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

Bartram Trail in Putnam County

The Playgrounds at Puc-Puggy Landing

 
 
Bartram Trail in Putnam County Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, March 5, 2021
1. Bartram Trail in Putnam County Marker
Inscription.  
The Flower Hunter
William Bartram, naturalist and author of Travels, sailed past Palatka in the spring of 1774. The Seminoles called him "Puc-Puggy," which means "Flower Hunter."

The dried flower on this panel is one of the specimens gathered by Puc-Puggy on his visits to Florida.

Bartram was also an artist. Travels includes numerous beautiful illustrations of flowers, animals and people he encountered.

Seminole Chickee
William Bartram made a second trip to this region in the fall of 1774. He rode a Seminole horse along the "Indian hunting tracks,” to the same "Indian town" he had sailed past in spring. There he enjoyed a "feast of watermelons and oranges" on the riverfront of Palatka.

"We were received and entertained friendlily by the Indians, the chief of the village conducting us to a grand, airy pavilion in the center of the village."

The “airy pavilion” is called a chickee by the Seminole tribe. Chickees are still built in Florida today.

Bartram at the Palatka Riverfront
William Bartram respected
Marker detail: Seminole family gathered together by chickees — Silver Springs, Florida image. Click for full size.
J. R. Yagel, State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory
2. Marker detail: Seminole family gathered together by chickees — Silver Springs, Florida
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this page online
the native people he met. Here is what he wrote about sailing past a Seminole settlement on the riverfront of what is now Palatka:

"Some of the youth were naked, up to their hips in the water, fishing with rods and lines, whilst others, younger, were diverting themselves in shooting frogs with bows and arrows. On my near approach, the little children took to their heelsÖ but the stouter youth stood their ground, and, smiling, called to me."

He also saw elderly people outside their dwellings on the shore. No one was alarmed by his presence. In his own words he said:

"They were civil, and appeared happy in their situation."
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicExplorationNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the William Bartram Trails series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1774.
 
Location. 29° 38.681′ N, 81° 37.824′ W. Marker is in Palatka, Florida, in Putnam County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Memorial Parkway and Laurel Street, on the right when traveling north. Marker is located in the playground at Riverfront Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 Memorial Parkway, Palatka FL 32177, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The First Presbyterian Church of Palatka (within shouting distance
Marker detail: Bartramís flower specimen from the Natural History Museum, UK image. Click for full size.
Courtesy University of Florida Digital Archives
3. Marker detail: Bartramís flower specimen from the Natural History Museum, UK
of this marker); Putnam County High School Band WWII Memorial (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Basil C. Pearce Jr. USS Tang Memorial (about 400 feet away); Woodmen of the World Vietnam Memorial (about 500 feet away); Veterans Memorial Plaza (about 500 feet away); The Hammock (about 500 feet away); Hotel James (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fort Shannon (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Palatka.
 
Also see . . .
1. William Bartram. From 1773-77, William Bartram explored the American Southeast to record the regionís plants, animals, and Indian peoples. Published in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1779 Bartramís Travels has become a classic, in large part because of Bartramís descriptions of Florida. In the spring of 1774 Bartram traveled inland from the St. Johns River to the Alachua Savanna, present-day Paynes Prairie Preserve. (Submitted on March 8, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Bartram Trail Conference. In March of 1774, William Bartram boarded ship at St. Simons Island, Georgia for the St. Johns River.
Marker detail: Bartramís illustration of a Paw-Paw image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Natural History Museum, UK
4. Marker detail: Bartramís illustration of a Paw-Paw
He was bound specifically for Spalding and Kelsallís Lower Store, located at present Stokes Landing on the west side of the river about six miles southwest of present Palatka. (Submitted on March 8, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Marker detail: Bartramís illustration of a Morning Glory image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Natural History Museum, UK
5. Marker detail: Bartramís illustration of a Morning Glory
Marker detail: Local artist Bill Walter painted his vision of Bartramís arrival in Palatka. image. Click for full size.
6. Marker detail: Local artist Bill Walter painted his vision of Bartramís arrival in Palatka.
Bartram Trail in Putnam County Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, March 5, 2021
7. Bartram Trail in Putnam County Marker
(St. Johns River in background)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on March 5, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 105 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on March 8, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Nov. 28, 2021