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

Popular posts from this blog

Niagara Falls

  Arguably the world's most famous waterfall, or rather a set of waterfalls, Niagara Falls may not need much of an introduction, as it is a very popular tourist attraction in both New York State and the Province of Ontario, a destination of plenty of honeymooning couples, vacationing families and college students out for a good time for a weekend. Niagara Falls is also the site of many daredevil activities over the years, such as tightrope walking and going over the falls in a barrel. It is always nice to have a bit of a refresher, of course. Niagara Falls is made up of two main waterfalls, American Falls (also known as Rainbow Falls), which is on the American side of the border and Horseshoe Falls (also known as Canadian Falls), where the border between the United States and Canada crosses. There is also a smaller waterfall on the New York side of the border, which is Bridal Veil Falls. The height of the waterfalls are impressive, with Horseshoe Falls measuring at

The Smithtown Bull in Smithtown, New York

  Before I moved to Upstate New York as a young man, I grew up in the Long Island town of Smithtown during the 1980s and 1990s. The recognizable symbol of Smithtown is a bronze statue of a bull named Whisper, located at the junction of NY Route 25 and NY Route 25A near the bridge over the Nissequogue River. Why a bull, you may ask. The bull is a symbol of a legend related to the town's founding in 1665 by Richard "Bull" Smythe, with a modernized name of Richard Smith. It also so happens that there is a story behind the legend, one that involves ancient land right transfers and some modern day roads as well. So the story goes that Smythe made an agreement with a local Indian tribe where Smythe could keep whatever land he circled around in a day's time riding atop his trusty bull. Choosing the longest day of the year for his ride, he set out with his bull Whisper and went about riding around the borders of the Town of Smithtown. As legend has it, Smythe t

Route 75 Tunnel - Ironton, Ohio

In the Ohio River community of Ironton, Ohio, there is a former road tunnel that has a haunted legend to it. This tunnel was formerly numbered OH 75 (hence the name Route 75 Tunnel), which was renumbered as OH 93 due to I-75 being built in the state. Built in 1866, it is 165 feet long and once served as the northern entrance into Ironton, originally for horses and buggies and later for cars. As the tunnel predated the motor vehicle era, it was too narrow for cars to be traveling in both directions. But once US 52 was built in the area, OH 93 was realigned to go around the tunnel instead of through the tunnel, so the tunnel was closed to traffic in 1960. The legend of the haunted tunnel states that since there were so many accidents that took place inside the tunnel's narrow walls, the tunnel was cursed. The haunted legend states that there was an accident between a tanker truck and a school bus coming home after a high school football game on a cold, foggy Halloween night in 1