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Artful Dodges - Fort Christmas Historical Park & Museum


Fort Christmas Historical Park & Museum
1300 Fort Christmas Road, Christmas 32709
(407) 568-4149
http://parks.orangecountyfl.net

Admission: Free
Hours: Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Park is open daily 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (to 6:00 p.m. during winter months)
Location: Two miles north of SR 50, a major artery between Orlando and the Kennedy Space Center

This is not the actual Fort Christmas but a re-creation. The original was built a short distance away in 1837 during the Second Seminole Indian War (1835-1842) and has long since rotted away. The re-created fort, with its log cabin-like blockhouses and pointed palisades, is remarkably evocative of a frontier that most Americans associate with the West, not the South.

Display cases in the blockhouses provide a fragmentary history of the Seminole Wars, the culture they destroyed, and the early days of white settlement. In the nearby Visitors Center, which is built in the style of a “Cracker” (old-time Florida cowboy) farm house, you can get a pamphlet that explicates the museum’s exhibits and provides a short history of the Seminole Wars. Scattered about the property is a small but growing collection of original Cracker architecture that you can poke through at your leisure. Yesterday, disreputable shacks. Today, cherished history.

Fort Christmas is also a county park complete with picnic tables (many with barbecues), a shaded playground, a baseball diamond, and tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts.

Nearby: Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge, Jungle Adventures, Orlando Wetlands Park, Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area.

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