Sunday, November 9, 2008

Blue Spring - Jackson County, Florida

This is a rare photograph of Blue Spring near Marianna as it appeared during the late 1800s.
Some sections of the photograph have been painted over (the people at the bottom in particular), but other parts such as the tree and spring itself still appear as they did when the image was taken.
The spring was located on the Sylvania plantation of Florida Governor John Milton during the Civil War. Milton's home stood a little over one mile east of the spring, but he often visited the beautiful natural feature and one diarist of the time mentioned that he enjoyed fishing here.
A camp was established here for Confederate troops assigned to the defense of Jackson County. The spring provided an abundant supply of fresh water for the soldiers and the old Robinson home and other structures on the adjacent hill provided shelter and storage facilities for the units stationed here.
The camp was occupied by Captain Robert Chisolm's Cavalry Company from the Alabama Militia on September 27, 1864, when Marianna was attacked by Union troops. The soldiers fought in the Battle of Marianna and were praised by Governor Milton for their heroic role in defending the Chipola River bridge there. At his request, they were added to the 5th Florida Cavalry as Company I.
In later years, the spring became a popular swimming hole and today is a recreation area maintained by Jackson County.

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