The park is named for Major Mark Anthony Cooper, commander of 380 First Georgia Battalion Volunteers plus an artillery company of a few army regulars. In April 1836, Major Mark Anthony Cooper built a fort near the lake’s edge to protect the sick and wounded left behind by General Scott as he continued on his way to Fort Brooke, which is now Tampa. Major Cooper was ordered to hold his position and await relief troops in nine days. By the third day the Seminoles, led by Osceola and other Chiefs, discovered Major Cooper and his men. They kept them under constant daily attacks. On one occasion the Seminoles tried to storm the fort with a force in "excess of 500 warriors." After 16 days, with provisions running out, the troops in the fort were saved when a relief column returned to support them. Due to Major Cooper’s vigilant leadership during the two week siege, the Georgia Battalion sustained about 20 men wounded, but lost only one man. It is unknown how many casualties were taken by the Seminole warriors. Fort Cooper was utilized as a reconnaissance, observation and dispatch post until 1842 by various U.S. Army detachments.