Tuesday, June 17, 2014

David Yulee's History

David Levy Yulee

By Gray Edenfield
Amelia Island Museum of History

David Levy Yulee (1810-1886) was an attorney, planter, entrepreneur, and statesman, who was instrumental to Florida’s Statehood, and its development via the Florida Railroad. He was born on the Island of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, on June 12, 1810 to Moses Elias Levy, a successful merchant and landowner of Moroccan Sephardi Jewish descent, and his wife Hannah. His parents divorced in 1815, and David came to Florida with his father, before being sent to boarding school in Norfolk, Virginia. He returned to Florida as a young man, and studied law in St. Augustine under future Territorial Governor Robert Reid (1839-1841).  David Levy was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1832. He began his political career as a delegate to Florida’s state constitutional convention in 1838, and later became a clerk for the territorial legislature.

In 1841 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a delegate from the Florida Territory. Levy was a tireless champion of Florida’s statehood, and was part of an assembly responsible for drafting the new state’s constitution. When Florida entered the Union on March 3rd, 1845, he became one of the state’s first new senators – and the first Jewish member of the U.S. Senate. In 1846 Levy married Nannie Wickliffe (daughter of former Kentucky Governor Charles A. Wickliffe), and officially changed his name to David Levy Yulee by an act of Florida Legislature. Senator Yulee served as chairman of the Committee of Private Land Claims, and the Committee of Naval Affairs.

After failing to win a bid for reelection in 1851 (in a controversial decision), Yulee began to focus on his plan for a cross-state Florida Railroad, with one terminus on the West Coast of the state at Cedar Key, and the other on the East Coast at Fernandina. Yulee established the railroad’s main office at Fernandina, but finding the town’s original location unsuitable, he convinced most of Fernandina’s residents to relocate the center of town approximately one mile south - to its present location. Yulee envisioned Fernandina as “the Manhattan of the South,” and had the new town plotted accordingly (complete with its own Central Park).

Yulee returned to the U.S. Senate in 1855, and was an advocate of states’ rights and later secession from the Union. His fierce views and passionate oration led his fellow senators to refer to him as the “Florida Fire Eater.” Yulee believed that if the number of free states in the Union outnumbered the slave states, the south would be overwhelmed by the north politically. This view, along with allowing his children to be raised Christian, estranged Yulee from his father, Moses Levy.

Construction began on the Florida Railroad in September of 1855. As with most of the track laid in the south before the Civil War, the work was done mostly by slaves, supplemented by freedmen and white laborers. Fighting their way through dense forests and swamps, it took almost a year to lay down the first ten miles of track. Despite nearly facing bankruptcy in the Panic of 1857, the line between Fernandina and Cedar Key was completed in 1860. The first train from Fernandina arrived in Cedar Key on March 1st, 1861, just weeks before shots were fired on Fort Sumter. Yulee resigned from the U.S. Senate on January 21, 1861, and returned to Florida to protect his railroad and supervise his plantations.  Though he was never officially linked to the Confederacy, Yulee corresponded with Confederate officials, including President Jefferson Davis, and Attorney General (later Secretary of War and Secretary of State) Judah P. Benjamin – who was Yulee’s second-cousin.

The Civil War proved to be destructive for the Florida Railroad. Confederate forces pulled up rails for their own purposes, while the Union Army destroyed 30 miles of track leading to Cedar Key.  Union forces captured Fernandina on March 3rd, 1862.  David Yulee escaped by train, under fire from the USS Ottawa. Yulee retreated to his plantation near Homosassa, Florida, until it was burned down by Federal troops in 1864. Yulee and his family spent the remainder of the war at “Cottonwood,” his plantation near Archer, Florida. After emancipation Yulee encouraged the education of freedmen, and advocated employing African American men and women as teachers.

At the close of the Civil War Yulee was sent to Gainesville, Florida, as part of a delegation to petition for readmission into the Union. He was arrested for treason against the United States and sent to Fort Pulaski. The charge of treason stemmed from the discovery of a letter he had written before his official resignation from the U.S. Senate, which urged Southern forces to occupy forts and seize munitions in Florida.  Nannie Wickliffe Yulee used her family’s political connections, and succeeded in convincing General Ulysses S. Grant to intervene on her husband’s behalf. After being paroled in 1866, Yulee returned to Fernandina and worked to rebuild the Florida Railroad. By 1877, financial difficulties forced him to sell his majority share, but he remained active as the railroad’s vice-president until his retirement in 1881. David Yulee and his wife retired to Washington DC, where Nannie passed away in 1881. Yulee died on October 10, 1886, in New York City. In 2000 The Florida Department of State designated Yulee as a Great Floridian. The city of Yulee, Florida, and Levy County are named in his honor.

