Originally this city was called Fumecheliga (Musk Mellon Place) by the Seminole Indians. Established in 1838, Fort Maitland was a military fort built by the United States Army. It was built as a supply depot during the Second Seminole War. The fort was named after Captain William Seton Maitland, who was injured during the Battle of Wahoo Swamp (pictured here) and later died of his injuries. Ironically, he was never in this area!
At that time, the only way of getting to Central Florida was by boat from Jacksonville down the St. Johns River to Fort Mellon (Sanford), then by horse or foot. Fort Maitland was a small fort built on the west shore of Lake Maitland as a rest stop between Fort Mellon and Fort Gatlin (Orlando). What is now Maitland Avenue was part of the Old Black Bear Trail which ran from Montreal, Canada to St. Petersburg, Florida, and passed by the fort.
The city was called Lake Maitland for years, then in 1959 a charter was passed to call the city Maitland. The fort is gone and the city maintains a park there, mostly used for boat access to Lake Maitland.
The Maitland name is Scottish, and we have had the pleasure of having the Vicount and Vicountess of Maitland as guests here at Thurston House. He is also the Lourde of Lauderdale with ties to the City of Fort Lauderdale. The Maitland tartan is a very colorful one as you can see here. Today’s City of Maitland police cars have the Maitland Chief’s Arms on their front doors.