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Darien Georgia. Buy real estate in
Darien Georgia. With the unique location of Darien, you can
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by Hanley Bennett Please visit the McIntosh County, Chamber of
Georgia’s coast, half way between Savannah and the St. Marys River
lies McIntosh County and the town of Darien. Today Darien is a quiet
town and travelers who fail to explore the lands along US 17 will pass
by without realizing the historical significance of the area and its
place in Georgia’s beginnings.
Two and a half centuries ago, John MacIntosh Mohr lead 176 other
Scottish Highlanders in a little fleet of small boats from the fledging
settlement of Savannah to Barnwell’s Bluff on the Altamaha River. The
new town they built was not the first English settlement on this
strategic site. In 1720, 13 years before Savannah and the colony of
Georgia were founded, a successful planter from the Carolina colony,
John Barnwell, persuaded the British government that a fort on the
Altamaha was needed to defend Charles Town (Charleston) from the Spanish
in Florida. The next year Colonel Barnwell and an independent company of
foot soldiers arrived and began construction of Fort King George. For
six years, the first fort was garrisoned by the Independent Company.
During that time, over 140 soldiers died of sickness. In 1727 the
garrison was withdrawn to Port Royal and the fort was abandoned.
But the Spanish threat to British colonies on the Southern coast
remained. In 1733 James Edward Oglethorpe founded the town of Savannah
and the colony of Georgia. Three years later the Highlanders arrived at
Barnwell’s Bluff and Darien was born. The new settlement was not to be
an isolated fort as Fort King George had been but a town of permanent
character. The Scots brought with them their families and a minister,
Reverend John McLeod. A small Chapel was built and the first
Presbyterian Church of Darien was founded.
With the arrival of the Scots, the area began to flourish in spite of
the continuing, Spanish threat. It was this threat that gave Darien its
existence as it did for the town and fort of Frederica on St. Simons
Island (also established in 1736). Proof that the threat came in 1739
when Britain and Spain formally declared war. Oglethorpe’s preliminary
forays against St. Augustine were unsuccessful but did delay the Spanish
assault. When the attack did come in 1742, it was from Darien that
Oglethorpe summoned Highlanders to assist in the defense of Fort
Frederica. They came and distinguished themselves in the Battle of
Bloody Marsh. The British victory was to be the end of the Spanish
threat to the English colonies in America.
In the peace that followed the war with Spain, the Scots turned to
building the thriving community of Darien. Lands were granted and
cleared and prosperous plantations established. The territory of the
colony was divided into parishes. The district around Darien was part of
St. Andrews Parish. The Revolution again called forth the fighting
spirit of the Scots and the name of McIntosh was written into American
history. Lachlan, William and John were all officers for the Patriot’s
cause. The legendary General Lachlan McIntosh commanded the first
Georgia militia. It says something of the clan and times that he is
probably best known for the duel he fought with Button Gwinnett,
president of the Revolutionary Government of Georgia. Gwinnett died of
his wounds and McIntosh was sent north as a brigadier general to fight
against the British.
Following the Revolution the new state of Georgia was reorganized into
counties, most of which were named after Revolutionary heroes. St.
Andrews Parish became part of Liberty County. In 1793 McIntosh County
was split off from Liberty County and renamed after its most famous
family. The seat of county government was established at Sapelo Main
(now Eulonia) and court was held in the home of John Houston McIntosh
until an new courthouse could be built.
For Darien it was a time of growing prosperity as its plantations
produced cotton, rice, and indigo for world markets and the Altamaha
River became the Highway for great rafts of pine, oak, and cypress. The
growing importance of Darien to the economic life of McIntosh County
lead to the transfer there of the county seat from Eulonia in 1819. The
town experienced its times of trouble as it was ravaged by a great fire
in 1813 and a disastrous hurricane a year later. The severest blow came
in 1863 when Union troops attacked from St. Simons and burned virtually
every building in Darien.
Despite the devastation Darien recovered when the era of lumbering
reached its peak after the war. The town became a thriving international
port in the 1890’s. But modern ideas of conservation and reforestation
were unknown then. By 1900 the depletion of the forests brought the boom
to an end. The building of Georgia Coast and Piedmont Railroad through
Darien failed to stem the decline. The G. C. and P. was affectionately
known as the “Get Out Crackers and Push” and it failed as US 17
pushed south in the 1920’s. Today much of the physical evidence of
this colorful history has disappeared but the beauty of the countryside
We also offer near by real estate resources for St.
Mary's Georgia and
Darien Ga Coastal Georgia, A visitors and new residents guide to Darien Georgia real estate, vacation rentals, hotels, golf, lodging, restaurants, employment, personals, professional services, apartment and home rentals, maps in Darien Ga | Coastal Georgia!