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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Palatka in Putnam County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Native Americans at the River

5000 BC to 1842

 
 
Native Americans at the River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, March 13, 2019
1. Native Americans at the River Marker
Inscription.  
Natives lived on the St. Johns River
Northwest Florida was home to Native Americans for some 15,000 years. About 7,000 years ago, they began settling along the St. Johns River. French and Spanish explorers arrived in what is now Palatka in the late 1500’s. Here they met Timucuan Indians led by Chief Utina. The Timucuan farmed, hunted, fished, and gathered snails and mussels from the waterways. Archeologists believe they probably used the ravines freshwater source.

Southeastern Indians moved into Florida
By the mid 1700’s, the Native American population of Florida had died from warfare and European diseases. Creeks and other Indians from Alabama and Georgia migrated into Florida. During the British occupation of Florida (1763-83), famed botanist William Bartram visited a Creek village in the Palatka areas, possibly in the “hammock” area south of St. Johns Avenue. He describes being welcomed there with a feast of oranges and watermelons grown by the Indians.

American settlers displaced the Seminoles
By the 1800's, these various Indian groups were known as the Seminole. As Florida
Marker detail: St. Johns Village image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: St. Johns Village
The high land between here and the river may have been a village site for native St. Johns people.
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became a U.S. territory (1821-45), American settlers moved in and displaced the Seminoles. Conflicts over land escalated into the Second Seminole War (1835-42). In Palatka, a fort was built to protect troops and supplies crossing the St. Johns River. Named Fort Shannon, it was burned in 1836. At the end of the war; the Seminole were either transported to Oklahoma or forced south into the Everglades.
 
Erected by Florida State Parks.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 29° 37.941′ N, 81° 38.671′ W. Marker is in Palatka, Florida, in Putnam County. Marker can be reached from Twigg Street east of South 18th Street, on the right when traveling east. Marker is located within Ravine Gardens State Park, along the gardens loop road, overlooking the ravine. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1600 Twigg Street, Palatka FL 32177, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Suspension Bridges and Amphitheater (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Palatka Waterworks (about 800 feet away); The Civil War and the Ravines (approx. ¼ mile away); Ravine State Gardens (approx. ¼ mile away); William Bartram Trail
Marker detail: Native pottery image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Native pottery
St. Johns people often stamped their pottery with a unique checked pattern. Sherds of this type were found in the Gardens.
(approx. 0.3 miles away); Garden Center History (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Hammock (approx. 1.1 miles away); Bartram Trail in Putnam County (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Palatka.
 
Also see . . .  Utina, chief of Timacauns, encountering the aggressive Spanish Soldiers. The Spanish were friendly at first meeting with Outina/Utina, chief of the Timacau. Their aggressiveness made the Indians uncomfortable, as they would take their men for trips farther into Florida. They began to battle, as they took them as slaves. Soon the more Spanish arrived, disease was brought to the Indians and many died. It is noted that there were as many as 600,000 Indians along the St. Johns River. It was reduced to 160,000. (Submitted on March 13, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Native Americans at the River Marker (<i>wide view; ravine overlook platform on the left</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, March 13, 2019
4. Native Americans at the River Marker (wide view; ravine overlook platform on the left)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 13, 2019. It was originally submitted on March 13, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 285 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 13, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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May. 5, 2021