What a crazy day this was. Once, I remember fog dropping down all around me on the beach at Tybee Island when I lived in Savannah but never this lite and in sunshine. Well, it made for a nice photo of this beloved structure that Eugenia Price immortalized in her Light House trilogy.
I chose NOT to photograph the new buildings that now surround this historical structure. I’m sure well-meaning people on the island saw an opportunity to add to their already tourist destination but for me: it has removed the simple charm that once made this island feel like home.
And I’m sure her battle to “save her island” rubbed off on me over the years. She fought to her last days to save the island from over development. “Day follows day and St. Simons goes on, unprotected by single ownership or even by state or federal ownership as with the other barrier islands. Perhaps it garners inner strength from this very fate of having fallen into the hands of lots and lots of people, some of who still seem intent upon grabbing more and more money from it for themselves. Sigh.
“I’ve been accused of that, and I understand the accusation. God knows that when I wrote The Beloved Invader, my first novel laid here, I had not earthly reason to believe that it would sell as it did and bring people flocking to Christ Church at Frederica, books in hand, to search out the graves of my main characters who lie buried there.
“The Chamber of Commerce honored me for having done thisâ€”others resent me. Some days I resent myself. I resented myself to the extent that as soon as the St. Simons trilogy was written and my contracts fulfilled, I moved the location of my next novel to St. Augustine, Florida, and for the one following that, to Savannah.”
Christ Church at Frederica on St. Simons.
Here’s one of the huge Wesley Oaks surrounding the church. Both Wesley brothers would have preach near or under this old Live Oak in the early to mid 1700’s. Along with his brother Charles, John Wesley came here as a minister to Gen. James Oglethorpeâ€™s fledgling debtorâ€™s Colony of Georgia.
While the Anglican minister spent most of his 23 months in Georgia at the colonyâ€™s home base of Savannah, he also made several visits to St. Simons Island. Oglethorpe was busy on the island building a settlement around Fort Frederica, which is only a couple of miles further down Frederica Road.