All posts by twfchk

Have a “Grape” Labor Day at Fox Hollow Vineyard!

Muscadine grapes waiting to be picked at Fox Hollow Vineyard in Sneads, Florida.

Labor Day brings with it the end of the season at Fox Hollow Vineyard in Sneads, Florida!

The vineyard was founded in 2003 and has grown to become a great success story in local agri-tourism. Owned by Susan and Bruce Paul, Fox Hollow first began producing as a U-pick and commercial vineyard in 2006.

Historian and author Dale Cox (L) shares a laugh as he makes a purchase from Karen and Susan.

The vineyard produces muscadines, a species of grape that is native to Florida and the Southeast. They have been commercially produced since the 1500s when the Spanish first colonized Florida and were growing in vineyard around St. Augustine long before the first Pilgrim landed at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts.

Fox Hollow Vineyard is open for “U-pick” and “We-pick” purchases from early August through Labor Day weekend of each year.

Fox Hollow Vineyard in Sneads, Florida.

They will be open Saturday, Sunday and Monday of this weekend from 8 a.m. –  8 p.m. (Eastern time). Monday will be the last day for this year!

The cost for U-pick is $5 for a field bucket (around 7 pounds) and $25 for a 5-gallon bucket (around 32 pounds). They also will pick for you and wholesale/bulk purchases are available too.

Click here to visit their website for more information.

The vineyard is located at the intersection of Renegade Pass and Legion Road in Sneads, just one-half mile north of Historic Highway 90.

Enter 8160 Renegade Pass, Sneads, FL into your GPS or use the map below.

Mysterious Structure on the bottom of Lake Seminole

The mysterious stone structure is now on the bottom of the Spring Creek arm of Lake Seminole.

Who built a mysterious stone structure that now rests on the bottom of Lake Seminole?

No one has seen the strange building in nearly 60 years, but speculation about it has focused on everyone from the ancient Mayans or Irish to General Andrew Jackson!

Two Egg TV has launched an expedition to find the structure. Rachael Conrad has Parts 1, 2 & 3 of our special series:

Jackson’s Oven stood near Rhodes’ Ferry Landing on Spring Creek prior to the completion of the Jim Woodruff Dam in 1958. We go beneath the waters of the lake in Part Two of this series as our search gets underway. We will post a link to that part as soon as it is available.

To read an architect’s theory on the origin of the structure, please follow this link: Who built this mysterious stone structure on the Flint River?

Click here to learn more about the Spring Creek Watershed Partnership.

Click here to learn more about 37,500 acre Lake Seminole.

 

Sneads landmarks named to National Register of Historic Places

The Sneads Community Building and nearby Sneads Town Pump have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The director of the National Park Service announced today that the historic Sneads Town Pump and log Community Building have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The application that led to the recognition was prepared by Andrew Waber of the Florida Division of Historical Resources with support from Connie Butts, the Sneads City Manager.

The Sneads Town Pump was erected in 1899-1900 by Gabriel Smith and was one of the earliest pumps of its type in the area. It stands on a lot of just over one acre that was sold to the City of Sneads by F.A. and Mittie Brown on February 18, 1899. The sale price of the land was $200.

Legend holds that “He who drinks from this pump will always return.” It was once a tradition in Sneads for local men to take any non-local grooms to the pump for a “drink” to make sure that they always returned to their bride’s hometown.

Another view of the log Community Building in Sneads, Florida. It was built by the WPA in around 1936.

The Sneads Community Building is a charming log cabin structure that is, according to the application, a “locally significant example of New Deal architecture.” It was built in around 1936 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Great Depression effort started by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to help create jobs for starving American families.

The structure was built using locally cut logs and features a beautiful stone fireplace and chimney. It serves as a community meeting place today and stands immediately behind the old Town Pump.

Both landmarks are located at 8025 Old Spanish Trail, Sneads, FL 32460.

The historic Sneads Town Pump and the adjacent historical marker face the Old Spanish Trail in Sneads, Florida.

The now defunct Jackson County Historic Commission placed a marker adjacent to the pump in 1970. The commission was an ancestor of sorts for today’s Chipola Historical Trust.

The listing of the Sneads Town Pump and Community Building on the National Register of Historic Places will shine a positive new spotlight on the community. Many travelers visit and photograph historic sites using the list as a guide.

The landmarks will soon appear in National Park Service publications and will be listed on the official website as well. You can visit  at National Register of Historic Places.

A coordinated effort to better recognize other local historic sites is now underway in Greenwood, where it is hoped that additional local landmarks will soon be added to the National Register.

