December 30, 2011

From England to Spain to Fort Frederica

Tim and I had planned to leave Jekyll Island today, but the campground where we thought we might go was full, so we decided to just stay put.  Jekyll Island Campground is a very pretty park with enormous live oak trees, but the park is almost full and therefore a bit crowded for us.  On the other hand, our neighbors are nice and Kitty likes it here, so why not stay?

We did leave the island today, and after tending to a few errands we made our way to St. Simons Island, another barrier island just north of Jekyll.  St. Simons is a beautiful resort destination and is known for its beaches and golf courses.  We drove around the island a bit and then visited Fort Frederica National Monument.  I was completely unfamiliar with Fort Frederica before this trip, but it is a very cool place to visit.

All that is left of Frederica today is a few ruins, but Frederica was a thriving military town in the mid-eighteenth century.  Frederica was a planned town, like Savannah, and both were founded by James Edward Oglethorpe.  The fort that was established here was the hub of British military operations on Georgia’s frontier.  In 1742, troops from Fort Frederica defeated Spanish forces on St. Simons Island, thereby ensuring that Georgia would remain in British hands. 

Broad Street at Fort Frederica
Fort Frederica today is an archeological site, and the ruins of the king’s magazine and the barracks have been preserved and stabilized.  Much of the town itself has been excavated, and the foundations of quite a few houses have been located.  Many of the houses, as well as the fort were constructed of tabby, a concrete made of sand, lime and oyster shells.  It is interesting that the areas inside the foundation footprints have been filled with oyster shells.

The King's Magazine and South Storehouse Foundations

The King's Magazine

Tabby Walls Are Made from Oyster Shells
Foundations of the Hawkins-Davison Houses

Many of the Houses Have Been Excavated

The Barracks Housed Most of the Soldiers
Although few physical structures remain, the site really does an amazing job of telling the story of Frederica.  You can see how well planned the town was, with its wide streets and large houses.  Its setting on the Frederica River is lovely, and I enjoyed simply gazing out over the marsh.  I may have known nothing about Frederica before today, but I’m so glad I came here to learn about it.

Clould Gather Above the Marsh on the Frederica River

Crossing the Sidney Lanier Bridge Over the Brunswick River

The Marsh Near Jekyll Island

Crossing the Bridge Back to Jekyll Island


  1. I had never heard of this place either! Very cool! You all have a wonderful New Year's Eve and try not to let Kitty party too much! :-) LV

  2. LV, Finding new places has been part of the fun. Tim and I hope you and Stu have a Happy New Year and a much better 2012. And don't worry about Kitty, she's not much of a party girl. Sarah