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Discovering historical sites: Lots of local opportunities

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This story is triggered by news from Florida. Having once lived in Florida, I had the opportunity to explore the state and its history. Beyond the cigar factories in urban Tampa, there are places in the wilderness that are much less traveled. Cross Creek, for instance is where author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings wrote many of her stories.

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People grow oranges, strawberries and raise horses in rural Florida. It is a wonder how anything can survive the heat, sandy soil, reptiles and fire ants. Native Americans, father and son Seminoles, are featured on one of the alligator hunting television shows. It is a rough and uncomfortable life living on the edge of the swamp. So, the news is that some Park Service employees have discovered the remains of an old fort that is a remnant from the Seminole War. The part of that history that is most intriguing and exceptional is that the Seminoles never surrendered, not even to this day.

As for "Arlington Outdoors", there are plenty of places to discover. Even when they are preserved on purpose for your appreciation. For instance, I wandered into the blacksmith’s shop this weekend as the door was open. You can go inside and experience an authentic feeling for the environment.

A blacksmith’s shop that is situated next to the Gulf Branch stream and nestled in the woods is a steamy place on a hot day, even when it is surrounded by tall trees. A blacksmith was working on a cool project. He wasn’t fitting a horse with new shoes. Instead, he was constructing a storage locker that could become an heirloom.

When our artist friend, Wen LePore saw a picture of it, she said that she would like to construct one for her paints. One thing leads to another.

The Gulf Branch Nature Center was filled with animal life this weekend. The chipmunks are most active as there is plenty of food for them. I discovered black raspberries a week ago here. Red raspberries are still producing. The big surprise is that I discovered a white raspberry bush. Don’t pick any of the fruit in a nature preserve as that is for the birds and animals. The seeds contribute to propagating new life.

“Amateur sleuths discover Seminole Indian War fort in Florida Everglades

Published July 06, 2014

Three amateur historians believe they have discovered the exact site of a lost Seminole Indian War fort in the Florida Everglades, solving an approximately 170-year-old mystery lost to time and the remoteness of its location.

The search for Fort Harrell, constructed in 1837 and last seen by engineers of the Tamiami Trail in 1917, had consumed outdoorsmen Shawn Beightol, a high school chemistry teacher; Chris Harris, a computer engineer; and Tony Pernas, a National Park Service employee; for about a year.

They said they found evidence of Fort Harrell on an overnight expedition June 26-27, The Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Saturday.

“It needs to be preserved and memorialized, Beightol told the newspaper. “I’d like to see a monument placed there for the people who served in that godforsaken location 170 years ago. Their story needs to be told.”



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