CHANNELSIDE DISTRICT - Page 7 - Cotanchobee - Fort Brooke Park


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Click to read plaque about Tampa and Cotanchobee

Cotanchobee Ft. Brooke Park is located on the south side of St. Pete Times Forum Drive along the Garrison Channel.  This memorial remembers the Cotanchobee - Seminole Indian Wars of Removal (fought by the United States against the Seminole Indians of FL, 1817-18; 1835-42; and 1856-58).

Tampa was originally established as "Fort Brooke."  In its early days, Fort Brooke served as an outpost for waging war and attracting settlers. Fort Brooke was established under President James Monroe as an outpost during the Seminole Wars. It at one time spanned 16 square miles.  U.S. soldiers who built it in 1824 saw a place of beauty and military might.

Seminole Indians shunned Ft. Brooke as a reminder of the armies that captured their people and forced them into exile. Tampa, the county seat of Hillsborough County, was established in the early 1830s by a few enterprising settlers attracted to the area by Fort Brooke.  Tampa grew slowly, but by 1855 was large enough to incorporate as a city. The charter lapsed after the Civil War, and Tampa did not officially become a city again until July 1887.  Today, the former fort site gives rise to a waterfront park rich in history and recreation. Construction started in July of 2002.





The shoreline has been restored environmentally.  The project centered on the historic relevance of the site, Tampa’s industry, and the downtown. 



Pulling from a wealth of resource material (archival maps, postcards, photographs, and textile patterns) artists Peter King and Xinia Marin created ceramic relief insets into the seat wall.  


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The mission of the City of Tampa, Public Art Program is to promote the involvement of artists in projects throughout the city that enhance the physical environment and celebrate Tampa’s unique character and identity.  
Fort Brooke Park has downtown's first playground and a memorial commemorating the site's military and Indian histories. Big lawns and space for a portable stage beckons festivals and performances such as Shakespeare in the Park.  The park is now the permanent home of the Tampa Bay History Center.

Information adapted from an article by SUSAN THURSTON, Times Staff Writer, St. Petersburg Times, originally published July 19, 2002, information from the Tampa Bay History Center website  and information from


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