Fort Frederica National Monument

Fort Frederica National Monument commemorates an early New World settlement and a battle. England tried establishing Utopia in the American wilderness in the 1730s, when a city for the "worthy poor" of Britain was established on Saint Simons Island in the unoccupied territory below the Carolinas. In this new town called Frederica, slavery and rum were forbidden, and people of all different religions and nationalities were accepted. Everyone was given an equal-sized plot to farm.

Fort Frederica National Monument
©National Park Service
Fort Frederica was Britain's southernmost stronghold in the New World.

Soon an orderly town sprang up, complete with Georgian-style homes and a major thoroughfare, Broad Street, shaded by orange trees. By the 1740s, about 500 farmers, tradesmen, and craftsmen prospered in Frederica.

The town wasn't founded purely for humanitarian reasons, though. Frederica was England's southernmost stronghold in its struggle to wrest control of land in the New World from Spain. One of the settlers' first jobs, in fact, was to build a fort. In 1845, a visitor remarked that Frederica was defended "by a pretty strong Fort of Tappy, which has several 18 Pounders mounted on a Ravelin in its Front, and commands the River both upwards and downwards...."

In 1739, war broke out between Britain and Spain. Three years later, at the Battle of Bloody Marsh near Fort Frederica, Spain was defeated. By 1758, no longer needed for military purposes, Frederica fell to ruin. Fort Frederica National Monument preserves the once-flourishing town and the Bloody Marsh Battle Site.

Fort Frederica National Monument Information

Address: 6515 Frederica Road
St. Simons Island, GA 31522

Telephone: 912/638-3639
Hours of Operation: Open daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Admission: $3 per person; children 15 and under are free

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Eric Peterson is a Denver-based author who has contributed to numerous guidebooks about the Western United States.