Columbus Square, 1805, Darien

Darien traces its origins to 1736, though throughout the 18th century, settlement was sporadic and the town was practically abandoned at times. Oglethorpe and later Lachlan McIntosh made plans for the layout of the city but due to its transient nature, these were never fully implemented or were lost to other uses. In 1805, the city was resurveyed by Thomas McCall and a system based on Oglethorpe’s “Savannah Plan” was adopted, incorporating twelve wards anchored by squares. Two of the original wards from that era, Vernon and Columbus, remain, and their squares now serve as green spaces in Darien’s historic residential area.

In 1895, Vernon Square became the terminus of the Tattnall County-based Darien & Western Railroad, who built a passenger depot near the location of the present-day gazebo. The line was purchased by the Georgia Coast & Piedmont Railroad in 1906, who extended service south to Brunswick in 1915, at which point the depot was moved to the waterfront. It burned in 1971.

Vernon Square-Columbus Square Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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