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Fort Dade

Fort Dade

Photo courtesy of Karen Lowman.

    Built on Egmont Key outside Tampa Bay, Fort Dade was an embarkation point for Lt. Colonel Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders, and was a quarantine camp for returning troops during the Spanish-American War. Completed in 1906, the fort and the island's 300-member community eventually boasted electricity, telephones, a movie theater, a bowling alley, and a tennis court. It was used as a training camp during World War I and, although deactivated in 1923, Fort Dade served as a German U-boat lookout post and a bombing practice range during World War II. Three gun batteries still stand among Fort Dade's ruins and the community's brick paths. Two six-inch Armstrong rapid-fire rifled guns (model 1898), the last of their kind in the United States, were moved to nearby Fort de Soto before their battery, Burchstad, was destroyed by waves. The Florida Park Service manages Egmont Key State Park in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Find out more:

General Information:
Open 8:00 a.m. to sunset daily. Access by private boat or ferry. Guided walks January - May the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Egmont Key State Park, 4905 34th Street South, #5000, St. Petersburg, FL 33711, (727) 893-2627.

Additional Links:

University of South Florida
Florida Department of Environmental Protection

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