The City of Ocala will be the recipient of an Historic Preservation, Special Category Grant from the State of Florida Division of Historical Resources for purposes of building a replica of a portion of Jesup’s 1837 Fort King. This was the second such fort to be built on the grounds of what is now the Fort King National Historic Landmark. The first Fort King was burned to the ground by the Seminoles in 1836.
Fort King Heritage Association President, Henry Sheldon describes the project as follows:
“We intend to reconstruct Jesup’s 1837 Fort as sketched in Sprague’s 1839 Journal. There are no known construction drawings of the 1837 Fort… we will use the Sprague sketch along with written descriptions of the Fort and other period Forts to accurately reconstruct the Fort. Our goal is accuracy, not precision.”
The grant application was spearheaded by Gary Ellis, Director of Gulf Archaeology Research Institute (GARI) of Crystal River, Florida. The project is heavily dependent upon the support of the Fort King Heritage Association who has agreed to raise the capital needed for the local match in addition to providing assistance with soliciting volunteers to provide in-kind services.
“This is the type of public/private partnership that turns dreams into reality,” stated Kathy Crile, the City’s Recreation and Parks Director, “The City and County could not possibly make this happen without the generous support of our partners.”
The Fort King Heritage Association is soliciting cash donations as well as volunteers to assist with the project. If you would like to be a part of making history, get in touch today. Email the Fort King Heritage Association at FKHA.FortKing@gmail.com or click the link below for information on how to make a donation on-line.