More Fort Hawkins Discoveries
(May 11, 2012, Macon, Georgia, Special Press Release by Marty Willett, Fort Hawkins Commission Press Officer & Project Coordinator)
Fort Hawkins continues its May celebration of Archaeology Month in Georgia after a successful dig last week at the early American frontier fort and factory. The “Search For the Northwest Blockhouse” conducted by the LAMAR Institute helped kickoff the month long statewide celebration and determined the exact location of the fort’s other blockhouse that blew over in December, 1880. The preliminary results reflect that after the 1871 cleanup, the 1920’s construction of the Fort Hawkins Grammar School, and finally the widening and paving of Woolfolk Street, all evidence of the blockhouse, save the very bottom of the palisade posts leading to the blockhouse wall, has been erased. However, the research will allow the fort to be fully and accurately mapped now for the first time since it was constructed in 1806.
During the burning of Washington, D.C. by the British in the War of 1812, it is presumed the fort’s plans and early records were destroyed because they do not exist today. Since the Fort Hawkins Commission began its archaeological research with the help of the Peyton Anderson Foundation in 2005, more has been discovered about the fort than ever known before and why the Commission’s web site is called “The Real Fort Hawkins.”
The fort and the “Second War of Independence” are featured prominently on the Society for Georgia Archaeology’s May 2012 Celebration poster. On June 18, 2012 the Major Phillip Cook Chapter of the Daughters of the War of 1812 and the Commission will dedicate a War of 1812 Bicentennial Celebration historic marker at the fort site.
Just completed at the fort site is the new protective covering over a 200 year old double brick fireplace hearth uncovered in the 2005 dig. One of the many surprises unearthed then that documented a more significant and substantial Fort Hawkins than previously thought, the unique brick feature is now better preserved and shared in a new outdoor interpretive display at the fort. The Macon Town Committee of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Georgia sponsored this important preservation project and its completion adds to the site’s Archaeology Month Celebration.
Visitors to the fort this Saturday, May 12, 2012 will see more of the site’s treasures uncovered as the Boy Scouts of America join the celebration. Troop 10 of the Central Georgia Council BSA will aid one of their member’s Eagle Scout project to reclaim and stabilize the 1930’s WPA stone pool constructed when the Southeast Blockhouse Replica was built. The scouts will be digging out the stone pool, screening for artifacts, and building a berm that will prevent future flooding. Not only will this project improve the site’s appearance, but also allow the feature to be fully restored by the Commission as they fully develop the fort site. The site off Emery Highway in Macon is open every Saturday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm and Sunday 12:00 – 4:00 pm with no admission charge. For more information call or click 478-742-3003 or http://www.forthawkins.com.