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French Fort Caroline located in Georgia, not Florida, rewrites local history

Artist's conception of the French Fort Caroline
Artist's conception of the French Fort Caroline
Public Domain

On February 21, 2014 two academics from Florida announced that the long lost French fort named La Caroline was most likely on the Altamaha River near Darien, Georgia just 45 minutes south of Savannah. If archaeological investigations confirm this location then travelers to the area will have one more historical destination to add to their itinerary.

For a century historians have believed that the French Fort Caroline was located on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida. A 1/3 scale replica of the fort was even constructed to attract the millions of tourists who pass through Jacksonville on their way to Disney World. Yet countless archaeological investigations in the area have failed to find a single French artifact in all these years.

Several independent researchers published evidence over the course of 2013 which located Fort Caroline on the Altamaha River. Thus the announcement in February followed a long line of evidence that had accumulated in support of the Georgia location. All that's left to do now is confirm the actual location of the fort with archaeological excavations.

Once the actual remains of the fort are found it will likely take years before local and state governments appropriate the funds to build a replica of the fort like the one currently in Jacksonville, Florida. Until then travelers will have to make the three hour drive south to Jacksonville to learn about this early French colony in Georgia.