Fort Christmas Historical Park

  • 01 of 07

    Fort Christmas Historical Park

    Fort Christmas Historical Park
    TomFawls/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA-3.0

    Situated just a few miles north of the main highway (Highway 50) separating Central Florida's Orlando and Titusville on Florida's Space Coast is the Fort Christmas Historical Park. Located specifically at 1300 Fort Christmas Road in Christmas, Florida.

    A replica for the original fort, built in 1837 during the Seminole Indian War, anchors the 25-acre park that also features a traditional Florida "Cracker" house, a school house and lunchroom, seven pioneer homes, a sugar cane mill and historical farming equipment.

    The historical park also includes several picnic pavilions (including a large one that is covered and screened), restroom facilities, a unique themed children's playground, a baseball diamond, tennis, volleyball and basketball courts. The facilities are perfect for family gatherings, especially children's birthday parties.

    Fort Christmas Historical Park is open Tuesday through Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. during the summer and 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during...MORE the winter. Access to the fort museum is 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The park is closed Mondays and holidays. Admission is free to the public.

    The first weekend in December each year, Fort Christmas holds Cracker Christmas that features pioneer demonstrations, craft vendors, BBQ and more.

    Fort Christmas is located two miles north of East State Road 50 on County Highway 420.

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  • 02 of 07

    Visitor Center

    The entrance to the recreated Fort Christmas in Christmas, Florida. The fort is built with logs and chinked with cement, but provides an accurate representation of the original fort, built by the US Army in 1837, during the Second Seminole War on a site thought to be less than a mile from this modern replica. Date
    TomFawls/Wikimedia Comons/CC-BY-SA-3.0

    Stop by the Visitor Center to uncover a wealth of historical information and browse through the gift shop. The Visitor Center is a replica of a Florida Cracker house, but constructed of modern materials.

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  • 03 of 07

    History on Display

    Fort Christmas Visitor Center Dispaly Cases
    © Dawn Henthorn, licensed to About.com

    Two display cases on the porch of the Visitor Center offer a unique overview of Fort Christmas' history and is just a glimpse of what you'll see inside.

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  • 04 of 07

    Historical Fort Christmas

    Fort Christmas Historical Park
    Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Fort Christmas Historical Park features a replica of the 1837 fort that was built during the Seminole Indian War.

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  • 05 of 07

    Fort Christmas Replica

    Fort Christmas
    © Dawn Henthorn, licensed to About.com

    The bent limb of an old oak tree forms an archway to welcome visitors to the entrance of the replica of Fort Christmas.

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  • 06 of 07

    Peek Into the Past

    Fort Christmas
    © Dawn Henthorn, licensed to About.com

    This picture was taken the through the slats of Fort Christmas, from the outside looking in. Arrive during operational hours — 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. — and you'll get more than a peek into the historical significance of Fort Christmas and the Seminole Indian War.

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  • 07 of 07

    Florida Cracker House

    One of the restored Florida Cracker homes open to the public at Fort Christmas Historical Park, Christmas, Florida.
    TomFawls/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA-3.0

    A Cracker house is a wooden shelter built by the early Florida and Georgia settlers that were lured to Florida by cheap and plentiful land. Because these pioneers arrived with few provisions, they needed to erect shelter as quickly and cheaply as possible. The land provided abundant supplies of cedar and cypress. Often rocks or bricks made of oyster shell and lime served as pilings to keep the shelters off the ground. The valued wide porch of today was a necessity then. In the days long before air conditioning, it provided relief from the relentless Florida sun.

    Interestingly, many historians will tell you that "cracker" originally meant "a braggart." Some use the term today to describe country folk or someone who was born in Florida. One story though goes back to Florida's early cowboy days. Back then, cowboys used a long (10- to 12-foot) whip made of braided leather. When a cowboy would snap his whip in the air, it made a loud "crack." The sound alone would...MORE bring stray cattle back in line quickly and earned the cowboys the nickname of "crackers."