Scott Eidson


In a city dominated by large numbers of transplant residents, very few citizens of Orlando know or care about the area's rich and colorful history or its historical figures. Local history is not taught in the Orange County schools "unless a teacher has a particular interest in the subject and makes a special effort."1 Recently, efforts have been made to curb this trend. In 1997, a small organization known as the Fort Gatlin Historical Group sought to trace Orlando's origins through a community-wide effort to preserve the presumed site of Fort Gatlin, a United States Army fort of the Second Seminole War. In doing so, the group promoted a sense of community by uniting Orlandoans with their history and sparking general interest not only in Orlando's past but in its present and, more importantly, its future.