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Nocoroco Florida Historic Marker

Nocoroco Florida Historic Marker

Thank you for taking time to visit this post on the Nocoroco Florida historic marker located at Tomoka State Park in Ormond Beach.

If you would like to read other posts on my blog about Florida historic markers, please CLICK HERE.

Nocoroco Florida Historic Marker located at Tomoka State Park in Ormond Beach.Text

On this site was the Timucua Indian Village of Nocoroco. It was mentioned in the report of Alvaro Mexia’s expedition down the Florida east coast in 1605. It was the first Indian village south of St. Augustine noted by Mexia. The site was used during the British Occupation of Florida (1763-1783), and probably remained under cultivation until the Seminole Wars (1835-1842).

F-82

Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials 1962

 

The Seminole Wars (1835-1842) referenced in the marker also goes by the name, the “Second Seminole War.”

There are three distinct periods of time that claim the moniker of “Seminole War.”

The first is 1817-1818 and led to Spain ceding Florida to the United States.

The second, referenced above, lasted from 1835 until 1842. Because of its length and bloodiness, some historians call the Second Seminole War, The Seminole War. At the conclusion of hostilities, the United States Army transported more than 4,000 Seminoles west. I refer readers to the excellent  book written by John K. Mahon titled History of the Second Seminole War: 1835-1842. 

Historians often call the Third Seminole War, “The Florida War.” The Third Seminole War lasted from 1855-1858.

For readers seeking a good general history of the Seminole Wars, I recommend  The Seminole Wars: America’s Longest Indian Conflict, written by John and Mary Lou Missall. This is a  readable and digestible look at the conflicts and provides readers a gateway to more advanced works.

 

 

Park Admission Information

Tomoka State Park                                                                                                                                              2099 N. Beach Street                                                                                                                                          Ormond Beach, FL 32174                                                                                                                                      Park Hours 8:00AM until Sundown 365 days per year                                                                                      Admission: $5 per vehicle (up to 8 passengers) $2 for pedestrians, bikes, extra passengers

For camping information or pavilion rental, please see the website for details.

Tomoka is a dog friendly park. Pets are permitted in designated areas and must be kept on a six foot leash. Please clean up after your pet.

The National Register of Historic Places recognized Tomoka State Park in 1973.

Chief Tomokie located at Tomoka State Park
Nocoroco Florida Historic Marker

Chief Tomokie

No visit to Tomoka State Park is complete without a visit to The Legend of Chief Tomokie. 

Chief Tomokie is a 45 foot tall monument created by artist and architect Fred Dana Marsh that was unveiled to the public on March 21, 1957. Marsh may be best known locally for having created the figures that adorn the Peabody Auditorium and for his home prior to his death, known as “The Battleship.”

Tomokie depicts a made up Native American legend, concocted by Doris Marie Mann Boyd. Oletta, the warrior princess, is shown aiming an arrow at Chief Tomokie who had dared to drink “the Water of Life from the Sacred Cup.” Tomokie in turn is threatening his assailants with a spear (that has long vanished from the monument.)

The reflecting pool area in front of the monument has been dry since 1974 according to Mark Lane.  A museum featuring the work of Fred Dana Marsh opened at the park in 1961 but according to Lane closed in 1996. “The Battleship,”  Marsh’s home, so nicknamed because neighbors felt it resembled a battleship when viewed from the road, was demolished with considerable controversy in 1996. The owners claimed the home beyond reasonable repair costs, but ultimately seem to have had no plan to build there and sold the property in multiple lots. Marsh’s home was located at 317 N. Ocean Shore Boulevard in Ormond Beach.

Oletta, the warrior princess firing an arrow at Chief TomokieTomokie Today

Today, The Legend of Chief Tomokie is in considerable disrepair despite several organized attempts to raise funds for restoration. Governor Jeb Bush vetoed state funding of $100,000 in 1999 despite local political support.

The monument, originally constructed from cement, brick dust, and bamboo rods, is still a favorite of visitors who marvel at the size and wonder if the legend could be true.

Artist Fred Dana Marsh was born April 6, 1872 and passed away on December 20, 1961.

 

 

 

Marker dedicated to artist Fred Dana Marsh is located near what used to be a reflecting pool, located in from of the Chief Tomokie monument.
Marker dedicated to Fred Dana Marsh, in front of what used to be a reflecting pool at the Chief Tomokie monument.

