6515 Frederica Rd.
St. Simons Island
In the early 18th century, the land lying between British South Carolina and Spanish Florida was known as the debatable land. This land (today's Georgia) was the epicenter of a centuries-old imperial conflict between Spain and Britain.
Fort Frederica was established in 1736 by James Oglethorpe to protect the southern boundary of his new colony of Georgia from the Spanish in Florida. Colonists from England, Scotland, and the Germanic states came to Georgia to support this endeavor.
Named for Frederick Louis, the Prince of Wales (1702-1754), Frederica was a military outpost consisting of a fort and town. The entire area was fortified with a palisade wall and earthen rampart. The fort's location on the Frederica River allowed it to control ship travel.
Oglethorpe's foresight in establishing Frederica was rewarded in 1742 during the War of Jenkins' Ear. Spanish forces from Florida and Cuba landed on St. Simons Island. Oglethorpe's attack on a Spanish reconnaisance party at Gully Hole Creek led to the battle at "Bloody Marsh". Despite the name, casualties were light and the Spanish continued their campaign on St. Simons. Clever deception on Oglethorpe's part convinced the Spanish to retreat from Georgia seven days later.
This British victory not only confirmed that Georgia was British territory, but also signaled the end for Frederica. When peace was declared, Frederica's Garrison (the original 42nd Regiment of Foot) was disbanded, and eventually the town fell into decline. Today the archeological remains of colonial Frederica are protected by the National Park Service.
Some of the activities at Fort Frederica include:
• A 23 minute park film "History Uncovered"
• Self guided explorations through the archeological site
• Museum area with artifacts found at Frederica
The park also offers special tours, programs, and events throughout the year.
Coming South on Interstate 95 to U.S. 17:
Take Exit 38 and turn left onto Spur 25/Golden Isles Parkway. Follow Spur 25 until it ends at U.S. 17. Take a right onto U.S. 17 (south).
Coming North on Interstate 95 to U.S. 17:
Take Exit 29 and turn right onto U.S. 17.
U.S. 17 to Fort Frederica:
From U.S. 17, take the F.J. Torras Causeway to St. Simons Island. At first traffic light on the island, turn left onto Sea Island Road. Go 1.5 miles to next traffic light, and turn left onto Frederica Road. Follow Frederica Road for two miles (take second right off roundabout). The park entrance is located 300 yards past Christ Church.
Information and pictures "Courtesy of the National Park Service."