The well-preserved Fort Clark served as the post for numerous Buffalo Soldier infantry and cavalry units. In particular, the Black Seminole Indian Scouts were stationed here and served alongside Buffalo Soldiers of the 24th and 25th U.S. Infantry. The scouts descended primarily from runaway slaves who found refuge in the swamps of Florida. Black Seminoles endured a forced migration from Florida to reservations in Oklahoma after 1838. Deprived of the right to bear arms and faced with the threat of enslavement in the South, the group that eventually became the Black Seminole Indian Scouts left the reservation under the direction of a leader named John Horse and moved to Mexico prior to the Civil War. With the end of the Civil War and slavery, this group of Black Seminoles returned to the U.S., where the U.S. Army recruited them to form the Black Seminole Indian Scouts. The fort’s history and legacy, from the Black Seminole Indian Scouts through the 2nd U.S. Cavalry Division (the only African American cavalry division in World War II), have been painstakingly preserved and researched by the Fort Clark Historical Society. The guardhouse serves as a museum to highlight the fort’s history, including pictures, artifacts and memorabilia from all periods of its military service and various units. The area, once a family resort in the 1960s, is accommodating to travelers looking to stay overnight, with camping, lodging and RV facilities, walking trails and the beautiful spring-fed swimming pool.
Museum hours:Saturday - Sunday 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.