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Fort Denaud

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One of the first military posts establised in south Florida to conduct campaigns into the interior of Big Cypress and the Everglades was Fort Denaud on the Caloosahatchee River. It was built by Capt. Bonneville of the 7th Infantry, and at times garrisoned by the first and second infantry.

Here is the historical marker along the river at a small bridge west of the town of LaBelle.

The fort is named after a French trapper who lived in the area. It was occupied off and on during the war, and really didn't have much in the way of structures. The first fort only had a supply barn. No walls or pickets, but it was important for troops moving into the big cypress swamp or places east.

The fort endured fires and hurricanes. It was moved to the other side of the river in the 3rd Seminole War after the old post area burned, and to be on higher ground that would not flood. A sketch of the old post shows several thatched buildings used for storage or barracks.

The marker is along the Caloosahatchee River in the scenic community of Denaud, with many historical houses and structures in the area. Here is the marker again, looking north towards the river and the bridge.

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