The 3rd Annual A Fight for Freedom: Attack on Fort King was a success! There were vendors, demonstrations, programs, a thrilling reenactment and, this year, we introduced our new cannon! Be a part of next year’s event by becoming a sponsor or vendor. For more information, contact Keifer Calkins, Outdoor/Historical Resource Program Coordinator at (352) 368-5535.
In the winter of 1834, orders were given for the troops at Fort Marion to take up the line of march for Fort King, Seminole Agency. This was to strengthen the force at the fort under the command of Brigadier D. L. Clinch, pending negotiations between the Seminole tribe of Indians and United States Agent, General Thompson.
So begins the story of Fort King.
The Fort King National Historic Landmark is located in Ocala, Florida – Marion County. Fort King, originally built in 1827, was named for Colonel William King who commanded the Fourth Infantry before Brevet Brigadier General Duncan L. Clinch.
In July 1836, Fort King was abandoned and burned by the Seminoles. In 1837, the second Fort King was built. This site served as military headquarters for most of the Second Seminole War.
Fast forward to just under a couple hundred years…
A vast majority of the Fort King site comes under local government ownership (jointly owned by the City of Ocala and Marion County). On February 24, 2004, Secretary of the Interior, Gale Norton designated Fort King as a National Historic Landmark.
Today, Fort King is operated by the City of Ocala. The Fort King Heritage Association, Inc. is a Florida not-for profit corporation formed to protect, preserve and develop the history of Fort King. The City works closely with the FKHA and Marion County to further our collective goals towards advancing a better understanding of our heritage through Fort King.
Other events hosted at the park:
The park is open 7 days a week from sunrise to sunset or 7 p.m. (whichever comes first). The Heritage Center is open Tuesdays – Fridays, noon to 5 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Park amenities include the Visitor Center complete with Fort King and Florida history, a library, video viewing and artifacts found across the site. There is also an interpretive trail that descends from the top of the hill (where the fort stands) to the Seep Spring and down through a ravine that includes both foreign and native plant and tree species. Pack a lunch and make some memories at one of our picnic facilities. Group visits of ten or more should call Fort King to schedule. Arrangements can be made to see the sight for persons with mobility issues.
To make a donation, please contact the Fort King Heritage Association at firstname.lastname@example.org.