“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Darien in McIntosh County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)

Lower Bluff Sawmill

Fort King George Historic Site

Lower Bluff Sawmill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 22, 2013
1. Lower Bluff Sawmill Marker
Inscription. The ruins in front of you were the foundations of the Darien Eastern Sawmill, later to be called the Hilton & Dodge Lumber Company, or Lower Bluff Mill. The Darien Eastern Sawmill built in 1819, was one of the first steam-powered sawmills to be operated in the Southeast. The picture to the above left, made in the late 1800s, was taken from the tiny island hammock in the log basin behind you. By the time it became the Hilton & Dodge Lumber Company in 1888, this mill was a major economic engine for the area. It sawed millions of feet in lumber each year, helping to make Darien on the richest timber ports on the east coast. Cypress and yellow pine were cut far upriver, snaked out of the swamps, made into rafts and floated down to this site where they were stored in large log basins. The logs were later retrieved from storage by a steam-powered conveyor belt or crane that entered logs into the mill where they were processed. Timber schooners from all over the world came to this bluff to pick up this highly valued lumber. Ballast stones from these ships are found on this site. The two islands in the marsh beyond the bluff are made from ballast stones emptied off schooners arriving to this bluff. Due to the major depletion of large cypress and pine trees upriver, this mill shut down in the early 1900s.
Lower Bluff Sawmill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 22, 2013
2. Lower Bluff Sawmill Marker
31° 21.864′ N, 81° 24.948′ W. Marker is in Darien, Georgia, in McIntosh County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of McIntosh Road and Wayne Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. This marker is on the grounds of the Fort King George Historical Site. Marker is at or near this postal address: 302 McIntosh Road, Darien GA 31305, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. How Steam Engines Worked (here, next to this marker); Guale Indian Village (here, next to this marker); 200 Years of Sawmilling (a few steps from this marker); Old Fort King George (a few steps from this marker); To The Soldiers Of Fort King George (within shouting distance of this marker); The Savannah Lumber Company (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of Early Spanish Mission (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Birthplace of John McIntosh Kell (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Darien.
Also see . . .  Fort King George Historic Site. (Submitted on November 16, 2013.)
Categories. Forts, CastlesIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 15, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 304 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 15, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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