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  • Writer's pictureMel Dick

Fort Zachery Taylor

Wet dreary day with heavy rain last night, early this morning and this afternoon. Managed to get in a visit to Fort Zachery Taylor State Park before rain started this afternoon. The park includes Fort Zachery Taylor, named after President Zachery Taylor the 12th president of the U.S. In addition to touring the fort, got some great pictures of the park's beach area, birds and a large green iguana.

Fort Taylor was constructed in 1845 as part of the system of defense along America's coast line to prevent attacks upon the United States. The fort was an important defense structure for the United States because of its command over the waters of the straights of Florida and the golf of Mexico. When completed, the fort was three stories tall, held 140 cannons and was home to almost 450 soldiers. Fort Taylor remained under federal control during the Civil War and was the headquarters for the US Navy East Gulf Coast blockade squadron. The current form of fort is largely the result of altercations made in 1898, including removal of the two upper stories and construction of modern rifled artillery and placements. The renovations included two 12-inch long-range cannons each weighing 117,000 pounds and fired !,000 pound shells that could reach targets almost 17 miles away. Fort Taylor continue to defend the United States during the Spanish American war, World War I and World War II. The fort was taken out of service in 1947.

Some interesting facts about the fort....the longest serving U.S. coastal fortification....originally sited 1,100 feet off the island of Key West....never fired upon and the only surviving Civil War-era desalination plant.

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