Fort Fremont lies at the southern end of St. Helena Island in Beaufort. Abandoned almost 100 years ago, the fort was built in the late 1890s as part of a new coastal defense program during the Spanish American War. The fort was deactivated in 1912 and was only used for about a decade.
Fort Fremont was named after General John C. Fremont, who was an explorer, U.S. Senator from California, abolitionist, and 1856 Republican presidential candidate. The fort was a self-sufficient installation and included barracks, mess halls, officer’s quarters, a hospital, administrative buildings, and a water tower. All that survives today are the concrete fortifications. A coastal artillery company of 108 soldiers remained at Fort Fremont until 1911, and in 1930 the fort was sold to the public.
The interior of the fort is covered in graffiti. Volunteers have worked for the past couple of years to clear the land around the fort and remove graffiti from the exterior. The fort is open to the public and free to visit. Volunteers lead a guided tour on the fourth Saturday of everything month.