Dale Cox
August 4, 2017

 

Indian mound restoration nears completion in Chattahoochee, Florida

Restoration of the more than 1,000 year old mound is nearing completion.

Restoration of a destroyed prehistoric Indian mound is nearing completion at River Landing Park in Chattahoochee, Florida.

The original mound was built by prehistoric Native Americans more than 1,000 years ago. Unfortunately, it was all but destroyed  when a previous owner of the property used a bulldozer to level it. The site is now owned by the City of Chattahoochee, which has been highly supportive of the effort to restore the earthwork.

A load of earth arrives for use in restoring the mound.

Work on the project began in early June and is expected to be completed by the end of this week if the weather cooperates.

The restoration is a true community project. The idea was conceived by author/historian Dale Cox who has written two books about events that took place at River Landing Park:

Nicolls’ Outpost: A War of 1812 Fort at Chattahoochee, Florida

The Scott Massacre of 1817: A Seminole War Battle in Gadsden County, Florida.

Two Egg TV has documented the restoration of the prehistoric mound and will soon release a documentary on the project.

Proceeds from the books have helped fund the placement of two historical markers at the park. One commemorates a War of 1812 British fort that once stood there and a second tells the story of the Chattahoochee Landing Mound group. A third, which details the Scott Massacre of 1817, is currently on order and will be dedicated on December 2, 2017.

Chattahoochee Main Street approved the project, which is located in the Main Street district, and helped raise funds for its completion.

The project took a massive amount of clay. It was donated by Gadsden County.

The City of Chattahoochee unanimously approved the restoration of the mound, placed a water line to the site and provided other logistical help.

Plans for the mound were prepared for free as a community service by employees of David H. Melvin, Inc. Consulting Engineers of Marianna.

Chattahoochee Councilman L.B. “Bernie” Howell has volunteered scores of hours to assist with the project and has provided enormous help in coordinating the various individuals and entities involved. He is also donating from his own pocket.

L.B. “Bernie” Howell (L) and Sean Neal (R) examine the mound at the completion of the building and compaction phase. The mound is expected to be sodded this week.

Sean Neel and his employees at Neal Contracting, LLC (850-693-0541) have donated many hours of construction work and heavy equipment use while charging only for essentials.

Robert Presnell and Gadsden County donated the clay used in restoring the main bulk of the mound.

Two Egg TV has documented the entire restoration process on video and will soon release a documentary about how the project was accomplished.

Rachael Conrad of Two Egg TV assisted in flagging the area where the reconstructed mound was built.

Original construction of the archaeologically significant Chattahoochee Landing Mound Group is believed to have begun during the Swift Creek cultural era (100-800 A.D.) and continued into the Fort Walton era (900-1500 A.D.).

The complex is thought to have included at least seven mounds, all of which served as the platforms for prehistoric structures. An eighth mound, where burials were located, once stood on the opposite side of the Apalachicola River in Jackson County but was destroyed by erosion.

To learn more about River Landing Park and its prehistoric mounds, please enjoy this free guided tour courtesy of Chattahoochee Main Street, Visit Florida and Two Egg TV:

Fort Gaines, Georgia (1816)

Fort Gaines was an important military post of the First Seminole War. It protected the Georgia frontier in 1816-1821.

The fort was named for Maj. Gen. Edmund Pendleton Gaines, a hero of the War of 1812, and was built to guard the southern border of the Creek Nation as defined by the Treaty of Fort Jackson.

Restored blockhouse of the 1816 stockade at Fort Gaines, Georgia.

The fort served as a command post for operations down the Chattahoochee and Apalachicola Rivers in 1816. This expedition by the Lt. Col. Duncan Lamont Clinch and the 4th U.S. Infantry resulted in the bloody destruction of the Fort at Prospect Bluff (called the “Negro Fort” by U.S. officials).

Fort Gaines was an important supply depot and defensive point during the First Seminole War (1817-1818) and continued to guard Southwest Georgia and Southeast Alabama until 1821.

A reconstructed blockhouse, historical marker and interpretive kiosk mark the site of the fort in today’s city of Fort Gaines, Georgia. Markers, earthworks and a Confederate cannon mark the nearby sites of the second and third Fort Gaines, which were built in the Creek War of 1836 and the War Between the States (or Civil War).

The restored blockhouse is at the edge of the bluff near 100 Bluff Street, Fort Gaines, Georgia. See the map for directions:

Riding the Apalachicola River with Capt. Gill

Join us for a journey through the estuary of the Apalachicola River with Capt. Gill Autrey:

You can learn more about Capt. Gill’s River Cruises by visiting  www.captgill.com.

