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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
LaBelle in Hendry County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Fort Thompson

 
 
Fort Thompson Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tim Fillmon, October 1, 2018
1. Fort Thompson Marker
Inscription.  LaBelle's history begins here, along the Caloosahatchee River, on this old Fort Thompson site. Fort Thompson began c.1838 as a military post during the 2nd Seminole War, named for Lt. Colonel Alexander Thompson, who died in the battle of Okeechobee in 1837. The Confederates used the site during the Civil War to raise cattle for their troops. In 1879, former Confederate Captain Francis Asbury Hendry (1833-1917) acquired the property, making it his home in 1889. He established a cattle ranch and soon the town of LaBelle grew along its western boundary. In 1885, steamboat service carried passengers from Fort Myers to Fort Thompson, and in 1912, when LaBelle became a port on Florida's Intracoastal Waterway, it became a river paradise. In 1905, Edgar Everett Goodno (1858-1936) purchased Fort Thompson and built an ice plant and an electric plant to serve a growing population. By the end of the decade, the former fort had become the cattle and citrus town now known as LaBelle. Thomas Edison was known to have visited LaBelle, staying at the Fort Thompson Hotel. In 1924, Henry Ford purchased part of Goodno's property. It remained in Ford's name until
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1942 when he sold it to one of Captain Hendry's cousins, Joseph B. Hendry.
 
Erected 2001 by The Labelle Heritage Museum, A Chapter of the Calusa Valley Historical Society and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-429.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and CastlesWar, US CivilWars, US Indian. A significant historical year for this entry is 1838.
 
Location. 26° 45.741′ N, 81° 24.526′ W. Marker is in LaBelle, Florida, in Hendry County. Marker is at the intersection of State Road 80 and Collingswood Parkway, on the right when traveling west on State Road 80. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Labelle FL 33935, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. "Old Betsy" (approx. 1.8 miles away); Downtown LaBelle Historic District (approx. 1.8 miles away); Honor The Dead By Serving The Living (approx. 1.8 miles away); Dedicated to our Veterans (approx. 1.8 miles away); Nicholas J Cutinha (approx. 1.8 miles away); The Price of Freedom (approx. 1.8 miles away); You Are Not Forgotten (approx. 1.8 miles away); All Gave Some .... Some Gave All (approx. 1.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in LaBelle.
 
Fort Thompson Marker looking east on FL 80 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tim Fillmon, October 1, 2018
2. Fort Thompson Marker looking east on FL 80
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 10, 2018. It was originally submitted on December 9, 2018, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 764 times since then and 66 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 9, 2018, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 24, 2024