Local Politician Says Fort Caroline Is In Jacksonville

Jul 29, 2014

Sorry Georgia. A Florida politician says the location of the original Fort Caroline is in Jacksonville.

“It’s off of Queens Harbor,” said Florida State Representative Lake Ray, speaking Tuesday morning at the Jacksonville Historical Society.

Florida Rep. Lake Ray, right, speaks as his son, Lake Ray IV, displays artifacts gathered from what they claim is the original site of Fort Caroline in Jacksonville.
Credit Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

Questions as to the original location of the fort, established by the French in 1564 under René Goulaine de Laudonnière, has sparked debate among historians for years.

Earlier this year, researchers asserted the colony was located, not on the St. Johns River, but on the Altamaha River in southeast Georgia.

Ray, along with his son Lake Ray IV and legislative assistant Mark Lloyd, referenced existing research and studied numerous aerial photos and maps to make their determination that the fort was actually established in Jacksonville.

Ray said he doesn’t want to disclose the exact location at this time in order to protect it from amateur archeologists and historians.
Fort Caroline predates both Jamestown and the landing of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock.

MORE: See Lake Ray's presentation on the location of Fort Caroline

You can follow Cyd Hoskinson @cydwjctnews and Patrick Donges @patrickhdonges.