Fort Toulouse Turns 300
Frontier Days Mark 300th Anniversary Celebration for Historic Site
Fort Toulouse in Wetumpka was built by the French in 1717.
“It was the first European outpost north of Mobile,” said Ned Jenkins of the Alabama Historical Commission.
This week’s Frontier Days marked Fort Toulouse’s historical significance as a center for trade between French merchants and the Creeks.
“This was the first time Indians here had day to day interaction with the Europeans,” said Jenkins.
Nearly 15,000 visitors came out to enjoy 18th century colonial life, including demonstrations of spinning, weaving, blacksmithing and woodworking.
“It just feels like history, like someone has turned back the clocks and you feel like you’re really back in when Alabama was first founded by the French and the English,” said student Roman Wofford.
The Alabama Historical Commission marked the fort’s tricentennial celebration Saturday. The visitors witnessed a reenactment of the moment French Marines first met Alabama Native Americans.
“To be able to come back 300 years later represents the fact that we’re still here, we still remember that, we still recall that, and that in my own personal life is part of my own being,” said James Floyd, Principal Chief, Muscogee Nation-Oklahoma
That heritage brought back to life some 300 years later – alive and well for generations to come.
“I feel like this is a great place to see our history, and how this place was founded and created and how the Indians really shaped how this state is today,” said Wofford.
Fort Toulouse was built about 100 years before Alabama became a state. The site was renamed Fort Jackson in the early nineteenth century by the United States military. There are living history demonstrations at the Fort on weekends from spring to mid fall.
To learn more, visit www.fttoulousejackson.org.