Fort Cooper was constructed in April 1836 during the Second Seminole War. General Winfield Scott instructed the First Georgia Battalion of Volunteers under the leadership of Major Mark Anthony Cooper to build two bastions and a blockhouse on the western shore of Lake Holathlikaha at the time of the Battle of Withlacoochee. On April 5, a skirmish broke out between the Seminole warriors and Cooper's men which led to the death of Private Zadock Cook of the Morgan Guards. From 1836 to 1842, the United States Army used the fort as a horse depot, a scouting post and a watering hole, after which time it was abandoned. In December of 1970, landowner John H. Eden Jr., sold land to the state and began working with archaeologists to excavate the Fort Cooper site. Fort Cooper was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 12, 1972. In 1977, the site opened to the public as a 704-acre state park.