Concrete At Fort De Soto
By Waldo Rowell
An ingenious solution!
When the actual concrete work was started in March of 1899, the ship with the cement had arrived but the ships bringing the sand and stone from New York and New Jersey were delayed. The construction crew, showing the usual American ingenuity, went to the beach and gathered some of the plentiful shells as a substitute for the stone. Then, since Florida is one great big sand spit, there was also plenty of sand available! Now the engineers had the ingredients to make the concrete.
Construction of the Post structures was completed in 1902 and came in under the budgeted amount of approximately $120,700. This amount did not include the cost of water and sewer. Translating this amount into today's dollars, the total would be $2,514,583.
Come to Fort De Soto Park, walk the Historic Trail, and see the shell in the concrete. Think about the idea of using the shell--would you have thought of doing that? (Especially if you didn't have stone for your concrete and you needed to get the work done in a hurry?)