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

Bartram at Blue Spring

Volusia County Bartram Trail

Bartram at Blue Spring Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, October 25, 2021
1. Bartram at Blue Spring Marker
William Bartram's Travels
Famed naturalist, artist and poetic writer William Bartram first visited Blue Spring in January 1766. His writing and artwork inspired many, from naturalist artist John James Audubon to Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

What he saw here was somewhat different from what we see today. Here is a quote about his experience of this site from his book, Travels:

"This creek, which is formed instantly by this admirable fountain, is wide and deep enough for a sloop to sail up into the bason. The water is perfectly diaphanous, and here are continually a prodigious number and variety of fish; they appear as plain as though lying on a table before your eyes, although many feet deep in the water.

…A pale bluish or pearl coloured coagulum covers every inanimate substance that lies in the water, as logs, limbs of trees, &c. Alligators and gar were numerous in the bason..."

—William Bartram, Travels

The "coagulum" Bartram mentions was probably algae that thrived in water with a different nutrient content than today. Today's spring water is often impaired
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by other nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphorous, from human sources including septic use and lawn fertilization. Water flow paths within the aquifer also change, partly as a result of human activities like groundwater withdrawal.

William Bartram
"Long Lake" Paddle Trail
Experience the same scenic beauty Bartram found in the 1700s. Paddling boats can be launched from landing sites on the map.

Paddle between any landing sites for a nice day trip. For a longer adventure go around Hontoon Island using one of the canals that connect the main river channel and Hontoon Dead River. Snake Creek is often closed with water hyacinth.

Many of the most fascinating passages from Travels are about the St. Johns River region of Florida. The illustration below by Bartram is the first image many Europeans saw of an alligator, and it was created here in West Volusia County!
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicExplorationScience & MedicineWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the William Bartram Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1766.
Location. 28° 56.556′ N, 81° 20.472′ W. Marker is in Orange City, Florida, in Volusia County. Marker can be reached
Marker detail: William Bartram image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: William Bartram
from Magnolia Avenue (Becker Boulevard), one mile south of West French Avenue. Marker is located near marina and concession shops at Blue Spring State Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2100 West French Avenue, Orange City FL 32763, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A Fossil from the Steamboat Age (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Thursby House (about 400 feet away); William Bartram Trail (approx. 2˝ miles away); Orange City Veterans Memorial (approx. 2.6 miles away); Dickinson Memorial Library (approx. 2.6 miles away); Rollins College (approx. 2.6 miles away); Orange City Colored School (approx. 2.7 miles away); Southern Magnolia (approx. 4.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Orange City.
Also see . . .  Bartram at Blue Springs. Mr. Bernard, the manager of the Beresford Plantation, took Bartram to Blue Springs, visited with his father John Bartram on 4 January 1766. “This tepid water,” Bartram reported, “has a most disagreeable taste, brassy and vitriolic, and very offensive to the smell, much like bilge water or the washings of a gun barrel.” The largest spring in the St. Johns River Basin, Blue Springs, is now a state park and manatee sanctuary in Volusia County. (Submitted on October 26, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
Marker detail: Blue Gill & Redear Sunfish,<br>Bartram’s illustrations of fish image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Natural History Museum, UK
3. Marker detail: Blue Gill & Redear Sunfish,
Bartram’s illustrations of fish
Marker detail: <i>Alligator mississippiensis</i>,<br>American Alligator image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Natural History Museum, UK
4. Marker detail: Alligator mississippiensis,
American Alligator
Bartram at Blue Spring Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, October 25, 2021
5. Bartram at Blue Spring Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on October 26, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 26, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 251 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 26, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Apr. 22, 2024