Welcome to www.n-georgia.com Discover Columbus Square and Vernon Square in Darien Georgia - Trains arrived daily at Columbus Square then turned around for a return trip to Tattnall County. In the 1800s, Vernon Square was the business, cultural, social, and religious center of Darien.
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Columbus Square
Columbus Square historical marker reads: "Near this point the Darien and Western Railroad reached its terminus in 1895 after six years of construction.

Trains arrived daily at Columbus Square then turned around for a return trip to Tattnall County. The D&W later became the Georgia Coast & Piedmont and a depot was built in 1914 at the Darien waterfront, when the rail line was extended to Brunswick. Until then, Columbus Square was the transportation hub of Darien."

Another Historical Marker reads:
"In 1889, the Darien Shortline Railroad was organized to transport yellow pine timber to the Darien sawmills from Georgia’s interior. Originating in Tattnall County and continuing through Liberty County, the Darien & Western line was completed in 1895 to its terminus near this site where a passenger depot was built, now marked by the gazebo. In 1906, the line was bought by the Georgia Coast & Piedmont Railroad, which extended the line 18 miles south to Brunswick in 1914. The train depot was then moved from Columbus Square to the riverfront near the present U.S. Highway 17 bridge. The depot burned in 1971."

Located along Jefferson Street.
Vernon Square
In the 1800s, Vernon Square was the business, cultural, social, and religious center of Darien.

Vernon Square was built in 1806. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Square follows the concept of early town planning utilized by James Oglethorpe in Savannah in 1733. It is one of several planned squares in the community. Throughout the 19th Century, Vernon Square was the business, cultural, social and religious center of Darien. A number of the surviving historic homes were the residence of the lumber barons and leading merchants during the timber era when Darien was one of the top two ports on the coast.

The Methodist Church was originally built in 1843, partially damaged during the Civil War, then rebuilt in 1884 with many of the materials of the first church. St. Andrews Episcopal Church, built in 1878, was the site of the famous Bank of Darien. Open Gates, a bed and breakfast, was built in 1878 by sawmill owner Isaac Aiken. Hilton House, on south Vernon Square, was built by timber baron Joseph Hilton in 1875. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Vernon Square historical marker reads:
"During the 19th and early 20th centuries this area was the business, social and religious center of Darien. The powerful Bank of Darien with branches in five cities operated here until 1842. Prominent merchants and timber barons lived in homes around Vernon square when Darien was one of the world's leading exporters of pine timber from 1870 to 1910. The Methodist and Episcopal churches on the Square were both established in the 1840's."
Darien's city squares are sites of festivals, art shows, outdoor entertainment, family get-togethers, and leisurely walks. James Oglethorpe, British general, philanthropist, and founder of the colony of Georgia, planned the squares for the City of Darien following the city squares design he used when laying out Savannah a few years earlier.
Contact Info
More info and pictures. Much of the information in this section is taken directly from "Memories Of McIntosh," a brief history of McIntosh County, Darien and Sapelo, just one of several splendid works from Buddy Sullivan. His books can be obtained at Amazon.com, in local shops, at the Darien Chamber of Commerce and The Darien News (P.O. Box 496, Darien, GA 31305)
Vernon Square in Darien GA

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