National Park Week-Fort Week Day 5
On this final day of Fort Week, we’ll examine a fort that played an important role in the British colonization of the United States, Fort Frederica. The monument includes not only a fort, but the town which the fort was built to protect. Shortly after James Oglethorpe founded Georgia, he moved south to secure the region against the Spanish. He settled on St. Simon’s Island, where he built a fort and a small settlement. The area near Fort Frederica would eventually be the scene of a battle between the British and Spanish that would drive the Spanish out of Georgia permanently and secure the colony for the British.
Today, the national monument preserves the remnants of the fort and town. The visitor center provides a wealth of information on the fort and settlement, which puts the settlement in context and impresses upon visitors the importance of the fort in Georgian and American history. Afterward, visitors can stroll about the grounds. Unfortunately, a small portion of the fort is all that exists, and only the foundations of the settlement remain. Visitors will have to use their imagination, but plaques at each structure of the settlement describe how archaeological evidence has allowed researchers to determine what the purpose of each structure was. As visitors walk around, they are able to understand how the town functioned, what structures may have looked like, and what life in the settlement would have been like.
Fort Frederica might not be as visually appealing as some of the other fort’s from this week’s posts, but it offers visitors a unique look at not only the significance of the fort, but what mid-eighteenth century life in a British colony would have looked like. Those interested in history will especially like visiting Fort Frederica, but we highly recommend a visit to everyone.