Anne Popham

St. Simons Island

Area Info

The largest and most populated of the Golden Isles, St. Simons has a tumultuous past. The first known inhabitants were the Guale and the Timucuan Indian tribes followed by early explorations and control by Spain and France. In 1733 Georgia was founded by General James Oglethorpe who in 1736 established Fort Frederica on the northern end of the island. The most expensive fort in the American colonies it was named after the Prince of Wales.

Religious leaders and brothers John and Charles Wesley accompanied General Oglethorpe where they helped establish a congregation at Frederica. They preached under the tall oak trees on the same grounds of the current Christ Episcopal Church. They would later return to England to help found the Methodist denomination of the Christian faith.

On July 7, 1742 the Spanish who were marching to attack Frederica were ambushed in a marsh that by the time the battle ended, “ran red with blood”. A National Park Service monument and overlook off Demere Road mark The Battle of Bloody Marsh site.

The St. Simons Lighthouse is the oldest brick structure in the area began operation in 1872 and still guides ships today. The lighthouse is 104 foot tall with 129 interior steps sits adjacent to the light-keepers dwelling. Both are operated by The Coastal Georgia Historical Society and part of the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum.

In 1924, the F.J. Torras Causeway was completed connecting St. Simons Island to mainland Brunswick which continues to bring visitors year round.