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300 Years, 100 Miles, 4 Hours... Imagine - Part 3

Kim Medley
Kim Medley

Continued from Part 2

As the bus leaves Bing’s Landing, once again the King’s Road provides direction to sites from the pages of Flagler’s history: Princess Place Preserve and the Florida Agricultural Museum. Through the kindness of strangers, visitors can learn about Spanish cattle, Spanish horses, how an 1890s farm looks and functions, and the origin of the term “Cracker”. A dairy farm, held together with wooden pegs, still stands. As the bus turns south on U.S. Highway 1, an American Revolutionary War era sawmill rests just beyond the trees. It is Hewitt’s Sawmill and it provided the lumber used for the housing boom of St. Augustine through an ingenious design that harnessed the power of the water flowing through Pellicer Creek. Perhaps one day it will be able to entice young minds to imagine. Just as the first part of the tour provided examples of historic sites constructed by volunteers; so, too, does the second portion. The African American Cultural Society and the Old Brick Road in Espanola are just a few illustrations of the amazing work that can be done with hands that care.

brick road

The bus heads west on County Road 13 to a town founded in 1880, Espanola. Imagine camping at the Live and Let Live campground. Imagine the only remaining one room minority school in Flagler County. Imagine Henry Flagler quickly purchasing narrow gage railroads and connecting them to form the Florida East Coast Railway. Imagine Ellie Ball as she penned “I walk the red brick road … A place in time”. Imagine opening the Sears and Roebuck catalogue, ordering a kit house, putting it together, and calling it home in 1914. The tour is a time machine that magically transforms a four hour tour into a 100 mile walk through more than 300 years of history. The western journey’s final stop is Bull Creek Fish Camp. Fitting, as this was the final stop for the steamboat ride from Jacksonville, along the St. John’s River. Dead Lake, so named as it was the last steamboat docking port, welcomed guests to the many Spanish plantations that once lined its shoreline. Hungry? After driving by the county’s potato and cabbage farms, the staff at Bull Creek greets guests with a smile and serves wonderful daily menu items that exemplify Florida food. The trip back to the Holden House still offers interesting tid-bits, like a turpentine shed and a quick glance at the hotel where weary travelers, who had purchased a round-trip ticket from Chicago, began their own journey of Flagler County, not so long ago.

Flagler County Historical Society Bus Tour

Coordinator: Mary Ann Clark
When: Second and Fourth Tuesday, Monthly
Time: Arrive at the Holden House by 9:30 am
Tour begins at 10:00 am and ends at 2:30 pm (Times are approximate)

Parking: Ample parking is provided on the West side of the Holden House
Cost: $15.00 per person (Does Not Include Lunch at Bull Creek)
Reservations: Please call 386 -439 -5003 – reservations are required

Maps to Holden House – Flagler County Historical Society 204 E. Moody Blvd., Bunnell, FL 32110