Here are some additional photos from our cruise on the lower Apalachicola River:

The waterfront of historic Apalachicola, Florida.
The Apalachicola River not far upstream from its mouth.
Bloody Bluff Landing was once called “Dueling Bluff.” U.S. forces occupied the bluff as a command post during the attack on the Fort at Prospect Bluff (“Negro Fort”).
Prospect Bluff, site of the British Post (later called the “Negro Fort) and Fort Gadsden, was the scene of the deadliest cannon shot in American history.
An osprey nest in the estuary of the Apalachicola River, Florida.
The beautiful marshes of the Apalachicola River estuary.

If you would like to see more about historic Apalachicola, Florida, click below for a tour of the city and its history:

USS Yorktown survivor remembers the Battle of Midway

Two Egg TV visits Roger Spooner of Seminole County, Georgia. He survived the sinking of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown during the Battle of Midway.

This weekend marks the 75th anniversary of the World War II battle. Click play to hear Mr. Spooner’s remarkable story:

To learn more about the Battle of Midway, we highly recommend the video below from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service:

CSS Chattahoochee: Their Dreams Exploded (New Video)

Our new documentary – CSS Chattahoochee: Their Dreams Exploded – is now available for viewing free on your tv set through our Roku channel or you can stream it right here! We hope that you enjoy it and find it to be of interest.

New trail could mean big things for Liberty, Gadsden & Jackson Counties

Alum Bluff near Bristol is believed by some to be the site of the original Garden of Eden!

A proposed new hiking trail that will link Bristol in Liberty County with Chattahoochee in Gadsden County could bring a significant economic impact to areas both east and west of the Apalachicola River.

Two Egg TV’s Rachael Conrad attended a public hearing on the proposal and provides an in depth look at what it could mean:

The proposed route of the Chattahoochee to Bristol (C2B) Trail includes some of the most remarkable views in Florida along with such rare trees and plants as the Florida Torreya and the Florida Yew. The trail would link to existing trails at Torreya State Park and the Nature Conservancy’s Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve.

A crowd of interested citizens attended a public hearing in Chattahoochee on May 22.

The Apalachee Regional Planning Council and Chattahoochee Main Street hosted a public hearing on the proposed trail on May 22nd. Among other key points, those present learned that the trail could be the start of a major system of trails that would link Liberty, Gadsden, Jackson and Bay Counties.

Suggestions were made for refining the proposed route of the trail to avoid flood-prone areas and to  provide better vistas.

A crowd of interested citizens attended a public hearing in Chattahoochee on May 22.

Several hunters asked what impact such a trail might have on hunting season in the area. They were told that any impact would be minimal because most hikers avoid trails during hunting season or make sure to wear orange so they can be seen.

Most of those attending agreed with Ben Chandler of Chattahoochee Main Street, who believes the proposed 20-mile trail will bring low impact tourism to the community.

He feels nature-oriented tourism will generate a good economic impact without damaging the pristine natural resources of the upper Apalachicola River or the peaceful charm of communities along the route.

The proposed trail would connect a series of existing systems such as Chattahoochee’s award-winning trails.

Rett Daniels, Director of Parks in Jackson County, agreed. He said the effort to route the Florida National Scenic Trail from the top of the Chattahoochee to Bristol Trail into Jackson County could provide a solid economic impact for rural communities.

Daniels said that the effort would require strong support from community members and would take several years to complete.

The final decision rests with the U.S. Forest Service, which supervises the Florida National Scenic Trail.

A map showing the proposed trail along with the suggested Jackson County extension of the Florida National Scenic Trail. 

Ghost Town of Butler, Florida

Butler and Butler’s Ferry (Butler Landing) as shown on a 1935 map of Jackson County, Florida.

Butler was a thriving Chattahoochee River community during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It is a ghost town today.

The village was named for the Butler family that once lived there. At its height it was the location of a store, sawmill, gristmill, turpentine still, cotton gin and paddlewheel steamboat landing.

Butler was demolished in 1951, however, after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers acquired the site during the construction of the Jim Woodruff Dam. Lake Seminole, the 37,500 acre reservoir formed by the dam, was expected to flood community. The waters of the lake did rise and inundate parts of the site, but much of old Butler remains above water.

Click the play button to watch our special tour of the Ghost Town of Butler, Florida:

If you would like to visit the site of Butler, it is located within the Apalachee Wildlife Management Area 6.2 miles north of U.S. 90 at Sneads, Florida. The community surrounded the intersection of River Road (SR-271) and Butler Road.

This map will help you find it: