Experience Fort Screven History
In 1786, the Georgia Legislature approved the creation of a fort on Tybee Island to be named after Revolutionary War Hero, General James Screven. Due to delays, the fort did not come to fruition until almost 100 years later. Upon its creation in 1897, Fort Screven served as an integral part of America’s Coastal Defense system. Originally ordered by General James Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia, Fort Screven was designed to guard the mouth of the Savannah River until the end of World War II. In 1947, the fort was closed and sold to the City of Tybee. Unlike traditional forts like the neighboring Fort Pulaski National Monument, Fort Screven now serves as more of a district rather than a monument.
BATTERY GARLAND/TYBEE ISLAND MUSEUM
Located on Tybee Island’s north end, Fort Screven’s Battery Garland served as the gun battery and magazine for a 12-inch long-range gun. The room that formally stored over six hundred-pound projectiles and two hundred-pound bags of gun powder, now serves as the Tybee Island Museum. In 1950, the Tybee Island Museum opened its doors and now exhibits more than 400 years of Tybee Island history.
TYBEE POST THEATER
Located in the heart of the Fort Screven Historic District, the Tybee Post Theater once served as a movie house for the U.S. Army soldiers and their families based within the fort in the 1930s. The Fort Screven Theater was one of the first theaters in Georgia equipped to show “talkies”, the earliest feature-length movies with recorded sounds. In 2001, the Tybee Historical Society saved the vacant building from demolition and restored the theater to its full potential and opened it back up to the public in 2015. For a complete list of upcoming movies and events and the Tybee Post Theater, click here.
Insiders tip: Sit back and watch recently released and classic movies or local concerts while sipping beer or wine from the theater’s concession stand.
The quiet North Beach is located at the mouth of the Savannah River surrounding Fort Screven. This is the perfect location for shelling, dolphin spotting and viewing international container ships as they travel to and from the Port of Savannah – one of the nation’s busiest ports. Looking inland, visitors can see the tabby walls that once served as Fort Screven’s Battery Garland. Tabby is a common concrete mix in the South made of shell, sand, lime and water.
Insiders tip: Hop over to the North Beach Bar & Grill for Caribbean-inspired food and drinks in a relaxed beach atmosphere.
Located within the original fort grounds, Officer’s Row was constructed to house ranking officers and their families. Just minuted from the Tybee Post Theater and the Tybee Light Station & Museum, Officer’s Row is known as one of Tybee Island’s most exclusive and sought-after neighborhoods. Here, streets are lined with oak trees and crepe myrtles planted by General George C. Marshall.
Insiders tip: If you’re looking for a quiet beach getaway, stay in Fort Screven’s Surf Song Bed and Breakfast, located within walking distance from the shore.
LIGHTHOUSE BED & BREAKFAST
Constructed over 100 years ago, the Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast was originally built for the bandmaster of Fort Screven. Guests were greeted with a baby grand piano in the front parlor for musical enjoyment. Since 1910, the cottage has received several updates to accommodate more guests and is now one of the island’s oldest inns.
Insiders tip: Take time to sip sweet tea and nibble on homemade biscuits on the front porch.
FORT SCREVEN GUARDHOUSE
In 1906, the Fort Screven Guardhouse was constructed to be used for a variety of U.S. Army needs including acting as a jail for the local area. Upon the decommissioning and sale of Fort Screven in the 1940s, the Guardhouse was closed briefly before reopening as the Tybee Jail in the 1960s. In the 1970s, the Guardhouse officially transitioned to the Tybee Island Community Center and was completely renovated in 2007.
Insiders tip: Thinking about throwing a special affair on Tybee Island? Consider the newly-renovated Community Center for your private event or wedding!
FORT SCREVEN BAKERY
Built in 1925, the Fort Screven Bakery served the military reservation and residents of Tybee Island until 1945. Located just a short distance from Fort Screven proper, the bakery once served hot food and fresh baked goods to the masses. In 2001, the property was purchased by a private owner and completely renovated.
Insiders tip: The renovated bakery now serves as a unique rental home available for visitors!