Gadsden and Liberty County


Gadsden County

In the 1830's during the Second Seminole War, Gadsden County did not see much action. The residents did rally together to form militia units to fight against the Seminoles who were raiding plantations to the east.
The area along the Apalachicola River saw some action in 1840. This was after the Second Creek War ended, but many Creeks came into the northern part of Florida to make raids. A homestead near Bristol was attacked. (Then part of Gadsden County, now part of Liberty County.)

There was also a major attack on the McLane homestead near the border of Gadsden and Liberty County in 1840, said to have been carried out by Creek Indians.


Second Seminole War Forts: Fort Apalachicola was established in 1833, and Fort Barbour in 1841.

PLACES TO VISIT:

Chattahoochee Arsenal

At Chattahoochee was the former U.S. Arsenal, which was started as a storehouse for weapons during the Second Seminole War. The arms issued here were given to the Florida Militia. It was a remote post, and sometimes only had a single NCO to man the post. The arsenal saw a little excitement during the Civil War. The officers' quarters remain as the administration building of the Florida State Hospital.


Chattahoochee Arsenal (Shot Tower)
by French artist Comte de Castelnau

The powder magazine is the only other building that still remains of the Chattahoochee Arsenal, and is being rebuilt to become a future museum. Not open now, but is expected to be open around 2005.

Drawing of original arsenal powder magazine. Courtesy of the Florida State Hospital.


Chattahoochee Landing

On this landing east of the Apalachicola River is a former temple mound complex. The mounds date from 800-1200 A.D., and there is evidence from a much older site that was underneath the present remains. Originally there were six or seven mounds, but only five smaller mounds remain. There seems to be evidence that a once larger pyramid-shaped temple mound existed.

Oral Tradition among the Creeks is that this was a place of healing. They see that as certain significance since the State Hospital was established at the same site. This is a public park, but the mounds are slowly disappearing. Flooding from the river has probably done the most damage, but construction during the last century and careless motor vehicle traffic have not helped to preserve anything.

The main feature of this park is a boat landing on the river. Located at the city of Chattahoochee, on River Landing Road off of Highway U.S. 90. South of Woodruff Dam on Lake Seminole, at the Georgia, Alabama, and Florida border.


Liberty County

There were early Floridians living along the Apalachicola River before recorded history. This was the main lifeline into the heart of Creek county. Unfortunately, not much has been studied in this region. West of Bristol on the Apalachicola River was the Yon Mound and village site, inhabited from 0-350 A.D. and 800-1500 A.D. It has a nice 29-foot tall temple mound. Not open to the public.

In the 1830's during the Second Seminole War, Liberty County, then part of Gadsden County, did not see much action in the war compared to east Florida. The residents did rally together to form militia units to fight against the Seminoles who were raiding plantations to the east.

Second Seminole War Forts: Fort Preston, south of the former town of Aspalaga, near modern day Bristol and Blountstown.

Sign for Fort Preston. Almost all other fort sites in Florida don't even have a misspelled sign. From State of Florida Archives

PLACES TO VISIT:

Torreya State Park:
Because of the high bluffs along the Apalachicola River, this is one of the few areas along the river that are is from flooding. (One of the only places along the river that didn't flood in the summer of 1994.) Because of the high location, there were many Apalachee Indian villages in the area. andrew jackson crossed the river near here during the First Seminole War. One nice added attraction in the park is the Gregory House, a plantation mansion that is nicely restored to its mid-19th century condition. (Tours are on the weekends in the afternoon.) Well worth stopping for a tour.


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(c) 1998, 2002 Chris Kimball
Note: None of this material can be reproduced without written permission from the author.