June 12th, 2014 will mark the 204th anniversary of David Yulee’s birth. The Fernandina Restoration Foundation will partner with the Amelia Island Museum of History to celebrate Yulee’s extraordinary life by unveiling a statue in his honor at the historic train depot (102 Centre St) on Thursday, June 12th, at noon. Built in 1899, the depot is in the process of being restored by the public/private partnership of the Amelia Island Tourist Development Council, the City of Fernandina Beach, and the Fernandina Restoration Foundation.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Fernandina Celebrates Viva Fl 500

Fernandina Celebrates Viva Florida 500
September 27 and 28

This year we celebrate the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de Leon voyage to Florida in 1513. Though it is likely Ponce de Leon was not the first European to visit Florida, his journey resulted in the name La Florida, and was the first to be well documented. Contrary to popular myth, it was not the fountain of youth that brought Ponce de Leon to Florida, but a royal contract which offered to make him governor for life of any lands he discovered.  Ponce de Leon had served as provincial governor of Puerto Rico, before he was forced out of power by his rival Diego Colón, the illegitimate son Christopher Columbus. King Ferdinand II of Aragon hoped to reward Ponce de Leon for his service to the crown, while at the same time preventing Colón from gaining further influence in the New World.
Ponce De Leon funded the expedition himself, outfitting three ships and bringing with him 200 men. Departing from Puerto Rico on March 4th of 1513, he reached the East Coast of Florida in early April, landing somewhere between St. Augustine and Melbourne Beach. After a few days on land, Ponce De Leon’s ships headed south and ran into the Gulf Stream. Passing through the Florida Keys, the expedition reached Florida’s West Coast on the 23rd of May.

 The explorers quickly found themselves at odds with the Native Americans they encountered, and several skirmishes broke out, which resulted in casualties on both sides. It is reported that at least one of the Natives they met already spoke Spanish. The Spanish took several captives, and went on to explore the Dry Tortugas and Grand Bahama in the summer of 1513.  From here, Ponce De Leon turned back toward Hispaniola, returning to Puerto Rico in October, after an eight month expedition. 

                                                                                                                      Gray Edenfield

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Harriet Tubman on Amelia Island

Harriet Tubman on Amelia Island
                             By Gray Edenfield


It’s hard to separate fact from fiction when it comes to many historical figures. Great people often make for great stories. As time goes on, small facts and details often become the casualties of a person’s mythic status.  Harriet Tubman’s mission to Fernandina is a perfect example. Known as, “the Moses of her people,” Tubman is an icon of American history, well remembered for her work with the Underground Railroad. But many people are not aware that leading slaves to freedom was only one of the ways that Harriet contributed to emancipation. She believed in the cause of freedom with total conviction, and was willing to do whatever was necessary to see the end of slavery during her lifetime, which led her to serve the Union Army in a variety of roles during the Civil War.

Sometimes during the transition from living, breathing human-being to folk hero, a person’s actual deeds can get lost in the translation.  But if you push aside all the tall-tales and embellishments that have been tacked on to the story over the course of a century, in this case you will find a truly remarkable woman who was able to accomplish amazing feats in her lifetime, some of which are more famous than others.  

 In her authorized biography, Harriet mentions that during the Civil War, the Union commander of Amelia Island asked her to come to Fernandina to nurse Union soldiers through an outbreak of dysentery. The details of her time here elude us. We’re not certain if she attended to soldiers at Fort Clinch, or if she moved among the several batteries on the Island that were manned by African American soldiers, like Fort Naglee. Either or both is possible. But to put the significance of her journey here into context, it would help to have some understanding of the incredible life that she led.

Araminta Harriet Tubman was born to enslaved parents in Bucktown, Maryland, sometime in the early 1820s. As a child, she was often hired out by her master to work for other families. Early in her teen years, Harriet suffered a head injury that would plague her for the rest of her life, causing seizures and sudden episodes of narcolepsy.

