Hickory Bluﬀ Pioneers
Lt. Nathan H. De Coster and Capt. John F. Bartholf were Union soldiers stationed at Ft. Myers. After marrying Florida women, they homesteaded in this area. John Lomans, an African-American soldier also serving at Ft. Myers, helped De Coster set up the first sawmill south of Tampa. Lomans later served as voter registrar, and De Coster became a county judge, postmaster and customs inspector. Bartholf was superintendent of public instruction when schools were established throughout the Peace River region, including Hickory Bluff in 1873. The first school house was constructed from boards sawn at De Coster's Mill.
Mathieu F. Giddens was a former Confederate soldier who owned a farm on Mill Creek and served as county commissioner. Giddens donated land for the Charlotte Harbor Cemetery after his father-in-law, Joel Knight, died in 1879.
Francis Durrance, Jr., owned a house and cattle in eastern Hickory Bluff. He was a customs collector in Punta Gorda and served as the local preacher. Around 1927, his son, Cleveland Pasco Durrance, built a Mediterranean Revival style home (called locally
Erected 2008 by Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners.
Location. 26° 57.374′ N, 82° 3.662′ W. Marker is in Charlotte Harbor, Florida, in Charlotte County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Melbourne Street and Scenic Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in Chester Roberts Park. Marker is in this post office area: Punta Gorda FL 33980, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Charlotte Harbor Cemetery (approx. half a mile away); Trinity United Methodist Church (approx. 0.7 miles away); Site of Hotel Punta Gorda (approx. 1.6 miles away); Juan Ponce de Leon (approx. 3.8 miles away); First White Man Dies in America (approx. 3.8 miles away); Fort Ogden (approx. 10.9 miles away).
Categories. • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 28, 2017. This page originally submitted on January 24, 2017, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 136 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 24, 2017, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.