Fort King George State Historic Site – Darien, Georgia

October 6, 2013 7 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Alex and Heather Bailey of take tour Fort King George State Historic Site.

We were watching the river flow past the docks when we heard a massive explosion. The cannon demonstration! We hurried back to the blockhouse in time to see the end. All of the “soldiers” were friendly and knowledgeable, and they talked through the various steps for firing artillery along with the different kinds of rounds they could fire. Once they finished with the cannon, the soldier we saw when we first walked in to the museum started the musket firing demonstration. It was great to see someone who enjoyed history and teaching really getting to do what he loved. It was also very impressive to see just how fast he fired his musket at “battle speed” where he loaded and fired in less than twenty seconds.

Once the loud and exciting noises were over with, we explored the blockhouse itself. It was a very interesting construction, with the only feature not a part of the original plans being permanent stairs in place of ladders that could be easily removed in case of attack. The interior was interspersed with firing slits all around, including the viewports for several cannons. Even the floor included murder slots that could be unblocked by a fitted piece of wood to allow the soldiers inside to fire down on interlopers beneath the overhanging lip of the blockhouse.

We were starting to feel the effect of Georgia’s heat and humidity, those same factors that gave the forts founder so much trouble. On our way back to the glorious wonder of modern technology known as air conditioning, we stopped by the “Highlander House”. This daub and wattle house was an example of the sort of construction that may have been used by the Scottish settlers who reclaimed the area a decade after the fort was abandoned and later founded the nearby town of Darien. It seemed like they were still finalizing a bit of the building, but it was still great to see another example of colonial construction methods.

It is amazing; the things you might miss if you don’t stop and take a moment to enjoy them. We had no plans to hear cannon fire when we woke up this morning. We weren’t carefully plotting out when each demonstration would be. We just pulled off the highway and had the incredible opportunity to take in some of Georgia’s rich history. Take a moment next time you’re on the highway to do the same, and see what sort of wonderful things you can find.

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Alex and Heather Bailey

Alex is a Florida native who grew up with fresh citrus and love bugs. He always imagined himself as a terrible Southerner, but a halfway decent Floridian. He knows that no matter how a day goes, it begins and ends with beauty. Originally from Texas, Heather has lived throughout the East Coast and is happy to now call Jacksonville home. She is a firm believer in Thoreau’s advice of “Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.”  Both graduates of history at the University of North Florida, they share a love of finding the story beneath the story. Together they created the blog Outside The Den where they inspire others to get outside of their comfort zones through culinary adventures, cultural explorations, community happenings, and natural wonders.
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