Dating all the way back to 25,000 B.C., the Golden Isles has played a role in the history and development of coastal Georgia. Today, the region is packed with historical markers. Read on to uncover the immersive past of the Golden Isles.

25,000 B.C.

The Golden Isles formed following the Pleistocene Ice Age. Larger islands, such as St. Simons Island, are estimated to be between 35,000 – 40,000 years old. The smaller islands, like Little St. Simons Island, were formed from the larger islands and are believed to be about 5,000 – 7,000 years old.

2500 B.C.

Guale and Mocama Indians made their way to the coast, fishing, hunting and gathering oysters to survive in the area. Middens, large areas of oyster shells and other refuse discarded by Native Americans, still exist today and can be seen in undeveloped areas on St. Simons Island and on Little St. Simons Island.

1566 – 1685

Spanish missions were established along the coast. A prominent mission formed at Fort King George in present-day Darien, about 10 miles north of Brunswick. This mission, called Santo Domingo Talejo, later moved to the northern end of St. Simons Island and was renamed Asao.

Fort Frederica National Monument

Fort Frederica and the town of Frederica was established by British General James Oglethorpe on the west side of St. Simons Island. 44 men and 72 women and children were the first settlers at Frederica. A second fort, Fort St. Simons, was built a few years later near the present day Lighthouse and Pier area.