            Around 1844, Harriet married a free black man named John Tubman. In 1849, Harriet escaped alone to Philadelphia (her husband refused to join her), and began to plan trips back to Maryland to free members of her family and friends. Over the next eleven years she made more than a dozen trips back into Maryland, leading around 70 slaves to freedom, including her three brothers and much of their families. Tubman was also a friend and collaborator of abolitionist John Brown.

            During the Civil War, Tubman served the Union Army as a nurse, cook, spy and scout. She used her experience traveling in secret with the Underground Railroad to help the Union Army map unfamiliar terrain and gather reconnaissance. Tubman provided key intelligence that aided in the capture of Jacksonville, by Union forces in 1862. The war also brought Harriet Tubman to Amelia Island.  Harriet’s obituary, printed in the Auburn Citizen (the local newspaper in her adopted hometown of Auburn, NY) mentions that her success in curing dysentery with native herbs became so well known by army surgeons, the War Department sent her to Fernandina. Unfortunately, this single statement recorded by Harriet’s friend and first biographer, Sarah H. Bradford, is all that we have to go on. Harriet didn’t elaborate any further on her time in Fernandina, but her presence here would make perfect sense given her activities from 1862-1864.

            We know that she was actively scouting in the area because of a letter written on her behalf by General David Hunter, which mentions her being in Beaufort, and Hilton Head, South Carolina. The letter named Harriet Tubman herself as its bearer, and guaranteed her passage on any government transport to go wherever she wished to go, and to take whatever goods she needed from the Dept. of the South commissary. The note also describes her as “a valuable woman.”
Harriet’s skills as a healer are corroborated by Henry R. Durrant, an Assistant Surgeon in the US Army, who said: “I certify that I have been acquainted with Harriet Tubman for nearly two years, and my position as Medical officer in charge of ‘contrabands’ in this town, and in hospitals, has given me frequent and ample opportunity to observe her general deportment, particularly her kindness and attention to the sick and suffering of her own race. I take much pleasure in testifying hereby to the esteem in which she is generally held.”

It is well documented that Tubman spent time attached to the 1st South Carolina Volunteers, the first African American unit to be mustered into the Union Army (later re-designated the 33rd United States Colored Troops). On January 26, 1863, the 1st South Carolina became the first African American troops to land on Amelia Island. We do not know if Harriet came to Fernandina with the 1st South Carolina Volunteers or if she travelled here on her own – though it is believed she came here in 1863. There are diaries written by Union soldiers posted on the island at that time that give a passing mention of her arrival here. None of these contain any specifics about the time she spent here.

One of the most frustrating parts of studying history is that we’re often left pining for more details. In the modern technological age, where people have become so accustomed to documenting every aspect of their day, we forget that people living in the times we study had wars to fight, families to protect, and lives to lead. Many things which seem so desperately important to us now would have been minutiae to them. We want to know everything we possibly can on a given subject, however sometimes the sources simply aren’t there to be found.

Unfortunately, this is the case when it comes to Harriet Tubman’s time on Amelia Island. Do we know exactly where she ate, slept, and worked? No. What we do know is that she was a woman of intense courage and dedication to the cause of freedom, and that she willingly took on whatever role was necessary to achieve emancipation. We also know that her work brought her here, and that small role in the nascence of freedom in this country is something that Fernandina can be proud of.



                                                                                                   Gray Edenfield
                                                                                Education Director
  Amelia Island Museum of History

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Wreck of the Evening Star

The Wreck of the Evening Star 
                                   by Gray Edenfield

                                                                                 Atlantic Ocean during a Hurricane 

Everyone has heard of the Titanic, but few people can name the ship that was associated with the worst nautical tragedy in American history before that point. Indeed, few have heard of the wreck of the Evening Star, yet this shipwreck (which predated Titanic by almost fifty years) was considered the greatest maritime disaster of its time, and Fernandina Beach is a prominent part of its story.

            The Evening Star was a passenger steamer, and it left New York bound for New Orleans in late September, 1866. There were 278 people on board, 14 of those were crew, and one was the captain. The Evening Star was sent to sea with no spare sails or spars, and lacked a ship’s carpenter to make repairs as needed in case of a disaster. The ship carried 6 lifeboats, each with room for about ten people - enough to save less than a quarter of those on board in the event of an emergency.

