STORIES and INFORMATION
(If you want to retell any of the stories listed below, be sure
to obtain permission from the copyright holder if the material
is not in the public domain)
Florida Folklife from the WPA Collections
2) FHC: Florida Heritage Themes
3) Many people today relate the beginnings of the cattle industry
in Florida to pioneer days and post-Civil War days as illustrated
in Patrick Smith's novel, A Land Remembered (Teacher's Manual for Student Edition). Cattle farms were established by the Spanish during the first
Spanish colonial period (1565 1764). One near Palatka on the west
side of the St. Johns River provided the meat to feed residents
of St. Augustine. (Smith's book also deals with the development
of agriculture and related commerce near Lake Okeechobee.)
Before great freezes during the latter half of the 1800s destroyed
most of the citrus in the state, there were a number of thriving
citrus groves in north Florida. One of the largest and best known
in Florida after the Civil War was located at Federal Point on
the St. Johns River across from Palatka. It became a favorite
place to visit for winter tourists, an "attraction" if you will, and belonged to Hubbard Hart, the Palatka entrepreneur
best known for opening the Ocklawaha Valley to trade (citrus,
other agricultural goods, and merchandise) and tourism with his
Orange trees during the 1800s (before the freezes) produced up
to 5,000 fruits a piece during a season. One famous denizen growing
in St. Augustine's Plaza de la Constitution (before it succumbed
to the Great Freeze) yielded as many as 12,000 oranges a year.
Old timers during the 1870s talked of the Plaza having been covered
with orange trees -- but this was not the case after freezes began.
(Global weather trends were in evidence then, too.)
Florida (winter home to Harriett Beecher Stowe after 1867) was
named for the type of oranges grown there. Mrs. Stowe and her
husband, family, etc., enjoyed success in the orange business
for a while during those years, and she was known as one of Florida's
first promoters following the publication of Palmetto Leaves (Florida Sand Dollar Book) an enthusiastic, unsolicited account which she
submitted to her publisher instead of an expected novel.
was Sidney Lanier's commissioned "travel" prose about
Florida, St. Augustine in April. The Ocklawaha in May. Some Highways
and Byways of American Travel. Philadelphia, 1878, which did more
to bring visitors and new residents to Florida than anything else
prior to the arrival of Henry Flagler, his hotels and railroad.
Lanier's descriptive passages of the St. Johns and Ocklawaha Rivers
were used a century later by conservationists battling the building
of the Rodman Dam and Cross Florida Barge Canal.
Following the Civil War, first time visitors to Florida traveling "up" the St. Johns River by steamboat thrilled at the
sight of wild orange trees growing among hardwoods on the banks
of the river -- the remnants of citrus stock originally brought
by the Spanish.
Mrs. Stowe wasn't the only woman writer of note seduced by Florida's
climate and luscious, orange fruit. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings moved
to Florida in 1928 with her first husband (Charles Rawlings) and
purchased a small board and batten house surrounded by an orange
grove at Cross Creek. It was there she wrote the Pulitzer winning
novel, The Yearling, published in
4) Sandspun by Annette Bruce and Steven J. Brooks. Collection of Florida tales submitted by Florida tellers. A "must have" for Florida tellers. Annette also has two collections of Florida Cracker Tales...all of these are distributed by Pineapple Press.
Tellable Cracker Tales
by Annette Bruce.
Florida's Past: People and Events That Shaped the State (Florida's Past) by Gene Burnett....I think there are three volumes now. Each is chock full of little stories about people, places and events in Florida's rich history. I've used it many times to build a story...
Kaye B. 9/11/07
Other books about Florida available:
• Florida cracker tales: Stories of life in the "good ole days" when pioneers settled Florida by Theresa E. Stein.
• If Nothin' Don't Happen [An old-timey sampler of Florida cracker tales from the Withlacoochie River country] by David M. Newell.
• Florida Indians of past and present by Adelaide K. Bullen.
• Florida Indians: A Kid's Look at Our State's Chiefs, Tribes, Reservations, Powwows, Lore & More from the Past & the Present (Carole Marsh State Books) by Carole Marsh.
• Florida, from its glorious past to the present, (Enchantment of America)
by Allan Carpenter.
Florida: Past and Present Visions by Vincent Betz.
• Florida; past, present, future by
Ernest Harris Jernigan.
Historic Gainesville [Florida]: A Tour Guide To The Past by Historic Gainsville, Inc.
Life in St. Augustine (Isaacs, Sally Senzell, Picture the Past.) by Sally Senzell Isaacs.
An overview of life in St. Augustine, Florida, from 1513 to 1845, including the housing, food, clothing, schools, and everyday activities of the settlers, as well as their interaction with native people.
• The Lures of Manatee A True Story of South Florida's Glamorous Past by Lillie B. McDuffee.
• Pass-a-Grille vignettes: Times past, tales remembered by Frank T. Hurley.
• Portals to the past: A postcard history of Brevard County, Florida by John T. Manning.
• Sarasota Times Past: A Reflective Collection of the Florida Gulf Coast
by Bernice Brooks Bergen.
• St. Augustine (Visiting the Past) by Tristan Boyer Binns.
• The story of Hudson, Florida,: From the dim past to a bright future by Harry G. Miller.
• The Suncoast past by Glen Dill.
• A link to Florida's past is restored. (restoration of historic bascule drawbridge): An article from: Public Works
by Hanley-Wood, Inc.
• Color Historic Florida (historical voyage into the past with descriptions of important places & events, Volume 1) by Color Historic America, Inc.
• Florida: Chapters from the past and the present by Ann M. Wheeler.
• Florida, 1513-1913, past and future;: Four hundred years of wars and peace and industrial development, by George M. Chapin.
• Florida: past and present,: Together with notes from Sunland, on the Manatee river, Gulf coast, of south Florida by Samuel C. Upham.
• Florida: past, present, and future,: Being a lecture on Florida delivered by Piers Eliot Warburton in the Albert Hall. Edinburgh, on March 24, 1885 by Piers Eliot Warburton.
• Glimpses of Florida's past
by Jim Wiggins.
• An historical sketch of Pensacola, Florida, embracing a brief retrospect of the past and a view of the present by Benjamin Robinson.
• History of Duval County, Florida: Biographies of men and women who have done their part in making Duval County, past and present by Pleasant Daniel Gold.
• History of Florida,: Past and present, historical and biographical by Harry Gardner Cutler.
• History of the First South Florida Missionary Baptist Association, 1888-1988: Challenge of the past, hope for the future by Altermese Smith Bentley.
• Images and voices from the past: A century of banking in Jacksonville, 1877-1977 by Richard A. Martin.
• Florida's Past: People and Events That Shaped the State (Florida's Past)
by Gene Burnett.
Web sites of interest:
• Florida Facts and Trivia
• Florida History and Facts
• Fun Facts About Florida
• Florida Fun Facts
• Fun Facts About Florida
• Florida Fun Facts
• Florida Keys Fun Facts
• Erasing Florida's Past by Robert Casanello
Florida History & Antiquities Index: A Vignette of Florida's Heritage
• Sebring Florida: Past anad Present
• The Everglades: Past and Present
• The Florida Historical Quarterly
• History of Hurricanes in Southern Florida
• The Little Empire of Past Perfect Florida History
• Florida Memory Project
• Florida Facts and History
• Florida's Past
• Florida History Fair
web page updated 9/3/02; 9/11/07)