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

Site of Fort Gatlin

 
 
Site of Fort Gatlin Marker image. Click for full size.
By Julie Szabo, April 3, 2008
1. Site of Fort Gatlin Marker
Inscription. On November 9, 1838, during the Second Seminole Indian War (1835-42), the U.S. Army established Fort Gatlin in Mosquito County. This fort was named for Army Assistant Surgeon John S. Gatlin (1806-1835), who was killed in the Dade Massacre in 1835. The site of the fort was chosen as a military outpost due to its strategic position overlooking three lakes and because the area was frequented by Native Americans led by Seminole Chief King Philip and his son Coacoochee. The fort served the state militia during the war until the Army withdrew in 1849. A few soldiers and families remained in the area, growing citrus and raising cattle. In 1856, Fort Gatlin became the county seat of Orange County, created from Mosquito County in 1845. The community's name was later changed to Orlando, a name attributed to militiaman Orlando Reeves, who was reportedly killed in a skirmish during the Second Seminole War. It is believed that Reeves is buried near the site of Fort Gatlin. In 1941, during World War II, the United States Navy established the Underwater Sound Reference Laboratory near this site on Lake Gem Mary because of the great depth of the lake. The lab was closed in 1997.
 
Erected 2003 by A Florida Heritage Site Sponsored by the Fort Gatlin Historical Group, Orange County Public Schools, Orange County
Site of Fort Gatlin Marker image. Click for full size.
By Julie Szabo, April 3, 2008
2. Site of Fort Gatlin Marker
Government and The Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-483.)
 
Location. 28° 29.669′ N, 81° 22.046′ W. Marker is in Orlando, Florida, in Orange County. Marker is at the intersection of Gatlin Avenue and South Summerlin Avenue, on the left when traveling east on Gatlin Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3909 South Summerlin Avenue, Orlando FL 32806, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fort Gatlin 1838 (a few steps from this marker); Orlando's First Settler, Aaron Jernigan (approx. 1.8 miles away); Conway First Baptist Church/Fort Gatlin (approx. 2.2 miles away); Citrus Industry and Red Hill Groves/Conway School (approx. 2.2 miles away); Conway United Methodist Church/Brick Road (approx. 2.3 miles away); St. Mary's Missionary Baptist Church/Datson Dairy (approx. 2.3 miles away); The English Colony/The Polo Club (approx. 2.3 miles away); Atlantic Coastline Station (approx. 2.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Orlando.
 
Also see . . .
1. Dig Seeks To Uncover Orange Birthplace - Orlando Sentinel. Clues to the origins of Orange County may lie buried beneath the Fort Gatlin school administration building and private
Wide view of the Site of Fort Gatlin Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, March 14, 2012
3. Wide view of the Site of Fort Gatlin Marker
While the specific location of Fort Gatlin has yet to be identified with modern technology, the tradition holds that the fort was located at this intersection and adjacent properties on the shores of Lake Gem Mary, Lake Jennie Jewel and Lake Gatlin.
property at Summerlin and Gatlin avenues.
(Submitted on March 29, 2012, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.) 

2. Site's Key To Orlando History: Fort Gatlin - Orlando Sentinel. The lakefront site of a former Navy sonar lab now owned by the Orange County School District is breathing new life into hopes that researchers can pin down the site of Fort Gatlin once and for all. (Submitted on March 29, 2012, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.) 

3. Second Seminole War. This war became one of America's longest, and one of the most expensive prior to the Civil War. (Submitted on April 5, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesNative AmericansSettlements & SettlersWars, US Indian
 
Fort Christmas Replica image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, March 14, 2012
4. Fort Christmas Replica
Based on historical documentation, it is believed that Fort Gatlin was very similar in design and layout to nearby Fort Christmas, which has been recreated at the Fort Christmas Historical Park (Christmas, Florida)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 5, 2008, by Julie Szabo of Oldsmar, Florida. This page has been viewed 6,911 times since then and 295 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 5, 2008, by Julie Szabo of Oldsmar, Florida.   3. submitted on March 29, 2012, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.   4. submitted on April 1, 2012, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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