Fort Clinch State Park
|2601 Atlantic Avenue |
|Fernandina Beach, Florida ||32034|
This site is located in the Northeast region of the state.
If traveling north on I-95, get off on exit 129, the Fernandina Beach / Callahan exit, and stay to the right. You will then be traveling east on A1A. (This road becomes 8th Street within the town limits of Fernandina.) Stay on this road, (A1A), for 16 miles until you come to the intersection of 8th Street and Atlantic Avenue. Turn right on Atlantic Avenue and go about two miles, Fort Clinch State Park will be on the left. If traveling south on I-95, get off on exit 129 and stay to the left then follow same instructions as above.
Named for Seminole War General Duncan Clinch, construction on Fort Clinch began in 1847. Although unfinished at the time of the Civil War, both Confederate and Union forces occupied this site. Restored by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, Fort Clinch became one of Florida’s State Parks in 1936.
World War II related activities began at Fort Clinch in 1942 with the closing of the site to the public and placement of barbed wire entanglements around the fort. The United States Coast Guard operated their horse patrol of area beaches from the southeast corner of the fort. Installation of a radio direction beacon on the east corner of the fort’s storehouse by the U.S. Navy provided training assistance to seaplane pilots.
The U.S. Army 209th Anti-Aircraft Coastal Defense Battalion operated here during 1941 and 1942. In 1943 and 1944 the 138th Anti-Aircraft Coastal Defense Battalion Florida National Guard operated 90mm guns at various locations on the island.
Annually, on Memorial Day weekend, the Fort Clinch State Park hosts a WWII military display which includes vehicles, field pieces, and firing demonstrations.