The Atlantic’s western part on the east coast takes you to a small barrier island, famously known as St Simons Island. If these tall moss-draped oak trees, old buildings, and relics of St Simons Islands can talk, they can tell you the untold stories.
Stories of Native Americans, the arrival of colonizers, and the bloody wars fought among themselves for power, with each tale that fills a page in the book of time locked in a fabric of space, whether known or unknown, each story has played its role in shaping the islands present.
St Simons Island: 5 Captivating Details for Your Next Holiday
In this article, let’s discuss everything about the Island, Its history, tourist attractions, sports, tourism, flora, and fauna.
History of St Simons Island
Many billions of years ago. America’s southeastern coastlands were underwater. In the state of Georgia, Ocean shores formed a shoreline from Columbus to Augusta. With time, as the tectonic plates shifted. The ocean retreated. As a result, there appeared small sandy barrier islands. These islands are scattered across the Georgia coastline from Florida to South Carolina.
Native Americans of this land build settlements depending on the seasons and moved freely from one Village to another. They have established trade networks across the continent among the different tribes. They have a unique social structure of their own. Chieftains have authority over many villages; a village generally houses around three hundred people.
A village chief is known as kasikey or Miko; Miko remains loyal to the chief head, who is known as Miko mayor. Mocama, a native American Indian tribe, lived on St Simons. Evidence shows that natives inhabiting st simons goes back to about five thousand years.
Agricultural fields surround the villages where they cultivated beans, squash, and other vegetables. They used the crop rotation technique to maintain soil fertility. In the center of each settlement, there was a council house. It was here the chief held official meetings and took care of the Village business.
It was during the late fifteen hundreds that the Spanish arrived on the shores of the st simons. Along with them came friars and priests. They built many monasteries throughout the st simons and converted native Indians.
Spanish called the Island Isla de guadalquini. On saint simons, they established a village of Yamasee American Indians and named it San Simon. Now Fort Frederica is on this village site. Later, it was the English who anglicized san Simon to Saint Simon. Likely, named after Simon the Zealot, an apostle of Christ.
St Simons also had a dark past known as the plantation era. St Simons became famous for its sea island cotton production, which is known for its long fiber. Clearing of the St Simons vegetation became crucial to increase cotton cultivation and production. Geechee slaves worked on these plantations.
Places To Visit on St Simons Island
If you are planning to visit saint simons, there are a few places that you must consider to visit. Such as Christ church, Lighthouse museum, Fort Frederica, Fishing Pier, Maritime museum, Bloody Marsh, Tree spirits, and Arthur J. Moore Methodist Museum, and few other interesting places. Let’s see a few of them in detail.
Christ Church of St Simons, Georgia
It is an Episcopal Church, built in the nineteenth century. The state of Georgia sanctioned a hundred acres of land to the church and is beside Fort Frederica. In the nineteenth century, the church got its permanent structure when Edmund Matthews was the rector for the church parish. During the civil war, the church got destroyed by the American Union troops. Later, In 1884 Anson Phelps Dodge restored the church.
It is also known as St Simons Island Light. The primary function of this lighthouse is to guide ships to st simons sound, which is a waterway. The first lighthouse built in 1810 was seventy-five feet tall. During the American civil war, troops destroyed it. American government constructed the current structure of the lighthouse in 1872. It is about 104 feet tall and has a biconvex Fresnel lens. Some people believe this lighthouse to be a hub for paranormal activities.
It is a national monument on the saint simons, built by James Oglethorpe in the eighteenth century. The fort has seen many wars between English and Spanish.
It is in Pier village towards the end of Mallery Street. One can have a beautiful scenic view of the saint simons sound. From this Pier, you might catch a glimpse of Dolphins and Whales if they are hunting fish or migrating. It has magnificent lightning in which one can have a good evening walk. It is one of the three Piers located on the coast of Georgia.
The united states coast guard station’s work began in 1935 on St Simons Island. Its location is on the east beach. The museum has the artifacts of the Old station. It also displays information regarding the wildlife of St Simons Island.
The Spanish wanted to invade the British fortifications to take control of their sea routes and waterways. It was a battle site between Spanish and English, in which the English won the battle. The battle took place in the year 1742 on the 7th of July.
When you are strolling on St Simons Island, you will come across the trees that have human faces. Each of the faces carved onto trees represents the sailors who lost their lives in the sea. These are known as tree spirits.
Arthur J. Moore Methodist Museum
It is near the sea at Epworth on St Simons Island. At the entrance of the museum, there is a large statue of John Wesely, a prominent figure in the methodist movement. The museum has artifacts that are collected by Moore and Wesley during their travels. It also includes the letters written by both Moore and Wesley. This museum houses a library too.
Sports and Recreation on St Simons Island
The weather conditions on the st simons are suitable for playing sports such as Golf, Tennis, etc. There are about seven Golf courses on St Simons Island. Island has about eight public parks. Some of them are Demere Park, known for its skate park. Gascoigne Park offers courses on disc golf and a waterfront picnic area.
Neptune Park, located near pier Village, provides various recreational options such as a swimming pool, miniature golf, etc. Coast Guard Beach and Massengale Park provides beach access. These parks have picnic tables, sports facilities, and playgrounds.
If you are looking for adventure sports, st simons has nature trails such as St Simon’s Island-wide Trail system. This trail includes the village area, east beach, and Hampton point at the north end.
Alice Richards Botanical trail is in Frederica park. John Gilbert Nature Trail is near Frederica road, and the Southeast Georgia Health system fitness trail is near Gascoigne Bluff. There are other adventure sports available such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and horseriding.
Tourism Of St Simons Island
From the late nineteenth century, people started visiting st simons for various reasons. As time passed by, the advancement of technology helped the transport facilities to evolve. In the nineteenth century travelers, used to arrive at st simons by boats on the Pier’s south shore. Later, F.J. Torras Causeway served road traffic to reach the st simons.
In modern times as st Simons became famous for tourism, many tourists started visiting the island to escape from the urban concrete forests to have time for themselves. In the year 1938, with the development of the aviation industry, they built Mc Kinnon airport to serve the tourists. Tourists visit the island throughout the year. However, most prefer to visit the island during the months of summer and spring.
If you are planning to have a stay on the st simons, accommodation is available. They are mostly hotels, private rental homes, and apartments with a beautiful sea view.
Tourists come to st simons to enjoy its beaches, to play water sports, to fish, and sail, etc. Some Eco-tourists come to enjoy nature. They do bird watching etc. Christ Church of St Simons serves as a perfect wedding site for a fairy tale wedding.
The tourism and hospitality industry plays a vital role in supporting the economy of the island.
Flora and Fauna of St Simons Island
The weather conditions of the st simons became suitable for various species of plants, birds, and animals to survive and thrive. Animals include rabbits, raccoons, deer, alligators, and frogs, etc.
Island has many native birds as well as migratory birds. These birds include Sandpipers, Plovers, Ospreys, and White ibis, etc.
The waters of St Simons Island are home to a variety of sea species such as Dolphins, different species of Gamefish, Sea turtles and whales, etc. Beaches of the saint simons island undergo a constant change as a result of tides, storms, and winds that move tons of sand annually.
St Simons Island, with its rich history and a rare blend of nature, has inspired many artists, such as Eugenia Prince, who authored ” St. Simons Trilogy.” This island also inspired a variety of creative artists who do painting, drawing, pottery, and photography, etc.
Visiting St Simons Island might help you to rediscover yourself. If you want more information about this Island, Click here.