Fort George Island
The island is the site of
Spanish missions, colonial
forts and Florida's oldest
plantation house.
Ribault Club
Once a play spot for the rich
and famous, the club is now
open to the public.
Historic Sites of Fort George Island, Florida - Historic Sites of Fort George Island, Florida - Historic Sites of Fort George Island, Florida
Fort George Island
The view of the marshes from the shores of
historic Fort George Island is one of the most
picturesque in Florida.
Centuries of Florida History
One of the most beautiful and historic
settings in Florida can be found at Fort
George Island.

Nestled in the coastal marshes of the St.
Johns River estuary, the island has been a
focal point of settlement and history for
hundreds of years. Massive prehistoric shell
middens can still be seen there, as can
Florida's oldest plantation house, the site of
a Spanish mission and structures surviving
from the island's "golden days" as a resort
for the rich and famous.

When the French and Spanish first arrived in
the area, they found Fort George Island
inhabited by the Timucua Indians. To convert
these native inhabitants to Christianity,
Spanish friars established the mission of
San Juan del Puerto on the island during the
late 1500s.

The mission survived for more than 100
years until it was destroyed in an English raid
in 1702. A marker near the Ribault Club
points out the site.

The British returned to the island in 1736
when Georgia's founder James Oglethorpe
built Fort St. George there, the defensive work
that gave the island its current name. The fort
was eventually abandoned, but the English
returned again when they gained control of
Florida from Spain at the end of the French
and Indian War.

Plantations were established on Fort George
Island during the British era, which lasted
from 1763 to 1783. The Spanish regained
control of Florida at the end of the American

Although the island remained a Spanish
possession until 1821, three American
planters operated massive farms there. The
last of the these, Zephaniah Kingsley,
became a crusader for the rights of free
blacks after Fort George Island became an
American possession in 1821. His
waterfront home still remains, as do the solid
tabby cabins once used by the slaves on the
Kingsley Plantation.
As the 19th century passed into the 20th, the
island became a playground for the rich. The
beautiful old Ribault Club, built in 1928,
preserves the legacy of this era. The club
was a favorite spot for some of America's
most wealthy residents, but is now open to
the public and operated by the National Park

Fort George Island is located on Highway
A1A between Jacksonville and Fernandina
and is now part of the
Timucuan Ecological
and Historic Preserve.

To learn more about the island and
surrounding area, please follow the links
St. George Episcopal Church
An outstanding example of
the Carpenter Gothic style, the
church was built in 1882.
Kingsley Plantation
Florida's oldest plantation
house was built at Kingsley
Plantation in 1798.
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Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.