The land that Fort Gordon sits on has been occupied since around 10,000 BC. Cultural resources in the form of archaeological sites, artifacts, historic home site, and army construction represent the various groups that lived on this land before and after Fort Gordon was established.
Over 1150 archaeological sites have been identified on Fort Gordon, of which 166 are eligible or potentially eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Woodworth Library, Building 33500, is currently the only eligible historic building on Fort Gordon. The library has been determined exceptionally significant for its unique architectural style not only for an army library, but also for the architecture present on Fort Gordon and in state of Georgia.
Because archaeological sites are scattered throughout the installation, you must receive permission from DPWL-Environmental Branch prior to any action that involves ground disturbance, ideally in the initial planning stages. Un-permitted metal detecting is also prohibited on Fort Gordon.
About the Program
As a federal agency, Fort Gordon, is directed not only by Federal laws (see sidebar) but also by Army regulations (AR 200-4) to be a good steward of culturally and historically significant sites for the pubic.
All work order projects and training projects are reviewed through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process to determine impacts to Cultural Resources. The integration of cultural resource review within the NEPA process allows for an opportunity to monitor potential impacts to historic properties by DPWL and cultural resource staff. The cultural resource staff reviews projects that involve any buildings or any type of ground disturbing activity.
Training projects are initially submitted through Range Control. Units are required to fill out an environmental checklist that provides a detailed description of the planned training activities so environmental staff can easily review these activities for impacts.
The Cultural Resource Program at Fort Gordon uses two policy documents. Fort Gordon’s Integrate Cultural Resource Management Plan (ICRMP) is a five year plan that establishes program goals and cultural resource management standing operating procedures (SOP’s). The Cultural Resource Program also has a Programmatic Agreement (PA) with the Georgia State Historic Preservation Officer to streamline the project review process for impacts to cultural resources.
From the 1970’s to the 1990’s small project specific survey have taken place at various areas around the Installation. In the early 1990’s large scale Phase I surveys of the training areas were driven by timber harvests. The timber harvest surveys, which occurred over 4 years resulted in 77% of the Installation to be surveyed. Also in the early 1990’s several historic mill sites were surveyed following a flooding episode that breached several earthen dams. A little under 30 sites have had Phase II Testing to date. The only areas that have not been surveyed for archaeological sites are the artillery impact area, because of safety concerns, and the heavily disturbed areas of the cantonment.
Historic Building Surveys:
All of the following building surveys were completed in 2005
- The Boardman Lake Residences, built by the Boardman family in the 1920’s.
- All buildings built between 1942-56.
- All Cold War (1957-1989) buildings.
Artifacts excavated on Fort Gordon, represent every stage of human occupation in this area. Cultural items from Native American sites consists mainly of stone tools and ceramic sherds. Historic artifacts found on the Installation are from European settlers and early twentieth century farmers.
Gordon’s artifacts are housed in the curation facility at the University of Georgia (UGA), Athens which fulfills the repository requirements under 36 CFR 79, Curation of Federally-Owned and Administered Archaeological Collections. Fort Gordon cultural resource staff conducted an annual visit to the UGA facility in August 2006. The facility has taken steps to curate and maintain the current condition of the artifacts. All cultural material from the installation has been re-bagged and boxed in archival materials.
Fort Gordon contains over 60 historic cemeteries. With the exception of two POW cemeteries, all historic cemeteries on the installation existed as family cemeteries when the military bought the land. The inventory of cemeteries and markers have been surveyed in their entirety twice. Cemetery condition is documented through annual field monitoring by Cultural Resource staff.
information on how to visit any historic cemeteries on Fort Gordon please contact the Public Affairs Office at (706) 791-1871.
- Directorate of Public Works and Logistic
- Attn: IMSE-GOR-PWB
- 527 15th Street, Bldg 14500
- Fort Gordon, GA 30905-5040
Cultural Resource Manager
- (706) 791-6374
Cultural Resource Specialist
- Phone: (706) 791-2403