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Strickland Road (A)



"Strickland Road (A) Cemetery"

Cemetery = "Strickland Road (A) Cemetery" (stand-in namd)
Vicinity = Newport S
Status = obliterated
Community = Afr. Amer.
GPS Location
S-T-R Location
Directions
see report
SW¼ Sec 1, 4S,1E (rep)
W flank of Strickland Rd. (reported)

H. H. Strickland (b.1926), who lives north of St. Marks, accompanied Mays L. Gray and David Roddenberry of the Wakulla County Historical Society to the locale of his childhood home on the east side of the St. Marks River opposite St. Marks (note Strickland Landing on maps), this on November 1, 2001. Growing up in the house of his ancestors that stood perhaps a quarter-mile east or southeast of Strickland Landing, Mr. Strickland was shown by his grandmother the sites of an African-American burying ground and a white one nearly side-by-side in the vicinity, both on the west (riverward) side of the Strickland Road that runs from Newport to Port Leon.

Mr. Strickland says that he saw no gravestones and doesn't recall other graveyard features at the sites. He says that in his childhood there was a sawmill a little way south of the homestead, and that the site of the white burying ground was pointed out beside the mill's sawdust pile, the African-American graveyard being just south. Mr. Strickland says that the African-American graveyard, if not both graveyards, relate historically to a practice of leasing out convicts to work either the sawmill or an earlier woodlands enterprise here. He says that his grandmother said that quite a few of the convicts died, and on many Saturdays the corpses were brought here and interred.

Mr. Strickland says confidently that a minor, rough roadway opened in more recent times and running westerly from the Strickland Rd. to the river, this about 1/3 mile south of the latitude of Strickland Landing, runs between the two places pointed out to him as the two graveyards. He says that the place pointed out to him as the African-American graveyard is on the south flank of this side road within perhaps 75 or 100 yards of the Strickland Rd. He places the sawdust pile and the white graveyard about straight north, across this side road. Mr. Strickland says that only a very small vestige of the sawdust pile, an important reference for the graveyards, remained when he saw it years ago. His search today in the woods and tree farm now grown up here does not locate any sawdust pile. He does see today, on the north edge of the side road and just west of the Strickland Rd., a pit that he believes to be a dug water well that he recalls as being proximal to the sawdust pile.

There is no site file for any historical or archaeological site at this particular place in the State of Florida Division of Historical Resources.

The small area that Mr. Strickland points to as containing both graveyards and the sawmill site is in the SW1/4 of Sec. 1, 4S, 1E; the Strickland Rd. runs northerly-southerly through Sec. 1, the side road leaving the Strickland Rd. about 400 yards north of the south line of Sec. 1, and both roads apparent on aerial photos. A GPS fix made two weeks later for a location on the side road where, according to Mr. Strickland, one graveyard lay almost immediately on the south side and the other nearby on the north side, is:

30° 9' 37.05" X 84° 11' 19.59"

The property belongs to St. Joe Timberlands and also is part of Flintstone Wildlife Management Area. The site was converted to pine tree farming decades ago; pines of perhaps 25-30 years of age stand on bedrows thrown up mechanically, with a good deal of saw palmetto and some broadleaf-tree regrowth in the groundstory and understory.


Date of site report narrative - November 2001

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