This county, created Dec. 1793 from Liberty County, named for the
McIntosh family, early settlers, whose name was associated with most events in
Georgia history for many years. John McIntosh, with 170 Highlanders, came to
Georgia January 1735 and founded Darien. George N. Ragan was made Collector of
McIntosh County Dec. 23, 1793. County officers, commissioned March 25, 1794,
were: William Middleton, Sheriff; John Baillie, Clerk of Superior and Inferior
Courts; John Richey, Coroner; George N. Ragan, Surveyor. Joseph Clark was
commissioned Tax Receiver, Dec. 21, 1794.
(At the courthouse in Darien.)
Approximately ten miles west of here on the banks of the Altamaha
River stood Fort Barrington, a stronghold whose origin dates back to earliest
Colonial times. It was built as a defense against the Spaniards and Indians and
was called Fort Barrington in honor of a friend and kinsman of General James
Edward Oglethorpe, Lieutenant Colonel Josiah Barrington. This gentleman, a
scion of the English nobility, was a large landowner in Georgia, whose home was
just east of Barrington Ferry on San Savilla Bluff. Fort Barrington, which was
twelve miles northwest of the town of Darien, was renamed Fort Howe during the
Revolution as it fell into the hands of the British.
The fort long ago ceased to exist, but the old military road
which formerly ran between Savannah and Fort Barrington is still known as the
Old Barrington Road. Barrington Ferry, important ferry since Colonial Days, was
in use until the early years of the Twentieth Century.
(Ga 99 just inside of Long County - about three miles north of
Captain William McIntosh
In this plot under the "Great Oak at Mallow
Plantation", Captain William McIntosh, father of the Indian chief, General
William McIntosh, was buried in 1794. Captain McIntosh, an officer in the
British army, when stationed in the Creek country, married two Indian women and
their sons, William and Roderick, became chiefs among the Creeks.
Gen. William McIntosh was killed by his own people on May 1,
1825, for signing the Treaty of Indian Springs. Later his sons and his
half-brother, Roderick (Rory) led the great Creek trek to Old Indian Territory
.They and their descendants have been distinguished lawyers, ministers,
statesmen, artists, soldiers - noted leaders in the building of the West.
(In park at Pine Harbor, 3 miles east of US 17, 13 miles north
Colonel John McIntosh
About one mile from this spot at Fairhope, the adjoining
plantation, Colonel John McIntosh, a hero of American Revolution, was buried in
It was Colonel McIntosh, in command of Fort Morris at Sunbury,
who, when the British Lieut. Col. L. V. Fuser demanded the surrender of the
fort on November 20, 1778 replied: "Come and take it".
A member of the family Scottish Highlanders who led in settlement
of Darien and for whom the county of McIntosh was named, Col. McIntosh had a
long and distinguished military career, serving throughout the Revolution and
War of 1812.
(In the park at Pine Harbor miles East of US 17, 13 miles north
200 Years of Sawmilling
For nearly two centuries the story of sawmilling in the Southeast
was enacted on this point on the Altamaha River. In the summer of 1721, men
from South Carolina sawed the 3-inch planks to build Fort King George. In 1763,
indentured servants of the Scottish Highlanders set up pit saws here and sawed
lumber for the permanent houses of Darien and for public buildings in Savannah
and Frederica. This was the first commercial manufacture of lumber in Coastal
Georgia. Through the years, sawmilling continued on this site. In the latter
part of the 18th century, a large water mill was constructed and used here,
operated by impounding tidal water in a basin on flood tide and sawing with the
In 1818, the Darien Eastern Stearn Sawmill was built here.
Designed by an engineer from London, the mill had five gang saws. In use, with
brief interruptions, until about 1905, it was then dismantled because of lack
of large timber. A circular sawmill, built alongside the same basin, took its
place, to be used until the end of the sawmill era in Darien.
(East of Darien at the end of the Fort King George road.)
Famous Butler Authors
Pierce Butler and his daughter, Frances, who shared his interest
in the South, returned to Butler Island in 1866, and worked to rehabilitate the
plantations. Pierce Butler died in 1867, but Frances continued for several
years to manage the Island acreage. She wrote a book, "Ten Years On a
Georgia Plantation", an interesting and valuable account of life in this
section during the Reconstruction. Owen Wister, famous author of "The
Virginian", and other novels, was the son of Sarah Butler, sister of
Frances. He often visited Butler Island plantation.
