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.
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.