Monday, March 27, 2017

On the River in Downtown Darien

Tim Kelley
Circa 1813-1815. This corner was the scene of commercial activities during the antebellum period. A two-story cotton warehouse and ship chandlery built circa 1820 on the site survived the burning of Darien in June 1863 by raiding Union forces from St. Simons Island. It was the mercantile establishment of Adam Strain from ca. 1870 to 1897. A portion of the structure was used to house the Darien Bank from 1913 to... 1961. The Adam Strain Building is a stuccoed tabby two-store warehouse and the oldest commercial building in Darien. The tabby ruins directly behind the Adam Strain Building, sitting on the waterfront, are reminders of the time when Darien was one of the leading Atlantic commercial ports for the export of cotton and timber. There were trwo separate eras of Darien's commercial success; the first, featuring the export of cotton grown inland and rafted down the river, lasted from c. 1810 to 1845. The second saw Darien's rise from total destruction in the Civil War to become the second-leading timber exporting port on the southern coast from c. 1870 - 1910. These ruins were constructed c. 1815-1830. The Darien waterfront was rebuilt after devastating fires in 1812 and 1824.

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