One of the most beautiful and historic cities in Georgia is the small Clay County community of Fort Gaines.
Located atop a high bluff overlooking the Chattahoochee River, the community features an array of preserved historic sites and structures and is a gateway to one of the state's most popular areas for outdoor recreation.
The town dates its history back thousands of years. There is a burial mound of the Weeden Island era (A.D. 300 - A.D. 900) in historic New Park Cemetery and archaeologists and private collectors have found artifacts dating back to even earlier times along the Chattahoochee River and throughout the vicinity.
By 1814, when the leaders of the Creek Nation were forced to sign the Treaty of Fort Jackson at the end of the Creek War of 1813-1814, the bluffs were occupied by Lower Creeks. The treaty forced the cession of tens of thousands of acres to the United States and the dividing line separating the territory of the U.S. and that of the Creek Nation intersected the Chattahoochee River at its junction with Cemochechobee Creek at Fort Gaines.
To protect this boundary, to which many warriors and chiefs of the Lower Creeks objected, the U.S. Army moved in the spring of 1816 to establish a fort on the bluffs. It was named Fort Gaines in honor of Major General Edmund P. Gaines, a hero of the War of 1812.
Over the coming days I will continue to post about the history and historic sites of Fort Gaines. The next post will focus on the establishment of the original fort. To learn more until then, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/fortgaines.