Monday, December 07, 2009
The area surrounding Brunswick is known as the Golden Isles, and includes the Islands of St Simons and Jekyll. St Simons is currently a residential area and tourist destination. We found it less crowded and for our kind of activities and more user friendly place than Hilton Head Island.
Like most of the coastal places we have visited on this trip, it has a long history. It is home to the Fort Frederica National Monument which preserves the site of the Fort and walled town of Frederica that at its peak had over 800 residents. While the town and fort lasted only a short time, it played a major role in history. The short version of which was that the Island and Fort was in the disputed zone between English and Spanish territory. The Spanish invaded the island to drive out the English and confirm their claim on the land. After a brief and rather poorly planned engagement, the Spanish left in defeat and ultimately abandoned all claims to land north of the current state of Florida. While not much remains of the fort or town, the National Park Service has done an excellent job of providing an insight into the life of the fort and town.
There is an Island history museum in a restored Coast Guard Station that was one of 45 identical stations built across the country under the WPA program in the 1930’s. The museum provides an excellent idea of life was like at the station thru the eyes of Ollie, a newly arrived recruit in 1941. In addition the museum has displays on local history and environmental issues. Flat Stanley enjoyed it as well, and helped us pick out a gift for our grandson. Well worth the visit.
The modern Island is a place to live or enjoy as a tourist. There is a small downtown shopping and dining area with marina at the end of the street. All has that small town charm.