Sources

Davidson, Herbert, editorial. “The Meaning of a Statue.” Daytona Beach News Journal. March 23, 1957.

Egan, Bill. “Marsh’s Influence Still Lives in Work.” Daytona Beach News Journal. April 21, 1996.

Florida State Parks. “History.” Tomoka State Park.

“Fred Dana Marsh is Dead at 89.” Daytona Beach News Journal. December 21, 1961.

Gear, Barry. “Battleship Sails Into Memories, Onto Video.” Daytona Beach News Journal. May 20, 1996.

Griffin, John W. “Nocoroco, a Timucua Village of 1605.” Florida Historical Quarterly. Volume 27: No. 4. 1948.

Lane, Mark. “Curious Coast: What is that Statue at Tomoka State Park?” Daytona Beach News Journal. July 8, 2018.

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. Affiliate programs or sponsors providing products do not influence views and opinions provided in my blog.  

 


Native American Art Magazine Subscription

from: Magazine Values

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Great Floridians 2000 Charles Grover Burgoyne Daytona Beach Florida

Charles Grover Burgoyne--Great Floridians 2000 marker

Great Floridians 2000

The Great Floridians 2000 program was designed to recognize individuals who distinguished themselves through their philanthropy, public service or personal or professional service, and who have enhanced the lives of Florida’s citizens.

Anyone could nominate an individual to be designated a Great Floridian 2000 by submitting a Great Floridians 2000 application. These applications were periodically reviewed by the appointed Great Floridians 2000 Committee, a group of seven distinguished historians from throughout Florida.

The program, begun in 1998, was completed in 2000.

The distinctive blue plaques honoring the men and women in the program are attached to buildings or structures in the cities where the designee left their mark. No biographical information is included on the plaques. The text below is taken from the Great Floridians 2000 biographies written to honor their inclusion.

Charles Grover Burgoyne

Charles Grover Burgoyne was born in 1847, came to Daytona in 1894 having made a fortune in the printing business in New York. In 1896 he bought the entire block south of Bay Street between Palmetto Avenue and Beach Street where he built a three-story mansion. He was elected commodore of the Halifax River Yacht Club in 1899 and in 1912 built a large gazebo at the corner or Orange Avenue and Beach Street and began to bring bands to perform public concerts of classical music. He and his wife held lawn parties for area children and paid for them to have milk at lunch every day. In 1914 he built a promenade and seawall along the river from Orange Avenue to Bay Street, lined with street lights, and called the “Esplanade Burgoyne.” In 1915 he built a casino and gave it to the city. Burgoyne died in 1916. His widow, Mary, continued to live in the mansion until 1941, after which it was demolished.

Casino Burgoyne located in Daytona Beach, FL. Courtesy State Archives of Florida
Casino Burgoyne located in Daytona Beach, FL. Image courtesy State Archives of Florida

 

Burgoyne Home courtesy State of Florida Archives
The Burgoyne Home located on Beach Street. Image courtesy State Archives of Florida

 

Charles Grover Burgoyne--Great Floridians 2000 marker
Charles Grover Burgoyne, Great Floridians 2000 plaque. Image courtesy of Heather Files

Charles Grover Burgoyne’s Great Floridian plaque is located on the front of the Halifax Historical Museum, 252 South Beach Street, Daytona Beach.

An online memorial to Burgoyne may be found HERE.

To read all my Great Floridians 2000 posts click HERE.

Charles and Mary Burgoyne are buried in Pinewood Cemetery, beachside in Daytona Beach. Their plot is very easy to find in the cemetery and the cemetery itself is worth the visit. The photos below were all taken by me during a recent visit to the cemetery.

My apologies for the unusual angle of Charles and Mary’s markers. The sun was causing havoc with shadows. 

Mary died on February 8, 1944.
The inscription on the Burgoyne cross is difficult to read.To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.
Lord, remember me when thou comes into thy kingdom. Luke 23 Verse 46.
The inscription on the Burgoyne cross is difficult to read.
To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.
Lord, remember me when thou comes into thy kingdom. Luke 23 Verse 46.

