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Sapelo Island Lighthouse


The Sapelo Island Lighthouse. 

Built in 1820, at the entrance to Doboy Sound, the lighthouse was in use until 1905, when it was deactivated. After its restoration in 1998, the lighthouse was once again put back into use for navigational purposes.









  • University of Georgia Marine Institute - In 1950, R.J. Reynolds established the University of Georgia Marine Institute and converted over the dairy barn on his south end estate to be used as a laboratory and research facility.  This was the first time anywhere in the world that marshland ecology research was the primary focus. Today, the marine institute, now housed in the R.J. Reynolds Estate, is acknowledged world-wide for its unique research opportunities with resident research teams and visiting scientists from around the world there to engage in marine studies.
  • Hog Hammock Village - Although most of Sapelo Island is now owned by the state of Georgia, there is still about 1% of the island which belongs to the residents of Hog Hammock.  Hog Hammock is a small Geechee/Gullah community at the south end of the island whose residents are descendants of the slaves who worked for plantation owner Thomas Spalding.  Thomas Spalding was one of the earliest advocates of diversified farming, developing rice, cotton, indigo, and sugar cane on his plantation.  In 1802, he had slaves shipped in from West Africa to work his plantation due to their high resistance to contracting malaria and their ability to cultivate rice. As a result of their isolation, these slaves developed a distinct culture and dialect. This blending of Creole, English and several African dialects, is now commonly referred to as Geechee/Gullah. Although the number of residents still remaining in the Hog Hammock community has continued to decline, efforts are being made to preserve the customs and spiritual beliefs of their rich West African heritage, along with their Geechee/Gullah dialect.
  • SINERR - The Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve (SINERR) offers a variety of educational programs focusing on the salt marsh and barrier island ecology, and current research is focusing on the Reserve and Sapelo Island's rich cultural history. For information about group tours or educational programs offered, contact the SINERR at 912-485-2300 or visit them online at www.sapelonerr.org.
For more information about tours being offered on Sapelo Island call Sapelo Island Visitors Center at 912-485-3224.

For information about staying in the R.J. Reynolds Mansion or camping at Cabretta Campground call 912-485-2299.

R.J. Reynold's State Wildlife Refuge - This wildlife refuge located on the island offers seasonal deer hunting by permit only. To find out more call 912-262-3173.




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