(US 17 (Ga 25) at the Butler River.)
Site of Early Spanish Mission
This high bluff was the site of one of the early Spanish Missions
of the old District of Guale. Here, in the late 16th and the 17th centuries,
Franciscan friars labored with the Indians, converting them to Christianity and
instructing them in agriculture and other crafts of civilization.
Occupied by a large Indian village before the coming of the
Spaniards, this tract was an ideal site for the mission and school activities
of the Spanish priests. Archaeological excavations in the area in 1941 and 1953
disclosed evidence of both Indian and Spanish occupation - Indian pottery and
bone tools with Spanish olive jars, majolica and iron work, outlines of
buildings constructed before and after the coming of white men.
Built in the area called by the Spaniards, "Talaje",
the mission on this site was part of a chain of missions and vistas by which
Spain held title for nearly two centuries to what is now the Coast of Georgia.
(End of the Fort King George Road, 1 mile East of Darien)
The McIntosh Family of McIntosh County
The service of this family to America, since the first of the
Clan, with their leader, Captain John McIntosh Mohr, came from the Highlands of
Scotland to Georgia, in 1736, forms a brilliant record.
The roll of distinguished members of this family includes: Gen.
Lachlan McIntosh, Col. William McIntosh, Col. John McIntosh, Maj. Lachlan
McIntosh - officers in the Revolution; Col. James L. McIntosh killed in the
Mexican War; Maria J McIntosh, authoress; Capt. John McIntosh, Capt. Wm.
McIntosh of Mallow, Capt. Roderick (Rory) McIntosh - British Army officers
serving in the War with Spain and in the Indian country; George M. Troup,
Governor of Georgia; John McIntosh Kell, Second Officer of the Alabama; Thomas
Spalding of Sapelo; Creek Indian Chiefs - Gen Wm. McIntosh, Roley Mcintosh,
Judge Alexander McIntosh, Acee Blue Eagle ... and many others. (US 17 (Ga 25)
at South Newport near the bridge.)
Baisden's Bluff Academy
Located a short distance East of here, near the River, Baisden's
Bluff Academy was the main educational institution in McIntosh County in the
early years of the 19th century. A Boarding School, operating the year round,
its roll held the names of prominent families of this county and from adjoining
areas. "Mr. Linder" was Principal. General Francis Hopkins, Wm. A.
Dunham, James Dunwoody, James Smith and Jacob Wood were Commissioners.
In 1823 torrential rains washed the dormitory into the river,
leaving a ravine which can still be seen. The school never recovered.
(Ga 99 at Crescent.)
John Houston McIntosh
John Houston McIntosh, son of George McIntosh, was born at Rice
Hope, May 1, 1773.
When a young man, he settled in East Florida and became a leader
of the U.S. citizens living there. He was appointed "Governor or Director
of the Republic of Florida" in 1812. After a stormy career in Florida, he
returned to Georgia, and in 1818 served in the Seminole War as General in the
In 1825, he began intensive cultivation of sugar cane on his
plantation in Camden County, and there installed the first horizontal sugar
mill ever worked by cattle power.
(US 17 (Ga 25) about one mile north of Eulonia.)
Fort Barrington, about twelve miles West of here on the Altamaha
River, was built in 1751. Lieut. Robert Baillie, in charge of construction,
commanded the post for several years.
Named Fort Howe during the Revolution, the fort played a vital
part in that War, guarding the most dangerous land pass on the Southern
Frontier of Georgia. In constant peril from British forces and their Indian
allies, the fort was the scene of several battles and skirmishes. Confederate
troops were stationed on the site during the War Between the States.
(Intersection of US 17 (Ga 25) and Ga 251 in Darien.)
Ardoch, fronting on the old Stage Road from Savannah to Darien
where it traversed this Swamp, was the plantation home of the McDonalds from
Colonial Days through the early 19th century.
During the Revolutionary War, members of this branch of the
McDonald clan were Loyalists, as were many families of Coastal Georgia. In a
skirmish fought in his home in Ardoch, only a short distance from this spot,
Robert McDonald was killed in the presence of his wife and children, and the
Ardoch house burned.
(US 17 (Ga 25) about six miles north of Darien.)
Old River Road
The River Road has changed but little in location since its
beginning as a Military Route in 1739. Scottish Highlanders first marched over
it on their way to invade Spanish Florida, and troops have used it in three
wars - the War with Spain, the Revolution, and the War Between the States. As a
civilian highway, this served first as the road to Fort Barrington and the
Ferry, later as an important link in the old Macon to Darien highway, over
which planters in their carriages, stage coaches, and riders carrying the U.S.
