Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Suwannee Springs on The Suwannee River
Here is a picture of Suwannee Springs taken from my kayak. It is a great place to swim because the water is crisp and cold as most springwater in Florida is. For those of you unfamiliar with Florida springs, here is some background:
Suwannee Springs was a prime tourist destination from 1890 to 1925 as people from all over the country came to bathe in the medicinal sulfur water thought to cure kidney problems, rheumatism, gout, constipation, and many other common ailments of the day. Three hotels and 18 private residences were located on the site during its heyday. The Atlantic Coastline Railroad stopped at Suwannee Station, a mile north of the springs, and ran a spur line down to the hotels.
In 1925 the last hotel burned down and Suwannee Springs ceased to be a year-round resort. The spring house and railroad pylons can still be seen today. Years of unmanaged use caused erosion and a decline in the springs natural beauty. A major restoration to restore the spring and to provide better recreational opportunities was completed in 1996. Work included stabilizing the back-filling areas around the spring; constructing additional parking areas and walkways; and replanting with native plants.
There is a notorious murder associated with Suwannee Springs. In 1941, a young (17) black man was beaten by a white mob, tied in chains, and thrown into the spring where he drowned. The youth had supposedly sent a greeting card to a white girl in the community. No one was ever arrested or punished for the crime. In late 2000, a radio reporter tracked down the aged but still-living mother of the victim, who had moved away from the Suwannee Springs area shortly after the murder. The mother refused to speak with the reporter about the crime; other relatives told the reporter that the mother still feared retribution from the community after 60 years.
Posted by pineyflatwoodsgirl at 2:33 AM