What are the St. Simons Island Tree Spirits? Well if you look closely, down a side street, just off the main drag, past the tourists dashing about, you might find them. They are serene. Enchanting. Perhaps contemplating the changes their vessel has seen. Perhaps longing for another voyage. They are the tree spirits of St. Simons Island and finding them is a fun way to explore the area.
The tree Spirits of St. Simon’s Island have been carved into the majestic oaks that surround the island by local artist Keith Jennings. The weathered faces peer out from the nubs of a long gone branch or a break in the bark.
Legend has it the images pay homage to sailors who lost their lives at sea aboard sailing ships that were once made from the mighty St. Simon’s Island oak trees. Finding one is like finding a lost treasure.
The tree spirits are located throughout St. Simons Island.The Golden Isles CVB has a map to find the public tree spirits, but stop by the CVB office on St. Simons Island to get information on the newest additions. While you are there, find one of the most amazing tree spirit on the island, a full-length mermaid found outside the CVB office.
Some have disappeared with the trees themselves. Some are now in the backyards of private homes. Some seem to be freshly carved.
We found a large group of them in a subdivision off the main drag, but one that used to reside outside Murphy’s Tavern on Main Street has disappeared. Sadly on our last visit to the island, we found that someone has cut the Murphy’s Tavern spirit out of the tree.
That said, others are taking up the work that Mr. Jennings started and there are new tree spirits being added all the time. The Golden Isles CVB has a map to find the public tree spirits, but stop by the CVB office on St. Simons Island to get information on the newest additions. While you are there, find one of the most amazing tree spirit on the island, a full-length mermaid found outside the CVB office.
Do you have a favorite? Leave us a comment to it’s whereabouts!