Mail, travelled during the early 19th century.
(Intersection of US 17 (Ga 25) and Ga 251 in Darien.)
Fort Darien, laid out by General James Edward Oglethorpe in 1736,
was built on this first high bluff of the Altamaha river to protect the new
town of Darien. It was a large fortification, with 2 bastions and 2 half
bastions, and was defended by several cannon.
From the time of its settlement by Scottish Highlanders in 1736,
until after the Battle of Bloody Marsh in 1742, the town of Darien was in
constant danger from the Spaniards of Florida. Often for weeks at a time the
Highland soldiers were absent from home on military campaigns, with only a few
men left to guard the women and children who, for safety, lived within the
walls of the fort. On several occasions the post was fired upon by Spaniards or
their Indian allies.
After the War with Spain was ended, the fort, no longer needed,
fell into ruins, but was rebuilt and armed during the Revolution, when it again
saw action, this time against British forces.
(Fort King George Road in east edge of Darien.)
This plantation was a Crown grant to Captain John McIntosh, a
British Army officer who served in Florida during the War with Spain. Later,
when this officer went into the Indian country, his brother the eccentric
Captain Roderick (Rory) McIntosh, with their sister, Miss Winnewood McIntosh,
occupied the home which was built upon this bluff in the 1760's. The exploits
of the redoubtable Rory have filled pages of pre-Revolutionary Georgia history.
After the Revolution, Mallow became the property of Captain
William McIntosh, a son of Captain John. He, too, was a British Army officer,
and was the father of the Indian Chief, General William McIntosh. Early in the
19th century, Mallow was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Reuben King, and they were
living here when the plantation was raided by forces from a Federal gunboat
anchored in nearby Sapelo River, in November, 1862.
(River front in Pine Harbor.)
Famous Rice and Indigo Plantation of Colonial and Revolutionary
times. Rice Hope was the home of George McIntosh, son of John McIntosh Mohr of
Darien, and brother of General Lachlan McIntosh. George McIntosh was Official
Surveyor for St. Andrew's Parish, Member of the Commons House of Assembly,
Member of the First Provincial Congress of Georgia, Member of the Council of
Safety During the Revolution, the home of George McIntosh at Rice Hope was
burned and his slaves and stock run off by the British.
(US 17 (Ga 25) about one mile north of Eulonia.)
Old Meeting House
Two hundreds yards west of this spot stood the "Old Meeting
House", built before 1750 to serve the Scottish Presbyterians of the
District of Darien. A landmark in Colonial days, it was in use until after the
Revolutionary War, both as a church and as a meeting place for the citizens of
St. Andrew's Parish on important occasions. It was here that the "Darien
Committee" met on January 12, 1775, to choose their delegates to the
Provincial Congress at Savannah, and to adopt the six Resolutions which are
today among our treasured Revolutionary documents.
(US 17, 7.5 miles north of Darien.)
This island was the property of General Larhlan McIntosh by a
grant of 1758, and was the principal home of his family up to and during the
early years of the Revolution. The island was in rice cultivation for many
In 1808, a Canal, called General's Cut, was dug through the
Island to connect the Darien River with the middle branch of the Altamaha,
"for convenience of the adjoining planters".
This Cut, located a short distance east of here, was later used
to ferry between Darien and the southern plantations of the Delta.
(US 17 (Ga 25) 0.3 miles south of Darien.)
Old Court House
At Sapelo Bridge
Sapelo Bridge, on the old Savannah to Darien Road 200 yards east
of this spot, was the seat of McIntosh County from 1793 to 1818. Here the Court
House and other public buildings stood; here, too, were the Armory and Muster
Ground for the McIntosh County Cavalry Troop, and here the Stage Coaches
stopped to refresh the passengers and change horses.
(US 17 (Ga 25) near the south end of Sapelo Bridge.)
The site of the village of Jonesville, so named for its first
settler, Samuel Jones, is about 6 miles West of this road. There, early in the
Revolution, McGirth with British forces attacked a small garrison at Moses
Way's stockade and a fierce battle took place, ending in the defeat of McGirth.