 

Main Street entrance to Pinewood Cemetery. Walk straight back. The Burgoyne plot will be on your left. You can’t miss it.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

 

Daytona Beach paddleboad or guided kayaking
Enjoy a 2-hour paddleboard adventure on the Halifax River. Meet your guide and begin your tour with an introduction to riding a standup paddleboard. Start on land and then head into the water to practice. If you prefer, join the tour with a kayak. You may see dolphin, manatee, turtles, or other wildlife. Click THIS LINK or the photo for information and to book your tour.
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Gabordy Canal Historic Marker New Smyrna Beach Florida

Placement of the Gabordy Canal marker, adjacent to Riverside Drive

Gabordy Canal

The Gabordy Canal Historic Marker is located where the cities of New Smyrna Beach and                                            Edgewater come together. The name of this canal is often spelled in differing ways. I have                                         seen alternative spellings of Gabardy, Garbordy, and Garbardy.

The Gabordy Canal marks the dividing line between the city of New Smyrna
Beach, to the north, and Edgewater, to the south.

This marker is located on the eastern side of the road, near the corner of Riverside
Drive (north and south) and Hamilton Road (west). Private property surrounds the area                                                and the marker is located close to the busy south Riverside Drive.
There is really no parking right at the marker (don’t park in people’s yards). There
is a sidewalk located on the eastern side of Riverside Drive. See the image below to note
just how close this marker is to the road.

Placement of the Gabordy Canal marker, adjacent to Riverside Drive
The Gabordy Canal historic marker, sits adjacent to the busy Riverside Drive.

 

Problems

This marker, while important, has multiple problems in its text.

The marker itself does not talk much about the canal system. The marker also uses
the terms “colonization” and colonist” when the more accurate terms are
“settlement” and “settler” (as in the Turnbull, or Smyrnea, Settlement). The use of
terminology related to the word colony implies Florida could have been associated
with the original thirteen colonies we have learned about since grade school.

The marker references the number of over 1,400 persons being “attracted” to the area.
While there is some truth to this number, it being the number who originally left
Europe, less than 1,300 appear to have survived the journey. Archaeologists Dr.
Roger Grange and Dorothy Moore have put forth the number of 1,255 who
survived the voyage across the Atlantic. As to whether those owing indenture to                                              Andrew Turnbull and his partners were “attracted” to the area, I think history                                                     showed that is highly debatable.

Finally, though the marker text states that Governor (James) Grant granted release
to the settlers from their indenture, it was Governor Patrick Tonyn, (who served as
governor of East Florida from 1774-1783) a confirmed enemy of Turnbull, who
did such. (See Grange and Moore p. 25, linked below)

For more information on the Smyrnea Settlement, I recommend reading a booklet
written by Dr. Grange and Ms. Moore and published by the New Smyrna Museum
of History. In addition to clicking the link provided above, you may pick up a free copy at the museum.

I also recommend reviewing the University of North Florida, Florida History Online site for letters and papers related to the Smyrnea Settlement.

 

Marker Text

The Gabordy Canal

Gabordy Canal Historic Marker New Smyrna Beach, Florida
The State of Florida historic marker, located at the divide between New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater, FL

The Gabordy Canal, also known as the South Canal, was built by colonists brought to the New Smyrna area in 1768 by the Scottish physician, Dr. Andrew Turnbull. As part of the largest single attempt at British colonization, New Smyrna attracted more than 1,400 Minorcans, Corsicans, Greeks, and Italians who sought new opportunities as indentured servants. Turnbull, impressed by the Egyptian canal system, wanted to replicate it in New Smyrna. Three canals, including this one, ran east-west and were linked with a fourth, longer canal that ran north-south. These hand dug canals provided irrigation and drainage  or rice, hemp, cotton, and indigo crops grown by the colonists and served as a mode of transportation withing the colony. Local historians believe that the Gabordy Canal was named after the Gabardis, an original colonist family who lived in the vicinity of the canal. After nine years of harsh treatment, drought, and crop failures, the population was reduced to about 600 people. A group of colonists petitioned English Governor James Grant of St. Augustine in 1777 for release from their indenture. The governor granted land north of St. Augustine to these colonists.

A Florida Heritage Site

Sponsored by the City of New Smyrna Beach, the Historic New Smyrna Beach
Preservation Commission, Mayor James Hathaway, Vice Mayor Judy Reiker,
Commissioner Jake Sachs, Commissioner Jason McGuirk, Commissioner Kirk
Jones, and the Florida Department of State.

