History of Fort Zachary

Fort Zachary Taylor

Where the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet stands a solitary stone fort overlooking the sea. Looking out from the top of the fort, visitors witness a stunning sunset stretched across miles of pristine, white sand.

Built when our nation was still young - and particularly susceptible to attack - Fort Zachary was the first line of defense for adversaries attempting to strike from Florida’s southern coast. Completed in 1866 and rising over 50 feet above the shoreline, the fort served as a deterrent for Confederacy ships during the Civil War, and a stronghold against the forces of the Spanish-American War in 1898. The fort took 21 year to complete with supplies and construction labor being outsourced from places as far as Germany. 

Today, the fort is a recognized historical site where visitors can meander through the brick hallways and witness history coming back to life. It is home to a large variety of preserved weapons and the largest collection of Civil War cannons in the United States. If you really wish to immerse yourself in the fort’s history, try attending one of the reenactment events that the park hosts every year. These reenactments take you back to the sights, sounds and smells of war with weapon demonstrations and historical reenactments. Stand where the soldiers stood and see what they saw all those many years ago. 

Daily tours are offered at 11 a.m. Contact the park for more information.

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