On Amelia Island, at the entrance to the St. Mary‚Äôs River and the Cumberland Sound is a pentagonal brick fort. Fort Clinch was named for General Duncan Lamont Clinch, an important figure and American army officer who served as a commander during the Florida‚Äôs Seminole Wars. He also represented Georgia in the United States House of Representatives.
The site itself has been occupied by various military troops since 1736, however, construction of the fort started in 1847 by the federal government and continued during the Civil War. In 1861, it was occupied by the Confederacy, but the following year, General Robert E. Lee ordered a withdrawal and the Fort was taken over by Federal Troops. After its use in 1898 during the Spanish-American War, the fort was abandoned until 1935. At that time 256 acres, which included the abandoned fort, were purchased by the state of Florida and it officially opened to the public as a park in 1938.