Historical Markers

Florida Historical Markers Programs - Marker: Putnam





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Putnam

ROLLESTOWN
Location:U.S. 17, east side of St. Johns River, E.Palatka P
County: Putnam
City: Palatka
Description: Site of the colony of Denys Rolle, English philanthropist. The settlement, composed of 200 indentured servants from the streets of London, was founded in 1767. It did not prosper and the settlers scattered. Negro slaves were imported to tend cattle, cultivate citrus and extract turpentine. The colony was abandoned in 1783 when Britain ceded Florida to Spain. Rolle returned to England and the Negroes resettled in the Bahamas.
FORT SHANNON
Location:S.R. 100 in Fort Shannon Park
County: Putnam
City: Palatka
Description: Established in May, 1838, this fort was one of the major quartermaster depots in Florida during the Second Seminole War. It operated under Gen. William J. Worth until he assumed command of the armies in Florida. Military facilities included a hospital, barracks, blockhouses, and stables for more than 400 horses. During the fort's existence, Palatka was military in appearance and under military control.
Sponsors: In Cooperation with Palataka Junior Chamber of Commerce
PALATKA
Location:S.R. 100 in front of Police station.
County: Putnam
City: Palatka
Description: Established as a trading post in 1821, the settlement was burned in the Seminole War (1836). In 1838, the U.S. Government constructed Fort Shannon which served as a garrison, supply depot and hospital for the forts in the southern area of Florida. Winfield Scott, Zachary Taylor, and William T. Sherman were stationed here. During the Civil War the city was occupied by Federal troops. In the postwar period, Palatka became one of the leading tourist centers of Florida.
ST. MARKS EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Location:Main Street & Second Street.
County: Putnam
City: Palatka
Description: Episcopal services in Palatka were first conducted in 1846 by the Rev. John F Young, later Bishop of Florida (1867-1885). The parish was organized in 1853, and the church completed in 1854. During the Civil War, St. Mark's was used as a barracks by Federal troops and suffered considerable damage. After the war the church served as the missionary center of the Episcopal Church in the St. Johns Valley. The original building, though altered, is still in use today.
Sponsors: In Cooperation with Putnam County Historical Society
CROSS FLORIDA BARGE CANAL MEMORIAL
Location: on private road off S.R. 19, S. of Rodman at Roden
County: Putnam
City: Rodman
Description: President Lyndon B. Johnson Dedicated the Start of Construction of the 185-Mile Long Canal at this Site on February 27, 1964.
Sponsors: Canal Authority of Florida, Design and Construction by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
MELROSE WOMAN'S CLUB
Location:307 Pine St., in front of Woman's Club
County: Putnam
City: Melrose
Description: Since its beginning as the Literary and Debating Society in 1890, the Melrose Woman's Club has been a major contributor to community development. The formation of the Improvement Society for Melrose in 1891 was one of its first accomplishments. The club has also undertaken beautification projects, given scholarships, sponsored educational programs, and in 1895, opened its library to the public. The clubhouse was planned and built of heart pine by a local carpenter. First known as "The Hall," the structure has been in continuous use as a clubhouse since 1893. the building became the Melrose Woman's Club in 1946.
Sponsors: sponsored by the melrose woman's club in cooperation with department of state
THE MOUNT ROYAL SITE
Location:County Road 309
County: Putnam
City: Welaka
Description: Mount Royal has been a favored location for people to live for thousands of years. Archaeological sites include a Native American burial mound, earthworks, village area, and evidence of a British plantation, as well as the remains of a Spanish mission occupied by the Timucus Indians. British naturalist William Bartram visited Mount Royal in 1765–1766, and again in 1774. His description of the large mound, fields, earthen causeways and an artificial pond was published in 1791 and is one of the earliest accounts of an Indian mound in North America. Bartram’s plan of the mound was later published in 1848 by newly formed Smithsonian Institution. Archaeologist Clarence B. Moore excavated the mounds in 1893 and 1894. Moore found human burials with hammered and embossed sheet copper ornaments, polished stone tools, pearl and shell beads, and decorated ceramic vessels. The copper ornaments are similar to those found at Mississippian sites in Georgia, Alabama and Oklahoma and date between 1000 and 1500 A.D. Archaeologist B. Calvin Jones’ salvage excavations at the village site in 1983 and in 1994–1995, revealed evidence of six structures. These buildings contained Spanish artifacts and were probably part of the Mission of San Antonio de Anacape (1587–1675).
