The one historical fort in Hernando County that we have sign for, indicating its location is Fort Taylor. The sign does not actually list the fort but rather Fort Taylor Cemetery. Fort Taylor appears to have been mainly a Third Seminole War fort which lasted from 1855 to 1858.
It is not mentioned in the list of Second Seminole War forts in Hernando County from the 1830s and 40s which were Fort Cross, Fort Annutteliga, and Fort De Soto. The Second Seminole War lasted from 1835 to 1842.
The first mention of Fort Taylor that I was able to find was on August 27, 1851 a post office is established at Fort Taylor and Capt. Robert D. Bradley is chosen as the first postmaster. On March 16, 1854 David Hope was appointed Postmaster of Fort Taylor.
Robert Bradley’s house in north Pasco was attacked during in third Seminole War on May 14, 1856. Two of Bradley’s children were killed in the attack which became known as the Bradley massacre. Some of the accounts from the time mention that word of the attack was sent to Fort Taylor, which would have been a little over 6 miles away.
The location of Fort Taylor is marked by Fort Taylor Cemetery which is located on Culbreath Rd. and County Road 582 south of Hayman Rd. It is marked with a brown historical sign. Former NFL standout Jerome Brown is buried at Fort Taylor Cemetery.
As part of the Centennial on July 4th, 1876 Congress asked that states, counties, and cities record a history and send it to the Library of Congress. The document from Hernando County mentions Fort Taylor as an early settlement “Fort Taylor by Capt. R. D. Bradley, Enoch Mizell, Joshua Mizell, John Tucker and 20 others.”
An account by George Barbour from about 1880 reports that Fort Taylor contains just one house surrounded by orange trees. He wrote that “the route had been through a slight rolling pinewood region with a dark soil of average fertility, few lakes, no settlers, and little hammock.”
All that we have left of Fort Taylor is the cemetery. The Historic Hernando Preservation Society is working to get historical markers erected for the Fort’s of Hernando County. This will be an exciting development and will allow future generations a chance to learn about the forts of Hernando County.