Fort Jackson Preservation Project Complete - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/27/04

Fort Jackson Preservation Project Complete

Cutting the ribbon on the project. Cutting the ribbon on the project.

A national landmark is getting a multimillion dollar facelift. Today, the US Army Corps of Engineers and Coastal Heritage Society unveiled the new Old Fort Jackson. A lot of hard work went into preserving the fort for future generations.

Visiting the fort is like taking a trip back in time. Built in 1808, it defended the Savannah River from naval attacks. Even now, not much has changed on the fort, but its surroundings are definitely different.

"The Savannah River has changed a great deal in the past 200 years," said Scott Smith with the Coastal Heritage Society.

Over time, the river eroded parts of Fort Jackson, which, if allowed to continue, could eventually cause the 196-year-old structure to crumble into the river.

"What would happen is the foundation underneath the fort would be exposed and it's a wooden foundation," explained the Corps of Engineers' Abigail Pickard.

To protect that foundation, the US Army Corps of Engineers has placed more than 6,000 tons of rock on the river bank.

"Fort Jackson now needs to be protected by man-made means instead of natural resources it was built on," said Smith.

Today, they held a ceremony to celebrate the project. The Coastal Heritage Society and the US Army Corps of Engineers both agreed this project was rewarding not only for them, but for future generations who will be able to visit this historic landmark.

"It is our intention this fort, a national landmark, last as long as possible," said Smith.

Any future restoration projects at Fort Jackson will be handled by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com

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