Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation

Around 1806 Williams Braisford purchased land along the Altamaha River in Georgia.  He started one of many rice plantations on the coastal plain.   Eventually it would grow to 7300 acres.  Before the Civil War, the plantation prospered from the rice crop being tended by 357 slaves. 

After the Civil war, the crop became unprofitable from a combination of loss of low cost labor and competition from other crop growers in the US and overseas.  Much of the land was sold after the war to pay property taxes imposed by the state.  Despite these setbacks, the property would remain in the family for five generations.

The plantation house that remains was built in the early 1850’s and was used by the family until the last family member, Ophelia Dent, died in 1973.  She was the last of two sisters that operated a dairy farm that allowed them to keep the property and donate it to the state debt free.

A guided tour of the house explains the history of the plantation and the lives of those who lived and worked here.  For me, it was a surprise to learn of the many rice plantations that operated on the river before the Civil War.  There are walking trails among the many trees and visiting the river bottom areas where the rice was grown.

This stop proved to be our last stop on our Georgia trip.  As I mentioned in a previous post, we were returning to the motorhome after visiting the interpretive center at the entrance and Anneke slipped on a hickory nut and fell.   After a visit to an urgent care, we decided to head for home.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Fort King George, GA

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.