Lake Alfred in Polk County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
near the shore of Lake Alfred
is the site of
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 1966 by The Polk County Historical Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and Castles Roads & Vehicles • Wars, US Indian. A significant historical date for this entry is January 22, 1839.
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. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 185 South Lake Shore Way, Lake Alfred FL 33850, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fruitlands Institute (approx. one mile away); Winter Haven (approx. 3.4 miles away); Florence Villa Training School (approx. 3.8 miles away); Winter Haven War Memorial (approx. 3.9 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).
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
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 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.
· 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.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 25, 2018. It was originally submitted on June 15, 2016, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida. This page has been viewed 1,049 times since then and 223 times this year. Last updated on May 7, 2018, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida. Photos: 1. submitted on August 25, 2018, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida. 2. submitted on June 15, 2016, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida. 3. submitted on June 18, 2016, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida. 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 15, 2016, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida. 7. submitted on May 18, 2018, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.