When you leave the beaten path….

History, and a few quirky surprises, await on the backroads of our state By Ron Cunningham Featured image above: Countless red bricks remain on the old Dixie Highway as it runs from Espanola through piney woods into Putnam County. A red-brick road into the past, a lighthouse at the edge of the world, a vanishing waterfall, an improbable aluminum castle and a forgotten Civil War fortification. Those are five out-of-the-way

Twilight of the Spanish, 1780s-1821

How Florida became part of the United States By Brian R. Rucker Featured image above: Andrew Jackson Spain lost its colony of Florida to England, in 1763, after the French and Indian War/Seven Years War. By the time it reacquired Florida from Britain 20 years later with the Treaty of Paris, Spain was no longer the great European colonial power it had once been. By 1821, Spain would transfer its

Setting the stage: The early Spanish Period in Florida 1565–1763

By Judith A. Bense Featured image above: An artist’s rendering of the landing of Don Tristan de Luna at present-day Pensacola in 1559. Florida was home for thousands of years to Indigenous people who hunted, fished, and raised crops and their families along its waterways. Evidence of their communities are preserved at Crystal River near Homosassa, Lake Jackson Mounds in Tallahassee, and the Bickel Mound Site near Bradenton. But the

Commemorating July 17, 1821

With the 200th anniversary of Florida’s passing from Spanish to American possession, Pensacola celebrates its important role —with a look back at the people there that day. By Margo S. Stringfield Featured image above: As part of the bicentennial commemoration-day festivities on July 16–17, this reproduction keel boat will be anchored in Pensacola. Reenactors will tell the story of how important the vessels were in the years around 1821 in