WTXL Road Trip: The Beginnings of Chattahoochee

chattahoochee river front
Posted at 6:51 PM, Jul 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-27 14:52:46-04

CHATTAHOOCHEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Gadsden County dates back to 1821, but the territory was occupied by Native Americans centuries before its official settlement. That Native American population played a major role in the development of the modern day city, Chattahoochee.

Historian Dale Cox explains the city's early history, "During the war of 1812 the British built a fort here on top of the largest mound and it was designed as a forward operating base for what became Fort Gadsden on the lower river. The British planned to use this to launch an invasion of Georgia in the War of 1812." 

Chattahoochee was home to a United States Arsenal, which is now the grounds for the Florida State Hospital. The Arsenal is a historic marker and the hospital is a major employer for the area.

"After Florida became part of the United States they began to look for a place in Florida to build an arsenal. They selected Chattahoochee because of its location on this vast river system that reached all the way to northern Georgia. They built arsenal and what's now the Florida State Hospital," explains Cox.

The city's prime location on the Apalachicola River makes it a summer hot spot for boating, fishing, and paddling. The location also helped make the city a transportation hub in the early 1800s.