On this chilly Friday morning my sister Laura and I decided to go out and do some site seeing. Jacksonville, as much as I don’t like living here, is an interesting place. Within hundreds of feet you go from marshlands, to one of the tributaries of the St. Johns River, to the ocean, and then to a historic site. I took a few pictures and thought I’d share them with you, with a little bit of commentary thrown in. I was using my phones camera so, the picture quality isn’t the greatest.
Our first stop was the Alamacani Boat Ramp. When I first moved to Jacksonville this spot had a bar with live music. You could pull a boat in and come ashore for a drink and some food. We had a great time here back then. I think it is even more fun now. The bar is gone and most of it has been allowed to go back to nature.
There is something hauntingly beautiful about marshland to me. I could sit and look over them for days on end.
Then, of course, there is the wild life. We were trying to get a shot of a flock of ducks but, your large footed, clumsy author friend scared them away. The white birds you see are white ibis. Two years ago, after living in my old home for sixteen years, a flock of these birds decided to come and visit my neighborhood. I just sat on my front porch and watched them as they hunted down worms, grubs, and yes, even snakes.
I liked the view of these shots. If you look closely in the first and last, you can see a flock of sea gulls, no not the 80’s band, on the water.
This lonely tree intrigued me.
I just though this was a great picture opportunity.
After leaving Alamacani we decided to head just down the road to Fort George Island.
The road to the plantation.
An old tabby house. I’m not sure when this was built. If you don’t know, tabby is made by burning oyster shells, to make lime, then mixing it with water, ash, sand and oyster shells. It is usually done in about two foot layers.
As you travel up the road you can see more marshland off to either side of the road.
You then come to the property of Kingsley Plantation. The plantation house, which I will show further down, was built in 1814 by John McQueen in hopes of luring his wife from Georgia, which was part of the United States into East Florida, which was part of Spain at the time. It didn’t work. Kingsley Plantation is the only standing plantation left in Florida.
The following pictures may be disturbing to some. These are the first buildings you see upon arriving on the plantation grounds. I show these pictures because they are a part of our past. I am a firm believer in that if we don’t learn from our past, we are doomed to repeat it. This is not a political statement, it is a statement of belief.
The above building is one of the slave quarters on the plantation grounds.It is made of tabby and has a cedar roof. It is about 18×12. This house homed up to three families. One “good” thing about Kingsley is, he did not separate families. I’ll explain below.
The inside of the above house.
The above building has been restored. The following has not.
The arc of slave quarters on the property. It is thought that there may have been more.
The kitchen house. This building is also known as Anna’s house. Anna was one of Kingsley’s slaves. He married her and they had children. As I said above, Kingsley didn’t separate families of slaves, I think the reason why is because of his choice to marry Anna. Marrying a slave was not illegal in Spanish Florida. When Florida became part of the United States, this marriage became illegal and the Kingsley’s had to flee there home.
The rear of the plantation. The rear of the house actually faced the road that lead to it. The front faced the river.
The widow’s walk. The wives of ships captains would go up to the roof of the house when they expected their husbands ship to come in. Many of the husbands were lost at sea, hence the name widow’s walk.
The side of the house. The glass in the windows you see was hand blown. You can see the ripples in them. While this was common at the time, people today pay hundreds of dollars for just one pane of that glass.
The front of the house. Sorry about my sisters arm. I didn’t notice until I put the picture on my computer.
Where the captain would come in.
The following pictures are just a few shots of trees, or stumps I found interesting.
A cedar. I just though it looked cool. What a view!
I think something was living in there.
Saw this walking to the car, thought it was kind of neat.
That was my day. I hope you enjoyed looking at the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them. Drop me a line and tell me what you think.