Our History

1949 Blessing of the Fleet Float

The Town of Thunderbolt, located along the Wilmington River in coastal Georgia, has a rich and varied past. The small community has gone through a series of rebirths and regenerations as it has adapted to the changes in politics, culture and environment.  The town’s relationship to the river has been the uniting tie between the different periods in its history. The position along the intra-coastal waterway, leading from the Atlantic Ocean to the City of Savannah, made Thunderbolt an important strategic defense point for the Native Americans, the colonial settlers, French forces during the American Revolution, the Confederate Army during the Civil War, and finally the United States Navy and Coast Guard during World War II. During times of peace, the location on the river promoted the area as a resort for Savannahians seeking an escape to cool breezes and summer fun along the Thunderbolt bluff.  As Thunderbolt’s resort industry was declining, due to the widespread use of the automobile, an explosion of the shrimping industry resulted in the community we know today. Thunderbolt became a thriving fishing village with a family-oriented community. The decline of the fishing industry the late twentieth century created a shift back to a recreational community dependent upon an outside source of income from visitors enjoying its seafood and river life.  As the town enters a new phase in its life, a look back at Thunderbolt’s past demonstrates the community’s resiliency and points towards a future regeneration.

For Details Contact:
Phone: (912) 351-0836
Fax: (912) 351-0836
Email: thunder50@comcast.net