Fort Mose Historical Project Receives Additional $200,000

St. Johns County Approves Consideration of Additional $200,000 to Fort Mose Historical Project

The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has approved the consideration of $200,000 of additional project funding from Tourist Development Tax revenue, in addition to the previously approved $50,000 grant match allocation, to the Florida State Parks Foundation who is working in partnership with the Florida Parks Service to reconstruct the 1738 version of Fort Mose at Fort Mose Historic State Park.

During a Fort Mose Reconstruction Project 2023 video feature on the project, Tera Meeks, St. Johns County Director of Tourism and Cultural Development, spoke about its importance to the community.

“The reconstruction of Fort Mose is significant to St. Johns County tourism,” Meeks said. “It really makes a point of interest for this park. It helps to develop that quilt of history that brings people, keeps them here, and keeps them coming back.”

In August 2023, the St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors & Convention Bureau profiled Fort Mose as the first legally sanctioned free Black community in America. The feature was titled Discover the Incredible Story of America’s First Free Black Settlement and told the story of Fort Mose, offering a unique look into the lives of freed slaves with plans to build a reconstruction of the settlement.

In addition to the County’s support, the project has received financial support of nearly $3 million dollars from the Florida Park Service, a Department of State – Florida African-American Cultural & Historical Grant, and private donations.

County staff will work with the Florida Parks Foundation to develop an agreement for the use of the funds. The agreement for project funding will be included on the consent agenda of a future BOCC meeting for final consideration and approval.