Fort Meade is the oldest city in Polk County, dating back to 1849 when a settlement grew up around a U.S. Cavalry Fort during the Seminole Indian Wars. The name "Fort Meade" comes from a young lieutenant who surveyed the area while garrisoned there and who later became General George Gordon Meade of Civil War fame. Stonewall Jackson, later a general in the Confederate Army, was one of those serving under Meade. His post at Fort Meade was his last service with the United States Army.
Fort Meade is also the site of the last skirmish of the Seminole Indian Wars, in which four men were killed in an Indian raid in 1856. The Indian raiders were later captured or killed by soldiers. A monument to Stonewall Jackson is located at Heritage Park on Northeast Third Street between Cleveland and Perry Avenues. Another park, on Southeast Second Street between Church and Hendry, is the site of a monument dedicated to those killed in the last Seminole uprising.
Incorporated originally in 1885, then again in 1915, Fort Meade operates under a City Manager-Commissioner form of government, including a Mayor-Commissioner. The City owns its own water, sewer, electric, and natural gas.
Recreation in the form of fishing, hunting, bicycling or walking on nature trails is plentiful in Fort Meade. The City maintains several parks, the largest of which is the Fort Meade Recreational Area, where visitors can launch a canoe on the Peace River, fish, use one of the picnic tables, pavilions or barbeque grills, or enjoy a quiet walk in the 120 acre wooded area. We also offer group overnight camping. The oak trees in this park, as well as those within the City, are often over 100 years old.
There are over 2 dozen churches representing ten denominations in the City and surrounding area. Citizens can remain up to date on events by the local paper, Fort Meade Leader, which is distributed twice a week. There are also two daily newspapers, The Ledger and Tampa Tribune.
The City has three elementary schools and a junior/senior high school, and is in close proximity to Florida Southern College, Polk County College, the Lakeland Campus of the University of South Florida, and Travis Vocational Technical Center. The Fort Meade Public Library contains more than 21,000 books and nearly 300 record albums.
To learn more about Fort Meade visit their website at http://www.cityoffortmeade.com/