Alabama, Charleston SC Earthquake of 1886, Fresnel Lens, Georgia, History, James Oglethrope, Lighthouses, Lower Alabama, Old Southern Buildings, Photography, Savannah, South, The Crab Shack, Travel, Tybee Island GA, Tybee Island GA Lighthouse

Driving Miss Bevy, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Driving Miss Bevy

By Beverly Hicks Burch

It had been a very, very long time since I had smelled the fragrance of salt air that you can whiff only near the coastal areas of any body of ocean water, or for that matter felt the brisk sea breeze as it blew through my hair negating any chance of a “good hair day”. But, who cares, right once you’re near the coast? The clouds are even different there than in those further inland land locked locations…

But, I will have to admit this…I am a Gulf Coast gal…the Gulf of Mexico’s Gold Coast isn’t called that just for jollies. The salt air even tastes and smells different…more salty and crisp it seems and now, I was at a location on the Atlantic Seaboard. Nonetheless, it was unique, stunning and beautiful. It had a charm all its own.

You see last week I had to drive to Savannah, GA for the first time. The reason I went was more for personal business, and it was more a day trip, but while there I decided to make the best of the short trip.

The trip down reminded me of so many trips to and through LA. No folks, that’s not LA as in Los Angeles. If you are from Alabama you know LA means “Lower Alabama”. Well, driving through southern rural Georgia reminded me a whole lot of LA.

Now there was a time when my personal idea of hell, especially on Earth, was living in a concrete block house with no air conditioner in a sun-baked field in LA, with no good bookstore around and no place to purchase good skin care products. (No offense intended to anyone here…) I was reminded of that a time or two when I did indeed pass a couple of abandoned concrete houses.

But, nowadays when you travel through those very rural, southern areas of any Southern state you are just about as apt to be doing so with the latest technology like a GPS and a smartphone with 3G technology that does pick up a decent signal in most locations…even on what looks like deserted two lane county roads…hand to God, I can vouch for that one! You’ll also pass by some rather palatial homes, farms and horse ranches, see a lot of corn and soy bean farms, find shopping areas sprouted up…yes, there are signs of modern day “civilizations”. If it wasn’t so dang hot down there, I could live down there I thought, especially with the advent of UPS and FedEx who can delivery anything anywhere!

As I got closer to Savannah traffic began to get heavier and my thoughts began to focus on my upcoming meeting. But, I couldn’t help but see the natural charm and loveliness of Savannah. She is the “old South”…a true old Southern lady with history, grace and charm.

Down Oglethorpe - 2

Looking Down Oglethorpe Ave

I had gone down to see an attorney and as I parked on the side of the street my parking spot just happened to be right by an historical cemetery…the DAR…the Daughters of the American Revolution War Cemetery. As I stepped out of my car to plug in coins for the parking meter nearby church bells began to peal the noontide.

An Old Beacon in Savannah

For whom the Bells Toll…

I strolled through the cemetery getting a taste and feel for the past of Savannah and the citizens who settled this old Lady. The genealogist in me wished I could remember the one or two name way back in my own files who hailed from Savannah.

An Old old soul

An Old Soul…with Spanish Moss..

Final home

Final Home…

Rest in Peace

Rest in Peace…

Resting Place

Colonial Burial



Gate of final haven

The Gate In…and Out…


Ginko at the gate Ginko by the Gate – Ginko is also known as Maidenhair Tree

As I left the cemetery I looked across the street and saw the attorney’s office. It was located in a historic old row house…true Old South architecture…

Old brick and wood on Oglethorpe

Old Brick, Wood and Mortar on Oglethorpe

Well, I had to press on for my appoint and I will share more on that in a later blog…there are things that I do need to share…but, afterwards I had one more goal in mind and that was to pursuit one more passion of mine…lighthouses…

I had developed a fondness for lighthouses over 20 years ago. I’m not quite sure when the urge took hold, but I do know it solidified with the time I spent in Maine and the Northeast and other areas. I love what lighthouses represent…the Guiding Light…Harbor in a storm and so forth. I have seen so many…probably 100s by now and they are one of the things I collect.

Tybee Island, GA has one such lighthouse. It was a Colonial lighthouse, ordered built by Governor General James Oglethorpe in 1732 when Georgia was still a British colony. (Georgia was the 13th colony.) The light has been destroyed several times and the 94 foot final incarnation was built where it stands in 1916. The light has served the Island and location and seafarers for over 270 years. It boasts a nine foot tall First Order Fresnel Lens. The lens was actually damaged during the 1886 Charleston, SC earthquake. For years the lighthouse was run by that rare breed know as lighthouse keepers, then by the US Coast Guard. Now, the Lighthouse is maintained by the Tybee Island Historical Society.

Keeper's house 2 

The Keeper’s House

Tybee Island Lighthouse 5

Tybee Island Lighthouse

Tybee Island Lighthouse 6

Modern Day Encroaches…


Current Daymark

Guiding Light

 The Guiding Light…The Fresnel Lens

Tybee Island Lighthouse plaque

The History…

Tybee Island Lighthouse plaque 2

The Society…

Iron works

Old Iron Works


Since I had arrived on a Tuesday and the museum was closed I was unable to tour the inside, but the outside is always a big payoff for me. After taking a few pictures I was back in my Jeep and taking a quick little tour around the Island and ready for seafood. I decided on The Crab Shack…a place that had been recommended by someone in the attorney’s office…a guy who was from Maine…a small world, huh?

After deviled crab and boiled shrimp outdoors “sitting by the dock of the bay” so to speak, I knew I had to get my Jeep in gear and head home. Daylight would be fading…and I was fading fast. It would take me a while to recover from this little jaunt…I still am…but, it was kinda fun driving Miss Bevy `round those back roads of southern Georgia…

© 2009 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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