Page 4 - Port Wentworth NCG 2011
P. 4

• At-A-Glance

                                                                                          Shortly after General

                                                                                          James Oglethorpe first
                                                                                          established the city of
                                                                                          Savannah in the early

                                                                                          1700s, English colonists
                                                                                          in the Trust Colony of
                                                                                          Georgia began spreading
                                                                                          outside the city limits.

        Port Wentworth At-A-Glance

        h        he  early  colonists  of  Port  Southern  states  in  the  early  1790s.
        h        h T  Wentworth began establish-  Sadly, the great plantation house was
                 h R
                 ing farms and plantations  destroyed in 1864 by General William
        on the outskirts of Savannah, trading  Sherman during his march to Savan-
        with the Native Americans, and bring-  nah and the sea. Sherman’s historic
        ing the land’s proceeds to Savannah   route was along what is now known as
        for trade. The Mary Musgrove Trading   Highway 21.
        Post, one of the last Native American   After  the Civil  War, the  city grew    2008 Dixie Crystal
                                                                                   Sugar Refinery
        sites in Chatham County, was located   along with the area, especially after   z
        on the site in Port Wentworth now oc-  World War II when returning GIs dis-  Explosion
        cupied by the Georgia Ports Authority.  covered the area was ideal for raising
          These colonists founded Port Wen-                                          February 7, 2008 was a dark day
        tworth in 1733.While it was once    their new families. These same GIs     in Port Wentworth, when a sugar
                                            found jobs here in lumber (pulp and
        thought that they named it after Lady   paper), railroad, ship building, a sugar   dust explosion at Imperial Sugar’s
        Henrietta Maria Wentworth of England                                       large Dixie Crystal refinery killed
        (1660-1686), the sixth Baroness Went-   refinery, banking, and brick kilns, and   14 people and injured 42.
        worth,  the truth  is the  town was   in neighboring Savannah. Port Went-    As a result of the disaster, the
        named for G.W. Wentworth, president   worth incorporated in 1957, and our   local economy slumped while
        of Great Eastern Lumber Company, the   residents continue to find the city one   the  factory  remained  sidelined.
        town’s first industry.              of which they are proud to be a part.  In November 2009, the extensive
          The colonists developed large rice  •  Population, 2009: 4,167           rebuild project at the refinery
        and cotton plantations that were fed                                       was completed successfully, as
        by the Savannah River, one of which   • Location:  in  Chatham  County,    three new 156 foot-tall sugar silos
        was Mulberry Grove Plantation, best   Eastern Georgia, near neighboring    became fully operational.
        known as the site where Eli Whit-   Effingham  and  Bryan  counties,  at  the   As a tribute to the 14 who lost
        ney invented the cotton gin in 1793,   northern-most Exit 109 on Interstate   their lives that cold February
        which revolutionized the South. Mul-  95 in Georgia. Ten miles south of this   night, a huge bronze statue
        berry Grove and its neighbor, Drakie   exit is the intersection of I-95 and I-16,   depicting the hands of God
        Plantation, were once an integral part   from which trucks can carry goods west.   releasing 14 doves now stands in
        of Georgia’s First City, growing the   • Climate:  Summer temperatures     the middle of Legacy Park across
        crops and creating  the technology   are in the 80°-90°F range; winters    from the plant. Inside the granite
        necessary to make Savannah an impor-  range in the 50s. The annual average   base rests a time capsule, with
        tant international port.            precipitation at Port Wentworth is 49   a Bible and the thoughts and
          George Washington stayed at Mul-  inches. The wettest month of the year   prayers of dozens of people.
        berry Grove twice during tours of the  is August, averaging 7 inches.

                       Port Wentworth Community Guide 2011-2012  •  •  912-965-1999
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