A little about Darien, Georgia
Our coastline is home to many types of resident wildlife and birds as well as migratory species around the calendar. Explore rivers, estuaries, islands, beaches, and natural habitats. We boast one of the world’s largest estuarine systems swimming with seafood that is harvested locally.
While we know you will find your favorite place in history, whether it be Fort King George Historic Site, Ashantilly Center or the Old Jail Art Center; our best advice is sure to be dining on local cuisine at one of our restaurants, events or festivals.
Darien is conveniently located off Interstate 95, between Savannah and Brunswick, along Georgia’s scenic coast and US Highway 17. As the second oldest planned city in Georgia and the site of the first fort on Georgia soil, the city of Darien and McIntosh County have a unique blend of history and natural beauty.
In the Beginning . . .
The British built Fort King George in 1721, near what would become Darien. At the time it was the southernmost outpost of the British Empire in North America. The fort was abandoned in 1727 following attacks from the Spanish. Its remains constitute the oldest fort on the Georgia coast.
The Oglethorpe Plan
The Scottish emigrants originated mainly from around Inverness and consisted of both Jacobite and Hanoverian supporting clans, the majority of whom spoke only Gaelic.
When visited by Oglethorpe in February, the settlers had already constructed "a battery of four pieces of cannon, built a guardhouse, a storehouse, a chapel, and several huts for particular people."
Darien was laid out in accordance with the now-famous Oglethorpe Plan. Darien is the 2nd oldest planned city. Columbus Square and Vernon Square are remnants of the planned layout.
Originally known as New Inverness, Darien was founded in January 1736 by Scottish Highlanders recruited by James Oglethorpe to act as settler-soldiers protecting the frontiers of Georgia from the Spanish in Florida, the French in the Alabama basin, and the Indian allies of each colonial enterprise. Among the initial settlers was Lachlan McGillivray, who became a noted trader with the Creek people, and Lachlan McIntosh, a leader during the American Revolutionary War.
A number of the settlers abandoned Darien for South Carolina. By 1741, another shipload of 43 colonists had arrived. These colonists received land grants from the trustees which specified that the land was to pass to the male or female descendants of the original recipients, in 'Tail General.' The trustees were trying to keep settlers in the colony. Previously, all land grants in the American colonies had been granted in 'Tail Male', descending to only the male children.