Fort Clinch State Park, Fernandina, Florida

by | Nov 8, 2012

Fernandina Beach
Fort Clinch Guns

Fort Clinch is a 19th century brick fortress begun in 1847 after the end of the Second Seminole War. It was named in honor of General Duncan Lamont Clinch, important figure in the First and Second Seminole Wars. The only battle to occur at Clinch was when Union troops recaptured the fort in 1862 after Confederate forces seized control the previous year. Fort Clinch served as the base of Union operations in the area throughout the Civil War.
In 1935, the State of Florida bought 256 acres (1.0 km²) that included the then-abandoned fort and the surrounding area. Fort Clinch State Park including the fort, opened to the public in 1938.
We returned to Judy’s roots in the Jacksonville and Fernandina Beach, Florida area  Several generations of Judy’s family lived in this area, and some of her cousins still live nearby.  We had a fabulous reunion with Judy’s cousin, Ann and daughter Dodie, yesterday.  Hours of conversation could not possibly catch up on all the past and current happenings with the two cousins who felt a natural kinship and connection.  I enjoyed learning about Judy’s family and roots as well.  We drove by Grandma & Granddaddy Scott’s home on Cedar St. in Fernandina, and Judy took a couple of photos.  Growing up, Judy and her sister Jan lived in nearby St. Mary’s, Ga.,,_Georgia.  They spent memorable weekends and summers with their grandparents in Fernandina Beach and on Cumberland Island.  We also walked the historic district near the waterfront and marina.  We found a great coffee shop with Seattle’s Best on the menu to remind us of home in the Pacific NW.  We are clearly very far from home right now, but not thinking about heading back just yet.  The most emotional part was visiting Judy’s parents, Dale & Mid, at their final resting place in nearby MacClenny, Florida.  We paid our respects by planting an American flag to honor Dale’s WWII service, and a white wooden cross with flowers to represent her parents’ Christian faith.
Military sites are always an interesting part of so many of the places we have visited, including Ft. Clinch, which was a strategic base during the days of the Union Army.  Now a Florida State Park, it is another reminder of our rich history honoring those who served America in the Armed Forces.  Go to the above site and learn more about Ft. Clinch. 
Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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