We’re driving down to Florida to spend time with Lenny’s Mom but we’re taking time to see a couple of National Park Service units.
Fort Frederica National Monument on St. Simon Island in Georgia is a small unit in back of a posh island. I wonder how many people who live and vacation in their palacious homes know the battles that ensued here and the community that thrived here in the 1700s.
In the 1700s, Britain and Spain seemed to be fighting constantly. Spain controlled what is now Florida and tried to move north into Georgia. The Brits tried to move South. South Georgia was “debatable” land. Along came James Edward Oglethorpe who founded Savannah and created a colony for the deserving poor in 1734 here.
They built a fort around the town, which was a replica of an English village. The brick outline of many houses are still on the site. So is the magazine – see above – which stored gunpowder and other equipment. Two battles ensued here between the Brits and Spanish, which were won by the Brits, of course.
After the future of GA was set, the army disbanded and the community died. It took the Colonel Dames of North America to buy up the land and petition the National Park Service to preserve and protect the site. It became a National Monument in 1945.
The site is now a quiet grassy area with several sets of ruins, a museum and lots of live oaks dripping with Spanish moss.
The small museum has several tableaus of colonials going about their daily lives, artifacts such as nails, bits of leather and chains.
This is the kind of history I was never taught in school – and if I was, I don’t remember. But I’m making up for lost time by spending time in historic parks.