Charlesfort-Santa Elena Site
Designated a National Historic Landmark in 2001, the Charlesfort-Santa Elena Site is significant because it was here that Spain and France attempted to establish permanent settlements in the mid-16th century. French Huguenots fleeing persecution arrived here in 1562 and established a settlement/fort called Charlesfort. They abandoned it a year later. In 1566, the Spanish arrived and founded their first capital of Florida, Santa Elena. They built right on top of the French fort and were eventually able to build a small village that included a plaza. The Spanish were here for 21 years, until threats from Native Americans, the French, English, disease and other factors forced them to abandon the site. In 1915, the Marines established the Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island. It is possible to reach the site by going to The Legends at Parris Island Pro Shop. The site features historical markers and monuments.
Backstory and Context