No. 35: Fort Clinch State Park, April 2008 Fort Clinch State Park occupies the northern end of Amelia Island, and the fort, which lies at the entrance to the St. Marys River and the Cumberland Sound, has been occupied by various military troops since 1736. Construction of a fort, later named Fort Clinch for General Duncan Lamont Clinch, an important figure in Florida’s Seminole War, was begun in 1847. A pentagonal brick fort with both inner and outer walls, Fort Clinch was a safe haven for blockade runners during the Civil War. Briefly occupied by Confederate forces, its recapture by Federal troops in early 1862 gave the Union control of the adjacent Georgia and Florida coasts. The fort was used in 1898 during the Spanish-American War. In 1935, the state of Florida purchased 256 acres which included the abandoned fort. It was the beginning of a program to acquire adjacent lands and begin development of one of the first state parks in Florida. The civilian Conservation Corps was responsible for the initial building and development of the park. It was formally opened to the public in 1938.