NAME: Fort Denaud
COUNTY: Hendry
CLIMATE: Hot in summer, warm to moderate the rest of the year
COMMENTS: State Road 80 west of Labelle, to 78A (Fort Denaud Road). Where the road curves near the river is the site. Look for the signs leading to the Ft Denaud Bridge and you're there.
REMAINS: Historic Marker, a few abandoned houses, chimney from a burned down building, cemetary
Fort Denaud was established in 1838 as one of a series of posts linking American operations south of Tampa to the east coast. It was constructed on the south bank of the Caloosahatchee River 27 Miles east of Fort Myers on land owned by Pierre Denaud, a French Indian trader. The fort originally consisted of tents with a blockhouse in their midst. It was a supply depot for troops in the Lake Okeechobee area and was in use until the war ended in 1842. Fort Denaud was reopened in 1855, soon after the outbreak of the 3rd Seminole War. Additions included company quarters, hospital, guardhouse, prison, Sutler's store, and stables. A farming community formed around it, basing itself on the citrus and sugarcane in the area. A fire ravaged the post in June 1856, and it was rebuilt on another site on the north bank of the river a mile downstream. The fort was ultimately abandoned in May 1858, and the local residents left the area as well. Nothing remains of the fort itself, but the town still has a few old original structures standing. The area is now mainly orange groves and is used for citrus trucking and shipping. The nearby community of Fort Denaud took it's name from the old fort (also spelled Deynaud). In 1963 a swing-style bridge was built across the Caloosahatchee at the site. There is a fairly new housing development nearby, marketing itself on the history and quiet seclusion of the area. Submitted by: Jim Pike

Fort Denaud
Courtesy Jim Pike

Old House
Courtesy Jim Pike

Fort Denaud farm house
Courtesy Jim Pike

Remains of an old chimney by the orange groves
Courtesy Jim Pike

Historic Marker near Fort Denaud Bridge
Courtesy Jim Pike