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

California State Route 49; The Golden Chain Highway (CA 41 north to CA 16)

Last year I traveled California State Route 49 from CA 16 north to CA 89 in one continuous trip.  The prior two years I traveled the rest of CA 49 south to CA 41 in Oakhurst.  This blog post consists of photos of the highway from that time period and historical information about the southern part of CA 49.






This blog post is meant to be a continuation of the previous one I did regarding CA 49 from CA 16 north to CA 89.  A link to said blog post can be found below:

California State Route 49; The Golden Chain Highway (CA 16 north to CA 89)

As stated in the previous blog post; CA 49 is an approximately 295 mile long north/south highway which traverses the traditional Gold Rush Country of California.  While I intend to discuss county level historical alignments of CA 49 as I did in the first blog post I thought this would be a good place to discuss the backstory of highway. 

CA 49 was first signed in 1934 along a series of Legislative Route Numbers ("LRN") that were largely locate…

Alaskan Way Viaduct Legacy Part 2; Alaskan Way, US Route 99 and the Alaskan Way Viaduct

Upon my arrival in downtown Seattle after taking the Bremerton-Seattle Ferry across Puget Sound I stopped to see the soon to be razed Alaskan Way Viaduct.  The Alaskan Way Viaduct is an elevated freeway and a former segment of US Route 99.  Interestingly US 99 is still signed at the southbound Viaduct Ramp located at Columbia Street and 1st Avenue in Pioneer Square.






This blog entry is the second in a series of two related to transportation in Seattle related to the Alaskan Way Viaduct.  The first entry in the series can be found here:

Alaskan Way Viaduct Legacy Part 1; Alki Point, Duwamish Head and Railroad Avenue

Continuing from the previous blog entry I mentioned Railroad Avenue as a major planked wood road corridor spanning Elliott Bay and the Waterfront of downtown Seattle.  By the early 20th century it was fairly obvious the wooden plank road was woefully inadequate for Automobile traffic. When US Route 99 was plotted out in 1926 it appears to have likely used the following route …

2016 Cross-Country Trip Part 6; Return to US Route 66 and California

Picking back up from Part 5; I had just left Needles on US 95/I-40.  I followed I-40 west of the US 95 junction, I continued west until I split away from the Interstate at Exit 107.  I hadn't been to the Mojave section of US 66 since 2012 and I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to revisit on a cross-country trip.


I don't intend this to be anything more than me gushing over returning an old abandoned highway that I've always enjoyed.  For a full historical analysis of the Mojave section of US 66 in California I would suggest reading this previous blog.

US 66 (Cajon Pass to the Arizona State Line)

Pulling off on exit 107 afforded a unique view of the oversized "GAS" sign to the north of I-40 in Fenner.  Fenner really isn't much anything more than an RV and truck parking lot.


I really thought the CR 66 shields would have been stolen after so much time had passed since 2012.






Back in 2012 there was a glut of pit bulls running around the abandoned building…