28 November 2007

Hillsborough River

Ok, so this is Hillsborough state park, where I camped for the weekend since it was the closest state park to Tampa that has camping. But as a note, the campground is very, very crowded and the sites are very small, affording little privacy. So if you want to get into nature and camp this is not the place. The park itself though is quite pretty. It was established in 1938 as one of Florida's first state parks to protect the vital ecology of this portion of the river. An additional feature of this park is Fort Foster, a reconstructed fort from the Second Seminole War. Unfortunetly, the only way to even see the fort is by taking a guided tour into a locked part of the park, which is offered only once a day on weekends. Because of this, I did not get to see the fort, but they have a small interperative center for the fort that is open. Because of this and for anyone who is interested, here is the brief story of the fort. The Second Seminole War began in 1835 (more on this later.) In March 1836, the US Army realized the strategic importance of having a bridge over the Hillsborough river, and constructed Fort Alabama. The fort was abandoned only a few months later and is said to have been destroyed by a booby trap left for the Seminoles. But that winter, Fort Foster was built on the site of Fort Alabama, and was occupied until 1838. The war was not over until 1843 though. The site was donated to the state of Florida by a farmer in 1973, and the fort was reconstructed based on drawings and archeological evidence. It claims to be the only reconstructed Second Seminole War fort, but I am not sure this is true.
This marker commemorates the penny pine forest planted by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1940.
What US Army uniforms would have looked like in the Second Seminole War.
These two photos show artifacts found at the fort site.

This model shows about what the fort looks like
These timbers were part of the bridge that Fort Alabama/Foster were built to guard
Some views of the scenic river

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