F-924
2016

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a
purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect
any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are
never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

 

Menorca: Book your guided tour of Mahon including boat trip
Click the photo above or THIS LINK to book your Menorcan guided tour of Mahon. Discover the southern tip of Menorca on a guided day trip. After pickup at your hotel, enjoy a 1-hour glass-bottom boat trip around Mahon Harbor, one of the deepest natural harbors in the world. Next, head into Mahon city center. Explore the capital’s historic center with official guida and enjoy some free time for shopping. Continue to Punta Prima Beach and enjoy some free time for sunbathing or lunch (at your own expense.) Finally, visit the fishermens’ village of Binibeca. Wander its streets to admire the white-painted houses and picturesque streets. You will be dropped off at your hotel at the end of the day.

 

 

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Great Floridians 2000 William Amory Underhill DeLand, FL

William Amory Underhill Great Floridians 2000 plaque, located at the Volusia County Historic Courthouse.

Great Floridians 2000

The Great Floridians 2000 program was designed to recognize
individuals who distinguished themselves through their philanthropy,
public service or personal or professional service, and who have
enhanced the lives of Florida’s citizens.

Anyone could nominate an individual to be designated a Great Floridian
2000 by submitting a Great Floridians 2000 application. These
applications were periodically reviewed by the appointed Great
Floridians 2000 Committee, a group of seven distinguished historians
from throughout Florida.

The program, begun in 1998, was completed in 2000.

The distinctive blue plaques honoring the men and women in the
program are attached to buildings or structures in the cities where the
designee left their mark. No biographical information is included on the
plaques.

William Amory Underhill

 

William Amory Underhill
William Amory Underhill
Photo courtesy United States Department of Justice

William Amory Underhill was born in 1910, received his law degree
from Stetson University and served from 1940 to 1942 as a Volusia
County prosecuting attorney. During World War II, he was a special
attorney for the U.S. Justice Department in Washington. He was an
Assistant U.S. Attorney General during the administration of President
Harry Truman and a special Washington counsel to the Florida
Comptroller. He was a Stetson University Trustee from 1977 to 1986
and a member of the College of Law Board of Overseers from more than
20 years. He was a member of the Bert Fish Foundation and treasurer of
Florida House, the first state house in the nation’s capital. He was the
founding president and a life member of the DeLand Jaycees and a life
member of the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce.

William Amory Underhill died in 1999.

William Amory Underhill Great Floridians 2000 plaque, located at the Volusia County Historic Courthouse.
William Amory Underhill Great Floridians 2000 plaque, located at the Volusia County Historic Courthouse.

 

 

Underhill’s Great Floridians plaque is located at the Volusia County Historic
Courthouse, 120 W. Indiana Avenue, DeLand.

 

A brief biographical summary of Underhill’s career can be found HERE.

An online memorial for William Amory Underhill may be found HERE.

As mentioned, Underhill served as a member of the Bert Fish
Foundation. You may find the Bert Fish Great Floridians 2000 post HERE.

The remains of WIlliam Amory Underhill are interred in the Mausoleum at Oakdale Cemetery.
The remains of William Amory Underhill are interred in the Mausoleum at Oakdale Cemetery.

 

To read all my Great Floridians 2000 posts click HERE.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

 

 

Get this incredibly haunting image of the Volusia County Historic Courthouse, shrouded with fog, in puzzle form. Order your 252 or 520 piece jigsaw puzzle  HERE.

• Pressed paper chipboard with adhesive, 0.06″ (1.53 mm) thick
• 252 pcs puzzle size: 10.62″ × 13.62″ (27 × 34.6 cm)
• 520 pcs puzzle size: 15.74″ × 19.74″ (40 × 50.1 cm)
• Digitally printed
• Semi-gloss finish
• Vibrant colors
• Can be used as wall decor
• Blank product components sourced from the US

A haunting image of the Volusia County Historic Courthouse in DeLand, FL
Fog shrouds the Volusia County Historic Courthouse in downtown DeLand, FL
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Ormond Indian Burial Mound Historic Marker

Historic Marker placed by City of Ormond Beach

Ormond Indian Burial Mound

In May 1982, when Dixon H. Reeves, and his wife Harriett, paid contractors to break ground on a house site at the corner of south Beach Street and Mound Avenue in Ormond Beach, they did not fully comprehend the damage they were going to do to an irreplaceable cultural artifact. In fact, once the city manager issued a stop work order, the Reeves sued the city for damages. The property ownership reverted to Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Barron, who the Reeves purchased the property from, and the Reeves eventually received a $4,000 settlement from the city.

