old fort park

Scouting the Old Fort

We recently took a trip to the Old Fort to scout for the upcoming investigation. After spending quite a bit of time there, we noticed that there were four main areas of concern:

  • The steps are very steep and could pose a serious hazard in the dark. In addition, the park is large and will need to be worked in teams so that nobody gets hurt or lost.
  • The main road at the entrance to the park is quite busy and could easily cast shadows in through the trees.
  • There is a large pump house and electrical box located on the property. These could give false readings.
  • The railway runs directly behind the park, giving list to a host of electrical, sight and sound issues that must be kept in mind.
  • Now that we are aware of these issues, the investigation can be planned around them.

Ye Old Fort

As we prepare for an in-depth exploration of the Old Fort Park, we felt it imperative to understand the history behind the location.

Indian Mount at Old Fort Park

Old Fort Park is the site of Fort Pierce, a military installation constructed by the U.S. Army in Florida with the purpose of being a main supply depot for the army during the Second Seminole War. During the Second Seminole War (1835-1842), the U.S. Army began setting up military posts throughout the state of Florida. In 1837 Col. Benjamin K. Pierce (brother to the future 14th president) was sent down the Indian River from St. Augustine, charged with finding a location to build a base for operations in the area. Finding a fresh water spring, he chose his spot on a bluff overlooking the Indian River Lagoon. A year later, he built a fort out of palmetto trees.

Col. Pierce and his men were far from the first residents in the area, though the town is named after him. In fact, the fort itself was constructed near an ancient burial mound of the Ais Indians.

The mound is several hundred feet around, and a series of stone steps takes you to the top, where there is a beautiful view of the Indian River, named after the Ais. Although the Ais died out 250 years before the fort was built- long before the Seminoles migrated south from Alabama and Georgia- the survival of their structure compared to the vanishing of the soldiers’ fort, which burned to the ground in the 1840s, is quite remarkable.

Budd's Spring

We will be going out during the day to take pictures of the location and to scout for any situations that might interfere with the conduction of an investigation.