior, with contrasting white center band, casts a dramatic image in the Georgia sky.

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