Press Release, from the Friends of Fort Fremont
Fort Fremont Documentary Premiers
The untold story of our local historic landmark
Beaufort, SC – The Friends of Fort Fremont and the Beaufort County Library announce the public premier of a newly released documentary on the history of Fort Fremont and Beaufort’s role during the Spanish-American War. “Fort Fremont: The Last Bastion in the Defense of Port Royal Sound 1898 – 1912” will be shown at 4:00 p.m. on January 18, 2018 at the St. Helena Public Library.
Port Royal Sound with its deep natural harbor played a strategic military role in the history of the area since the Spanish arrived in the 16th century. Three hundred and fifty years later, Fort Fremont marked the final chapter of coastal fortifications on Port Royal Sound.
The newly released film documents how national and world events conspired to select the remote sea island of St. Helena as the location for one of the most sophisticated defense structures of its time. The Fort played a vital role in protecting the U.S. Naval Station at Parris Island which had a strategic dry dock and coaling station critical to the Atlantic naval fleet during the Spanish-American War. The Battleship USS Maine made one its last stops for provisions here on its way to Havana, Cuba, where the sinking of the Maine ignited the start of the war with Spain.
Using vintage video and photographs, this film documents how geography, technology, national security, and politics interacted to shape the fortunes of Beaufort during the Spanish-America War.
Historian and author, Dr. Larry Rowland said, “[Fort Fremont] is a magnificent artifact of an era—an era that has been neglected at the turn of the 20th century. It is a piece of history that is disappearing. The Friends of Fort Fremont and Beaufort County have preserved it for the use of the public as a memorial to that moment in history.”
Located on St. Helena Island, the Fort Fremont Preserve is a 15-acre passive park purchased by Beaufort County in 2004 through the Rural and Critical Lands Preservation Program and the Trust for Public Land. Fort Fremont is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Archaeological Legacy Institute has selected the documentary to be shown at Archeology Channel International Film Festival in Eugene, Or in May 2018.
Beaufort Branch Library, Monday, January 22 at 2:00 pm
Bluffton Branch Library, Thursday, January 25 at 2:00 pm
Hilton Head Branch Library, Corrected date: Friday, March 2 at 11:00 am