Quaint Georgia fish town with history

Coming from a big city I like to take casual drives through rural towns, absorbing some of the local flavor, sights and sounds.

I recently eased thro41127415041_c7194700f1_ough Darien, Georgia (U.S.A) (founded in 1736) while attempting to locate something unique in this less-traveled area.

There is a nugget in every town I travel through and my personal task is to see what it is – in my own view anyway.

IMG_4619My first observation in the Atlantic Ocean coastal town of Darien was the fishing boats lined up in the Altamaha River.  I drove slightly off the main road and noticed a few fishing boats that definitely brought in their share over the years.  Their wear-and-tear was evident, but they continue to provide a living for local fishers.


This was an opportunity to drive my Subaru Outback off road – although it was in IMG_4628just a short patch of wet sand.  The synchronized all-wheel-drive provided considerable comfort and piece of mind as we checked out some of the potential candidates for a good story.

We heard one of the men working on the old boat say hello in a friendly, southern tone and we waved back.  Folks here are welcoming and I think enjoy others visiting their little town.  They probably wandered what we were doing though.

39318619240_80b976cb8f_oA storm system had been traveling through southern Georgia and north Florida so the area had been drenched a bit.

I thought there must be a nice restaurant where the locals go and we drove around a few minutes.

IMG_4601What do you know, we found it – Skippers Fish Camp.  It was located off the main highway (U.S. 17, Altamaha Scenic Highway) and nestled on the waterway facing the marshes.


Well, naturally we had to try it and were not disappointed.  It caters to locals and regional customers as well.   I really enjoyed it.  IMG_4607The fish was delicious and the green beans were just like I like them.  The atmosphere was clean and inviting, along with the great hospitality.   http://www.skippersfishcamp.com/





The outside of the restaurant was just as inviting and promotes a nice fish town ambience.IMG_4603IMG_4612IMG_4604



While leaving the restaurant we noticed an old building with surrounding coquina walls.  Now! We just found something else that was unique, or what I call a “nugget” of interest in my adventures.26485424317_9bf0b85fdf_o


Tabby walls?  According to https://www.tabbyruins.com/blog/darien-tabby-walls-and-adam-strain-building the tabby walls in Darien are the “remnants of the town’s cotton exchange warehouses and naval stores built in 1815-1830. The Adam-Strain Building, built circa 1813, was a mercantile store and ship IMG_4622chandlery.”

Wikipedia identified tabby as a “type of concrete made by burning oyster shells to create lime, then mixing it with water, sand, ash and broken oyster shells.


Tabby was used by early Spanish settlers in present-day North Carolina and Florida, then by English colonists primarily in coastal South Carolina and Georgia.” I wonder who thought of that method first?  I guess through experimentation.

Near the fishing boats is street art reflecting some of the local emphasis as well.



IMG_4615Darien is listed as the second oldest planned city in Georgia.  According to town documents, it is the place where the term “Golden Isles” was coined and “offers a wealth of attractions that, for many, are being discovered for the first time.”  Darien is described by experts as “one of the most important tidal estuarine environments in the world.”  http://www.cityofdarienga.comIMG_4618











Churches and houses have a certain flair that depict the peaceful, historical community.









As we departed from Darien heading south along the scenic highway, just over the Altamaha River, we then noticed remnants of an old plantation – the Butler Island Plantation.

We didn’t take time to explore this area but I’ll post about plantations in the future.

This plantation is no longer maintained like some of the others.  You’ll notice on the 39612708350_7a02f383b3_ohistorical placard that Fannie Kemble wrote her “Journal of Residence on a Georgia Plantation” at this plantation.  It is believed to have influenced England against the Confederacy.


There is another thing that seems to surface in all my travels – the influence of so many countries around the world toward American history and culture.  Although some of these influences involved conflict and bad times, they are part of history and make a lasting impact toward the United States of America.  Let’s consider these impacts toward continuing to improve life here and abroad.  We must learn from history and hopefully will not repeat it – and enjoy the small town nuggets along the way.



9 thoughts on “Quaint Georgia fish town with history

  1. I grew up on the GA coast, (St. Simon’s Island) but moved away when I married. After retirement, no place would attract us to live our the rest of our lived but McIntosh County, where Darien is the county seat. We live on a quiet river that eventually flows into the Atlantic. One mile from us is a National Wildlife preserve, with some of the best birding in the world. Also, 1/2 hour by boat is Sapelo Island, where exits one of the last communities of the Gullah Geechee people. At Darien is a replica of Ft. King George, originally built to keep the Spanish from messing with GA. There is a lot more to see in this area than you found, but I did enjoy your article.

    1. Thanks so much. I enjoy traveling around to find something unique in the less-traveled ways. As I age I have renewed appreciation for all of life. Sometimes we must “let it go” as you emphasize and enjoy every moment, although it’s hard to do.

  2. Looks like you found nuggets indeed! I had never heard of tabby. That is really interesting. Don’t you wonder about the people who built those ruins? I am always somewhat tortured by this. I want to know who built them, what their lives were like, what did the ruins look like new…Many times these are unanswerable questions. Great post, Ron!

    1. Thank you! I agree. These nuggets are everywhere. From some of the research it appears the tabby structures became a popular building material and the British troops soon realized it when they occupied the Georgia coast to counter the threat of the Spanish, particularly around the St. Augustine, Fla. developments. General Oglethorpe expanded the use of tabby. A similar product was already in place in St. Augustine using coquina. It is believed the tabby structures in Darien were built in the early 1800s. Through erosion, fire and people cutting pieces out, the structures began to diminish. This area was a major commercial hub of the U.S. in the 1700s which probably expanded the use of tabby, including the cotton production industry and the plantation era.

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