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Fort Frederica National Monument

6515 Frederica Road

St. Simons Island GA 31522

(912) 638-3639

Placed on the National Register of Historic Places on 10-05-66.


Fort Frederica National Monument, on St. Simons Island, Georgia, preserves the archaeological remnants of a fort and town built by James Oglethorpe between 1736 and 1748 to protect the southern boundary of the British colony of Georgia from Spanish raids.

In the early 18th century, the land lying between British South Carolina and Spanish Florida was known as the debatable land. Today's state of Georgia was then the center of a centuries-old imperial conflict between Spain and Britain. Fort Frederica was established in 1736 by colonists from England, Scotland, and the Germanic states to support this endeavor. Frederica was named for Frederick, Prince of Wales, the name was feminized to distinguish it from Fort Frederick in South Carolina.

In the 1742 Battles of Bloody Marsh and Gully Hole Creek, forces under Oglethorpe successfully repulsed Spanish attempts to retake St. Simons Island. Afterwards the Spanish no longer threated the colony, so the garrison at Frederica was disbanded, and the town fell into economic decline and was abandoned.

Fort Frederica was authorized as a National Monument on May 26, 1936. Starting in 1947, the National Park Service and the Ft. Frederica Association sponsored a series of archeological investigations at the Frederica site. Using information from 18th century maps and journals as a guideline, archeologists unearthed sections of the fort and town. By matching the archeological data to the historical documents, these archeologists have provided a glimpse into Frederica's past. As an historic area under the National Park Service, the National Monument was administratively listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. Fort Frederica is open to the public.



Fort Frederica National Monument

The fort was built by General James Edward Oglethorpe in 1736, and was the most expensive British fortification built in America. It was the military headquarters for the defense of Georgia and the other British colonies against the Spaniards in Florida. In 1742 the Spanish invasion was checked by soldiers from Fort Frederica at the Battle of Bloody Marsh. Archaeological excavations under the National Park Service have uncovered much of the old town of Frederica, and the exciting story of Frederica is unfolded by exhibits at the museum in the Visitor Center.


Established in 1736 by James Oglethorpe to protect the southern boundary of his new colony of Georgia, this historic national site includes remnants of a tabby fortress the British built in the 1730s as a bulwark against Spanish invaders from Florida. Hiking and nature trails are on site and historical tours are available.



Fort Frederica National Monument St. Simons Island, Georgia

Fort Frederica, shaded by old live oaks, overlooks the Frederica River. It was established by General Oglethorpe in 1736 and was instrumental in protecting the island during the War of Jenkins Ear. Fort Frederica's military days ended when Spain and England declared peace in 1748. At that time the fort was abandoned and ten years later the town that had surrounded the fort was destroyed by fire. Renewed interest in the fort at the turn of the 20th century inspired its renovation. In 1936 Congress declared Fort Frederica a national monument and it was formally dedicated in 1945.

Fort Frederica is run by the National Park Service and is open to the public. There is a small fee to roam around the park, but it is well worth it. What remains of the town, the fort and the tabby ruins of barracks all have signs illustrating their history and purpose; and there is a movie offered at the Visitor's Center on site to further explain Fort Frederica's history.

Also located on the grounds of Fort Frederica is a granite obelisk honoring the Abbott Family. Robert S. Abbott founded the Chicago Defender, America's first black newspaper. He was born on St. Simons in 1868 but moved to Chicago in 1905 where he established his very important newspaper. Returning to the island in the 1930s, Abbott erected this monument to pay homage to his father, Thomas Abbott, and two aunts, Gelia Abbott and Mary Abbott Finnick.

Fort Frederica is located on the north end of Frederica Road about three miles after the Sea Island Causeway intersection.

Related: Christ Church First African Baptist Church Bloody Marsh Monument Military Road


formerly Route 9, Box 286-C [vid=ISBN078810327X&id=5K_-6V1MrYkC]

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