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Monuments of the Past

Across Georgia, reminders of our state’s rich human history abound. From lighthouses to ruined factories and plantations to gravestones--- we’ll take a closer look at some of these monuments of our past.

They are the silent sentinels of our coast guarding the channels and shorelines upon which our state was founded. Georgia is home to five remaining lighthouses and we’ll visit each.

Also scattered across our state are thousands of monuments which may be smaller in scale, but are no smaller in their historic significance. Cemeteries are not only places of burial, but places of great history, art, architecture, and serene beauty. We’ll visit Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, School Street Cemetery in Washington and the Coleman Lee Cemetery in Augusta.

According to the archaeological record, Georgia has been occupied by human civilization for over 14,000 years. While most structures built by native cultures have been lost to time, one particular native practice has left a good deal of physical evidence behind-- mound building.

There are also several ruins protected within the boundaries of a state park. Two such ruins stand as a reminder of industrial life before the Civil War: the remains of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company Textile Mill at Sweetwater Creek State Park and Cooper’s furnace at Red Top Mountain State Park.

Whether clues in the ground, structures weather through time, monuments to those who came before us or majestic guardians of out coast, Georgia’s rich history has left a mark on our landscape.

Web Resources

Tybee Island Lighthouse

Ordered by General James Oglethorpe, Governor of the 13th colony, in 1732, the Tybee Island Light Station has been guiding mariners safe entrance into the Savannah River for over 270 years. The Tybee Island Light Station is one of America's most intact having all of its historic support buildings on its five-acre site. Rebuilt several times the current lightstation displays its 1916 day mark with 178 stairs and a First Order Fresnel lens.

Georgia Historical Society

The Georgia Historical Society is the private, non-profit historical society for the state of Georgia. The oldest cultural institution in the state, and one of the oldest historical societies in the country, GHS fulfills its mission to collect, preserve and share Georgia’s history by presenting a variety of educational programs, authoring publications on Georgia and southern history, and by operating a library and archives at its headquarters, Hodgson Hall , a National Historic Landmark building in Savannah.

Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski National Monument offers visitors the chance to experience many interesting and exciting activities year-round. Fort Pulaski itself is a large-scale outdoor exhibit. The main structure, together with outlying works including demilune, drawbridges, ditches, and dikes, is a fine example of historic military architecture.

Sapelo Island National Estruary Marine Research Reserve

The Sapelo Island Visitor Center is located at the mainland ferry dock in Meridian and serves as a key distribution point for information about coastal ecosystems, educational opportunities, and tourism activities. Interpretive exhibits at the center highlight Sapelo Island's rich cultural history, the Hog Hammock Community, University of Georgia Marine Institute, Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary, the National Estuarine Research Reserve System as well as estuarine, barrier island, and shoreline habitats.

Georgia Cemeteries

The Georgia Department of Natural History's Historic Preservation Division's mission is to promote the preservation and use of historic places for a better Georgia.

Georgia State Parks

With 63 State Parks & Historic Sites, Georgia gives you plenty of options for outdoors adventure. And you won't have to travel far. Your biggest challenge - deciding what to do.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Explore cultural treasures and ancient fossils, experience the thrill of a film in the IMAX® Theatre, enjoy science interactives and marvel at the largest dinosaurs ever discovered. Fernbank Museum isn’t just another museum—it’s a journey to another time and place. With distinctive special exhibitions, there’s always something NEW to discover. Take a look behind-the-scenes, at the work being conducted in the areas of research and collections.

Ossabaw Island

Ossabaw Island is a national treasure preserved by Eleanor Torrey-West and her family for the benefit of present and future generations. The island was generously transferred to the State of Georgia on June 15,1978 and designated as Georgia’s first Heritage Preserve with the written understanding that Ossabaw would “only be used for natural, scientific and cultural study, research and education, and environmentally sound preservation, conservation and management of the Island’s ecosystem.”