Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fort Fanning Historic Park - A Seminole War Fort on the Suwannee

With all the emphasis placed on Civil War history today, it is often forgotten that the Seminole Wars were far more bloody and brutal for Floridians. Fighting literaly took place from one end of the state to the other and the national cemetery at St. Augustine alone contains the remains of more than 1,468 men who died in the confict.

Thirty-one of these men died at an important but little known post on the Suwannee River at present-day Fanning Springs. Named Fort Fanning in honor of Colonel Alexander C.W. Fanning, a hero of the War of 1812 and Second Seminole War, the log stockade overlooked an important crossing of the river.

The fort served as a base of operations for U.S. and Florida Militia troops that tried to suppress the activities of small bands of Native American warriors - Creek and Seminole - that operated from the vast swamps of the lower Suwannee. Raids and fights were a constant part of life in the region for both whites and Indians during the years 1836-1842.

The site of Fort Fanning is preserved today, thanks to the dedicated efforts of the town of Fanning Springs and local concerned citizens. Through a multi-agency partnership, the community is now home to Fort Fanning Historic Park. Located at the original fort site, the park features the reconstructed gates and a section of stockade wall of Fort Fanning, paved walking paths leading through the site and a series of beautiful overlooks that provide great views of the famed Suwannee River.

To learn more, please visit

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