Newsletter -- January/February, 2004.

The February membership meeting of the Putnam County Historical Society will be a driving trip to Fort Matanzas National Park and Bulow Plantation Ruins State Historic Site. We will meet at the Bronson-Mulholland House, 100 Madison Street, Palatka on Saturday, February 28th at 8:30 A.M. for our drive to Fort Matanzas. We will try to car pool as much as possible to reduce the total number of vehicles that will be traveling. The history of Fort Matanzas is closely intertwined with that of the City of St. Augustine and the Castillo de San Marcos. This Spanish outpost fort was built in 1740-1742 to guard the Matanzas Inlet and to warn St. Augustine of British and other enemies approaching from the south. Travel to the fort is by ferry, which leaves the visitor center every thirty minutes. There is no charge for visitors.

After touring the fort we plan to travel to Flagler Beach for a lunch at Martin's Restaurant. After lunch we plan to visit Bulow Plantation Ruins State Historic Site. In 1821 Major Charles W. Bulow acquired 4,675 acres of wilderness bordering a tidal creek that would later bear his name. Using slave labor, he cleared 2,200 acres and planted sugar cane, cotton, rice, and indigo. Bulow's sugar mill was the largest mill in East Florida. The Sugar Mill Ruins are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The park is located off Old Kings Road, a historic roadway that connected the City of St. Augustine to the plantations along Bulow Creek and the Tomoka River. The entrance fee to the park is $2.00 per vehicle.

Please mark you calendars now to join us for an interesting and educational trip to St. Johns and Flagler counties. If you have not previously joined us for one of our outings, you need to talk to one of our members, who have done so, to find out how much fun they are!


The town of Huntington was located in the area where the CSX railroad crosses County Road 308 a few miles west of Crescent City. Mrs. Katherine Brinley Sumner Huntington, widow of Hezekiah Huntington, founded the town about 1883. Mr. Huntington was the founder of Harper's Fire Insurance Company. When the predecessor to CSX, the Jacksonville, Tampa, and Key West Railroad, obtained right-of-way through their land, a settlement was established. Mrs. Huntington built an Episcopal Church and a large home there. In 1887 the town had fourteen buildings including a hotel, the church, a railroad depot, post office and three schools. Eighty-three families were served by the post office.