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National Historic Landmark APALACHICOLA FORT

Location: Russell County, on the west bank of the Chattahoochee River, near Holy Trinity.

Ownership and Administration. Privately owned.

Significance. The northernmost Spanish outpost on the Chattahoochee River, this fort was built by the Spanish about 1689 in an attempt to prevent the English from gaining a foothold among the Lower Creek Indians. It was a key Spanish outpost in the imperial struggle to control the Indians in the present Southeastern United States.

Beginning in 1675, Spanish missionaries attempted to convert the Lower Creeks along the Chattahoochee, but they were unsuccessful. When the Indians came under the influence of English traders 10 years later, the Spanish retaliated with punitive raids. Despite the burning of several Lower Creek towns and the construction of Apalachicola Fort in the heart of the Indian territory, the Spaniards failed to gain control over the tribe.

The Lower Creeks moved many of their towns to the Ocmulgee and Oconee Rivers in present Georgia to be nearer the English. Aided and led by the English, the Creeks destroyed many of the Spanish missions among the Timucua Indians and seriously threatened even St. Augustine. The Spanish abandoned and destroyed Apalachicola Fort in 1691 because of the English threat.

The palisade of the fort was rectangular, roughly 61 by 53 feet, and had corner bastions. It was constructed of wattle and daub and reinforced by an exterior half-wall of clay. A moat surrounded the palisade. Limited archeological excavations at the site, conducted by the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Alabama, have uncovered evidence of the fort which agrees with the historical records. Majolica sherds and olive jar fragments, of Spanish origin and correct time period, were found.

Present Appearance. The site, on the margin of the Walter F. George Reservoir, is well preserved; the line of the moat is clearly visible. The land is now utilized for pasture. [1]

NHL Designation: 07/19/64

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Last Updated: 22-Mar-2005