Fort Frederica and Fort Caroline – The Southeast Coast

Fort Frederica National Monument

Fort Frederica National Monument

Over Labor Day Weekend, we took a very quick drive down to Florida to visit friends and family.  While travelling, we were able to squeeze in a couple of NPS sites – of course!  Our first stop was Fort Frederica National Monument, in Georgia.  We had spent a nervous evening the night before, since right before we arrived at our hotel for the night, our car started making an ominous noise in the wheel well.  Luckily, we were able to get it fixed quickly – a rock had managed to squeeze itself in between the tire and brake mechanism and was making a horrific racket!  But it was an easy fix and we were on our way shortly.  Fort Frederica is undergoing renovations, but they had a temporary bookstore set up, and we could view the film on benches outside, under a roof.  As always, the film was great – informative and concise.  We were then able to wander through where the town had been built.  It was a British military town, founded in 1734 by James Oglethorpe.  There are no buildings remaining, but foundations can be seen, and the layout of the town is still clear.  The fort, on the water, is partially still standing and has a gorgeous view.  Through most of its history, these British settlers were fighting the Spanish.  Though the British did not surrender Fort Frederica, once the war was over, the fort lost its purpose, and by 1758, when fire broke out, the fort was pretty much deserted.

While in southern Florida, we were able to eat at several of our favorite restaurants.  Including Darbster, which has incredibly tasty vegan delights and donates 100% of its profits to animal welfare projects.  We also went to a candy store, To The Moon, which often carries vegan chocolates and candies from all over the world, though they have all kinds of sweets.  Anthony was really excited to buy a case of Moxie in glass bottles.  Anyone else out there like Moxie?

Fort Caroline National Memorial

Fort Caroline National Memorial

On our way back from Florida, we stopped at Fort Caroline National Memorial, which is another NPS site.  Technically part of Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, Fort Caroline is just one site you can visit in the preserve.  This was a French fort that was established in the mid-1500s.  Eventually, the Spanish wrested control of the fort, and the French were never able to regain their foothold in Florida.  You can view a reconstruction of the fort, as well as exhibits commemorating the Timucua native peoples.  We enjoyed the museum, especially a wooden owl – one of the only surviving artifacts from the Timucuan.

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