Fort Frederica was established in 1736 by James Oglethorpe three years after the founding of Savanna and was built in an effort to protect his southern boundary as conflict between Britain and Spain took place. By the 1740s, and with the help of 72 women and children and 44 men who came to build up the fort itself and the surrounding town, the Fort Frederica St. Simons Island area had grown into a thriving village with over 500 citizens. Colonists from Germany, Scotland, and England traveled to Fort Frederica St. Simons to help build up the efforts for growth.
By 1742, the British and Spanish forces collided on St. Simons Island and Fort Frederica’s troops defeated the Spanish in what is known as the “Battle of Bloody Marsh.” This battle sealed the fate of Georgia as a British colony. In 1749, however, the declining military threat to the Georgia coast resulted in the disbandment of the Fort Frederica Georgia regiment.
Fort Frederica Today
Today, the archaeological remnants of Fort Frederica St. Simons Island are protected by the National Park Service so that guests can come and learn more about this former colony, the battle that took place, and the lives of the people who lived there. Open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (though it is closed on most holidays), guests can enter the park for free.
There are ranger-led tours on colonial and soldier life and regular exhibits that are shown every 30 minutes daily. There are also dozens of historical signs and markers which give insightful information about the history of the monument and surrounding park which are interesting to read. If you’re planning a visit to St. Simons Island, you’ll want to be sure to see Fort Frederica National Monument while you’re in the area. You can find the monument at:
6515 Frederica Road
St. Simons Island, GA 31522