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Florida Historical Markers Programs - Marker: Dixie





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Dixie

OLDTOWN
Location:Near intersection of C.R. 55 and S.R. 349
County: Dixie
City: Old Town
Description: Inhabited by the Upper Creeks, Old Town, often called Suwanee Old Town, was one of the largest Indian villages in northern Florida. In Andrew Jackson's punitive expedition into Florida in April, 1818, Old Town was captured. Most of the renegade Indians escaped, but Jackson caught Robert Armbister, a British subject, who was tried and executed for aiding the Creeks in border raids into Georgia. This produced tension between the United States and Great Britain.
OLD TOWN SCHOOL
Location:SE County Road 349, and St. Co. Rd. 55A Dixie County Cultural Center
County: Dixie
City: Old Town
Description: On April 1, 1899, Orren Y. Felton and his wife, Lillie F. Felton, gave deed to the Board of Public Instruction for Old Town School. On May 23, 1911, Ruby E. Chaires and her husband McQueen Chaires gave additional deed to the Board of Public Instruction for School. The present two story, four-classroom building was constructed in 1909—two classrooms upstairs and two downstairs. From home schooling to one-room schoolhouses to neighborhood schools, the schools of the Old Town era were built. The auditorium was added in 1930. Children continually attended classes in this building until 1999. This historic, two and one-half story building was constructed of locally made bricks which were “fired” on site. All rafters are of the exposed “Italian eight design.” The top half floor contains a two-louver door dormer. The dormer and high windows were the only means of ventilation. The Dixie County Historical Society uses this building, now known as the Dixie County Cultural Center, as an office, museum of local artifacts, and library.
Sponsors: DIXIE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
THE JACKSON TRAIL
Location:C.R. 351, 2.4 mi. north of Horseshoe Beach
County: Dixie
City: Cross City
Description: On December 26, 1817, U.S. Secretary of War John C. Calhoun directed General Andrew Jackson to protect citizens trying to settle in Florida. Jackson arrived in Florida with the largest army ever to invade the state to date – 2,000 Creek Warriors and 1,000 Georgia and Tennessee militiamen. After leaving Nashville, Tennessee, they traveled through Georgia and on to Florida, winding up in Suwannee-Old Town (now Dixie County). Jackson’s goal was to remove the Indians, destroy their homes and confiscate their horses, cattle and food and slaves. In four days he had killed or driven off all Indians and escaped slaves. Near this spot, in April 1818, while on a “seek and find” mission, Jackson and his army captured Indian traders Robert Armbrister and Alexander Arbuthnot. They were British subjects who were supposed to be protected by a truce between England and the United States. Jackson had Arbuthnot hanged and Armbrister shot, which almost caused a war between the two countries. The Jackson Trail ran alongside Highway 19, branching south to the Coast on the west side of what is now the Horseshoe Beach Road (Highway 351).
Sponsors: DIXIE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
PUTNAM LODGE
Location:15487 NW 19 Hwy
County: Dixie
City: Shamrock
Description: Putnam Lodge, built in 1927-28 by the Putnam Lumber Company, is part of a bygone era in Florida's forestry history. Here, beside the old Dixie Highway, Putnam Lodge, part of the "company town" of Shamrock, accommodated tourists, transients and company executives and clients. The lobby and the dining room of the 36-room lodge were decorated exclusively with the still preserved, artfully stenciled "pecky cypress," a now virtually extinct lumber product. In its day, the Putnam Lumber Company, founded by William O'Brien, a timber magnate of Irish descent, and associates including E. B. Putnam, employed hundreds at its two state-of-the-art sawmills in Shamrock. The mills annually produced and shipped worldwide millions of feet of "deep swamp tidewater cypress" and "dense Florida longleaf yellow pine" lumber, products that are now rare because the old growth trees are gone. Shamrock provided its residents and employees with comfortable homes, a commissary, a store comparable to "any city department store," two schools, two hotels, the Shamrock Dairy Farm, and an ice plant producing 18 tons of ice daily. The lodge is representative of a time of local timber supremacy and economic prosperity.
Sponsors: THE SOCIETY OF AMERICAN FORESTERS AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
FLETCHER COMMUNITY
Location:Hwy. 349 Between Pinecrest Dr. and Senco Mertz Rd.
County: Dixie
City: Old Town
Description: The Fletcher Community was established when Dixie County was part of Lafayette County and both were part of their parent county, Madison. In the early 1850s Fletcher families and other families emigrated south from the Carolinas through Georgia, bringing their livestock and looking for better pastures. Other families followed including the Edmond, Bell, Boatright, Gronto, Hatch, Matthis, Jones, Sauls and Ward families. They used the Suwannee River to move cotton and farm produce by steamboats to the railroad at Cedar Key. Most settlers of the Methodist faith attended services at Pleasant Grove Church, established by Rev. John A. Fletcher (1811-1858). This church is now gone but the Pleasant Grove and Ward Cemeteries are reminders of the Fletcher Community’s settlers. William Rete Fletcher served as Madison County’s Justice of the Peace 1847-1849 and Clerk of Court of Lafayette County 1856-1858. U.S. Postal records show Matilda J. Jones Fletcher as the community’s first Postmaster. Eborn Haywood Sauls, William R. Fletcher, and Mittie (Matilda) Fletcher were later Postmasters.
Sponsors: DIXIE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY, DIXIE COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
FORT DUVAL AND THE SUWANNEE RIVER
Location:23465 SE 349 Hwy
County: Dixie
City: Old Town
Description: Captain Francis Langhorne Dade, U.S. Army and his 120-man Companies A,B,D,H and N, built Fort Duval in November 1826 at the mouth of the Suwannee River. The structure was 140 by 130 feet and six feet high with portholes for firing. The fort was named for territorial governor William Pope Duval. Fort Duval was built to guard the mouth of the Suwannee River. Indians used the river for many years, traveling to Cuba, the Bahama Islands and other places to trade and purchase goods. William Bartram witnessed this in his travels in 1774 while visiting the Indians up river from its mouth. In April 1818, General Andrew Jackson used the river to transport his wounded back to St. Marks after his Battle for Billy Bowleg’s Old Town, located on the Suwannee River. Fort Duval was destroyed by May 15, 1841. At that time, Capt. Cambell Graham wrote of Lt. Palmer’s survey of the mouth of the Suwannee River in search of the remains of Fort Duval. Time and tide have destroyed all traces of Fort Duval. The Suwannee River now carries fishing enthusiasts and sportsmen.
Sponsors: DIXIE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY, THE SUWANNEE RIVER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
TRIUMPH THE CHURCH AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN CHRIST
Location:166 NE 106 Street
County: Dixie
City: Cross City
Description: This church, built in 1929, was originally a wood-framed structure and the first church erected in the African-American community of Cross City. The architectural character was retained when it was remodeled and enlarged in 1942. The hand-made masonry blocks were fashioned under the direction of Prince Robert C. Glanton (1892-1965). He was the church’s Shepherd and presiding elder until he was promoted to District Bishop in 1957. Cross City’s first voter registration for blacks was held in this church. The church is part of a national system of churches founded in 1902 by Father Elias Dempsey Smith and is represented in 36 of the United States and Monrovia, Liberia. It was chartered in Washington, D.C. in 1918, and is in the hall of records. In addition to worship and praise services, the church provides charity, summer enrichment classes, youth development training, and many other activities that enhance the spiritual, physical, and moral development of the community.
Sponsors: TRIUMPH THE CHURCH AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN CHRIST AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE