Fort Clinch - Atlas Obscura

Beginning in 1736, the Spanish built fortifications protecting Amelia Island in northern Florida. Nearly a century later in 1847, the U.S. government began work on Fort Clinch. When the Civil War began, the fort was still incomplete and soon came under Confederate control. As the Union began taking control of southern Georgia in 1862, the Confederacy abandoned the fort, leaving it under the Union’s control. Since the fort was incomplete, it never saw combat and was abandoned by 1869.

Then, with the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in 1898, Fort Clinch was once again called upon to act as a fortification for the U.S. Government, serving as a barracks and ammunition depot. With the end of that conflict arriving the following year, it was again abandoned.

In the 1920s, the fort was sold to private owners. Then, in 1935, the National Park Service repurchased the fort and restored it as a museum. A playground and paved roads were also added to the park.

With the outbreak of World War II, Fort Clinch was used one final time as an operation center for surveillance and communications before being returned to the Parks Department at the end of the war. Since 1946 it has served as a monument and memorial to the history of the U.S. military’s presence in northeast Florida.

Know Before You Go

Admission to the park is $6 per vehicle. Admission to the fort is an additional $2.50.

Fort Clinch hosts a variety of reenactments throughout the year, all of which can be found on the park department's website.

On a side note, the coastline behind Fort Clinch is an excellent place to find sharks teeth.

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January 9, 2024

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