The ship ran into a hurricane 180 miles off the coast of Tybee Island, Georgia, on October 2nd.  During the early morning hours of October 3rd, the ship began taking on water. Attempts were made to bail water out of the engine room, but these were to no avail. At around 5:00 am, Captain William Knapp made an announcement to the passengers that the ship would surely sink.

During the commotion caused by the storm, only four of the ship’s lifeboats made it into the water. All were capsized several times, and subsequently bailed out by the people inside them - this sad cycle continued for hours until one boat was cleared out completely, and all aboard were lost. Two of the boats drifted for two days, and were later rescued by a passing ship and taken to Savannah. The last boat began a harrowing 5 day journey that brought them to the shores of Fernandina Beach, Florida. Most of the men on this boat were crew members, the only Evening Star passenger on board was an actor and former Union soldier from Brooklyn, New York, named Frank Girard. He left a detailed account of his experiences, via a letter written to a friend back in New York. From this document we get a passengers perspective on the incident.

In the devastating final moments before the ship went down, Girard suffered a broken nose and got a large laceration on his leg. After clinging to a wooden trunk to keep himself afloat, Girard spotted a lifeboat with five crewmen and five passengers inside and attempted to pull himself in. One of the sailors attempted to hit him with an oar to knock him out of the boat, but Girard was able to fight the man off and stay inside. He writes about his shock and dismay over the actions of the sailors in his lifeboat.  Other passengers who had to that point survived by clinging to broken pieces of the ship tried to enter the boat, only to be rebuffed by the sailors.  As one young man tried to climb into the boat, his hand was slit by one of the sailors.  Another crewman threatened to “brain” Girard with a piece of wood as he moved to help an older woman into the boat. Girard looked on with disgust as the sailors rifled through the pockets of anyone who succumbed to starvation, thirst, or exposure. After they died, the sailors would steal their clothes and throw the bodies overboard. Some of the passengers became so thirsty they began to drink salt water, which led to their deaths. Girard followed the example of the crewmen, who survived by drinking their own urine.

After three days of drifting they were able to fashion a makeshift sail and rudder, hoping they would be able to guide themselves to land or a passing ship. The men - including Girard - began to suffer from delirium, and spent a lot of their time talking nonsense, screaming, and fighting amongst themselves. Besides a small fish that somehow jumped into the boat and was eaten raw after being fought over fiercely, the men had no food whatsoever. Girard had no means of treating his leg wound, and it began to grow numb.

On the morning of the 5th day, the lifeboat finally found itself in sight of land.  The small boat had traveled almost 150 miles, all the way to Amelia Island, Florida. At this point 5 men were left, Girard, and 4 sailors. They came ashore somewhere near Fort Clinch, and drug themselves out of the boat. Girard was unable to stand due to his leg wound and asked for assistance from the sailors. They ignored him and left him lying on the beach. Girard began to drag himself across the ground hoping to come across someone who could assist him. After crawling for about a mile and a half, he came across a puddle of rain water, and was able to drink water for the first time in five days. Meanwhile, the sailors had come to the door of a cabin only to be refused injury until they could produce the injured man. The sailors backtracked hoping to find Girard so they could use him as a means of proving they were truly in need of help. They came upon him about a mile from the cabin, and now they eagerly helped him to his feet and carried him the rest of the way.

 With Girard in tow, the sailors made it back to the cabin, where the old gentleman and his wife welcomed the party in and sent for a doctor. The doctor informed Girard that his leg would have to be amputated. Girard objected wholeheartedly, and fortunately he found a supporter in Fernandina’s Mayor, Sammuel T. Riddel (the owner of the cabin sent for not only a doctor, but also the town mayor). Girard was taken to Riddel’s home where he spent the next three weeks recuperating. New doctors were brought in to treat Girard’s leg wound. They diagnosed a contusion, and said the bone had to be scraped clean. Girard refused to take chloroform to numb the pain, because he feared they might be planning to amputate his leg while he was unconscious. After recovering from his wounds Girard returned to New York by train, and so ended the long and arduous journey that took him all the way from Brooklyn to Amelia Island.

