Fort Meade is the oldest city in Polk County, dating its origins to 1849 when it was an old military road from Tampa (Fort Brooke) to Fort Pierce during the Indian wars. The 1880s business district was located on old Wire Street (now Broadway), which was a casualty of 4 devastating fires. Today, there are over 150 which are designated as landmarks. In the 1890s the Fort Meade Street Railway operated a horse-drawn service in the town.
The earliest known burial is John I. Hooker (1821–1862) located in the town’s Evergreen Cemetery. Fort Meade’s Christ Church (Episcopal) located at 526 North Oak was built in 1889. It is a frame vernacular with Gothic Revival elements and was designed by architect J. H. Weddell. A minister by the name of C.E Butler had committed suicide at the church in 1894. Located next to Christ Church is the famous Rev. Wm James Reid House. Located within the historic district, the house was used for the HBO motion picture The Judgement featuring Blythe Danner, Keith Carradine and Jack Warden (1990).
Future Confederate General Stonewall Jackson was stationed at the fort in 1851. The town was burned by Union forces in 1864 and all of the original structures were destroyed, except the 2nd fort which was dismantled in the 1890s. Fort Meade has over 300 homes on the National Register of Historic Places and a handful that date to the late 1800s.
May 12, 1913 marked the charter date for the First National Bank of Fort Meade. Liquidation of the banks assets occurred on November 3, 1919 to the Bank of Fort Meade. This is the only note known on this rare one bank town which was discovered in 2007 and sold for a world record price at the time.
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Notes & Currency
- 18__ Fernandina $3 Obsolete Note
- 1882 $50 Jacksonville Note Charter #3869
- 1902 $10 Punta Gorda Note Charter #10512
- 1882 $5 Palatka Note Charter #3223
- 1902 $5 Key West Note Charter #7942