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Fort Christmas Historical Park

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

During the month of December, the United States Postal Facility in the tiny community of
Christmas is one of the busiest in central Florida. The parking lot of the modern post
office is crowded from morning until closing time. People in cars and RVs drive hundreds of
miles out of their way to get its unique cancellation stamp on their seasonal cards and
gift packages. After all, children of all ages delight in getting holiday presents
postmarked from Christmas. Fort Christmas dates back to 1837.

Several crude log structures with a protective log fence surrounding them were hastily built over the Christmas holiday to house and protect a contingent of United States Army soldiers. They had been dispatched to the area to aid the local settlers during a war with the Seminole Indians. The complex was designated officially thereafter as Fort Christmas. A forest fire destroyed the original Fort Christmas many decades ago. Orange County Florida then erected a full-scale replica of it with many local artifacts and memorabilia for people to better understand its history. The paved road leading to Orange County’s 25-acre Fort Christmas Historical Park from U.S. Route 50 is marked year-round by a decorated and lighted Christmas tree. Several celebrations are held throughout the year at the re-created fort. These include a Militia Encampment in March/April and a Cracker Christmas in early December. The militia encampment includes reenactors dressed as soldiers in 1840s period uniforms and cannon- and musket-firing demonstrations. The Cracker Christmas weekend includes pioneer Florida “Cracker” demonstration activities, exhibits and a giant craft fair and sale. In addition to the re-created log fort, the Fort Christmas Historical Park contains seven authentic pioneer homes that are open for visitation. There is a visitor center, a gift shop, ranger-guided daily tours and picnic areas. Recreational amenities include softball fields, horseshoe pits, volleyball and tennis courts. Fort Christmas Historical Park, (407)

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