The mission of the Society is to present and interpret the history and culture of Coastal Georgia as they are reflected in our heritage of significant sites and resources.
In 1965, a small group of local residents formed the Society with an ambitious vision: to lead in the preservation of the artifacts and buildings that are the treasures of our coastal heritage. Their goal was to match the best historical societies in existence. The momentum and enthusiasm generated in the Society’s first year has never abated.
Today, as owner of the St. Simons Lighthouse, the A.W. Jones Heritage Center, and custodian of the Lighthouse Keeper’s Dwelling and Historic Coast Guard Station at East Beach, the Society has become the guardian of Coastal Georgia history and a driver of heritage tourism. These sites are essential pieces of our collective history. They are also alive with vibrant interpretation of our cultural resources, telling our coastal story through tours, lectures, exhibits, and other educational programs.
In 2015, the Society celebrated its 50th Anniversary. A booklet commemorating the last 50 years was created and handed out during the celebration. To learn more about what we have accomplished in the last 50 years, view the booklet.
Mission in Action: 2016 – 2020
Recent strategic planning sessions confirmed that the Board of Directors is committed to taking the organization to the next level in terms of expanding service to the community. The Board has approved two key priorities over the next three to five years:
The first priority is to fulfill our mission to present and interpret the history and culture of Coastal Georgia by expanding our calendar of events for members and doubling the number of school children that we serve.
The Board is also committed to fulfilling our mission as stewards of the historic structures entrusted to our care by implementing a new vision for the Historic Coast Guard Station at East Beach.
The Society’s dedicated Education Director continues to expand cultural programming which is so vital to our mission and to the enjoyment of our members. New member events include: a winter program, regular oral history programs as part of “Recollections”, rotating exhibits of the Society’s collection, and expert-led field trips to historic sites. In order to provide a venue for regular exhibits of the Society’s collection and travelling exhibits, our facilities planning includes the expansion of the Heritage Center to include a new Exhibit Hall.
In addition to expanding events for members, we will engage school children by customizing interpretation and activities for different age groups and establishing new relationships with schools in the county and region. We also plan to expand the Cannon’s Point archaeology lab that is operating at the Coast Guard Station to provide children’s archaeology education.
Our vision for the Historic Coast Guard Station at East Beach is to beautify the site so that it is a fine example of stewardship and an asset to the community as an attractive gateway for visitors. We plan to create a new World War II Museum with interactive exhibits that interpret the local events that took place during wartime and life at the Station. Together, with the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum, the two sites will complete a comprehensive history of the local area. To learn more about our current project, visit the World War II Home Front Museum page.
To learn more about our most recent accomplishments, read our 2016 Annual Report.