If you have some kids who think history is boring, then you should try to Fort Christmas Historical Park, the next time you take a vacation Orlando, Florida area. Located 20 miles from Orlando, this park focuses on a fort that played a role in the Seminole War in the 1830s.
Fort Christmas is on Christmas, Florida, just off State Highway 50, twelve miles east of Orlando on its way to Kennedy Space Center, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Canaveral National Seashore in Titusville.
Power on December 25, 1837, a force of 2,000 U.S. Army soldiers Volunteers and Alabama arrived near this spot to construct a fort which was aptly named, the Fort Christmas. This fort was just one of more than 200 forts built during the Second Seminole Indian War, from 1835 to 1842. The Fort houses exhibits and a video presentation on the Seminole Indian wars.
The fort and stockade were reproduced in 1976-1977 by the Parks Department as the Orange County bicentennial project. The original fort is located about a mile north of Fort Christmas Historical Park in a small stream. Built in 1837 by the U.S. Army under the command of General Jesup, the fort was a supply depot in a chain of fortresses built along the San Juan River during a winter campaign against the Seminole Indians.
In March 1838 the military abandoned the fort, and the fighting had moved so far south that the supplies were brought by ship to Jupiter Inlet. Visit the forts for exhibitions on the soldiers, Indians, and pioneers of the East Orange County. A video presentation, "History of the Seminole Indian wars," is to play again every thirty minutes.
So Strong and interesting as the presentations on the Seminole War ie, the park also has carefully preserved buildings that show what life was like a pioneer in the period 1870 to 1930.
Seven historic houses restored to preserve the architecture 'Cracker' of East Orange County. Key themes are homesteading, cattle, citrus, hunting, fishing and trapping.
A school room and dining room are carefully preserved as are the simple recording of wooden houses some of the earliest settlers. If your kids are fascinated by cowboys then cow fields will be a topic of interest.
The fields of the cow were the fields of semi-permanent, shared by all. Located near water, shade and good pasture, built in a day apart. Cow fields provided shelter for cowboys, horses and dogs. Normally wooden pens for holding cattle were near.
The shed style country is an example of a shelter hastily prepared. These were built and used by the cow catcher when the weather was rainy or cold. Built in less than an hour, could be used in several sometimes by mere substitution or addition of saw palmetto leaves for the roof.
The hours to visit the park are: Summer – 8:00-8:00
Winter – 8:00 to 6:00 pm hours change when you change the clock.
The park also has a gift shop. Products for sale include Pioneer and Native American toys, jewelry, crafts, books and candy. All proceeds go to Fort Christmas Historical Park. Now located in the new Visitors Center Mon, the store is open Sat: 8:00 to 5:00 pm. It is closed on Sunday.
If you need any additional information contact the park at: Fort Christmas Historical Park, 1300 Fort Christmas Road (C.R. 420), Christmas, Florida 32709, Telephone: 407-568-4149
Mark Whichard is an Orlando tourism expert and writes frequently about attractions in and around Orlando. Mark and his wife Susan are the proprietors of Quality Villa Rentals Orlando. You can get great deals on Orlando vacation homes and villa rentals at this website http://www.qualityvillarentals.com
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