Near Palatka in Putnam County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway
A Man and a Dam
The Senator George Kirkpatrick Dam has been a site of conflict for decades — even before its foundations were built. The dam and the Rodman Reservoir were built in the 1960s as part of the Cross Florida Barge Canal. Construction of the dam was a blow to canal opponents.
Environmentalists wanted to open the dam, empty the reservoir and restore the free-flowing Ocklawaha River. The canal project was permanently canceled in the 1990s. But the dam's namesake, Senator Kirkpatrick, continued to defend the reservoir. He repeatedly thwarted efforts to open the dam.
Every few years, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection lowers the water level in the reservoir. These "drawdowns" improve water quality and help control invasive aquatic plants. Drawdowns reveal the history hidden here. A ghostly forest of cypress stumps, drowned by the reservoir, loom up from the water.
Erected by Florida State Parks.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Environment Parks & Recreational Areas • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 29° 30.487′ N, 81° 48.258′ W. Marker is near Palatka, Florida, in Putnam County. Marker can be reached from Rodman Dam Road, 3.6 miles west of Florida Route 19, on the left when traveling west. Marker is located on the west side of the Kirkpatrick Dam Boat Ramp parking lot, overlooking the dam. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Palatka FL 32177, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Kenwood Recreation Area (approx. 4.6 miles away); Buckman Lock North / Buckman Lock South (approx. 5.3 miles away); Cross Florida Barge Canal Memorial (approx. 6 miles away); Battle At Horse Landing (approx. 6.3 miles away); Lincoln Lane Schoolhouse (approx. 9.7 miles away); The Mount Royal Site (approx. 10.2 miles away); Mount Royal (approx. 10.4 miles away); a different marker also named The Mount Royal Site (approx. 10.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Palatka.
More about this marker. Nearby marker, "Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway," is replicated at multiple locations along the greenway.
Related markers.list of markers that are related to this marker. Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway
Also see . . .
1. Rodman Recreation Area. Florida State parks website entry:
The Rodman Recreation Area is comprised of the facilities and recreational opportunities surrounding and located upon the former Rodman Dam, designated by the Florida Legislature as the Kirkpatrick Dam in 1998. The reservoir side is known for its bass, bream, catfish and mullet. The 7,200-foot-long earthen dam has a four-gate spillway. (Submitted on March 6, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Cross Florida Barge Canal & Rodman Dam History. Tiki-Toki website timeline (Submitted on March 6, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. The Controversial History Behind the Rodman Reservoir. Metro Jacksonville website entry:
A failed attempt to create a “Panama Canal-style” waterway across the state created the Rodman Dam and Reservoir while also becoming the largest public works project in America to halted in the middle of construction. (Submitted on March 6, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
4. Rodman Reservoir (Lake Ocklawaha). Wikipedia entry:
Rodman Dam was later named the George Kirkpatrick Dam to honor the Florida state senator who was one of the dam's biggest proponents. As of 2014, Florida Defenders of the Environment (FDE)'s, campaign for a free-flowing Ocklawaha River is in its fifth decade. (Submitted on March 6, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
5. History of the Rodman Dam. Free the Ocklawaha website entry (Submitted on March 7, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
6. Has One Florida Dam's Day Finally Come?. Audubon Magazine website entry:
Rodman Dam on the Ocklawaha River is the only dam in the nation without even an alleged purpose. It is a 44-year-old vestigial appendage of what, in the words of Carl Buchheister, Audubon’s president from 1959 to 1967, would have been “one of the greatest boondoggles ever perpetrated.” (Submitted on March 6, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 28, 2021. It was originally submitted on March 3, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 398 times since then and 162 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on March 6, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.