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

Historic Strawberry Plantation

Historic Strawberry Plantation Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brandon D Cross, August 17, 2019
1. Historic Strawberry Plantation Marker
The 8,000 acre Strawberry Mills and Plantation, part of a Spanish sawmill grant to Francis Richard, Jr., was purchased by John S. Sammis circa 1840. Sammis, a native of New York, moved to Florida in the 1820s and worked briefly for prominent plantation owner Zephaniah Kingsley. In 1830, Sammis married Mary Kingsley, the mixed-race daughter of Zephaniah and his African-born wife, Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley.

The plantation produced Sea Island cotton, rice and provisions crops, and had summer and winter range for cattle and sheep, an abundance of fish in the rivers and creeks, and forests of live oak, cedar and pine. There was also a large mineral spring and bathhouse. The plantation home was built sometime after 1850 and is still in use today as a private residence.

Sammis was also a prominent merchant I Jacksonville and owned extensive real estate in downtown Jacksonville. The Sammis children were educated by private tutors in Florida and by educators at finishing schools and universities in the United States and Europe. One of Duval County’s largest slave owners in the 1850s, Sammis sold his slaves at New Orleans
Historic Strawberry Plantation Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brandon D Cross, August 17, 2019
2. Historic Strawberry Plantation Marker
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in April 1860. In 1861 and 1862, Sammis was threatened with violence and death by Confederate extremists for his outspoken advocacy of the Union. In response, he moved his family to a Northern state during the Civil War.

After the war, his wealth greatly diminished, John Sammis sold the plantation, mill, and family residence. The family continued to bury their dead in the cemetery at the rear of the plantation home. John S. Sammis died in 1884. Mary Kingsley Sammis died in 1885. They, too are buried in what is now known as the Clifton Cemetery in the Old Arlington neighborhood of Jacksonville.

Source: Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley, by Dr. Daniel L. Schafer
Erected 2009 by Old Arlington Inc.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCemeteries & Burial SitesSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil. A significant historical year for this entry is 1840.
Location. 30° 19.324′ N, 81° 36.555′ W. Marker is in Jacksonville, Florida, in Duval County. Marker is at the intersection of Garrison Avenue and Magnolia Bluff Avenue, on the left when traveling south on Garrison Avenue. Marker in front of Clifton/Sammis Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Jacksonville FL 32211, 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. Arlington Grammar School No. 46 (approx. 0.8
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miles away); Historic Arlington Town Center Ferry Landing (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Crossroads (approx. 0.9 miles away); Norman Silent Film Studios (approx. 1.2 miles away); Jacksonville And The Movie Industry (approx. 1.2 miles away); Frederick W. Bruce (approx. 1.4 miles away); Historic Floral Bluff (approx. 1˝ miles away); Millers Creek (approx. 1.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jacksonville.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 9, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 8, 2019, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 257 times since then and 59 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 8, 2019, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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May. 21, 2022