Tag Archives: Tybee Island GA

Tybee Pier & Pavilion, 1996

The Central of Georgia Railroad built a line to Tybee Island in 1887 and to meet the demands of a growing number of tourists constructed the first public pier on the island in 1891. This was influential in transforming Tybee into the popular destination it is today. In the 1930s and 1940s the Tybrisa Pavilion, as it came to be known, was a popular spot on the Big Band circuit, hosting all the big names of the day.

The Tybrisa Pavilion burned in 1967 and was replaced by the present pier and pavilion in 1996. It has reclaimed its place as one of the most popular spots on Tybee.

It’s also a good spot for nearshore fishing, but shark fishing is prohibited.

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The Breakfast Club, 1976, Tybee Island

Locals will quickly point you to Jodee Sadowsky’s legendary Breakfast Club, on the corner of Butler Avenue & 15th Street near the Tybee Pier. There’s nothing pretentious about the place and you can tell when you walk in the door that it’s a temple to good food. It’s made right in front of you by friendly cooks and the staff are as welcoming to tourists as they are to locals, always a good sign. But you likely won’t find it with any empty stools unless you go in the winter and even then that’s not guaranteed. Blogger Nick Dekker sums up Breakfast Club “etiquette”: …The place runs like a well-oiled machine, so you need to know how the process works. First, expect a line. Things move quickly at Breakfast Club (don’t hang around when you’re done eating), but waiting is often part of the game. Line up outside, and server will poke his/her head out once in a while to check on your group size (your whole group needs to be present to get seated).

It may cost slightly more than a breakfast at McDonald’s but it’s exponentially better. The Breakfast Club makes their own sausage and uses as many locally sourced ingredients as possible.

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14th Street Dunes, Tybee Island

Convenient beach access points can be found from the lighthouse all the way down the island. Just remember that parking is never free on Tybee, and in summer a spot can be difficult to find.

Due to heavy erosion, sand is constantly being replaced in certain areas. The dunes are predominately natural, though.

As on all of Georgia’s barrier island, Tybee’s dunes are protected as turtle habitat and for myriad other animals and plants which call them home.

I was amazed to find this dune wildflower blooming in January, but the micro-climate on the coast yields many surprises.

Winter is actually a wonderful time to visit the coast, as it’s always less crowded and to me, at least, the stark colors and hues give it an otherworldly feel.

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Lighthouse Views of Tybee Island

From atop the Tybee Lighthouse one can take in 360-degree views of the island.

Looking North

Looking Northeast

Looking East

Looking East

Looking Southeast

Fort Screven Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

 

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Tybee Lighthouse, 1773, 1867 &c.

Georgia’s oldest and tallest [145 feet] lighthouse is the symbol of Tybee Island and one of the most fascinating places to visit on the coast. Climbing the 178 steps to the top is an effort but one which pays off with wonderful views of the island and the Atlantic Ocean.

There are landings every 25 steps in case you need to rest or if you just want to see the island from different perspectives.

Because its complex of supporting structures remain intact, the property around the Tybee Lighthouse is officially referred to as the Tybee Island Light Station.

The lower sixty feet of the iconic structure date to John Mulryne’s construction of 1773, which was a replacement for two previous lighthouses (the first of which was built for James Oglethorpe in 1736). So strategic and important to the future growth of Georgia was the placement of a lighthouse at the confluence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Savannah River that General Oglethorpe threatened to hang the incompetent builder of the first beacon. Numerous modifications and additions have been made over the ensuing two centuries. Notably, Confederates burned the lighthouse in 1861 to prevent its use by Union troops; in 1867, 85 feet were added to the 1773 base to bring the lighthouse to its present height.

The Stick Style Head Keeper’s Cottage was built in 1881.

The house was built with an attached kitchen, known as a “summer kitchen”. Its location at the rear of the dwelling helped keep heat out of the house during the summer.

The master bedroom is located downstairs.

Guest and children’s bedrooms are located upstairs.

The 2nd Assistant Keeper’s Cottage (below) was built circa 1861 from remains of the old Confederate barracks. The 2nd Assistant Keeper first occupied the cottagee in 1867.

The oldest structure on the property is the original summer kitchen, dating to 1812. It was used until 1910 and now houses archaeological treasures found on site over the years.

The fuel storage shed was built in 1890.

Fort Screven Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Fort Screven Cottage, Tybee Island

This cottage is sandwiched between Solomon and Van Horn Avenues. I first thought it dated to the early 1900s, but recently learned that the original structure on this site burned in 2007. I assume this is a reconstruction but it’s still a great structure.

 

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Enlisted Men’s Mess Hall, Circa 1925, Tybee Island

This is now a vacation rental known as the Screened Inn.

Fort Screven Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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