Tybee Island Lighthouse in Tybee Island

Photo of Tybee Island Lighthouse in Tybee Island, Georgia
Photograph © Robin Weiner/U.S. Newswire
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Tybee Island Lighthouse
Official name:Tybee Island Light Station

Meddin Drive, Tybee Island, Georgia
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Withstanding the winds of nature, and the winds of war, this octagonal structure has persevered when other lights have succumbed to the winds of change. The first light on this site was erected in 1736 to aid mariners traversing the Atlantic coast and Savannah River. It, and a subsequent light, were both destroyed by storms. The current light was nearly destroyed by Confederate soldiers. They burned out the inside, and blew up the top third of the then-100-foot structure to keep it from being used by the Union during the U.S. Civil War. After reunification, the rubble was cleared out of the interior, the remaining column fixed, and the lighthouse was re-built to its present height of 154 feet. The tower has always been painted black and white, but the pattern has changed over the years. We have seen photographs of a black-white-black pattern, and a black-over-white pattern, a gray-over-white pattern, and even an all-white light. The current black-over-white pattern was painted in 1999. It is a resurrection of the pattern used from 1916 to 1965.

Quick Facts
  • 1736: The first lighthouse is erected on Tybee Island.
  • 1741: The lighthouse is destroyed by a storm.
  • 1742: The second Tybee Island lighthouse is erected.
  • 1772: The lighthouse is destroyed by a storm.
  • 1773: The current Tybee Island lighthouse is erected.
  • 1862: Confederate soldiers demolish the top third of the lighthouse.
  • 1867: The top of the lighthouse is rebuilt, and extended in height. Some consider this to be the fourth Tybee Island light house.
  • 1933 - The oil lamp is replaced by an electric lamp.
  • 9 March 2003: The lighthouse is refurbished as part of a project by local preservation groups sponsored by the Hampton Inn hotel chain.
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