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Fort King Site, Ocala

#29 of 50 in Things to do in Ocala
Landmark · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Fort King was a United States military fort in north central Florida, near what later developed as the city of Ocala. It was named after Colonel William King, commander of Florida's Fourth Infantry and the first governor of the provisional West Florida region.
The fort was built in 1827, during United States tensions with the Seminole in Florida, a tribe of mostly Creek people who formed in the early nineteenth century. Originally established to serve as a buffer between new settlers and the Seminole, the fort became an important base in the 1830s for the United States Army during removal of the Seminole and the Seminole Wars. It later served as a courthouse in 1844 after the organization of Marion County, but was eventually abandoned altogether. Residents took it apart to salvage building materials. The site of the fort is preserved as a National Historic Landmark near the corner of East Fort King Street and 39th Avenue in Ocala.
Archeological investigation has revealed the site was occupied during two lengthy periods by varying cultures of indigenous peoples, beginning as early as 6500 BC, more than 8,000 years ago.
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Fort King Site reviews

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38 reviews
  • As I am a history buff, I was interested in visiting this site. The signage around the property was very informative telling the history of the fort including the Seminole Wars. Admission was free...  more »
  • Simple reconstructed fort that is largely empty. Best site I've seen on Indian Removal and the Seminole Wars. Visitor Center was closed due to Covid. Nice walking trail in the back that leads to...  more »
  • This place is great! It has no admission fee. When we first walked in, I thought, “there’s not much in here.” Then the tour guides (a husband and wife duo) started walking us around and Giving us more detail. They truly MAKE this place just as much as the history! You can tell they have a passion for it and are excited to share. They also told us that there is going to be more additions to the complex, making it more historically accurate to what was in the fort. They do a battle re-enactment every December as well. Make sure you give yourself an hour or two and even more if you want to walk the surrounding trail.
  • I was thrilled to be at an actual fort which is in the middle of the city and grateful they preserved it. I didn't get to go inside the museum adjacent to it, but I enjoyed walking the grounds and explaining to my daughter a bit of how soldiers used the fort. She even added her own views, and it was an interesting discussion. I wish we could've been taught more by a park ranger, though. We went during open hours (at 5 PM), but there was no one in sight and the museum was closed.

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