Skip to main content

US 80 and Tybee Island

After making its way through a plethora of states throughout the Deep South, US 80 finishes its eastbound journey some 18 miles east of downtown Savannah, Georgia on a barrier island called Tybee Island. The beach town of Tybee Island, where the Savannah River meets the Atlantic Ocean, offers a nice ceremonious end to a highway once had its other end in San Diego, California. In addition to the usual trimmings that a beach town affords, such as sandy beaches and various shops, you can also enhance your visit to the eastern end of US 80 by checking out the historic forts and lighthouses on or around Tybee Island.

US 80's other end is now in Mesquite, Texas, just outside of Dallas.

Heading west on US 80 in Tybee Island. From the main drag, Tybee Island looks like a pretty typical beach town.
---
One of the more famous sights in Tybee Island, even more famous than US 80's eastern end, is located just a few blocks away from US 80. It is the Tybee Island Lighthouse, which opened in 1916 as the most recent incarnation of lighthouses on Tybee Island. A lighthouse at Tybee Island was first ordered by Governor James Oglethorpe of the Georgia colony in 1732, to help guide ships into the Savannah River. The Tybee Island Light is the tallest lighthouse in the great state of Georgia and it takes 178 steps to climb to the top of the lighthouse. Over time, events such as coastal erosion and even destruction by fire of the lighthouse by Confederate troops during the Civil War were catalysts for new lighthouses being built at Tybee Island. I didn't get a chance to go up the lighthouse or visit the lighthouse's museum that day, but I managed to get some nice photos of the Tybee Island Light.

Tybee Island Light and associated grounds.

A close-up of the lighthouse.
---
Across the street from the Tybee Island Lighthouse is Fort Screven, one of Georgia's coastal forts (Fort Pulaski on nearby Cockspur Island is another). Fort Screven was named after American Revolution hero Brigadier General James Screven, who died in battle in 1778. The construction of a fort at Tybee Island was first authorized by the Georgia legislature in 1786, but various forts and batteries have been in place throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries. A small round fort known as a Martello tower was in place in 1815 and saw action during the Civil War. It was replaced with a fort now known as Fort Screven in time for the Spanish American War. The fort was phased out after World War II. Fort Screven is now a museum and a few of the batteries are open to the public to view and to explore.

Battery Garland, one of the publicly accessible batteries of Fort Screven.

The main part of Fort Screven. It now houses a museum.

Fort Screven historical marker.

Artillery at Fort Screven.


Sources and Links:
Tybee Island GA - Savannah's Beach
Tybee Island Historical Society - Tybee Island Light Station and Museum
Lighthouse Friends - Tybee Island Lighthouse
Flickr - Tybee Island Lighthouse photos by Doug Kerr
ExploreSouthernHistory - Fort Screven Historic District
Flickr - Fort Screven photos by Doug Kerr

How to Get There

Comments

Don Davies said…
I am a huge admirer of your blog! I started an Instagram account dedicated to Tybee Island's lighthouses! I'm planning a trip back to Tybee Island in September 2022 and have already discovered numerous lighthouses I've never seen before on https://visittybee.com/article/history-of-tybee-island-lighthouse and I'm so excited to get some IG-worthy photos!

Popular posts from this blog

The Dummy Lights of New York

  A relic of the early days of motoring, dummy lights were traffic lights  that  were  placed  in the middle of a street intersection. In those early days, traffic shuffled through busy intersections with the help of a police officer who stood on top of a pedestal. As technology improved and electric traffic signals became commonplace, they were also  originally  positioned on a platform at the center of the intersection. Those traffic signals became known as  " dummy lights "  and were common until  traffic lights were moved  onto wires and poles that crossed above the intersection.  In New York State, only a handful of these dummy lights exist. The dummy lights  are found  in the Hudson Valley towns of Beacon and Croton-on-Hudson, plus there is an ongoing tug of war in Canajoharie in the Mohawk Valley, where their dummy light has been knocked down and replaced a few times. The dummy light in Canajoharie is currently out of commission, but popular demand has caused the dummy

Colorado Road (Fresno County)

Colorado Road is a rural highway located in San Joaquin Valley of western Fresno County.  Colorado Road services the city of San Joaquin in addition the unincorporated communities of Helm and Tranquility.  Colorado Road was constructed between 1910 and 1912 as a frontage road of the Hanford & Summit Lake Railway.  The roadway begins at California State Route 145 near Helm and terminates to the west at James Road in Tranquility.   Part 1; the history of Colorado Road Colorado Road was constructed as frontage road connecting the sidings of the Hanford & Summit Lake Railway.  The Hanford & Summit Lake Railway spanned from South Pacific Railroad West Side Line at Ingle junction southeast to the Coalinga Branch at Armona.  The Hanford & Summit Lake Railway broke ground during August 1910 and was complete by April 1912. The Hanford & Summit Lake Railway established numerous new sidings.  From Ingle the sidings of the line were Tranquility, Graham, San Joaquin, Caldwell, H

Madera County Road 400 and the 1882-1886 Yosemite Stage Road

Madera County Road 400 is an approximately twenty-four-mile roadway following the course of the Fresno River in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Road 400 begins at California State Route 145 near Madera and terminates to the north at Road 415 near Coarsegold.  Traditionally Road 400 was known as "River Road" prior to Madera County dropping naming conventions on county highways.  Road 400 was part of the original Yosemite Stage Route by the Washburn Brothers which began in 1882.  The Yosemite Stage Route would be realigned to the west in 1886 along what is now Road 600 to a rail terminus in Raymond.  Parts of Road 400 were realigned in 1974 to make way for the Hensley Lake Reservoir.  Part 1; the history of Madera County Road 400 Road 400 is historically tied to the Wawona Road and Hotel.  The Wawona Hotel is located near the Mariposa Grove in the modern southern extent of Yosemite National Park.   The origins of the Wawona Road are tied to the Wawona Hotel but it does predate th