Janice Jones: Like Floridas Attic a trip to this tucked away corner of the sunshine state uncovers the remains of the history, culture and environment found no other place in our country.
The Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve is located where the St. Johns River meets the Atlantic ocean. Daniel Tardona: Its these retreat sources mixing of salt and freshwater that creates the fantastic natural environments, but also its what attracted people here from a 6000 years.
Janice Jones: The 46,000 acre preserve has sights with significant to prehistoric Native Americans, the Timucuan French colonist, civil was history and slavery. Daniel Tardona: We like to say that St. Augustine was established in response to Fort Caroline.
Janice Jones: Fort Caroline is where the French initially try to stake their claim in the new world, but the colony was destroyed by the Spanish.
Daniel Tardona: Its the life size exhibit of what we think the Fort may have looked like, but it is a memorial site. Janice Jones: The Ribault Column placed at this peaceful and scenic spot commemorates the French explorer who found the area over 450 years ago. It was May 1, 1562, that John Ribault sailed in from the Atlantic to what would become the St. Johns River, he named it The River of May and thats how the nearby village of May Port got its name.
In May Port you can catch a ride to your next stop on the preserve. The car ferry connects scenic and history A1A and takes travelers across the St. Johns just a splash away from the ferry; the sand dollars waiting for you to discover a Shrimp Po'boy and a glass of sweet tea. Kingsley Plantation just a few miles up the road is the oldest standing plantation house in Florida and its steeped with a unique slave history. A striking row of Tabby slave cabins, serve as a reminder of the distinct structure to this society. Loli Stams: Its also fascinating when we think about the fact that black people also own slaves. That something that you dont tend to read in the history books. Janice Jones: The preserves natural beauty is also distinct. Kayak Amelia can send you paddling toward tranquil beaches and amazing marsh views. CJ Hetchaka: So a lot of bird life you can get a chance to see and if dolphin happens to roll by its really cool. Janice Jones: Be prepared for discovery in every corner of Timucuan Ecological and Historic preserve. Its a retreat historian and nature buffs should not miss. I am Janice Johns.