Sponsors: The Florida Department of State
ASA PHILIP RANDOLPH
Location:200 Cedar St.
County: Putnam
City: Crescent City
Description: Civil Rights Activist, Trade Union Leader, Crusader for Justice – 1889-1979 “Salvation for a race, nation or class must come from within. Freedom is never granted; it is won, it is never given; it is exacted.” Asa Philip Randolph was born in Crescent City, Florida on April 15, 1889 to Rev. James Williams and Elizabeth Robinson Randolph. His father was a minister at this church where Randolph attended as a youth. In 1925 he became the founder and president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and remained president until 1968. He founded a group that later became the League of Non Violent Civil Disobedience Against Military Segregation. He was the first president (1960-66) of the Negro American Labor Council. Randolph was the originator of two major marches on Washington. One was held in 1941; the other was the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom,” which brought more than 200,000 people to the capital on August 28, 1963. Two years later he formed the A. Philip Randolph Institute for community leaders to study the causes of poverty. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Johnson in 1964. He died May 16, 1979 in New York City. In 1989 Randolph became the second Union President to be honored on a U. S. Postage Stamp. “No individual did more to help the poor, the disposed and the working class in the United States and around the world."
Sponsors: THE A. PHILIP RANDOLPH INSTITUTE AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
MELROSE CEMETERY
Location:S.R. 21 by Campbells Ln. at Eliam Cemetery
County: Putnam
City: Melrose
Description: Formerly known as the "Banana burying grounds," the Melrose non-denominational cemetery was established in 1860 by the Eliam Baptist Church, founded in 1859. The farming community of Banana consisted of small farms, a post office / general store and a gristmill owned by Dr. G.W. McRae (1829 - 1900), local physician and postmaster. The Baptists built their first church on the N.E. corner of the cemetery in 1860 and a second, larger church in 1883. In 1924 they relocated the church site to the town of Melrose where they built a third, larger church. Veterans of eight wars are interred here dating from the Mexican-American War (12846-1848) to the Vietnam War (1964-1973). The Civil War (1861-1865) account for six Union and 35 Confederate veterans graves. General of the Melrose area, fought in the Mexican - American War and the Civil War. In 1895 the church formed a Memorial Association to care for the cemetery property. The Melrose Cemetery Association and volunteers continue to maintain the grounds today. In 2007 a Veterans Memorial honoring veterans of all wars was erected on the site of the 1883 church at the front of the cemetery.
Sponsors: Sponsored by the Eliam Baptist Church and the Florida Department of State 2009
THE EDGAR POST OFFICE
Location:1 Keuka Road
County: Putnam
City: Edgar
Description: During the 1870s, Scotsman Charles S. Edgar mined kaolin clay deposits for the Edgar Brothers Clay Company of Metuchen, New Jersey. This clay was used to make heat- resistant bricks and hearth tiles. As the company expanded, Edgar began searching for higher purity kaolin white clays. After learning of a phosphate discovery in Florida, Edgar traveled to Florida where he located a deposit of kaolin between Interlachen and Hawthorne. By 1888, Edgar had developed a process to mine the kaolin from the surrounding fine-grained, white sand. In 1892, he incorporated the Edgar Plastic Kaolin Company. To provide for the needs of his approximately 50 employees, he founded the Town of Edgar in 1883. The town included housing, a company store, a chapel, and a post office. The Edgar Post Office began operations in 1894 and was originally located in the town’s company store. Later, the post office relocated to this small building which was constructed in 1960. The Edgar Post Office served the community until it closed in June 2010.
Sponsors: Edgar Minerals, Inc. and the Florida Department of State