Mullet Key, as it was once called, was originally inhabited by Indians until the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors.
In 1849 Robert E. Lee recommended that Mullet Key and Egmont Key be used for Military and Coastal Defense. The fort’s construction began in 1898 and was completed in 1900 and was named Fort De Soto after the Spanish explorer that had arrived in the area in 1539.
The fort on both Mullet Key and Egmont Key never saw combat, and they were abandoned in 1923 only later to be used as a bombing range in 1940.
In 1963 the land was sold back to Pinellas county, and that land and what remains of the Fort is now a county park which has become one of the top-rated Park/Beaches in the United States.
In 1977, the Fort De Soto batteries were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Fort De Soto Park visitors can view the remains of Battery Laidley and the last four 12-inch M 1890-MI mortars remaining in North America
Learn much more of it’s history by visiting the fort and it’s museum located at 3500 Pinellas Bayway in Tierra Verde, Fl Open 7 days a week from 9 am to 4 pm admission is free
Fort Desoto is the largest park within the Pinellas County Park System, consisting of 1,136 acres made up of five interconnected islands (keys).
Fort Desoto is Located at 3500 Pinellas Bayway South in Tierra Verde, Florida. It is in Pinellas County, just South of St. Pete Beach. There is a $5 day-use charge to enter Fort Desoto Park; however, parking is free. Note: The approach to The Pinellas Bayway is a toll road. The two tolls combined equal $1.75.
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