Of the nearly three hundred souls that departed New York on the Evening Star, there were only seventeen survivors. The United States Government created a board of inquiry to investigate the incident. The board determined that the ship had been sent from port with an insufficient amount of crew, and badly in need of repair. She was in no shape to withstand the dangers presented by hurricane season in the Atlantic. It was also stated during the inquiry that, had the ship had a competent carpenter on board who could repair damage as it occurred – like mending the ship’s disabled rudder – the sinking might have been avoided. A few of the ship’s crew, survivors from the other boats (the two that made it to Savannah) wrote their own accounts of the tragedy, which can be found online. Frank Girard passed away in 1900, at the age of sixty. He was twenty-six years old when he boarded the Evening Star on its ill-fated last voyage.  His first-hand account of the entire ordeal, including his time in Fernandina, can be found in the Archives of the Amelia Island Museum of History.

 American Composer Henry Clay Work wrote a song about the wreck:

               When the "Evening Star" Went Down  

                            (by Henry Clay Work)

[GIF Score]

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

George R. Fairbanks: Fernandina's Renaissance Man

George R. Fairbanks: 

Fernandina’s Renaissance Man

photo by Stephan Leimberg

In his time, George Rainsford Fairbanks was an attorney, historian, citrus magnate, newspaper editor, soldier, author, and a politician.  Though he was born in New York, Fairbanks adopted the state of Florida as his home for most of his adult life.  He helped found the Historical Society of Florida and served as its first Vice President.  Fairbanks was also one of the co-founders of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.  He was a great friend and colleague of David Levy Yulee, his father Moses Levy, and William Pope Duval.  Moses Levy, the owner of significant tracts of land in Central Florida, engaged Fairbanks to tend to his many pressing legal matters.  Fairbanks also served on the board of directors of Yulee’s Florida Railroad, and owned stock in the company. His lifelong thirst for knowledge made George Fairbanks one of the brightest and most well-rounded minds of his day and a great chronicler – not to mention a part of – Florida’s history.

 Born in Watertown, New York on July 5, 1820, George was the second son of Jason and Mary Massey Fairbanks.  Although George was born into a fairly wealthy family, his father and maternal grandfather had both recently earned their respective fortunes.   Jason was a self-made man with little formal education who parlayed his skills as a tanner into several business ventures, eventually employing up to 500 people.  He was also a respected public servant, serving as a county sheriff and treasurer and as a U.S. Marshall for almost 30 years.  Mary Massey’s father built a lumber mill and settled his family in the area that would become Watertown before it was a city.  Mr. Massey bought a great deal of property, and with the city’s expansion, became a wealthy and powerful man.

Though his mother was a staunch anti-catholic, George was sent to school at La Petit Seminaire in Montreal Canada, a Catholic school for boys which provided a top notch education.  English was banned at the school, and George was forced to speak only in French.  A cholera epidemic forced him to return home in 1832, where he spent the next four years preparing for college.

Fairbanks graduated from Union College (the first interdenominational institution for higher education in the United States) in 1839, and began to study law. In 1842, he became engaged to Sarah Wright, a judge’s daughter, and the two were married just weeks before George moved to Florida to take a job as Clerk of the Superior Court of East Florida.  Now living in Saint Augustine, George immersed himself in the city’s history and in the history of Florida in General.  He learned Spanish so that he could read first-hand accounts from Conquistadors and early explorers.  In 1858, Fairbanks’ first history book was published - The History and Antiquities of the City of St. Augustine, Florida.  In that same year, George’s wife Sarah died of tuberculosis, leaving him to care for their five children.  Two years later, Fairbanks married his brother-in-law’s widow Susan Beard Wright, combining their households; George and Susan had two daughters of their own.

Fairbanks made powerful friends while living in St. Augustine, which led to his becoming involved in politics.  The support of William Duval and David Yulee helped him win a state senate seat in 1846. When his term was over he returned to Saint Augustine and continued to be involved in the community. In 1856 he helped to found the Florida Historical Society, and served as its Vice President. A year later he became the city’s Mayor.

When war broke out between the states, Fairbanks endorsed secession from the Union.  He was commissioned an officer and served under General Braxton Bragg, with the rank of major.  He served in the commissary department and spent most of the war in Georgia overseeing Army hospitals.  After the war, Major Fairbanks returned to Sewanee to help rebuild the University of the South, which had been ravaged by four-years of conflict.  For the rest of his life Fairbanks would spend at least a portion of the year in the cabin he built near campus dubbed “Rebel’s Rest,” which still stands to this day.

