Thursday, May 14, 2009
St. Simons Lighthouse - St. Simons Island, Georgia
One of the most beautiful spots on the Georgia coast, the St. Simons Lighthouse on St. Simons Island is a noted Southern historic landmark.
Built to replace earlier towers, the lighthouse was constructed during the 1870s and is still in use today. The site had earlier also been the location of a Confederate battery during the Civil War and Fort St. Simons, built by the British during the early 1700s. Nothing remains of either fortification, but a cannon on the ground preserves the memory of Fort St. Simons.
From bottom to top, the spiral staircase inside the tower includes 129 steps that reach the catwalk where visitors can absorb a spectacular view of the Golden Isles of Georgia from 104 feet above the ground.
According to legend, the St. Simons Light is haunted by the ghost of one of its former keepers. Newspaper accounts of the time confirm that Frederick Osborne, the keeper of the light in 1880, was shot and killed by his assistant, John Stephens. According to the reports, Stephens believed that Osborne had spoken "inappropriately" to Mrs. Stephens. He shot and killed Osborne, was arrested for murder, but was subsequently acquitted.
Since then, there have been reports that Osborne's restless spirit roams the lighthouse and grounds. Eyewitness accounts of a ghost at the lighthouse appeared in print as early as 1908.
To learn more about the St. Simons Lighthouse and its unusual ghost story, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/gastsimons.