Aerial view of Fort King George historic site near Darien, Georgia.

Darien, Georgia

Darien is a small city situated in McIntosh County in the southeastern portion of the US State of Georgia. Forming a part of the "Brunswick, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area," Darien is located at the Altamaha River's mouth, about 4 hours from the state capital Atlanta and 1 hour from Savannah

Geography And Climate Of Darien

Shrimp boats moored at sunset at a dock near Darien, Georgia
Shrimp boats moored at sunset at a dock near Darien, Georgia. Editorial credit: Bob Pool /

The city of Darien covers a total area of 62.26 sq. km, of which 54.82 sq. km is occupied by land and 7.44 sq. km is covered by water. The temperature in Darien can reach as high as 32 degrees Celsius in the summer and a low of 5 degrees Celsius in the winter. The state of Georgia itself has a humid subtropical climate, with very warm summers and relatively mild winters. 

History Of Darien

Adam Strain Building in Darien, Georgia
Adam Strain Building at Broad and Screven the only existing building that survived the 1863 burning of Darien by the US Army. 

Darien is Georgia's second oldest planned city. The area's initial European settlement was Fort King George in 1721, built by the British. That fort would be abandoned, but the town of Darien itself was founded by Scottish settlers in 1736. Darien was named after the former Scottish settlement of Darien in Panama, and the people of Darien are said to have traded with the Creek Native American people. After crop failures, Darien focused on timber and cattle. Many of the most influential people in Darien signed a petition to try and prevent the act of slavery in Georgia in 1739. Still, the state eventually became a prominent slave state and later a Confederate member. The city would remain an anti-slavery stronghold until the Civil War started in 1861. Nonetheless, Union troops actually ended up sacking the town in 1863 under the command of William Tecumseh Sherman. After the Civil War, Darien focused on shipping and fishing. Darien was also caught up in Jim Crow doctrine in the post-civil war period. There was an infamous lynching of two African American men without trial, by a mob, due to a bank robbery in 1930. After the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968, Darien began modernizing. Today, Darien relies on tourism and waterfront business, and the population is still relatively small.

The Population And Economy Of Darien

Darien has a population of 1,460 inhabitants. About 55% of this population is White, 37 percent is Black, and the remaining population sits in only the tens in terms of population numbers. Only 31% of Darien claims to be religious, and 11% of those people adhere to the Baptist Christian tradition. The rest adhere to other varying forms of Christianity.

A lot of Darien's economy relies on waterfront business, its place along the highways, and tourism. Tourism in Darien is surprisingly fruitful. One can visit Fort King George, the oldest building in the town. One can also relax or shop on the waterfront or can take in art at the Old Jail Art Center and Museum. Georgia Peach World provides snacks and beverages based around one of the state's most popular fruits - peach! Darien can seem small and unassuming, but the town is teeming with history and heritage. While places like Atlanta, Athens, and Savannah are the primary go-to's for tourists to Georgia, it is safe to say that Darien is worth at least stopping in to take a good look.

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