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Crooked River State Park
St. Marys, Georgia
by
Norman W. Hildrum

Campsite 21 at Crooked River State Park - Photo by Norman HildrumCrooked River State Park is located in a forested area on a flat coastal area adjacent to the Crooked River. The 60 unit campground is situated in a stand of coastal hardwoods and mixed pine woods, and the remnants of the climax maritime forest.. The park is bordered by a huge salt marsh and has some very good salt water fishing. The Crooked River flows into Cumberland Sound about 8 miles to the east of the park. We were in site 21 which is a huge pull-through site nestled in a stand of longleaf pines. Each night the campground host had a campfire which provided an opportunity to meet fellow campers. The shower building was very well maintained and convenient to our Fort Caroline, Jacksonville, Florida - Photo by Norman Hildrumcampsite. Our cost was $16.00 per night. For more information on Georgia State Parks call 404-656-3530 or logon to www.gastateparks.org.

The location of the park is ideal for sightseeing in the Jacksonville, Florida and Brunswick, Georgia areas. Sites of interest include Fort Caroline in Jacksonville and Fort Frederica on St. Simons Island, Georgia.

Fort Caroline was occupied by the French and it was from here that they launched an ill fated attack on the Spanish fort in St. Augustine. The Spanish wiped them out and destroyed Fort Caroline.

Fort Frederica, St. Simons Island, GeorgiaFort Frederica - Spain saw the Georgia settlements as a threat to her interests in Florida. Spoiling for a fight, Oglethorpe returned to England in 1737 to raise troops for the war he knew was coming. A year later he was back in Georgia at the head of a 630-man regiment of British regulars. In 1739 war broke out between Britain and Spain over the slave trade. Fighting ranged over the Caribbean and up the Georgia coast to Frederica. Expecting a Spanish attack, Oglethorpe enclosed the town within an earthen wall and a palisaded moat, ten feet wide and fed by the river. Not one to wait passively for the enemy to strike, Orange Hall, St. Mays, Georgia - Photo by Norman Hildrumthe aggressive Oglethorpe set out in early 1740 to capture St. Augustine. Taking some 900 troops and 1,100 Indian allies, he laid siege to the Spanish town but could not breach its defenses. By mid-summer, his plans all awry, the frustrated Oglethorpe returned to Fort Frederica.

St. Marys has a number of historic structures such as Orange Hall, an ante bellum mansion, built in 1820 and considered to be a perfect example of Greek Revival architecture. The lower level is the city's Welcome Center.


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