Enjoying a Saint Helena Island getaway is always a treat for travelers looking for a place to unwind, relax, and make the most of sun, sand, and surf. It’s also a place where visitors can dig into the area’s rich past with a visit to Fort Freemont. Whether you’re a military history buff or looking to learn more about the place where you’ve set your travel sights, a stop at Fort Freemont is certainly worth your while!
Looking for more adventures during your stay on Fripp Island? Be sure to download our Vacation Guide! No matter what the occasion is, there is something for everyone to do around the island.
A Protective Legacy
In 1898, a war with Spain was looming on the horizon and in light of this fact, Congress authorized the construction of multiple coastal batteries under the Harbor Fortification Defense Act. Fort Fremont was constructed in 1899 at the hands of the Army Corps of Engineers on Saint Helena Island using condemned private property on the island as its foundation. Situated across from the Beaufort River, Fort Fremont enjoyed a place near the Naval Station and was designed as a strategic point of protection to defend the area’s dry dock and coaling station. Both of these features were critical to the Atlantic Fleet throughout the Spanish American war. Fort Fremont was part of a collection of six fortifications built at the time to defend the southeastern coastline. In total, the fort spanned 170 acres and was manned by 110 personnel at its peak. Fort Fremont was designed to include a guard house, barracks, administration buildings, a mess hall, commissary, post exchange, hospital, stable, lavatory, and water tower too.
By 1906, budgetary restraints had government officials considering closing Fort Fremont. The fort was opened to the public to tour by 1908 and by 1911, only a few soldiers were left to man the fort. In 1912, Fort Fremon was deactivated, and the land was put up for sale in 1921. Over the years, many private investors would acquire the land and fort and begin updating and renovating its buildings; at times, the former fort hospital even functioned as a renovated hunting and fishing lodge. It wasn’t until May of 1989 that Fort Fremont earned its place on the National Register of Historic Places and today, visitors can come tour the grounds to enjoy a hands-on encounter with history on Saint Helena Island.
Planning Your Visit
Currently, the Fort Fremont History Center is open to tour on Fridays from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Admission to the History Center on-site is always free and docent-led tours are available upon request exclusively on Saturdays. Visitors will want to note when planning their visit that the Fort Fremont Preserve grounds are open Monday through Sunday and can be toured independently from dawn to dusk. Those who choose to enjoy a self-guided tour of the grounds, or the History Center will want to be sure to download the Fort Fremont Tour App before they set off to explore. This was created by Friends of Fort Fremont to ensure those enjoying a self-guided tour have insightful information to discover along the way.
Book Your Stay Today
When you’re looking to elevate your getaway with added luxury and style, be sure to book your accommodations at the Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort. Reach out today to learn more about our exciting and inviting options available!