St. Marys, Georgia

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St. Marys is a city in Camden County, Georgia, United States. The city is the gateway to Cumberland Island National Seashore, the largest of the Georgia Coast's barrier islands. The Island’s visitor center and boat access are both located at the St. Marys waterfront. The city is also home to the annual St. Marys Rock Shrimp Festival, the St. Marys Submarine Museum, the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, and to eight Ohio-class submarines. The population of St. Marys was 13,761 at the 2000 census.

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Geography

St. Marys is located at 30°45′23″N 81°34′17″W / 30.75639°N 81.57139°W / 30.75639; -81.57139 (30.756264, -81.571287)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.3 square miles (52.6 km²), of which, 18.8 square miles (48.6 km²) of it is land and 1.5 square miles (4.0 km²) of it (7.54%) is water.

The closest major city is Jacksonville, Florida (39.8 miles south).

History

St. Marys is the second oldest continuously inhabited city in the United States, after St. Augustine, Florida. The city was first settled in the mid 16th century by the Spanish. An act of the state legislature on December 5, 1792 established the town and it was incorporated in November 1802.

During the War of 1812 the Battle of Fort Peter occurred near the town, at the fort on Point Peter and along St. Marys River. The British captured the fort and the town and occupied it for about a month.

The United States Navy bombarded the town's shore side buildings during the American Civil War.

St. Marys served as Camden County's seat of government from 1869 until 1923.[4]

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