The Fort Daniel Historic and Archaeological Research Site

The Fort Daniel Historic and Archaeological Research Site
Gwinnet County Board of Commissioners
Smyrna, GA

The Fort Daniel Foundation, Incorporated and its sister organization, the Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society (GARS), brought together a group of professional and avocational historians and archaeologists who were enthusiastic about discovering, recording, and preserving, when possible, notable sites important to Gwinnett County’s history. One of the fastest growing counties in the United States, Gwinnett County was losing significant sites to development on an almost daily basis.

One such endangered site was Fort Daniel, a fort that was constructed during the War of 1812 to protect the Georgia frontier in northern Gwinnett County. This Fort was served as an important supply and communications route to help counteract threats in neighboring Alabama. Georgia and Tennessee Militias stationed at Fort Daniel helped in the assembly of supplies that would be later transported over a wagon road to another fort that was being built on the Chattahoochee River. Fort Daniel was abandoned after the war and its log structures faded into history.

In 2007, GARS members re-discovered the actual site of Fort Daniel and a non-profit organization, The Fort Daniel Foundation (FDF), was formed which helped to increase the visibility of this project. The property was purchased by Gwinnett County in late 2012. In early 2013, FDF signed an agreement with the County to lease the property and develop it as a county history and archaeology park, which today is still under construction. The collaboration between the Fort Daniel Foundation and Gwinnett County is a great example of government/private sector cooperation to develop a project that will benefit local and state citizens for many years to come.

Ongoing and future educational programs at Fort Daniel include a teaching trunk to provide educators with reproductions of artifacts and gain an introductory level into the field of archaeology. A multimedia aid for educators and students with the basic concepts of archaeology and a pilot program for a field study that will meet common core curriculum standards are a part of ongoing programming at Fort Daniel. In addition, Boy Scout and Girl Scout programs as well as other community outreach events continue to be offered.

This archaeological site provides a unique opportunity to engage in hands-on learning, to foster an understanding of this time period in local history, and to provide opportunities for teaching the importance of preservation to the next generation.