OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - Fort King in Ocala is a National Historic Landmark owned by the city of Ocala and Marion county. It was originally built in 1827 and after the 1st Seminole war, the fort was burned down and abandoned in 1836, then rebuilt a year later.
The current fort is just the first phase of a project that plans to make this the premier destination for Seminole War artifacts.
Will Baker-Palenik, a volunteer and reenactor, says, "it is our hopes that when we do complete this project, that it will be the most complete historic site in the state of Florida from this time period.“
In addition to the fort, the 42 acre grounds also have walking trails, a teaching garden, and a visitor center. You can expect to find a wide range of artifacts from the early 18 hundreds in the visitor center including ceramic pottery samples from both civilians and the military, military buttons and hardware items, and even beer bottles and pipes.
Coming up on December 7th and 8th from 10 am to 4 pm, Fort King will host their fourth annual Fight for Freedom: Attack on Fort King. It’s a re-enactment of Osceola's attack on the U.S Army.
Baker-Palenik is one of the dozens of reenactors and says he has been doing re-enacting for 34 years. He has been a part of the attack on Fort King for 2 years and says, “we love to keep history alive and the things that you read in a history book... When you can actually see it or hear the sounds of the guns going off or even the music that's played in camps, it kind of brings it to reality.“