Fascinating TV documentary on St. Catherines Island, Georgia
St. Catherines Island is part of the Golden Isles of Georgia and immediately north of the mouth of the Altamaha River. It was one of the islands visited by the French Huguenot colonists of Fort Caroline in 1564 and 1565, but very soon thereafter became the site of one of the first Spanish missions in North America, Mission Santa Catalina de Guale. From around 1600 to 1685, it was the headquarters of the Spanish mission system on the South Atlantic Coast. Plantations were developed here in the 1700s by Anglo-American colonists, which continued operation until the American Civil War.
In the 20th century, the owners allowed the island to return to its natural state. The site of the mission was discovered in the 1980s and excavated by archaeologists of the American Museum of Natural History. Archaeological work continues on both the site of Spanish structures and several Native American villages. However, the primary function today is as an ecological laboratory and a location for breeding endangered species from around the world. Particularly successful is the Ring-tailed Lemur Colony. This species of lemur is facing extinction in its home island of Madagascar, but thriving on the Georgia Coast.
The documentary by Georgia Public Television is divided in two parts. The first half explores the natural environment of St. Catherines Island, while the second half describes its rich Native American and Spanish Colonial history. This is very beautiful television program, which I sure you will enjoy watching.
Here is the URL of the program:
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