Ormond Indian Burial Mound
Ormond Indian Burial Mound

Where the Reeves wish to build their home was the site of a Timucuan Burial Mound. In Timucuan society, bodies were not buried but instead they were placed on top of the ground and dirt piled on top. In some instances, the flesh was allowed to decay, and the bones were bundled and placed at the mound site. At times, items owned by the deceased were broken and included in the interment.

Despite the mound having received considerable damage through the years, including digging by “pot hunters” and construction of adjacent roadways, archaeologists believe as many as 125 Timucuans had been buried on the site. For anybody caught digging on this, or similar sites, you will more likely than not be charged with a third-degree felony. See this link for additional information.

With a lack of consensus among city leaders a fund was started to help purchase and preserve this sacred site. The Barron’s agreed to sell the property to the city for $55,000. Despite confirmation on the importance of the site from professional anthropologists and archaeologists, it took an anonymous donation of $30,000, along with the fundraising drive, to help secure the sale as shortsighted elected city officials balked at the price and potential ongoing costs.

Today, the site is owned by the City of Ormond Beach and is a park in a residential area. Visitors can see the mound from all sides, surrounded by roads and houses. Parking is available across the street at Ames Park so please do not park on park lands or in the yards or drives of nearby property owners. Please do not climb on the mound as it is a fragile archaeological site.

 


Native American Mythology – $16.95

from: Dover Publications

If you are interested in Native American History and mythology, this fascinating book is one you should have in your libary. This fascinating and informative compendium of Native American lore was assembled by one of twentieth-century America’s premier ethnographer/anthropologists. Hartley Burr Alexander recounts the continent’s myths chronologically and region-by-region, offering a remarkably wide range of nomadic sagas, animist myths, cosmogonies and creation myths, end-time prophecies, and other traditional tales. Click the photo to order directly from the publisher and to see their other Native American selections. 

Sign Text

 

Historic Marker placed by City of Ormond Beach
Historic Marker placed by the City of Ormond Beach and the Ormond Beach Historical Trust

The Ormond Mound was constructed by the prehistoric people of this area sometime after A.D. 800. The skeletal remains of more than 125 early native (sic) Americans are buried in this sand burial mound. Interring bodies in earthen mounds was a common burial practice in the late pre-historic period. The bones of most of the deceased were “bundled” and buried during special ceremonies. As more bodies were buried and covered with layers of sand, the mound grew over time. The Mound is preserved as one of the finest and most intact burial mounds in Florida through the efforts of the community that worked to save this site in 1982.

City of Ormond Beach

Ormond Beach Historical Trust

 

 

This marker is placed by the City of Ormond Beach and is not a part of the Florida Department of State marker program.

 

 

If you wish to learn more about Timucuan culture there is an excellent book I can recommend.

Perhaps the definitive book on the subject is written by Dr. Jerald Milanich, The Timucua.  

This is the story of the Timucua, an American Indian people who thrived for centuries in the southeast portion of what is now the United States of America.

Timucua groups lived in Northern Florida and Southern Georgia, a region occupied by native people for thirteen millennia. They were among the first of the American Indians to come in contact with Europeans, when the Spaniard Juan Ponce de Leon landed on the Florida coast in 1513. Thousands of archaeological sites, village middens and sand and shell mounds still dot the landscape, offering mute testimony to the former presence of the Timucua and their ancestors.

Two hundred and fifty years after Ponce de Leon’s voyage the Timucua had disappeared, extinguished by the ravages of colonialism. Who were the Timucua? Where did they come from? How did they live? What caused their extinction? These are questions this book attempts to answer, using information gathered from archaeological excavations and from the interpretation of historical documents left behind by the European powers, mainly Spain and France, who sought to colonize Florida and to place the Timucua under their sway.

I also recommend taking a look at this page from the National Park Service. 

Great magazines at low prices for students & educators. Click to save up to 90% off the cover price.

Timucua Mode of Drying Fish, Wild Animals, and other Provisions Courtesy Florida Memory
Bry, Theodor de, 1528-1598. XXIV. Mode of Drying Fish, Wild Animals, and other Provisions. 1591. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory. <https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/294790>, accessed 22 October 2022.

The State Library and Archives of Florida (Florida Memory), has an excellent page of Theodor de Bry’s Engravings of the Timucua. These incredible works of art date from before the year 1600. The 42 pieces are all available for viewing and low resolution copies are available for download. A sample de Bry image is seen at the left.

