Site of Fort Fanning, Florida
The spot where the old fort once
stood has been carefully
preserved and is now open to the
public as a riverside park.
|Fort Fanning Historic Park
The reconstructed gate of old Fort
Fanning welcomes visitors to the beautiful
park overlooking the Suwannee River in
Fanning Springs, Florida.
Florida's famed Suwannee River
flows past Fort Fanning. The
stockade was built to protect an
important river crossing.
Gatepost at Fort Fanning
A fallen stone gatepost can be
seen near Fort Fanning Historic
Park. Some think it may be from
the original fort but it more likely
came from a later subdivision.
Second Seminole War
The Fort Fanning site is one of
the few preserved locations of
Second Seminole War forts that
are now open to the public.
FORT FANNING HISTORIC PARK
Fanning Springs, Florida
Historic Fort on the Suwannee
Fort Fanning was an important U.S.
Army post built on the Suwannee River
during the Second Seminole War.
The fort was often visited by Brig. Gen.
and future U.S. President Zachary
Taylor and served as a key base for
operations both east and west of the
The site is now preserved at Fort
Fanning Historic Park in Fanning
Springs, Florida. Beautiful Fanning
Springs State Park is nearby.
The fort was named for Colonel Alexander Fanning (sometimes spelled Fannin), a
regular army officer who was a fixture in Florida during the Seminole Wars.
One of the first graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Fanning
completed his time at the Academy in 1812 and went on to be recognized for
heroism during the War of 1812. He came to Florida in 1818 as a major under
Andrew Jackson and was part of the campaign that led to the destruction of
Suwannee Old Town, a large Seminole village that lay just across the river from the
later site of Fort Fanning.
Fanning also took part in some key early actions of the Second Seminole War,
among them the Battle of the WIthlacoochee. When the fort was built in 1838, it
was named in his honor.
Fort Fanning was a strong log stockade located atop of level bluff that commanded
a long stretch of the Suwannee River. It guarded an important crossing there but
more importantly served as a supply base for troops trying to locate and capture
the Seminole and Creek warriors known to be in the region.
Multiple expeditions came and went from the fort, among them several led by
Zachary Taylor in person. Despite the deployment of hundreds of U.S. Army and
Florida Militia troops in the region, the Creek and Seminole bands eluded pursuit
It was not until 1842 that the last major groups of Native Americans in the region
gave up the fight. The forced removal of the American Indians to what is now
Oklahoma eliminated the need for the continued occupation of Fort Fanning and it
was evacuated by the army. The log defenses and buildings slowly rotted away.
Thirty-one soldiers died at Fort Fanning during the Second Seminole War. Most
were the victims of disease, although at least through lost their lives to battle
wounds. These men and possibly others were buried in a military cemetery near
the fort but the graves were exhumed after th war and the soldiers moved to the St.
Augustine National Cemetery.
It has long been known that the old fort stood somewhere on the top of the bluff at
Fanning Springs and some ruins were still visible as late as the 1930s. The precise
site was confirmed by archaeologists in recent years and a multi-agency effort was
launched to establish a park on the site.
Fort Fanning Historic Park is now a beautiful memorial to the old fort and the men
who served there. The gate of the fort has been reconstructed along with a small
section of stockade. Visitors can walk paved paths that lead to overlooks along the
beautiful Suwannee River. There is no charge to visit the historic site.
Fort Fanning is located on the north side of the U.S. 19 bridge over the Suwannee
River in Fanning Springs, Florida. Please click here for more information on the
|Copyright 2011 & 2017 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
Last updated: 5/2/2017