Ghost Towns of the St. The wife replied by telling the individual to turn south at Mill Creek. Few think of Florida as having ghost towns. Occasionally, because of a feature on television, one may come across Rosewood outside of Cedar Key, Rattlesnake which has now been absorbed by Tampa, or perhaps see a on U.
Johns County itself has numerous ghost towns which have all but disappeared.
Others such as Picolata and Tocoi are remembered in the name of a road or as a name given to an area. Former towns such as New Switzerland, which date back to the British Period, are rapidly losing their identity; their names replaced by other names.
The two most historic of the ghost towns along the St. Johns River associated with St. Augustine are Rollestown and Fort Picolata. Entry into the treaties made development of Florida possible. Rolle originally proposed that he be given a stretch of land from the Altamaha at present day Brunswick Georgia to Apalachicola in the Florida Panhandle.
He then proposed a site for his colony at St. He then proposed to settle on Cumberland Island. Ultimately, Rolle explored the St. Johns River.
He was offered land near Fort Picolata but eventually located his plantation south of East Palatka near the present site of the power plant. Rolle has met with no unnecessary difficulties or improper obstruction in locating his land, but on the contrary every facility which was in my power to give him, for I had heard and seen enough of Mr.
Rolle at London to wish most anxiously to get him off my hands as soon as possible, after his arrival here. Rolle wrangled a preference in the location of his plantation. Thus, the delay in making up his mind as to whether the plantation was to be at St.
Marks, at Apalachicola, Cumberland Island, or Fort Picolata, delayed others in their applications for land grants from the Privy Council. Others referred to Rolle in less kind terms. Johns County as far north as present day Tocoi and consisted of a modest 40, acres. It was summarily denied. Rolle originally intended to man the plantation with paupers from the slums of London along with sweepings from some of the London goals.
They were described by Dr. Stork, an English physician, acted as an agent for owners of property in East Florida. He was present at Dr. It has been alleged that as a result Dr. Stork died of fright.
The scheme of using indentured servants did not work. Most of the indentured employees left the plantation for St. Augustine or for Georgia, and the Carolinas. The workers were then replaced by slaves.
At its peak, Rollestown had a population of about There is also a blacksmith with shop and family, at a small distance from it. The plantation provided naval stores, beef and citrus. In one year, Rolle shipped some 1, gallons of orange wine north. Not withstanding, that Rolle had been a pain in various parts of the anatomy with regard to Rollestown, he was awarded land in Exuma. Rolle then moved his operations to Exuma where he established two new communities, Rolletown and Rolleville.
The evacuation of East Florida was chaotic. The two principle ports of embarkation were St. Augustine and St. The St. Augustine inlet was blocked by a sandbar. A visitor to the city at the height of the evacuation noted a brigantine which was trapped in the harbor for five weeks waiting for a tide high enough for passage over the bar.
The visitor, himself waited on board his vessel for five days until he could cross the bar. It was estimated that there was one wreck every two to four weeks in crossing the bar. The evacuees took everything.
Governor Tonyn sent to the Bahamas, the fire engine, bells, and church pews. Others shipped out ovens, furniture, window frames, and shingles. One householder pulled down his house, intending to take it with him.
Part of it rotted while awaiting shipment to St. Another part was lost while being shipped, and another part lost while it was being unloaded in the Bahamas. Toward the end of the evacuation, goods and slaves were stolen. Many had to rely on governmentally provided transport.
Denys Rolle died in Rolle was never awarded a knighthood or peerage. That would be given to his son.
Giles in the Wood, Devon. With Spanish acquisition of Florida, the plantation overseer, Job Wiggins remained in Florida and established his own plantation near present day Tocoi. Nansi Wiggins, however, was not permitted to inherit the plantation. The Spanish government did not recognize her marriage as being valid since she and Wiggins had been married in the Anglican Church at Rollestown.
InIndians burned the various plantations along the Saint Johns River. Nansi Wiggins with some of her children moved to Fernandina.
Eunice Bullard White Mrs. The old earthworks and rifle-pits built to protect them from the Indians are still to be seen here. It is also used as the name of a bed and breakfast in St. Geoff Dobson, a St Augustine resident for the past 32 years, is a western and Florida history writer. He is a former president of the St.
Before his parents moved to Florida, his father was a Black Angus cattleman. When Geoff was in high school, his family lived in the cattle country of eastern Sarasota County.
Now, it is an area of four-lane ro, expensive subdivisions, shopping centers, and office parks. His undergraduate degree is in history. Geoff received his post-graduate degree from the University of Florida.
He may be reached at horse. Facebook YouTube Twitter. News Ticker.
August 17, Next week: Fort Picolata, New Switzerland.