Fairbanks spent a great deal of his time managing his various land holdings.  His private records (kept at Florida State University) indicate that at one time he held property in Nassau, Duval, Clay, Putnam, St. Johns, Volusia, Lake, Marion, Brevard, and Alachua counties. In 1871, George completed his second book, History of Florida, which was the first connected and complete work on the history of the state.

In 1880, David Yulee invited Major Fairbanks to move to Fernandina to become editor of the local paper, The Florida Mirror.  George’s active role in the Episcopal Church allowed him to quickly make connections with some of Fernandina’s most prominent citizens, many of whom were part of St. Peter’s congregation.  Around this same time, Fairbanks donated a tract of land near Gainesville, Florida to build a church for the citizens in a small town that was to be named after him.  He brought in New York architect Robert Schuyler to design the building - dubbed “All Saints” at the suggestion of Fairbanks’ wife Susan - and paid for its construction.

It was of the utmost importance to Susan Fairbanks to have her children and grandchildren near her at all times, and with a family as large as the Fairbanks’ this necessitated a home of substantial size.  In 1885 George turned once again to Robert Schuyler to design and build a home in Fernandina that could accommodate the entire family. The lavish Italianate home featured a 15-foot tower and a fireplace in every room (ten in all), two of which were decorated with English tiles depicting scenes from Shakespeare’s plays and Aesop’s fables. The Fairbanks house was the first home in Fernandina to have an elevator.  A long standing local myth is that upon seeing the house for the first time Susan Fairbanks was so displeased with it, she gave it the moniker it carries to this day, “the folly.”  However, the story passed down through the Fairbanks family is that it was the decoration and furnishings that Susan disapproved of, not the house itself.

Fairbanks managed much of his business out of Fernandina, but spent his summers in Sewanee helping to manage the University of the South and ensure the institution stayed true to the original intentions of its founders (of which he has was the last living). In 1898, George published the second edition of his History of Florida, followed by a third in 1904 which added chapters up to that date.  This edition was designed for, and used as a textbook in the Florida school system.  George continued with his devotion to the University of the South, as a trustee, and never lost his zeal for researching history.  He passed away in 1906 at the age of 86 in his home in Sewanee, Tennessee.

George Fairbanks’ legacy is still alive today in the city of Fernandina, and his impact on his adopted state is undeniable.  His home still stands on South Seventh Street, now operating as a bed and breakfast.  The coat he wore as a Major in the Confederate Army hangs in the Amelia Island Museum of history.  The Florida Historical Society he helped found exists to this day, and the books he wrote about the histories of Florida and Saint Augustine are still used as source material in text books read by students across the state of Florida.

                                                                                                      Gray Edenfield
                                                                                                   Education Director
                                                                                       Amelia Island Museum of History

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

AIMH Garage Sale

The Amelia Island Museum of History will be holding a Garage sale on Saturday, October
13.  We are asking any of our members who wish to contribute items, to go ahead and begin thinking about what you would like to donate.

- all proceeds will go to the Amelia Island Museum of History
- we will not accept clothing
- the museum will give donors a letter in which they can value the items they contribute
for tax purposes
- all items that are not sold will be donated to a local charitable organization

More information will follow...

Thanks, we appreciate your help!!!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

                 July 9th through July13th, the AIMH welcomed 13 kids, ages 6-10 to its Move like a Timucuan summer program. Throughout the week, they learned about the lifestyle of the Timucuas, the different crops they would have grown, and how they would have collected the rest of their food. The children worked on several art projects including making baskets, creating feather mask, and sewing pouches in which they could store items for safe keeping. They also had an opportunity to visit the Atlantic Seafood Bait & Tackle shop where they learned about the various kinds of seafood caught in the area.  Allan Hallman from The Florida Fish and Wildlife commission came out with a trailer full of specimens of local animals. The kids had a great time making their own molds of animal tracks from the actual footprints of Florida wildlife, including a wild hog, coyote, bobcat, wild turkey, Florida black bear, whitetail deer, fox, and Florida panther. The week was a great success, and was enjoyed by the participants and volunteers alike.  We can’t wait until next summer!