Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Fort Frederica, located on St. Simons Island, is 12 miles from Brunswick, Georgia.  It is an archaeological site, that was once a flourishing military town.  The military town was founded by James Edward Oglethorpe, who led the Georgia colony for its first decade.  The town gets its name from King George's only son, called Frederick. 

From 1736 to 1749, the fort and its regimental garrison were the hub of British military operations on Georgia's frontier.  This photo is a double exposure of the British flag flying at Fort Frederica, along with one of the brass placards that mark the site.

The facility is under the management of the National Park Service ( ), and includes an indoor theater where visitors can see a video that gives a historical overview of the time period during which Fort Frederica was in operation (left photo in collage).  Besides the indoor exhibit hall of artifacts from the site, there are also explanatory placards located throughout the grounds, that help the viewer understand the archaeological sites they are viewing (right side of collage).

As is the case for many of the old structures on the barrier islands of Georgia, the building units for the fort were wood, brick, and a substance called "tabby".  Tabby is a crude concrete made of burnt oyster shells, and is pictured in this photo collage.

Like Savannah, Frederica was a planned town, built by the "worthy poor" who Oglethorpe and fellow trustees transplanted to the New World colony, from England.  As such, it was a thoroughly English town of spacious streets and substantial houses, in the Georgian style.  Broad Street divided the town into north and south wards. 

Certain areas of the current site have wooden outlines that show where the foundation of a particular structure was located.  The white material within the foundations consists of recycled oyster shells.

When I visited Fort Frederica, I was with a travel group called Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel).  This photo shows our guide (in the red shirt) telling us a bit of the history of the families that occupied the structure that was on this site, as indicated by the foundation remains.  Notice, we do not have to cluster closely around the guide, in order to hear what he is saying.

We were able to hear all of the explanations by our guide, thanks to the microphone/transmitter that he was wearing, and the receivers that each Road Scholar participant was given at the start of the program.  These devices were furnished as a part of our Road Scholar participation, and stayed with us the entire six days that we attended. This photo shows me holding my receiver, which was easy to operate, and hung from a lanyard around my neck.  It was equipped with an ear phone that rested comfortably on my ear lobe.  This was a FANTASTIC innovation for a person like me who wants to learn from what the guide is saying, but also likes to "wander" around the perimeter, in order to get good group photos!

While some of the folks in our group were looking down at the archaeological excavation sites, some of us were looking up at the "ceiling" above us that was formed by the mighty branches of the live oak trees, with the cascading Spanish moss dripping off every inch of horizontal space available on the massive trees.

The site is so large that a person could walk for hours exploring every inch, or alternatively, they could simply sit on one of the shaded park benches, and imagine a bustling town of soldiers, settlers, and families, working to make a life for themselves in the early days of our country.

This photo shows an overview of what remains of the fort's magazine (for guns and ammunition), with the Frederica River in the background, and the British flag waving on a tree-made flagstaff pole.

Our guide told us that the original fort was square, with bastions on each corner, and separated from the town by a palisade and moat.  

The records tell us that the first settlers planted trees, writing that in time they would have "a very pretty effect on the view, and render...the town pleasingly shady."  This photo indicates that the town site is, in deed, "pleasingly shady"!

The fort was equipped with canons called "18 Pounders", and could defend the fort from attacks via the river.

General Oglethorpe looms large in Georgia history.  In 1720's England, there was a wave of sentiment to remedy the plight of thousands of poor people drifting without jobs or languishing in debtors' jail.  To salvage these "worthy poor", James Oglethorpe petitioned the Crown for a land grant in the colonies, south of the Savannah River.  Oglethorpe received the grant, set sail, and landed in Georgia, with a shipload of 114 people, in 1733.

Joining in this benevolent venture, were John and Charles Wesley, who were leaders in the evangelical Christian movement of that time, and founders of the Methodist Church.  Since the Wesleys used their mouths to tell others of the Lord's faithfulness, I am using this image as a visual aid for one of my First Place 4 Health ( )  memory verses.  Psalm 89:1-2 says "I will sing of the LORD'S great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.  I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself."  The Wesleys made the trip from England to the colonies in the New World, because their belief was that "The world is my parish", and not just a few square miles in  comfortable homes around England.  I read another quote that is attributed to John Wesley (1703 - 1791), and it seems like an excellent reminder for a "task oriented" person like myself. It says: "Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can...."  Fulfilling that philosophy of life, should keep me motivated from here to eternity!

If you would like to start planning your own trip to this area, visit for more information.  Likewise, if you are a lifelong learner, who enjoys traveling to new places and meeting new people, check out the hundreds of trips available through the Road Scholar organization ( ).  No matter what your interest is, or where you want to go, there is probably a Road Scholar trip that will facilitate your interests and destination!  Whether you go alone, in a group, or with your family, a trip to the Golden Isles of Georgia will give you "Miles of Golden Smiles"!!  Tricia