Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More Island History: Fort Frederica

A month or so ago I somehow got sidetracked from blogging about our St. Simons Island vacation. I've got a few spare minutes tonight, so I'll post about another field trip we took while we were down there.

Fort Frederica was established in 1736 by James Oglethorpe, who had founded the colony of Georgia three years earlier. Frederica was a fort and a town, and its primary purpose was to defend Britain's southernmost colony from the Spaniards in Florida. The fort served its purpose in 1742 when Spain landed 2,000 soldiers on the island in an attempt to take the land from Britain. General Oglethorpe marched out with his soldiers and defeated the Spaniards in the Battle of the Bloody Marsh. Casualties were light, but this encounter led to the Spanish troops retreating seven days later. They never again invaded the colony of Georgia.

Eventually Britain and Spain signed a peace treaty, so the garrison at Fort Frederica was no longer needed to guard against Spanish attack. In 1758 a fire destroyed the entire town, and the townsfolk who remained were forced to leave.

In the 1900's interest in Frederica revived, and archaeologists began to excavate the site. Much was discovered that enabled historians to piece together the fort's past. Today it is part of the National Park Service, and archaelogical discoveries continue to be made there.

Even though we have visited the park in the past, I couldn't resist going back this summer, since we spent so much time learning about Colonial Life this past school year.

Donning colonial garb at the visitor's center before going out to see the town and fort.

Playing colonial games. I cannot remember the names of these, but this one reminded us of pinball.

In this one you use coins to play something similar to shuffleboard.

The foundations of most of the town's structures are in tact. These are the tabby and brick ruins of a civilian dwelling.

The live oaks draped with Spanish moss are one of my favorite things about the island.

Powder Magazine

Replica of the cannons that guarded Frederica. The fort was situated on a point that jutted out into the Frederica River, making for an easier defense against ships coming from either direction.

If you have any history buffs in your family, and you ever visit St. Simons, I'd recommend Fort Frederica as a must-see.

Next up...nature study on the beach.

1 comment:

  1. Your family goes to the neatest places! I enjoyed learning about Fort Frederica through reading this. My older daughter will be getting a Civl War class through co-op this year and we are going to the Freedom Center in Cincy and the Civil War Museum, and a couple of other places in Kentucky for Abraham Lincoln.




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