We travelled from Monticello, FL to White Springs, FL. It was a beautiful ride. I crossed over the Suwannee River which was once the boundary between the Timucuan tribe to the east and Apalachee tribe to the west. When Spanish explorers visited the area in the 1530s, it was inhabited by the former, who believed its springs possessed healing powers. The first purchases of land date from 1835, when Bryant and Elizabeth Sheffield bought tracts for a cotton plantation. Mr. Sheffield became an advocate of sampling the waters, proclaiming their curative benefit for such ailments as rheumatism, kidney trouble and nervousness.
Consequently, White Sulphur Springs in the 19th century became Florida's first tourist destination. Crowds of health seekers arrived, first by stagecoach and then railroad, and hotels were built near the springs to accommodate them. With additional wealth derived from cotton and lumber, the town grew and was incorporated in 1885. Today, many of the original Victorian buildings survive, particularly the White Springs Historic District, established in 1997.
During the Civil War, White Springs, FL was a refuge for displaced southerners fleeing the ravages of war along Florida's coasts. After the war, White Sulphur Springs continued to attract visitors seeking to restore their health "by swimming in the healing water".
Stephen Collins Foster
The songwriter Stephen Collins Foster [July 4, 1826 0- January 13, 1864] is remembered at the Stephen Foster Folk Cultural Center State Park. Known as the "father of American music", Foster was the pre-eminent songwriter in the U.S. of the 19th century. His songs — such as "Oh! Susanna", "Camptown Races", "Old Folks at Home" ("Swanee River"), "Hard Times Come Again No More", "My Old Kentucky Home", "Old Black Joe", "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair", and "Beautiful Dreamer" — remain popular over 150 years after their composition.
Historic Telford Inn
We are staying at America's Best Value Inn.
Tomorrow we are off to Baldwin, FL.