Visit the Starforts.com Fort King George page here!
Fort King George exists in what feels like the middle of nowhere. The little town of Darien is pleasant enough, but it's hard to imagine that anyone would have felt compelled to build a cool fort to defend it from anything.
Darien was of course just a little settlement that was founded in 1736 by the fort's second group of occupiers, British soldiers and their families from the Highlands of Scotland.
Added to this sense of dislocation is the inevitable conclusion that this seems like a dumb place for a fort. Generally, when one visits a starfort it's pretty obvious why the fort was so placed, on a crucial waterway or atop a commanding height next to a major population center. Fort King George's placement made all kinds of good sense in the 1720's when it was built, but not so much today.
The Darien River, which Fort King George was built to command, meandered in a much different fashion in the early 18th century. Today, it's difficult to imagine Spaniards or Frenchmen endeavoring to come across this location, intentionally or otherwise.
None of this is to suggest that a visit to Fort King George is anything less than delightful. Though the original fort kind of melted away by the end of the 18th century, it was rebuilt in 1988 to its 1721 appearance, and it's unlike any other fort I've ever visited, in that it's all wood!
The fort's museum is small, but crammed full of cool dioramas and displays; The gift shop is well-appointed with fun stuff. A visit to the fort costs $7.
In addition to its martial history, Darien is apparently also known for its exciting lumber-related ventures. There are a number of stone and/or brick ruins dotting the lovely, palm-tree-y park that are briefly exciting, until one reads their informational signing and finds that one is standing before the remnants of some kind of sawmilling structure. Honestly.
The fort itself, however, is a glowing example of a state's devotion to its history. Not only does the fort stand today in its 1721 condition, but its interior buildings are filled with period bedding, equipment and accoutrements. Fort King George's citadel is a delightful, multi-story warren of woodwork.
Each of the pictures on this page is but a thumbnail, clicking which will take you to its full-sized counterpart, plus more of my brilliant observations about my visit to Fort King George.