“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fort Pierce in Saint Lucie County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Old Fort Park

Old Fort Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jay Kravetz, August 17, 2017
1. Old Fort Park Marker
Fort Pierce (1838-1842) was a significant Second Seminole War U.S. military post built during General Thomas S. Jesupís winter campaign of 1837-38. Strategically located on a high bluff along the Indian Riverís western shore, the fort was constructed by artillerymen from readily available palmetto logs. Named for Brevet Lt. Col. Benjamin K. Pierce, Fort Pierce briefly served as the Army of the South headquarters when General Jesup arrived with his staff and troops on January 14, 1838. Jesupís large mounted force included more than 1,000 troops. A nearby fresh water spring supplied water, and the bounty of the river helped feed the fortís occupants. Fort Pierce bustled with activity as troops engaged in the unsuccessful campaign to force Floridaís Seminole Indians to relocate west of the Mississippi River. During the first battle with the Seminoles on the Loxahatchee on January 15, 1838, Lt. Levin Powell and his Navy force suffered four casualties, including their doctor, and retreated north to Fort Pierce, where the wounded were treated by the fortís doctor. Never engaged in battle, the fort was deactivated in February 1842 at the end of the Second Seminole War. The fort was destroyed by fire in December 1843.
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The mound at Old
Old Fort Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jay Kravetz, August 17, 2017
2. Old Fort Park Marker
Fort Park contains human remains and was the centerpiece of an Ais Indian culture dating back 500 to 1,000 years. Once one of Floridaís largest indigenous groups, the Ais contained several thousand people who lived in east central Florida before first contact with Ponce de Leon and the Spanish in 1513. The Ais territory ranged along the coast, north to Cape Canaveral and south to Jupiter. The Ais thrived by hunting, gathering, fishing and collecting. They were largely dependent on the Rio de Ais (Indian River) and the Atlantic Ocean to provide subsistence. They collected oysters, set up fish traps, and fished with hooks made from deer toe bones. They gathered sea grapes, coco plums, sea oats, and palm berries, hunted deer and other small game. The Ais built thatched huts of wood and palm fronds. Their primary means of transportation were dugout canoes made from pine trees. The Ais did not have a written language. Written accounts and drawings of the Ais come from early Spanish explorers and the journal of Pennsylvanian, Jonathan Dickinson. They were all but wiped out by 1740, having suffered invasions and enslavement by the Spanish and other European nations like other early Florida tribes.
Erected 2016 by Fort Pierce Lions Club and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-934.)
Old Fort Park image. Click for full size.
By Jay Kravetz, August 17, 2017
3. Old Fort Park
27° 26.222′ N, 80° 19.189′ W. Marker is in Fort Pierce, Florida, in Saint Lucie County. Marker is on South Indian River Drive (County Road 707) 0.3 miles south of Florida Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 901 South Indian River Drive, Fort Pierce FL 34950, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fort Pierce (within shouting distance of this marker); Traces of an Early Indian Village (within shouting distance of this marker); Military Fort Pierce at Old Fort Park, Fort Pierce (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Lucie County (approx. 0.7 miles away); St. Lucie Village (approx. 3.8 miles away); US-1 Tee-Beam Bridge in Indian River County (approx. 8.8 miles away); McKee Jungle Garden Gates (approx. 12.4 miles away); McKee Jungle Gardens (approx. 12.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Pierce.
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesForts, CastlesNative AmericansWars, US Indian
A view of Old Fort Park image. Click for full size.
By Jay Kravetz, August 17, 2017
4. A view of Old Fort Park
Credits. This page was last revised on June 20, 2018. This page originally submitted on August 17, 2017, by Jay Kravetz of West Palm Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 94 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 17, 2017, by Jay Kravetz of West Palm Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide view photo of the marker and the surrounding area together in context. • Can you help?
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