Named after James Jackson, Old Fort Jackson is a beautifully preserved fort along the Savannah River, and is Georgia’s oldest standing brick fortification.
Old Fort Jackson is a must-see National Historic Landmark offering weekend cannon firings year-round, and daily interactive programs scheduled March through October. Minutes away from Savannah’s Historic District, visitors of all ages experience unique views of Savannah’s river-front skyline and the Tallmadge Bridge while walking the grounds of one of the oldest brick fortifications along the East Coast.
Named for James Jackson, the fort is the oldest standing fort in Georgia. It was not the first fort to occupy the site, however. In 1776 Savannah residents built an earthen fort, which was destroyed by the construction of Fort Jackson.
Visiting Old Fort Jackson
Plan on spending at least 1 hour when you visit the fort. As you leave the Tybee Depot the site of the C. S. S Georgia is directly in front, near a cannon embankment. From here continue to the sentry box in front of the “sally port,” the techical designation for the entrance to a fort. The open land in front of the fort was once a rice field.
After entering through the sally port there is a brief film describing the history of Old Fort Jackson. A highlight of the visit is the Coastal Heritage Society exhibits that explain the fort’s relationship with the city of Savannah, weapons used at the fort, and the fort itself. These displays are locate in the casemates (technically a protected chamber within the fort) beneath the ramparts .
Then comes the tour of the ramparts itself. In addition to the cannon, there is a beautiful view of the Savannah River and the coastal plain. Leaving the rampart be sure to visit the privy in the southeast corner of the fort. Once a day the tidal nature of the river would “flush” it out.