by T. Duplain
In 1810, at Couper’s Point on St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, James Gould finished the construction of the first, 85-foot St. Simon’s Island Lighthouse that began in 1804. In May of 1810, President Madison appointed James Gould as the first keeper of the lighthouse until he retired in 1837.
During the Civil War, Federal soldiers invaded Georgia, forcing the Confederates to evacuate St. Simon’s Island. Before they left in 1862, the Confederates destroyed the lighthouse on St. Simon’s Island so that the Union could not use it as a navigational aid. In 1874, the U.S. Government had Charles Cluskey build a second St. Simon’s Island Lighthouse that was to be built on top of the ruins of the destroyed one. It is 104 feet tall and has 129 spiraling stairs.
In 1880, head keeper, Frederick Osborne, and assistant, John Stevens, got into a serious argument about Osborne’s wife that ended in Osborne’s death by gunshot. Stevens was never charged and became head keeper of the lighthouse.
Years later, Stevens and many other people would hear haunting footsteps going up and down the staircase in the tower. Are they the footsteps of Frederick Osborne?