Fort Frederick Cultural Heritage Preserve

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Heritage Trust Program launched the Fort Frederick Heritage Preserve documentary film series on their website and through a series of public screenings in July and August. SC Humanities supported this documentary film series with a Major Grant in February 2015.

The Fort Frederick Heritage Preserve is a 3-acre property owned by the SC Department of Natural Resources and located in Port Royal in Beaufort County. The preserve contains the remains of a tabby fort built by the British between 1730 and 1734 to defend against a possible attack from the Spanish at St. Augustine.

Archaeological excavations, tabby restoration, and public tours at Fort Frederick Heritage Preserve took place throughout the winter of 2014 – 2015 and were documented through a series of short films, which are now available on the DNR website at and in HD versions through the filmmakers’ website at Additionally, there are lesson plans, a cultural resources vocabulary list, and a survey available on the DNR website.


The films premiered on July 24 for the International Day of Archaeology. Additional screenings are scheduled for:

Tuesday, August 11 at 6pm for the Foothills Chapter of the Archaeological Society of South Carolina (Spartanburg Community College Tyger River Campus on Hwy 290, Duncan, SC 29334, Room 218).

Thursday, August 13 at 11am for the Beaufort Chapter of the Archaeological Society of South Carolina and the Beaufort District Collections (Beaufort Meeting Room of the Beaufort County Library, 311 Scott Street, Beaufort, SC). Seating for this screening is limited to 50. A visit to Fort Frederick Heritage Preserve will follow and is only open to people who attended the film screening. Individuals are responsible for their own transportation to the preserve.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 23-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state.  It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.

Image Top: Nineteenth century artifacts excavated from the Smith’s Plantation component of the Fort Frederick Heritage Preserve. Image courtesy of Meg Gaillard

Image Bottom: Tabby restoration expert, Rick Wightman fills molds with recently mixed tabby at Fort Frederick Heritage Preserve while filmmaker Jamie Koelker documents the process. Image courtesy of Meg Gaillard