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Lake Alfred in Polk County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Fort Cummings

 
 
Fort Cummings Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, June 1, 2016
1. Fort Cummings Marker
Inscription.
Approximately 1½ miles west of here
near the shore of Lake Alfred
is the site of
Fort Cummings

Named for Col. Alexander Cummings of the Fourth Infantry. Established January 22, 1839 and occupied by detachments of the First and Second Infantry and the Third Artillery.

Part of the line of forts set up in central Florida to protect the route from Fort Brooke, Tampa to Fort Mellon, Sanford.

One of the dramatic events of the year occurred when Coacoochee or Wildcat appeared at the fort attired in the full regalia of a member of a Shakesperian cast. The year before, in 1840, Wildcat and his band attacked a theatrical group between Picolata and St. Augustine and after killing the men of the party escaped with the costumes belonging to the troupe. These, he and his band wore as they approached the fort and created quite an effect on the spectators.
 
Erected by The Polk County Historical Commission.
 
Location. 28° 5.438′ N, 81° 43.785′ W. Marker is in Lake Alfred, Florida, in Polk County. Marker is at the intersection of South Lake Shore Way (U.S. 17/92) and West Pierce Street, on the left when traveling east on South Lake Shore Way. Click for map
Fort Cummings Site image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, June 18, 2016
2. Fort Cummings Site
Marker for Ft. Cummings. Possibly the 1839 site. One mile west of the historical marker on W. Pierce St. Just over the railroad tracks on left.
. Marker is at or near this postal address: 185 South Lake Shore Way, Lake Alfred FL 33850, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Florence Villa Training School (approx. 3.8 miles away); Ephraim M. Baynard House (approx. 3.9 miles away); Bayard Retail Building (approx. 3.9 miles away); Patterson Retail Building (approx. 4 miles away); a different marker also named Ephraim M. Baynard House (approx. 4 miles away); Seaboard Air Line Rail Depot (approx. 4 miles away); "Flatiron" Triangle Building (approx. 4 miles away); Auburndale City Hall (approx. 4 miles away).
 
Regarding Fort Cummings. The first Ft. Cummings was established January 22, 1839 and abandoned on November 5, 1839. A second Ft. Cummings was ordered reconstructed one half mile west of its original location by Colonel William Jenkins Worth in early February of 1841.

The meeting at Ft. Cummings between Coacoochee and Col. Worth took place on March 5, 1841. Before the meeting began, Coacoochee was reunited with his twelve year old daughter who had been captured by the military some months earlier during a skirmish at Ft. Mellon. Due to the return of his daughter and a secret bribe of $4000, Coacoochee agreed
Fort Cummings Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, June 1, 2016
3. Fort Cummings Marker
Looking east on S. Lake Shore Way.
to bring in his people and emigrate west. The second Ft. Cummings was abandoned by the military March 22, 1841. On October 12, 1841 Coacoochee, along with his warriors, women and children were emigrated from Ft. Brooke to Arkansas by way of New Orleans.

Sources:
Brown, Canter Jr. Florida's Peace River Frontier. University of Central Florida Press, Orlando, Fl. 1991. p.56-57.
Nerod, Felix. A Short History of Fort Cummings A condensed version from the Lake Alfred Sun. 1976. Polk County Historical and Genealogical Library. Bartow, Fl. Fort Cummings File.June 8, 2016. 15 pgs.
Roberts, Robert B. Encyclopedia of Historic Forts:The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States. Macmillan Publishing Company NY. 1988. p.160-161.
Sprague, John T. The Origin, Progress, and Conclusion of the Florida War. Reproduction of the 1848 Edition. University of Florida Press. Gainesville. 1964. p.258-260.

 
Categories. Forts, CastlesRoads & VehiclesWars, US Indian
 
Fort Cummings image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, June 5, 2016
4. Fort Cummings
1860 Florida map illustrating the forts along the road from Ft. Brooke (Tampa) to Ft. Mellon (Sanford). 1. Ft. Brooke, 2. Ft. Foster, 3. Ft. Sullivan (Ichepukasassa) 4. Ft. Cummings, 5. Ft. Davenport, 6. Ft. Catlin & 7. Ft. Mellon (Mellonville). Author's Collection.
Fort Foster image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, June 15, 2016
5. Fort Foster
This sketch is of Fort Foster. It is likely how the first Ft. Cummings appeared in 1839. Sketch from: Michael G. Schene, Fort Foster: A Second Seminole War Fort.Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol. LIV, No. 3, 1976. p. 319. Polk County Historical and Genealogical Library. June 8, 2016.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida. This page has been viewed 185 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida.   2. submitted on , by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida.   3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 21, 2016.
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