Fort Frederica National Monument


The coast of Georgia was the only stretch of land on the North American eastern seaboard still disputed in the 1730's. Both the Spanish at St. Augustine and British in South Carolina claimed the land. To solidify their claim, the English established Savannah in 1733.  Three years later, Georgia's founder, James Oglethorpe, established the fort and town of Frederica.  Once founded, the town quickly grew in size to one thousand residents and became self sufficient.   In the summer of 1742 Spanish and British  troops clashed near the town. The British were victorious. The troops were removed after Spain and  England signed a peace treaty. The town economy dried-up and settlers began to move away. In 1758, a great fire burned the entire town.
  Tabby is a cement made from lime, sand and oyster shells. Its origin is uncertain: although early documents record Indian burial vaults with walls made of oyster shells and lime, no such structures have survived. It is likely that Sixteenth-century Spanish explorers first brought tabby (which appears as "tabee", "tapis", "tappy" and "tapia" in early documents) to the coasts of what would become South Carolina and Georgia. Tapia is Spanish for "mud wall", and, in fact, the mortar used to caulk the earliest cabins in this area was a mixture of mud and Spanish Moss.

The close-up of the two interior
rooms shows where 
ammunitions were stored.
 

Clothing from the period during which the town of Frederica flourished.

The town was laid out in square blocks and parallel streets. The fort was in the shape of a star. (see far north)
  Large structure located within the "star shape" of the fort.
The structure in the background is the entrance to the soldier's barracks. The barracks was not located within the star shaped fort, but was some distance away at the far right edge of the town. It is interesting that the door to the barracks was facing away from the city and the fort. It was facing the woods. The green area was a courtyard within the barracks. The rooms were built on top of the shell foundation you see in the foreground and around the four sides.  
 
  If you wanted fruit, you had to grow it yourself.  These orange trees were brought in by boat when the town's first settlers arrived.
The visitor's center shows a nice, professionally made movie, with actors you will recognize.  In that movie these foundations become homes and stores with believable stories from the time that the town was envisioned by James Oglethorpe in 1736, to the time it burned down, in 1758.   When you go to see this yourself, and you should, TAKE LOTS of insect repellent.  Put it on liberally BEFORE you get out of the car.

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Fort Frederica National Monument