Fort Walton Temple Mound
A massive "Indian mound" in
the center of town was a
major ceremonial structure.
Reconstructed Temple
A temple structure had been
reconstructed atop the mound
to help visualize the site as it
appeared 1,000 years ago.
Fort Walton Temple Mound - Fort Walton Beach, Florida
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Fort Walton Temple Mound, Florida
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Fort Walton Temple Mound, Florida
Artifact of the Fort Walton Culture
The Indian Temple Mound Museum houses over
6,000 artifacts, some quite astounding.
Indian Temple Mound Museum
Designated a National Historic Landmark in
1964, Florida's Fort Walton Temple Mound
was once the center of one of the largest and
most advanced civilizations on the Gulf Coast.

Now preserved by the City of Fort Walton
Beach, the mound is 17 feet tall and 223 feet
long across the base. Built 1,000 years ago,
it was the centerpiece of a large group of
smaller mounds located in the heart of what
is now downtown
Fort Walton Beach.

The mound dates from the time of the
Mississippian culture. Due to the size and
significance of the site, archaeologists have
applied the name "Fort Walton" to the phase
of the Mississippian culture that once existed
throughout Northwest Florida.

The Fort Walton site was abandoned by
around 1500 A.D., but scientists remain
uncertain of the exact reason. For unclear
reasons, people of the Mississippian culture
walked away from their massive ceremonial
centers across the South at about that time.
Other mound complexes in Florida, such as
the
Lake Jackson Mounds in Tallahassee,
were similarly abandoned.

It has been speculated that this may have
had something to do with the arrival of
Europeans in North America, but the earliest
Spanish explorers of Florida found the sites
already abandoned.

By the time of the Civil War, the mounds at
Fort Walton Beach had become overgrown
objects of curiosity. Confederate soldiers
established
Camp Walton at the base of the
temple mound in 1861 to guard Santa Rosa
Sound and Choctawhatchee Bay. They dug
out a nearby shell mound for use as a
cannon emplacement, exhibiting the relics
and skeletons they found at their camp. The
items were destroyed by fire when Camp
Walton was shelled by Union troops on April
1, 1862.

Adjacent to the mound is the Indian Temple
Mound Museum, which preserves more than
6,000 artifacts excavated by archaeologists
along Florida's Gulf Coast. Included in the
collection are many fine examples of Fort
Walton pottery and artwork.

Established in 1962, it was Florida's first
municipally owned and operated museum.
The Fort Walton Temple Mound and Indian
Temple Mound Museum are open Monday
through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Please click here to visit the Friends of the
Museums website.

The mound is located at 139 Miracle Strip
Parkway (U.S. Highway 98) in downtown Fort
Walton Beach, Florida.
Another View of the Mound
The Fort Walton Temple
Mound was once the center of
a large mound complex.
Temple Mound Museum
Florida's oldest municipal
museum, the Indian Temple
Mound Museum stands at the
foot of the mound.
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Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.