Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Diggers Dust off Fort from 200 Years Ago; Artifact Experts Say the Find at Point Peter Is from an Era Rarely Unearthed

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Diggers Dust off Fort from 200 Years Ago; Artifact Experts Say the Find at Point Peter Is from an Era Rarely Unearthed

Article excerpt

Byline: LIZ HAMPTON, Times-Union correspondent

ST. MARYS -- An archaeological excavation under way at Point Peter in the Cumberland Harbour community of St. Marys has turned up evidence of a military fort dating back to the early 1800s.

"There are not many forts of this period anywhere," said Paul Brockington of the Atlanta-based archaeological firm Brockington and Associates, which was employed last year by Land Resource Cos., parent company of Cumberland Harbour, to conduct archaeological surveys of the Cumberland Harbour development.

The archaeological firm began by researching historical records that suggested U.S. military occupation at Point Peter in the late 1700s through early 1800s.

Records indicate a British military invasion and occupation there in 1815 during the War of 1812, when the United States declared war on Britain.

After the completion of excavation, research, cataloging and documenting, Cumberland Harbour plans to display the artifacts in St. Marys.

"This is quite an exciting part," Brockington said. "The community will be able to see and know about what archaeological finds were at Point Peter. It is important to American history. Cumberland Harbour is very proactive in making this happen."

"It's a wonderful surprise to know that Cumberland Harbour is so rich in history, and plays a significant role in Georgia," said Paul Beidel, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Land Resource Cos. "We are committed to preserving it."

A scientific report for scholars will be made of the findings, and the artifacts will be preserved for study.

Brockington said the search for artifacts began last year with an initial survey of the area to look for aboveground remains, such as chimneys. Workers also did a 100-foot interval grid dig, in which the dirt is screen-sifted to look for artifacts.

Workers found tabby made into bricks in an area where Point Peter Creek meets the St. Marys River, and proposed that more-detailed excavation be done on two sites in the area.

Research of historical records suggests there were one or two barracks, a cooking area, an ammunition storage house, and a tool working area, Brockington said. …

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