In 1843, a Congregational Church was chartered at Jonesville, with Nathaniel
Varnedoe, Wm. Jones and Moses L. Jones, Trustees. The village became a refuge
for women, children and invalids from the Coast when that area was blockaded by
Federal gunboats during the War Between the States.
(US 17 (Ga 25) at Ga 131 W in South Newport.)
This is Darien, in the heart of the historic Altamaha delta
region. Settled in 1736, by Scottish Highlanders under John McIntosh Mohr, it
was named for the ill-fated settlement on the Isthmus of Panama. The first
military parade in Georgia was held in Darien, February 22, 1736, when Gen.
James Edward Oglethorpe reviewed the Highland Company in full regalia, with
claymores, side arms and targes. The Highland Company supported Oglethorpe in
all his campaigns, and won everlasting fame on the field of Bloody Marsh.
During the Revolution, Darien men again came to the front - Gen. Lachlan
McIntosh, Col. Wm. McIntosh and Col. John McIntosh were among the heroes of
that War. In 1818 the City of Darien was chartered, and became the County Seat.
The Bank of Darien, chartered in 1818, was the strongest Bank south of
Philadelphia, with branches in 7 Georgia cities. Huge mills sawed into lumber
millions of feet of timber rafted down the river. Darien was one of the great
ports of the Eastern Seaboard. It was burned in 1863 by Northern troops
stationed on St. Simon's Island. Rebuilt in the 1870's, Darien again became a
great port, and the mills sawed lumber to be shipped all over the world.
Depletion of the forests brought this era to an end in the early 1900's.
(US 17 (Ga 25) in Darien near the bridge.)
This Church was organized by the Rev. Charles 0. Screven at
Harris Neck, 7 miles West of here, during the early 1800's. As the Harris Neck
Baptist Church, it was admitted to the Sunbury Baptist Association November
In the early 1830's, the Church was moved to this site and became
the South Newport Baptist Church. On December 9, 1841, the South Newport
Baptist Church was chartered, the Trustees named: Charles W. Thorpe, Gideon B.
Dean, Thomas K. Gould, William J. Cannon, Henry J. White. The present edifice
is the second erected on this site.
(US 17 (Ga 25) at Ga 131-E in south Newport.)
Confederate Post In 1864
Near this spot, Company F of the Third South Carolina Cavalry,
Lieut. W. L. Mole commanding, was stationed during the summer of 1864. The
Company was on Patrol duty, guarding the Coast of McIntosh County.
On the night of August 18th, the post was attacked by Federal
Troops coming up the South Newport River. Of Company F, less than 20 men
escaped death or capture. Five civilian prisoners were taken also, and the
Bridge over the South Newport River was burned.
(US 17 (Ga 25) in south Newport, near the bridge.)
Capture of 23 Old Men in 1864
Near here, in Ebenezer Church, 23 old men were captured by
Federal troops on the night of August 3rd, 1864. These civilians, too old for
military service, were the sole protection of McIntosh County, which was
constantly being plundered by forces from blockade gunboats.
Advised of the meeting by spies, Federal troops surrounded the
church in the darkness and opened fire. The old men were captured and marched
overland to Blue and Hall Landing near Darien, where they were put on board
ship and taken to Northern prisons.
(US 17 (Ga. 25) about 8.5 miles north of Darien.)
Old Belleville or Troup Cemetery
Within these walls are buried Captain Troup, British Naval
officer, and his wife, Catherine McIntosh Troup. They were the parents of
George M. Troup, Governor of Georgia 1823-1827; U.S. Senator 1829-1833. It was
on this plantation that George M. Troup spent his early boyhood.
Ten other graves lie within this enclosure; the inscriptions on
the marble slabs which marked them were effaced by time before 1850.
(At Belleville on Sapelo River, 1.5 miles east of Crescent.)
Birthplace of John McIntosh Kell
Laurel Grove, at the end of this avenue, was the birthplace of
John McIntosh Kell, 1823-1900, distinguished Naval officer. He was a member of
the expedition of Commodore Matthew C. Perry to Japan in 1853, and was Master
of the flagship Mississippi on the homeward cruise. When Georgia seceded from
the Union, John McIntosh Kell resigned his commission to join the Confederacy.
He was Executive Officer of the Sumter; then of the Alabama throughout her
brilliant career on the seas, and in her final battle with the Kearsarge off
Cherbourg. Later in life, John McIntosh Kell served for several years as
Adjutant General of the State of Georgia.
(Ga 99 near the northeast edge of Darien.)