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Fort Clinch in Fernandina

Updated on August 31, 2009

A Historic Fort

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History of Fort Clinch

The land upon which the Fort stands was purchased in 1842 but construction of Fort Clinch didn't start until 1847. The Fort was named after a prominent General of the Second Seminole War - Duncan Lamont Clinch. It is a brick pentagon shaped fort built at the most northern point of Florida in Amelia Island. Its purpose was to protect Cumberland Sound, which was the gateway to the St. Mary's and Amelia rivers. It also protected the port of Fernandina which was the only deep water port of the area. It served as a military post during the Civil War, the Spanish - American War and WW II. It is one of a series of masonry forts built between 1816 and 1867 known as the Third System Fortification. The brick walls are four and a half feet thick and 26 feet high. At each angle of the pentagon there is a masonry tower protected by gun emplacements.

After being occupied by blockade runners, Confederate forces and Federal Troops it was abandoned until the Civil Conservation Corps restored it in the 1930s. The fort is now a State Park. You can tour the fort today and see how it looked back in 1864 . Soldiers perform reenactments of everyday duties depicting the era. There is also a museum that holds historic artifacts.

Inside the Fort

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Inside the Fort Grounds

Fort Clinch is compromised of a series of buildings. You enter any one of these and are automatically taken back in time. You can visualize how these soldiers lived and fought. Most of the buildings were built specific for the task except for some of the soldier barracks which also included the mess hall . They had a building designated as the Bakery, a Blacksmith Shop, a Bastion Galley, Soldier and Officer Barracks, latrines adjacent to the jail, a general store, a laundry room, a hospital and uniform issue area. Cooking areas were outdoors.

Fort Clinch State Park

After visiting Fort Clinch and the museum  you can spend the day or campout and experience all the State Park has to offer. It is a 1427 acre park with natural habitats to gophers, deer, racoons, bobcats, tortoises,  numeros birds and reptiles. You can enjoy Fernandinas beautiful beach and scenic hiking trails. There are tent sites and campsites with full hookup for electricity and water. You can fish, swim , bike ride, and bird watch. View the wildlife at Willow Pond Trail where freshwater ponds provide habitat for alligators and turtles.


Fernandina - The Isle of 8 Flags

Fernandina Beach is located on the Northernmost Point of Florida's East Coast. Originally inhabited by Native American Indians the indians remained on the island until the 18th century. After that the island changed possesion several times and has been under rule of 8 different flags. It is the only US location to have done so and has earned the name The Isle of 8 Flags.

French Flag

Spanish Flag

English Flag

Patriot Flag

Green Cross of Florida

Rebel Flag

Confederte Flag

US Flag


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    • Bail Up ! profile imageAUTHOR

      Bail Up ! 

      9 years ago

      Thanks James - please do , I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

      Thanks Suzie - Thanks for the vote of confidence:)

    • suziecat7 profile image


      9 years ago from Asheville, NC

      I love historic Hubs - good work.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      This is very cool! I have been to Amelia many times but never heard of this fort. I'll have to check it out. Thanks!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I like this one! Very interesting.

    • Bail Up ! profile imageAUTHOR

      Bail Up ! 

      9 years ago

      Thank you FastFreta. I took the pictures myself this past weekend. Thanks for the vote !

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 

      9 years ago from Southern California

      Very interesting hub. Could be a good book report. Loved the virtual tour. Rated you up on this one.


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