Fort Clinch State Park
2601 Atlantic Avenue
Fernandina Beach, Florida
N.B. This article was edited 26 June 2019.
I’ve finally made it to North Florida and seen Fort Clinch! I’d known about the fort for some years before I wrote my article in November of 2010. That article, “Spectral humor–Fort Clinch,” has since been edited and re-posted.
Exploring the fort is an utterly delightful experience. It’s like a huge playhouse with tunnels, towers, turrets, corridors, odd little rooms, and staircases to explore. Unlike so many historic sites now, the fort is not littered with interpretive signs that you feel guilty for not reading, it’s just open for exploration. Rooms within the interior buildings have been furnished and recreated as they would have appeared during the Civil War, otherwise, the fort is a huge, empty edifice. I was there last Saturday when there was a wind advisory. The wind blowing through and around the structure created a haunting, mournful tone. Other than that, I didn’t see or feel any spirits. Though, I can imagine the place grows creepier after dark.
The fort does appear to need work. Even with massive cuts to the state budget, I hope that those in charge are seeing to the needs of this marvelous place. Certainly with visitors comes some income and I would encourage all my readers to check out this marvelous piece of our past.
2 Replies to “A Historic Playhouse–Photos from Fort Clinch”
You know what's interesting? When I see your photos (because I haven't looked at mine of the fort in a while), it reminds me a great deal of Halifax's Citadel too. I guess fort designs had to be pretty standard by nature, but could their designs contribute to entities staying behind too?
Well, this was part of a series of government fortifications along the entire coast, so it's plausible that the plans were probably somewhat standard…even up into Canada.
Certainly, there is an idea that octagon buildings are more likely to be haunted, so I'd be curious if the shape here could add to its activity.