While we were in Savannah Georgia one of the things we did that as a family we really loved was visiting Fort Pulaski, this is where our hunt to visit all the National Parks started off and where we bought our passport book! We also drove out to Tybee Island to see the Tybee lighthouse and found a campground we want to stay at next time we are in the area!
We decided to take advantage of some warm weather and headed out to Tybee Island. On the way, we stopped at the Fort Pulaski National Monument.
The drive to the fort is very pretty! You cross a (very tight) bridge on the way in and out.
Some signs are leading up to the for that tell about the lighthouse. This lighthouse had withstood 2 hurricanes and a 30 hour battle of the civil war. It can be seen from the top of the fort. And again at the bridge.
There is a sign about the Waving Girl.
We saw her statue in Downtown Savannah on our trolley tour.
Baby girl wanted to do nothing but sleep again!
We headed into the visitors center first and got the kids set up with the Junior Ranger program. They gave the kids their books (even my 3-year-old so she could be included) and off we went. This was our first Junior Ranger Program. The first page was about an object in the in the visitor center.
The books were set up in the order you would view they fort so it was very easy to do. As you walk out of the visitors, center the first part of the fort you see is the mote which was also the next page in the book.
We crossed the mote twice to get into the fort. Keep a tight grip on your little ones there are no hand rails! Then as we entered the fort, we crossed the drawbridge and entered via the big gates.
When you enter you a right in the parade grounds which is also the next page on the JR book. You walk around the parade grounds to see different rooms and areas of the fort and how they are used.
The first room we came upon was the water tanks holding room. Next, we saw Colonel Olmstead’s Quarters where the Confederates surrendered the fort to the Union Soldiers.
Then we viewed the Southeast magazine. We saw the cannon in a place like it would have been used.
We got to see the breach where the cannon would fire out of or the thin breaches that soldier would fire out of. A breach is a gap or hole in the wall. The baby was fascinated with it!
Then we headed upstairs to see the view from the top of the fort.
We then got to learn about the damage caused during the civil war battle in the JR books. We headed back downstairs and learned about what the soldiers did in their spare time. Lots of baseball and ‘parties.’
Then we saw the rations storage room and explained they didn’t get to eat the luxuries we do now they ate very basic meals.
Then we learned a bit more about the destruction of the fort.
You could see the difference in new and old bricks and damage to many areas, and these areas are the casemates that would hold cannons.
Next on our JR book was the prison. We learned that the prisoners slept 4 or more to bed with only 1 blanket and one small meal a day, They also had no heat in winter and no coats.
We saw and learned about the blindage next. How it was added protection if a part of the fort were to be damaged. You can see an example of the blindage in the parade ground picture above.
One of the casemates held actual equipment used in the Civil War and the gunpowder room. A room I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near if it were to be hit!
The commanding officer’s wife was able to join him and decorated his room with ‘confiscated’ (stolen in my book) furniture from South Carolina Homes.
Next was the medical dispensary. Not someplace I’d want to be if I were sick or injured! You also got to see the officers mess, where the officers would eat at and the officers quarters, where are you can see more furniture was taken from homes in South Carolina.
Here we have the chapel, a bit of history about the chaplain as well.
Next, you could see the supply room and last was the guard room. This is right by the main gate because if they came under attack, they would be the ones to pull the bridge up to protect the fort. They had a sign in here about how the drawbridge worked.
Then we headed back to turn in our Junior Rangers books, and they had to take their pledge.
They walked out 3 new members of the Fort Pulaski Junior Ranger team!
I was very impressed with the junior ranger program. The book included lessons in math, vocab, logical thinking and even art!
We also invested in a National Parks Passport book. This way we know where they all are, and it’s a great souvenir!
On to Tybee Island!
Tybee Island Lighthouse
Next, we headed to Tybee Island to the lighthouse. We saw some great fishing boats and no joke the drive seemed like it was straight out of a Nicolas Sparks movie.
The Lighthouse is picture perfect.
There were several signs for a bit more info on the Tybee Lighthouse.
There were more buildings to see than just the lighthouse including the lighthouse keeper and assistant keeper’s homes.
But the main attraction is the lighthouse, the markings on a lighthouse don’t normally change, but they have on the Tybee Lighthouse.
There as also picture that shows how and why a taller lighthouse is more efficient.
The bricks in front of the lighthouse have the lighthouse keepers name and assistant lighthouse keepers names as well as the dates they served.
As you enter the lighthouse, there is a map of all the lighthouses in the US and these facts. The Tybee Lighthouse is the 16th tallest lighthouse.
This lighthouse has 178 steps. Every 25 steps there is a landing where you can look out the window. The stairs are a long spiral staircase. One side is open and while my 3-year-old only wanted to go up half way we headed back down and I had to walk side ways to let other go up and still hold the hand rail and my 2-year old’s hand. The views from the windows are pretty, though.
So we took the littles back down and my hubby and son headed up to the top. He got some great pictures
Next, we saw the Lightkeepers House
One of the light keepers got married while living in the house and they have wedding pictures hung up.
Then we checked out the summer kitchen. It had displays of items found on the property including the rat skull of a rat round in one of the buildings walls. EWW!
On the way out this little thing grabbed our attention. We had to grab it!