"" Writer's Wanderings: Fort Lonesome--Lonesome But No Fort

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Fort Lonesome--Lonesome But No Fort

Back in March of 2008 we found Fort Lonesome, Florida, on a side trip we took after spending a few days at the Indians spring training camp when it was in Winterhaven. It didn't take long for my mind to kick into gear and begin to map out a storyline for a novel. What I came up with though would be put aside for other projects--until now.

I did some looking into the history of Fort Lonesome which has never been or had a fort there. The name came from a problem with a Mediterranean fruit fly outbreak in 1929. An inspection station was located there to check on all the fruit coming from the south. Now even today Fort Lonesome is in the middle of nowhere. One of the inspectors, obviously feeling a bit lonely, hung a sign out that said "Fort Lonesome." The name stuck.

Fort Lonesome became a "boom" town for a short time when a sawmill established its business there. Two grocery stores actually opened (there is only a convenient-type grocery there now). The boom didn't last long. The sawmill burned down and with it the hopes of any growth for the town.

The information came from a site that lists ghosts towns. I guess if you don't have a housing boom, you are considered a ghost town. The ghosts of the past will plague my characters though as their story unfolds set in the out-of-the-way town of Fort Lonesome.

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