Okay, I admit it. We had peanut butter sandwiches again today for lunch. But, we had dinner outside watching the sunset over the Intracoastal waterway marshes. We ate at Barbara Jean’s, a local chain that was recommended by the Jacksonville Evergreen hosts. Excellent and priced right. Did I mention we ate outside?? Sorry Minnesota.
We left Jacksonville at mid morning and drove to Fort Caroline national monument. This is the site of an ill-fated French attempt to found a colony in Florida. The Matanzas massacre mentioned a few days ago ended the effort and kept the colony in Spanish hands for many more years.
After Fort Caroline we went walking in the Timucuan Preserve. This area was home to the Timucuan Indians who lived here when the French and Spanish were fighing over the area. Between the European diseases and vaiouss wars, the tribe was basciallyy extinguished by the 1800s. Now it is primarily marsh land.
We left this area just in time to catch the ferry over the St. John’s river (we were the last car on board, they closed the gates right behind us.)
Our next stop was a section of the preserve known as the Kingsley plantation. The plantation home is the oldest plantation house still standing in Florida. The house and some foundations of the slave quarters are still standing. Kingsley married an African slave and under Spanish rule, the children and wife would have been able to inherit the estate. When the area was transferred to the US by treaty, the English/American rules forbade it. The wife, children, slaves and freed blacks ended up going to Haiti.
We finished the day driving to Amelia Island and checking in to our hotel. Friday is an all day tour of Cumberland National Seashore with a 45 minute ferry ride there and back.