St. Simons Island
St. Simons is the only one of Georgia’s larger barrier islands that has never been privately owned. St. Simons consists of 27,300 total acres including the marsh. It has 12,300 upland acres and three miles of beach. St. Simons and Sea Island together are 13 miles long and 4 miles wide. St. Simons is extremely rich in history, having been inhabited first by the Creek Indians and then by the Spanish, British, and finally by southern plantation owners who grew sea island cotton and live oak timber. Historic points of interest include Fort Frederica, Fort St. Simons, Christ Church, Bloody Marsh, Hamilton Plantation, Hampton Plantation, Cannon’s Point Plantation, and Retreat Plantation and the St. Simons Lighthouse. The lighthouse, first constructed in 1810 and rebuilt in 1871, is one of the nation's oldest continuously working lighthouses. After the Civil War, St. Simons became a much-loved resort. The causeway was built in 1924 and the airport in 1934. The Coast Guard Station which closed in 1996 was built in 1937. Today most of the island is privately owned residential homes and low-key commercial hotels and condominiums. Its fishing pier attracts visitors from miles around and serves as the center for many of the activities of the local village.