Mill Pond & Tidal Mill Site

Fort King George State Historic Site

Fort King George was a British fortification at what was, at the time, the southernmost extremity of British control on the North American continent.  In the early 1700's what is now the southeastern United States was a contested land which had in turn been claimed by all three major European powers; namely Spain, France, and Great Britain.  Constructed in 1721 in what was then part of the South Carolina colony, the outpost was a miserable place to be assigned duty in the army.  Of the original contingent of 100-or-so troops sent to man the fort, over half died by the following year.  Initially commanded by Colonel John "Tuscarora Jack" Barnwell of His Majesty's Independent Company of Foot, the establishment of Fort King George solidified British claims to the region immediately surrounding the commercially important Altamaha River.

Like so many of his troops under him, Colonel Barnwell died in 1724 of disease and hardship from being stationed at the fort.  Though the fort never came under attack it did mysteriously burn to the ground in 1726.  After being rebuilt, the British Government shortly thereafter ordered the fort abandoned in 1727.  It was garrisoned by a small contingent of lookouts until about 1732.  In Fort King George's six year existence it claimed the lives of 150 men though not a single shot in anger was ever fired against it.  The demise of the fort did not signal British abandonment of the region, however.  In the decade or so following the abandonment of Fort King George British colonists established the nearby town of Darien and a new fort was constructed not far to the north by the name of Fort Frederica.

Not a single trace of the original fort remains to his day.  The site is now operated by the Georgia State Park system and the fort was reconstructed in 1988 based on maps and other documents which had survived from the period.  The fort today contains faithful recreations of the original three-story blockhouse, guardhouse, officers and enlisted quarters, bakery and brewing house, Indigenous Huts, and Blacksmith Shop.  It is, honestly, one of the finest state-operated fort reconstructions I've ever visited...


  • Kathy Weemhoff

    on February 20, 2015

    Insightful! And yes, love the Spanish moss on those gigantic oaks!