Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Quick Look at Tybee Island

This Tybee Island home was made from the remains of a military battery on the island.
Tybee lighthouse not far from downtown.
Tybee Island, Ga., where Margie and I are spending a few day, is part of the barrier chain of islands off the coast and is the easternmost point of Georgia. It is probably the most popular tourist destination on the state's coast, but it has 2,900 permanent residents and is deceptively stable in that respect. It is no Myrtle Beach.

Margie,who grew up in Savannah and has spent a great deal of time on Tybee over the years, gave me the grand tour today and I was impressed with the independence of the residents, who have maintained their lifestyle even as heavy tourism swirls around them. They have renovated old buildings and even turned parts of an old fort--Scriven's Civil War era batteries--into a tourist attraction and even some homes.

Margie says that when developers come in and want to change the nature of the island for residents, they meet with stiff resistance. An independent lot, these people.

Tybee also has an odd circumstance in its history--almost laughable, though considering the circumstances and the
This is typical of the residences.
possibilities, maybe not so much. In 1958 the U.S. Military (which is in considerable evidence in this part of the country) dropped an atomic bomb on Tybee. It didn't go off.

The 94-foot lighthouse (more than 60 feet of it dating from 1773 and the rest from 1867. It is one of a few light houses in the U.S. dating from the 18th century that is still in use.

Tybee was not connected to the mainland by road until the 1920s and it wasn't until the 1940s that it became a beach recreation destination. It is a fascinating place, hotter than hell, but it is South Georgia and you would expect nothing else, I suspect.

Part of the historic battery (the light house is across the street.)
One of the island's neat, older homes.
This house belonged to one of Margie's relatives at one point.

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