Monday, December 1, 2014

            Happy December ya’ll! We just wouldn't be in the proper spirit if this week’s post didn't tie into the holiday season. Did you know that there is both a town and fort in Florida named “Christmas”?
Now do you believe me? 

Entrance to Fort Christmas 

The town (in what is now southern Orange County) gets its name from the construction of a Second Seminole War-era fort, commenced on December 25th, 1837 with the arrival of some two-thousand soldiers and volunteers. During this time, the expansion of white settlers to south Florida reinvigorated aspirations to remove Seminole Natives. However, the number of local Seminoles was negligible, and the fort functioned mostly as a supply depot for a short time before being totally abandoned by March of 1838.

FPAN staff pose in front of their favorite structure

The original fort is no longer standing, and its precise location is unknown (although historians and archaeologists are confident of the general area). In the 1970s, construction began on a full-size replica fort.  It was completed by 1977, and the park also features a Florida “Cracker-style” home, as well as other archetypal pioneer Florida houses. For more information, you can view the website here.

Florida Cracker House at the Historical Park

 We’re happy to report that this upcoming weekend is Fort Christmas Historical Park’s annual “Cracker Christmas” celebration. FPAN staff will be present, and this event features many pioneer-era activities such as weaving, blacksmithing, broom making, and much more. Of course, Santa will make an appearance as well! 

Txt by Ryan Harke, FPAN staff. Full credit to Fort Christmas Historical Society and Orange County Parks and Recreation Department for the images used here.  

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