Florida Historical Markers Programs - Marker: Taylor
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- TAYLOR COUNTY SALT WORKS
Location:U.S. 19 & S.R. 361, five miles south of Perry
Description: Taylor County's 50-mile coastline and shallow coastal waters made it ideal for manufacturing salt for the Confederacy. By 1862 works were in operation at Jonesville (now Adam's Beach) and near the mouth of Blue Creek. Trading on a barter basis, the region furnished salt for adjacent counties and South Georgia. Union forces never destroyed the salt industry and it continued operations until 1868.
- TAYLOR COUNTY
Location:400 Block N. Washington St. at Old Taylor Count Jail,
Description: Taylor County was created from Madison County on December 23, 1856. It was named for Zachary Taylor, 12th president of the United States and commander of U.S. Army forces in Florida during part of the Second Seminole War. The name of the county seat was changed from Rosehead to Perry in 1875 in honor of Madison Starke Perry, governor of Florida from 1857-1861. This former jail is the oldest surviving public building in Taylor County. Erected in 1912, the Colonial Revival building was designed by Benjamin Bosworth Smith, an architect from Montgomery, Alabama, who had designed the Taylor County Courthouse erected four years earlier. The courthouse was demolished in the 1960s. A new jail was constructed in 1958.
Sponsors: THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
- PERRY ARMY AIRBASE
Location:South Perry Byron Parkway
Description: The Perry Army Air Base of World War II stood in an 862 acre area south and west of this point.
The 441st and 312th Fighter Squadrons of the Third Army Air Force trained replacement pilots for combat units worldwide.
The 338th Fighter Group single engine aircraft included the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, and North American P-51 Mustang.
The first troops arrived on June 9, 1943, and last departed in early September, 1945. Approximately 120 pilots per month received their final training here before overseas duty. Their service contributed to the successful conclusion of the war and was possible through dedicated support of both civilian and military permanent party personnel.
In spite of a frequently commended safety training program, more than a score of trainees lost their lives to flying mishaps here.
William Jaques (Sgt.), an Armorer of C Flight, 441st Fighter Squadron, in a diary kept during his 27 months of service here, paid this tribute: "Remembering the young airmen who died at Perry Army Air Field, June 1943 to September 1945... they died in the air, in the gulf, in the woods, and in the swamps. Some gave too much...but we got the job done."
Sponsors: Taylor County Historical Society and Florida Department Of State
- DEADMAN BAY, STEPHENSVILLE AND STEINHATCHEE
Location:104 15th St. NE
Description: Located at the mouth of the Steinhatchee River, Deadman Bay was on Spanish maps by the early 1500s. Spanish Conquistador Panfilo de Narvaez came through the area in 1529 followed by Hernando de Soto ten years later. DeSoto crossed the Steinhatchee River at the "Falls." In 1818 General Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) also crossed at the Falls on his way to dispatch the Seminoles who were raiding "white" settlements. In 1838 General Zachary Taylor (1784 -1850) was sent to put down the Seminoles during the Second Seminole War. Fort Frank Brook was established up the Steinhatchee River in the same year and abandoned in 1840. In 1879 James Howard Stephens (1825-1906), a local pioneer, offered land for a post office changing the name from Deadman Bay to Stephensville. In 1931 the community was renamed Steinhatchee after the river. The name Steinhatchee was derived from the Native American "esteen hatchee" meaning river (hatchee) of man (esteen). Steinhatchee's long history of human habitation includes prehistoric man dating from 12,000 BC, pirates from 15th through 18th centuries, loggers in the 1800s, sponge divers in the 1940s and 50s and commercial fishermen, shrimpers, and crabbers today.
Sponsors: UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
- HAMPTON SPRINGS HOTEL
Location:Hampton Springs Hotel Site Park, Hampton Springs Rd.
Description: The Hampton Springs Hotel was built in 1908 and was destroyed by fire in 1954. The hotel was world renowned for its sulphur springs and baths known for their healing and medicinal powers. The luxurious hotel boasted lush gardens with elaborate fountains and planters. The resort had a covered pool with foot baths fed by the springs, a golf course, tennis courts, stables, casino, grand ballroom, outdoor dance pavilion, and railroad depot. The nine-hole golf course was among the first in the region. The hotel had its own bottling plant and shipped the healing sulphur water nationwide. It also had its own power plant and the majority of the food served in the dining room was grown and raised at the hotel farm. The hotel had a private hunting and fishing lodge on Spring Creek six miles from the hotel site and an excursion boat with a covered launch. From the mid 1930s to mid 40s the hotel served as barracks for military personnel testing aircraft at Perry-Foley Airport in nearby Perry. Archaeological excavations here revealed the formation of the hotel and outbuildings.
Sponsors: THE TAYLOR COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
- JERKINS HIGH SCHOOL
Location:1201 Martin Luther King Ave
Description: This outstanding historical site began as the Spring Hill Missionary Baptist Church. The church was built in 1853 in what was known a Rosehead, later named Perry. The roots of the education of African Americans in Taylor County are tied to that church, which had the distinction of being the oldest church in the county. In subsequent years, several school buildings were erected and destroyed by fire. The worst of the fires followed the 1923 Rosewood Massacre, which occurred in nearby Levy County. The campus which housed Jerkins High School was built with Rosenwald funds and was erected in 1950. Originally named Perry Negro High School, the school was renamed after its principal Henry R. Jerkins after his death. Jerkins High School was the first school in Taylor County to be named after an African American and was one of the few black schools in Florida to teach all 12 grades. Jerkins High School officially closed its doors in 1970 after integration.
Sponsors: SPONSORED BY THE TAYLOR COUNTY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL
AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE