Fort King George is the oldest English Fort established on what is now the Georgia coast. The fort was built in 1721 and manned by British troops to encourage British settlers to establish farms and communities in the area and to discourage French and Spanish settlers from doing the same. The fort remained an active post until 1727. The fort was never attacked and no troops were killed or injured in battle. Nevertheless, they suffered great losses from difficult conditions and diseases. 140 members of the force, included the commanding officer, died from various diseases and poor sanitary conditions. The fort was abandoned in 1727.
Today, there is a visitor center and interpretive exhibit on the site of the reconstructed fort, which details the history of the fort and other important activities that occurred on the site over the years. You can walk through the reconstructed site and imagine the harsh conditions that led to the deaths of so many of the soldiers at the fort. There is a grave yard where be at least 109 graves are located but only a few headstones remain. None of those resting here are identified by name. Some of the graves were likely flooded over the years by the changes in the river nearby. More headstones were known to be here, but many were vandalized or simply stolen sometime in the past.
In 1736, General James Oglethorpe brought Scottish Highlanders to the area to settle on the site of the old Fort. These settlers founded the town of New Inverness, later named Darien, nearby. We made a very quick stop in Darien, since the main street was under major repair and vehicles were parked everywhere a free spot of grass or dirt could be found. We found a spot to park briefly to walk along the newly renovated waterfront park. There are many listed sites that we missed in this charming town and hopefully we will be passing thru again sometime.