Fort Meade, Florida

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Fort Meade is a city in Polk County, Florida, United States. The population was 5,691 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 5,761.[1] It is part of the LakelandWinter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

Historic Fort Meade

Fort Meade is the oldest city in Polk County, dating its origins to 1849 when it was an old military road from Tampa (Fort Brooke) to Fort Pierce during the Indian wars. The 1880s business district was located on old Wire Street (now Broadway), which was a casualty of 4 devastating fires. Today, there are over 150 which are designated as landmarks.[3]

The earliest known burial is John I. Hooker (1821–1862) located in the Evergreen Cemetery in town. Fort Meade's Christ Church (Episcopal) located at 526 N. Oak was built in 1889. It is a frame vernacular with Gothic Revival elements and was designed by architect J. H. Weddell. A minister by the name of C.E Butler had committed suicide at the church in 1894. Located next to Christ Church is the famous Rev. Wm James Reid House. Located within the historic district, the house was used for the HBO motion picture The Judgement featuring Blythe Danner, Keith Carradine and Jack Warden (1990).

Future Confederate General Stonewall Jackson was stationed at the fort in 1851. The town was burned by Union forces in 1864[4] and all of the original structures were destroyed, except the 2nd fort which was dismantled in the 1890s. Fort Meade has over 300 homes on the National Register of Historic Places and a handful that date to the late 1800s.

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