Fort Thompson



Frierson Home at Ft. Thompson

Frierson Home at Fort Thompson, Lee Co., Florida

Fort Thompson was one of many forts in Florida built during the Seminole Wars. It was a key point for transporting supplies and troops along the Caloosahatchee River from Punta Rassa on the Gulf of Mexico through Fort Myers. The river narrowed near Ft. Thompson and could be forded by troops or cattle during most seasons. By the end of the Third Seminole War in 1858 the fine prairie lands had caught the interest of people around that area. They realized it would make good grazing land for cattle but it wasn’t until after the close of the War Between The States and the Reconstruction period that the area was platted and sold.  By the 1880s the old fort had disappeared, cattle ranches were prospering as were nearby LaBelle and Fort Myers as trade with Cuba flourished.

This beautiful Fort Thompson site is two miles away from LaBelle store and post office kept by the genial and accommodating Mr. Edgar Carlton.  At LaBelle our old veteran old-timer, Mr. Taylor Frierson, is fitting up to accommodate the public.  Those who know Mr. Frierson need not be told that they will be well cared for.  He is one of those genial, happy-go-lucky old Florida crackers whose very nature is to make his guests happy, can tell more thrilling funny frontier stories than any man in the State.  Mr. W. H. Caldwell, brother and son from Tennessee are now the guests of the Frierson House. 

John H. Caldwell was a judge and banker from Tennessee who stayed at the Goodno Ranch for several years, then came over to LaBelle and stayed with his friend, Taylor Frierson.  Then he bought “a slice of property” from T. Frierson including the post office and grocery.  These buildings were enlarged to accommodate his rather large family of seven children.  In 1971 the Fort Myers News-Press published an article from which this is taken.  My mother, Ruth Frierson, exchanged Christmas greetings with Virginia Caldwell for many, many years.  Most of them were original sketches by Mrs. Caldwell.


Information provided by Ann Winston McGinn

Thank You
Ann

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Last Updated  20 April, 2010
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