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Alpine Grove

by Matt
Categories: Hikes, History, Places
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Published on: October 5, 2017

Having contemplated this admirable grove, I proceeded towards the shrubberies on the banks of the river, and though it was now late in December, the aromatic groves appeared in full bloom.

-William Bartram

South of Fruit Cove, FL is a town called Switzerland.  As SR-13 edges closer to the St. Johns River, the pines fade away and are replaced with magnolias, maples, and oaks.  This section of Florida was famously mapped and explored by William Bartram, an 18th century naturalist that explored what were at the time the southern most of the 13 colonies along the coast.  (more…)

Treasure hunter searches for long-lost Spanish galleon in Nassau Sound

by Matt
Categories: History
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Published on: April 15, 2013

Nassau Sound is known for its tricky waters to navigate, shark infestations and a remote, narrow pass where the Nassau River meets the Atlantic Ocean.

Doug Pope also sees the sound as a possible site of treasure from the long-lost Spanish galleon San Miguel that wrecked in 1715. Pope is president of Amelia Research & Recovery LLC, based in Fernandina Beach, and his quest to find the San Miguel’s loot is the basis of his business.

Pope said the find of a jeweler’s furnace in 1993 near Amelia Island is believed to be from the ship that was part of a fleet of about a dozen that went down during a hurricane nearly 300 years ago. The treasure salvaging season for Pope commences in about two weeks, when area waters are most calm. (more…)

The Search for Ft. Caroline Continues

by Matt
Categories: History
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Published on: October 15, 2012

No one ever said it would be easy to crack the biggest mystery of Fort Caroline: Where is the exact location of the isolated, blood-soaked outpost of the doomed French expedition to the New World?

People have looked for it over the years. But it’s as if it has just vanished, as if there never were that tenuous foothold somewhere on the banks of the St. Johns River.

Still, a team of University of North Florida archaeologists and students kept up the search on Friday, plunging into palmetto thickets, digging through ancient oyster shells, sifting through the thin soil near Spanish Pond, deep inside the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. (more…)

Jax Pop Up History

by Matt
Categories: Events, History
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Published on: July 20, 2012

For those who are connected with social media, tomorrow Jax Pop Up History will be holding an event where the subject and location will be secret until announced online shortly before the actual event.  From MetroJacksonville.com:

Join the Jacksonville Historical Society as we present a series of pop up events depicting historical events in our city that have gone largely untold.

On Saturday, July 21st, we will commemorate the anniversary of one of Jacksonville’s most astonishing and little known historical events. Sponsored by the Jacksonville Historical Society, this celebration will itself be an amazing and slightly quirky event, since the historical subject and the exact location will not be announced until right before the event takes place. Using social media to spread the announcement, the event will ‘pop up’ just in time for hundreds of people to attend.

(more…)

Hernando De Soto’s Mysteries Uncovered

by Matt
Categories: History
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Published on: July 16, 2012

The exact route that Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto took through the then-wilderness of La Florida remains a mystery.  Historians note that it began near Tampa and ran through Tallahassee. Now, another point near Ocala is revealing clues that point to an encampment used by De Soto’s expedition.  Italian glass beads don’t just show up anywhere – read the story of the discovery at Gainesville.com

Steamships of Jacksonville

by Matt
Categories: History
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Published on: July 3, 2012

Today from MetroJacksonville.com, an interesting look into a once iconic mode of transportation up and down the St. Johns River.  For nearly 100 years, steamboats cruised the river, ferrying people and cargo from the farms and communities of Central Florida to Jacksonville and beyond.  Even through the Second Seminole War, the Civil War, Reconstruction – steamboats were the way to travel.  Read the full article at MetroJacksonville.com.

Historic Civil War Documents On Display

by Matt
Categories: History
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Published on: June 25, 2012

Through August, significant historical documents from the end of the Civil War are now on display at the Karpeles Manuscript Library in Springfield.  Among the documents are those they list below.  The Library is located at 101 W. 1st Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32206.

The Surrender of Vicksburg.

The 4th of July, 1863 (the exact same date as Gettysburg)

Documents include: General Grant’s Special Order number #180 instructing his armies to take possession of the city. The “slaves” in the occupied city were to assume the duties of acting as police. On its surrender, Vicksburg was defended by 15 generals and a total of 194 officers. The list of officers takes nine pages to record.

  (more…)

Lost Ships of St. Augustine

by Matt
Categories: History, Neat
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Published on: May 24, 2012

Learn more about the lost ships of St. Augustine as the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program hosts Archaeo Tours, a 90-minute tour into parts of the historic light station and maritime archaeology laboratory facilities.

The tours are guided by a lighthouse archaeologist who explores the ships wrecked off the coast of the nation’s oldest port. The tours include information on how archaeologists excavate each underwater site as they find artifacts untouched by human hands for centuries.

Information on “Storm Wreck,” the program’s most recently excavated shipwreck, is also part of the tour as is an insider’s look at how these artifacts are conserved.

(more…)

Twelve Endangered Historical Sites Worth Saving

by Matt
Categories: History
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Published on: May 22, 2012

From the Jacksonville Historical Society, via MetroJacksonville – A list of twelve historical sites, primarily buildings, that are worth saving in Jacksonville.  Ranging from the river ferry to Fire Station #5 in Riverside, each has its own unique story and significance to the history of our city. (more…)

Jacksonville and the Spanish-American War

by Matt
Categories: History
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Published on: May 18, 2012

Today, Metro Jacksonville has an interesting piece tracing the history of Camp Cuba Libre and the events that transpired in the Jacksonville during the Spanish-American War.  Old artillery batteries (or remants of them) are still hidden away along the St. Johns, defending an invasion that never happened.  Camps of  soldiers were set up right in downtown Jacksonville.  It’s an interesting read – check it out at MetroJacksonville.com.

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