As General James Oglethorpe explored thisarea along the Medway River in 1734, hemarveled at its potential for a seaport city.Captain Mark Carr was a member of Oglethorpe's regiment and an early settler in this area of Georgia. As trade increasedin early colonial Georgia, Captain Carrpetitioned for a land grant to bringOglethorpe's idea into reality. He was allotted 500 acres from the King of England.Using this land, Carr established the town of Sundbury in 1758. Carr was an earlydeveloper. He laid out lots and public squares here on the Medway River inSt. John's Parish. He hoped to sell theselots for a profit.
The Growth of a Town
Sunbury started as a seaport for thesettlement of Medway, which lay 10 milesinland, and for surrounding farms and plantations in the parish. As migrationto the town increased, Sunbury's port rivaled Savannah's trade market andbecame the second - largest shippingport in colonial Georgia. In fact,Sunbury was the second - largest townin Georgia just before the Revolution, with a population off approximately 1,000.
The Beginning of the End
The Revolutionary War ruined the prosperous town of Sunbury. By 1778, the British occupied much of coastal Georgia,including Savannah, but not Sunbury. Thecolonial forces fought off a British attackby sea in November 1778, using cannonfire on the British ships. A second Britishfleet attack on Sunbury was successful. The British occupied the town for threeyears and left it in shambles. Sunburynever recovered from the effects of war.Sunbury, like other Southern cities andtowns, saw many deaths from Yellow Feverin 1700s, and suffered more troubles whentwo hurricanes struck in 1804 and 1824.By the middle of the 1800s, Sunbury hadbecome nearly a ghost town.