|Sir Mildred Pierce on flickr.com|
1. Fort Clinch State Park: Named for General Duncan Lamont Clinch, a prominent figure of the Second Seminole War, construction of Fort Clinch began in 1847. Fort Clinch is one of the most well-preserved 19th century forts in the country. No battles were ever fought at the fort, although it was garrisoned during both the Civil and Spanish-American wars.
2. Fort Cooper State Park: In 1836, the First Georgia Battalion of Volunteers built a stockade for the soldiers resting along the banks of Lake Holathlikaha. The Volunteers were forced to hold their own against the Seminole Indians through several skirmishes. The park is named in honor of Major Mark Anthony Cooper, commander of 380 First Georgia Battalion Volunteers.
3. Fort Foster Historic State Site: Fort Foster is part of Hillsborough River State Park and is a fort reconstructed from the Second Seminole War. The interpretive center of the park has more than 100 artifacts on display that were found at the Fort Foster Historic Site and offer an insight on both sides of the conflict between the Seminole nation and the U.S. military.
4. Fort Mose Historic State Park: Fort Mose is the site of the first legally sanctioned free African settlement in what is now the United States. In 1738, the Spanish governor of Florida chartered the settlement of Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, or Fort Mose, as a settlement for those fleeing slavery from the English colonies in the Carolinas. Although there are no remains of the earth and wooden structures, visitors can still view the land where the settlement once stood.
5. Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park: Florida’s southernmost state park was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1973 and is popular for its recreation, as well as U.S. military history. The fort was one of a series built in the mid-1800s to defend the nation’s southeastern coastline. Fort Zachary Taylor played important roles in the Civil War and Spanish-American War.
6. Paynes Creek Historic State Park: During the 1840s, tensions between settlers and the Seminole Indians prompted authorities to establish a trading post in Florida’s interior, away from settlements. In late 1849, after the post was attacked and destroyed by renegade Indians, Fort Chokonikla was built as the first outpost in a chain of forts established to control the Seminoles.
7. San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park: The history of this National Landmark dates back to 1528 when Panfilo de Narvaez arrived in the area with 300 men. However, the first fort was not built until 1679. Andrew Jackson occupied the fort during the early 1800s. The final confrontation at San Marcos occurred in 1861 when the Confederates took the fort, renaming it Fort Ward. Pottery and tools unearthed near the original fort are displayed in the museum.