Tag Archives: 18th Century Georgia

Fort King George, 1721, Darien

Fort King George Darien GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

The first British outpost in present-day Georgia, Fort King George was built and commanded by Colonel John “Tuscarora Jack” Barnwell in 1721, under the auspices of South Carolina Governor Francis Nicholson. Upon its construction it was the southernmost fort in Bristish North America, manned by His Majesty’s Independent Company of Foot. The British claimed the land along the Altamaha River as part of the South Carolina colony as a protection against Spanish forces, who sought to expand their reach northward from Florida. Colonel Barnwell died in 1724 and a mysterious fire claimed the fort in 1726. Rebuilt, it remained in use as a garrison until 1732 when it was officially abandoned. Upon its ruins General Oglethorpe founded Darien in 1736.

Fort King George Darien GA Colonial Stockade Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

The blockhouse was built of cypress logs. Its construction proved no simple matter in the wilderness of Coastal Georgia. Though Nicholson and Barnwell had requested fit young soldiers, they were instead supplied with members of the Regiment of Invalids, veterans who in one way or another were not capable of heavy service. The British welfare system of the day allowed them light duty and by 1722 about 100 soldiers were sent from a hospital in Port Royal, South Carolina, to Fort King George.

Fort King George Darien GA Stockade Gun Embrasure Port Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

From embrasures (gun-ports) on the top level of the blockhouse, soldiers kept watch over the Altamaha River delta. Guardhouses, or sentry towers, were also essential to the site’s security.

Fort King George Darien GA Sentry Guardhouse Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

None of the original fortification survives; the structures seen today were built using original plans in 1988. Besides the blockhouse, an officers’ quarters and workshop were also reconstructed.

Fort King George Darien GA Outbuildings Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Fort King George Darien GA Interior of Residence Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Barracks were located at the rear of the property and provided quarters for His Majesty’s Independent Company of Foot.

Fort King George Darien GA Barracks Exterior Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Fort King George Darien GA Barracks Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Fort King George Darien GA Barracks Hearth Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Black Island Creek flows behind the barracks.

Black Island Creek from Fort King George Darien GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --MCINTOSH COUNTY GA--, Darien GA

18th Century Tympanic Icons of Midway Cemetery

Midway Congregational Church Cemetery Liberty County GA Slate Headstone of James Wilson Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Tympana are the semi-circular arches atop early headstones, usually featuring an iconic relief sculpture. In early America, the most common of these icons is the “winged death” head, usually represented as a cherubic face or skull above a pair of wings. New England churchyards and burying grounds abound with these earliest forms of American sculpture, but they’re rarities in the Deep South. Charleston has the largest concentration, with other examples scattered around the low country of South Carolina; Savannah has a few examples but Midway has the best variety in Georgia.

Midway Congregational Church Cemetery Liberty County GA Slate Winged Death Tympanum of James Wilson Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Tympanum detail of the James Wilson stone. Slate. Date of death not visible, as the headstone is half-buried (see first photo).

Midway Congregational Church Cemetery Liberty County GA Winged Death Nimbus Tympanum of Elisabeth Way 1795 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Tympanum detail of the Elisabeth Way stone, 1792. Sandstone. In regards to design, this is the most important headstone at Midway. In Early Gravestone Art of Georgia & South Carolina (UGA Press, Athens, 1986), Diana Williams Combs wrote: “As far as I know, the nimbus has not been employed elsewhere during this period of American gravestone art. In this context it emphasizes the salvation of the deceased.”

Midway Congregational Church Cemetery Liberty County GA Winged Death Tympanum of Susanna Stacy 1780 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Tympanum detail of the Susanna Stacy stone, 1780. Slate.

Midway Congregational Church Cemetery Liberty County GA Winged Death Tympanum of Margaret Stacy 1792 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Tympanum detail of the Margaret Stacy stone, 1792. Slate.

Midway Congregational Church Cemetery Liberty County GA Winged Death Tympanum of Miss Sarah Winn 1767 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Tympanum detail of the Sarah Winn stone, 1767. Slate.

Midway Congregational Church Cemetery Liberty County GA Winged Death Tympanum of Sarah Stevens 1767 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Tympanum detail of the Sarah Stevens stone, 1767. Slate.

Midway Congregational Church Cemetery Liberty County GA Cherub Tympanum of James Osgood 1793 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

Tympanum detail of the James Osgood stone, 1793. Marble.

Midway Congregational Church Liberty County GA Brick Cemetery Wall US Highway 17 Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

There’s always a nice view of Midway Congregational Church (1792) across US Highway 17 from the famous brick wall surrounding the cemetery.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --LIBERTY COUNTY GA--, Midway GA