Magnolia Springs State Park

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Magnolia Springs State Park
Type Public
Location Jenkins County, Georgia
Area 1,071 acres (4.33 km2)
Operated by Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Website Magnolia Springs
Magnolia Springs State Park
Magnolia Springs State Park is located in Georgia (U.S. state)
Magnolia Springs State Park
Location in Georgia
Coordinates: 32°53′12″N 81°57′20″W / 32.88667°N 81.95556°W / 32.88667; -81.95556
Elevation[1] 54 m (177 ft)

Magnolia Springs State Park is a 1,071 acre (4.33 km²) Georgia state park located between Perkins and Millen. The park is well known for its crystal clear springs that are estimated to flow 9 million US gallons (34,000 m3) per day. The park also offers unique wildlife near the springs, including alligators and a freshwater aquarium. During the American Civil War the area that now comprises the park was used as a prison, and was called Camp Lawton. The park still houses remnants of the 10,000-prisoner camp and two huge timbers of the prison recovered from a nearby stream.

The nearby Bo Ginn Aquarium and Fish Hatchery has been closed in recent years.


Camp Lawton was established during the Civil War in the fall of 1864 by the Confederate Army to house Union prisoners of war. The Magnolia Springs site was selected to take advantage of the abundant water supply. Built by slave labor of pine timber harvested on site, the walls measured 12 to 15 feet (4.6 m) high. The stockade began receiving the first of at least 10,299 prisoners in early October. The post was abandoned by the end of November when threatened by Sherman’s drive on Savannah.

Research using ground-penetrating radar (GPR) conducted in December 2009 by the Lamar Institute of Technology revealed a possible location for the southwest corner of the prison stockade. In 2010 Georgia Southern University undertook archaeological investigations to “ground truth” the results of the GPR survey.[2] In August of that year several Georgia Southern archaeology students uncovered the stockade and around 200 Civil War artifacts. The students had used watercolors by an imprisoned private to locate the site.[3] A fence has been erected to keep people away from the archeological dig near the aquarium.


  • 8 picnic shelters
  • group camp
  • 3 group shelters
  • pioneer camping
  • group lodge

Annual events[edit]

  • Arts and crafts festival (April)
  • Federal Encampment and Spring Run (April)
  • Children's Fishing Rodeo (June)
  • 8 km Crosscountry Run (November)
  • Clogging and Square Dancing Weekend (November)


  1. ^ GTOPO30 via GeoNames. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
  2. ^ The Society for Georgia Archaeology, "Georgia Southern University begins archaeological investigations at Magnolia Springs State Park", March 22, 2010. Accessed March 5, 2014.
  3. ^ Phil Gast (August 23, 2010). "Undisturbed artifacts will detail lives of Civil War prisoners". CNN. Retrieved 3 September 2010. 

External links[edit]