Friday, September 25, 2009

2009 Places in Peril: Fort Daniel

Story/significance: Built in the late 18th century, the archaeological site of Fort Daniel was once a frontier fort located on Hog Mountain in Gwinnett County. The archaeological remains of the fort are being studied by several interested groups. Excavations have revealed a stockade wall trench, a hearth where cooking and casting of shot was carried out, brick and burned lumber, and a trash pit. Artifacts recovered from the site include historic pottery, black bottle glass, musket balls, musket flint, wrought nails, and an 18th-century Spanish coin.

Challenge/threat: The site is located on privately owned property; the property and its surrounding lots are for sale. A developer has already sought a zoning change to allow commercial development of the properties. Development of the property would destroy this significant archaeological site.

Progress: On December 8, 2008, The Georgia Trust participated in a spotlight event intended to raise public awareness of this archaeological site, the significance of the artifacts found there, and future plans for interpreting the site. Using a $5,000 matching grant awarded as part of the Partners in the Field program, the Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society and the Friends of Fort Daniel produced a master plan for a proposed Archaeological Park at the site of Fort Daniel. The Atlanta planning and landscape group, jB+a inc, created a graphic display of the master plan to serve as a marketing tool to raise awareness for the site and its protection. The plan unveiled was at an interpretive event on May 2, 2009, and was well received among neighbors at the Fort Daniel site.

Impacts/outcomes: The Fort Daniel Foundation has been created with the express purpose to raise funds to support the study and protection of the archaeological site. The Foundation plans to implement its plans for an archaeological park that would allow for recreation to occur while ongoing archaeological study continues. This would be the first park of its type in the southeast.

Next Steps: The Georgia Trust continues to work with the Fort Daniel Foundation for the procurement of the property. Further talks are needed between the current property owner, the Fort Daniel Foundation, and Gwinnett County to ensure that appropriate protection occurs.

Update: The Friends of Fort Daniel has officially become the Fort Daniel Foundation, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. In May, a master plan for the proposed Fort Daniel Historic
Site and Archaeological Research Park was made possible by a grant from The Georgia Trust.

1 comment:

  1. Work on getting counties to create an archaeology requirement for development much like Beaufort County, South Carolina has. That would mean if the site is developed the developer would have to have the archaeology done as a cost of doing business.