 Sources:

Daytona Beach News Journal

Florida Master Site File VO00240

Ormond Beach Historical Trust, Inc. “The Story of the Timucua Indian Burial Mound in Ormond Beach, Florida.” Pamphlet published April 2000.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products. 

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Jack Kerouac House in Orlando, Florida: A Must See if You are “On the Road”

Jack Kerouac House
1418 Clouser Avenue
Orlando, FL 32804

By Kerouac_by_Palumbo.jpg: Tom Palumbo from New York, NY, USA derivative work: Sir
Richardson at en.wikipedia – This file was derived from: Kerouac by Palumbo.jpg:, CC BY-SA
2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=85963062

When most people think of the Beat Generation, certain visuals often come to mind.
Unemployed young adults, sitting around a coffee house in San Francisco, smoking away, rambling on self-importantly about books most of main stream America has never read seems to often fit the description. These descriptors are really about beatniks and not a literary movement. For those a bit more acquainted with the Beat Generation, certain names will come immediately to mind; Kerouac, Burroughs, Kesey, Ginsberg, and maybe even Ferlinghetti. Literature titles such as Howl, Naked Lunch, and On the Road  are probably the most famous. Despite the passage of nearly seventy years, these books and others of the movement are still in print and widely read today.

In July of 1957, only months before the groundbreaking On the Road would receive tremendous praise in the New York Times, the then 32-year-old Kerouac rented a small apartment for him and his mother. The home did not have air conditioning and the Florida heat was almost too much for Kerouac, who took to writing at night. Today, visitors to the city of Orlando have the opportunity to see the home where Jack Kerouac and his mother lived during 1957, the year that catapulted him to fame.

On the Road by Jack Kerouac                                                                The praise was not to be long, nor universal. The beatnik movement seemed to take over. Musician David Amram believes that the beatnik movement was a manufactured one, arguing Beat writers such as Kerouac were not the goateed, beret wearing, pretentious types. Rather, he described themselves as hicks, not wanting to draw attention to themselves. Author Bob Kealing, a noted Kerouac expert, has put forth that Kerouac himself claimed that those of the Beat Generation “were searching for spiritual truth and meaning beyond the confines of post-World War II life.” This search is what confounded and worried critics.

Meanwhile, in his small Orlando apartment, Kerouac continued typing away on his follow-up, to
be titled Dharma Bums. In a rapid fire twelve days of output, Kerouac finished the novel on
December 7, 1957, Pearl Harbor Day. Kealing reminds us that to Kerouac, the term “dharma”
meant truth.

Orlando Walking Ghost Tour – $54.67

Every year since its inception, the Orlando Ghost Tour has grown exponentially, with more and more people coming to enjoy their spooky stories and all-around demonic fun.

 

In April 1958, Jack and his mother packed into a station wagon owned by Robert Frank and
made off for Long Island, New York. Dharma Bums was published in October of that year.
Fame was not something Kerouac was ever comfortable with, nor does it seem that he sought it
out. Kerouac was to become too familiar with the bottom of a bottle, and on October 21, 1969, at
age 47, he died a painful death from cirrhosis of the liver. His remains were transported to
Lowell, Massachusetts, where he was buried at Edson Cemetery.

Jack Kerouac House, Orlando, FL

Listed today on the National Register of Historic Places, the future of the Orlando, Florida Kerouac House was not always assured. Once it was determined that this location was the residence of Kerouac during a critical time in the author’s life, efforts began in order to purchase and rehabilitate the house. Led by Kealing, former bookstore owners Marty and Jan Cummins, and others, they founded the not-for-profit Kerouac Project of Orlando. With the generous financial support of Jeffrey Cole and Cole National, they were able to purchase and rehabilitate the house. Today, the Project provides several writer in residence opportunities each year, allowing the visiting author to live and work in the home made famous by Jack Kerouac.

