Florida Historical Markers Programs - Marker: Putnam

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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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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."
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
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
Location:100 Madison Street
County: Putnam
City: Palatka
Description: Side One: The Bronson-Mulholland House was constructed for Isaac H. Bronson around 1853. A lawyer and United States congressman from New York, Bronson served as a member of the Committee on Territories in the late 1830s. He proposed the act for Florida statehood. After Florida attained statehood in 1845, Bronson was appointed to the US District Court for Florida by President James Polk. He lived in St. Augustine with his wife Sophronia and two daughters, Gertrude and Emma. Through a settlement in a land transaction, he acquired ten acres of land along the St. Johns River in Palatka and began construction of his estate, calling it “Sunny Point.” This Greek-Revival Style mansion was surrounded by groves of orange trees. Bronson prepared and sponsored the charter for the City of Palatka and petitioned for it to become the Putnam County seat. He donated the land both for the Putnam County courthouse and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. Judge Bronson died in 1855 and was buried on the property as was customary at that time. His widow lived in the house until 1861, when the outbreak of the Civil War prompted her return to New York. Side Two: During the Civil War, Union and Confederate troops separately occupied the house. A friend of Sophronia Bronson, Charlotte Henry, established a school for freed slave children in the house from 1866 to 1868. Henry purchased the property and married Nathaniel P. White in 1873. In the 1890s, Mary Mulholland, a nurse from Boston, provided care for an ailing Mr. White. She inherited the estate when Charlotte White died in 1904, and subdivided the land. Mulholland employed a housekeeper, Taurina Rivero, who lived at Sunny Point with her sister Edelmira. In 1935 Edelmira Rivero inherited the property from Mulholland, which she sold in 1945. The house eventually was divided into apartments. In 1965 the City of Palatka acquired the property with intent to demolish the house. Prompted by the Putnam County Historical Society and concerned citizens, the house was saved. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, and in 1975 a grant was obtained to restore the house. The Putnam County Historical Society provided period furnishings while the City of Palatka owns and maintains the property.
Sponsors: Putnam County Historical Society, The Palatka North Historic District Neighborhood Association, The Palatka Community Redevelopment Agency
Location:116 Lincoln Lane
County: Putnam
City: Interlachen
Description: The Lincoln Lane school is a historic reminder of segregation in Putnam County. Built in 1938 at a cost “not to exceed $600,” the one-room schoolhouse served African American children from grades 1 through 8. Compared with white schools operating in the county during the same time, the school year was shorter and text books were second-hand. Moreover, teachers at this school were paid less, and publicly-funded transportation was not provided to students. In 1954, the landmark United States Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka found that the “separate but equal” doctrine, which had been used to justify segregation in public schools since the 1890s, was inherently unequal and unconstitutional. In 1956, title to the school land was conveyed to Charles E. Brush, a prominent local businessman and resident, symbolizing the end of school segregation in Interlachen. The Historical Society of Interlachen, Inc. purchased the land and building in 2013 in recognition of its historic significance.
Sponsors: The Historical Society of Interlachen, Inc.
Location:401 State Road 26
County: Putnam
City: Melrose
Description: Established to educate children of west Putnam County and surrounding communities, Melrose High School began in 1882 as a wooden building on Wynwood Street. In 1927, the school moved to this location when Putnam County constructed a new wooden building with a stucco exterior finish to service grades one through twelve. Wood from the 1882 school building was used in the construction of the new gymnasium. Fire damaged the school in 1945 and the Board of Public Instruction devised a plan to keep children from missing school days. Classes for the first and second graders were held in Melrose Methodist Church, third and fourth in the Episcopal Boy Scout House, and the fifth and sixth in the Women’s Clubhouse. Classes for grades seven through twelve were held in the Eliam Baptist Church basement. It took one and a half years to rebuild the school using plans from the original 1927 building. During World War II, a few students left to serve in the military. The last senior class graduated in 1968, after which grades six through twelve were moved to Interlachen, Florida. This school has been a significant educational institution in the Melrose community for generations.
Sponsors: The Melrose High School Alumni Association