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St. Simons Island Lighthouse and Museum
The historic site of the St. Simons Lighthouse dates back to Fort St. Simons, a colonial fort, which was built under General James Oglethorpe's command to protect the southern tip of the island. Fort St. Simons was destroyed by retreating Spanish soldiers in the Battle of Bloody Marsh in 1742. In the early 1800s, John Couper acquired the land and named it Couper's Point. Couper sold the land for $1 to the government in 1804 to build the St. Simons Lighthouse. During America's Civil War, Confederate troops constructed Fort Brown on the lighthouse property. The fort was abandoned and the lighthouse blown up by the Confederate forces in 1862 to prevent its use by Federal troops. A second lighthouse was constructed in 1872, the light you see today.
One of only five surviving light towers in Georgia, the rehabilitated lighthouse on St. Simons Island, with its original 3rd order Fresnel lens shining 18 miles out to sea, remains a navigational aid for traffic entering the St. Simons Sound. Unlike many other operational lighthouses, visitors are welcome to climb the 129 steps leading to the top of the St. Simons Lighthouse. Although no keeper awaits you, since the lighthouse is now fully automated, the vast panorama of the Golden Isles does.