The home is not open to the public. Those wishing to see the house may drive by and briefly stop to take it in. There is not public parking available and this is a residential area so please be mindful of those who live in the area and if you are taking photos be on the watch for traffic. A state of Florida historical marker is on-site. The text reads

State of Florida Historic Marker–Jack Kerouac House Orlando, FL

Writer Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) lived and wrote in this 1920s tin-roofed house between 1957 and 1958. It was here that Kerouac received instant fame for publication of his bestselling book, On the Road, which brought him acclaim and controversy as the voice of The Beat Generation. The Beats followed a philosophy of self-reliance and self-expression. The unedited spontaneity of Kerouac’s prose shocked traditional writers, yet it brought attention to a legion of emerging poets, musicians, and artists who lived outside the conventions of post-World War II America. Photographs show Kerouac in the house’s back bedroom, with piles of pocket notebooks in which he scrawled thoughts and dreams while traveling. In April 1958, following completion of his follow-up novel, The Dharma Bums, and a play, the Beat Generation, Kerouac moved to Northport, New York. He died in 1969 at the age of 47. In 1996, author Bob Kealing discovered the house’s significance while researching an article to mark Kerouac’s 75th birthday. In 1998, The Kerouac Project established a retreat here for aspiring writers in tribute to him. In 2013, the house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

To learn more about Jack Kerouac and his time in Florida, readers should find a copy of Bob Kealing’s excellent book, Kerouac in Florida.

Readers wishing to learn more about the Beat Generation, I recommend Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, the Beat Generation, and America, or perhaps Women of the Beat Generation: the Writers, Artists, and Muses at the Heart of a Generation. 

Sources:
Florida Master Site File, OR8407

Kealing, Bob. Kerouac in Florida: Where the Road Ends. Arbiter Press, 2004.

Kealing, Bob. “The Road to Kerouac: He Came to Orlando in 1957.” Orlrlando Sentinel. March 9,
1997.

National Park Service. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Jack Kerouac
House. 2013.

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Desolate Angel

Women of the Beat Generation

The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac

Allen Ginsberg, Howl
Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs




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Historic Lake Monroe Bridge in Sanford, Florida

Marker with the bridge in background
Lake Monroe Historic Marker
The front side of the Lake Monroe Historic Marker
Lake Monroe Bridge marker
The backside of the Lake Monroe historic marker
Marker with the bridge in background
The old Lake Monroe Bridge with the historic marker showing in front.

 

Marker Text

The Lake Monroe Bridge was the first electronically operated swing bridge in Florida. In 1932-1933, the
state used Federal assistance to build the bridge, which replaced a wooden toll bridge that was manually
operated. The construction of the bridge provided economic relief for an area hurt by the economic
collapse of the Depression era. The bridge was fabricated by Ingalls Iron Works of Birmingham, Alabama;
the swing machinery manufactured by Earl’s Gears and Machine Co., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and it
was erected by W. W. White Steel Construction of St. Petersburg, Florida. Kreis Contracting Company of
Knoxville, Tennessee was the general contractor for the Florida Department of Transportation. The
Florida Department of Transportation and Seminole County cooperated in preserving the swing span as
a fishing pier when the new Benedict Bridge was completed in 1994.

The Lake Monroe Bridge had historic impact on the communities of the area, but also is of historical
value as an example of a branch of bridge engineering.

The Lake Monroe Bridge was 627 feet, and included a 235 foot swing span. It carried the main route
linking Daytona Beach and Tampa, via DeLand, Sanford, Orlando, and Lakeland. It could pivot 360
degrees on its curved rack and two spur pinions.

The Warren-type through truss construction had a central panel section peaked to accommodate the
drive machinery. The Warren-type truss is considered the most economical type of construction for
continuous spans. It is characterized by diagonals that alternate in direction. The first diagonal beam
starts at base level and goes up to the top. The next level diagonal starts at the top and goes down to
the base level. The diagonals are in tension and compression in alternate panels. To meet the heavy
stresses of the swing span operation the bridge arms were heavily reinforced and had riveted
connections at all stress points. The harbor for Lake Monroe Park in Volusia County was created by fill
taken from the approaches to the Lake Monroe Bridge.

Seminole County Board of County Commissioners

This marker is not part of the State of Florida historic marker program.

Lake Monroe Bridge dedication April 6, 1934
The April 6, 1934 Lake Monroe Bridge dedication. Image courtesy Florida Memory n028431

 

Local newspaper reports state that dedication of the $75,000 Bridge took place at a 3 p.m. ceremony on
April 6, 1934. Participants included Florida Governor David Sholtz and the Stetson University band. An image of the dedication is shown above.

See some beautiful early images of Sanford, FL in this title from the Images of America Series. From its days as a leading river town, to being the Celery Capital, to being the home to many incredible mid-century modern homes, Sanford has an incredible history.

Also recommended is African Americans of Sanford, which recognizes and applauds those who have helped to preserve Sanford’s history as well as those who have participated in making it.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors  products.