Thursday, November 29, 2007

Faye Dunaway birthplace - Two Egg, Florida

If you aren't familiar with this slowly deteriorating old frame home, it was the birthplace of famed film and stage actress Faye Dunaway.

Born near Two Egg in 1941, Dunaway became one of the top actresses of the 1970s, starring in such blockbuster films as Bonnie and Clyde and Little Big Man. She officially lists Bascom as her birthplace.

My appreciation to Ashley Pollette for submitting this photograph. He took it while working on the Southern Heritage program that he co-hosts on Chipola College TV (CCTV).

Monday, November 19, 2007

World War II in Two Egg

I've been learning more about World War II activities in Jackson County over recent weeks and have been amazed by the number of fatal military aircraft crashes in and around Two Egg during the war.
At least three fatal crashes, and possibly more, took place within a one mile radius of the community between 1943 and 1945.
Apparently Two Egg was prone to such accidents because a manned radio beacon there was used by aircraft approaching and leaving the Marianna Army Airfield (later Graham Air Force Base and today's Marianna Municipal Airport). In addition, the beacon served as a key navigation point for pilots in training. As a result, they often used it as a center point for practicing bombing and strafing runs.
Military training was extremely dangerous in those days and, as a result, over 1,000 men died in aircraft accidents in Florida alone during World War II. At least six of them lost their lives in and around Two Egg.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Blue Spring - A Jackson County historic landmark

Located off Blue Springs Road northeast of Marianna, Blue Spring (or Blue Springs, as some prefer) is one of the largest springs in Florida. The submerged cave system below the spring, in fact, is one of the deepest in the world.

Now a popular recreation area that is open during the spring and summer, Blue Spring is one of the most historic spots in Jackson County. The spring was on the primary trail connecting the Apalachicola River with the Chatot or Chacato (sometimes incorrectly confused with the Chatot) Indian villages of the Chipola River valley. Spanish missionaries followed this trail in 1674 when they passed through the area on their way to establish the missions of San Nicolas and San Carlos west of the Chipola. One of the priests, Fray Rodrigo de la Barreda, left an account of Blue or Calistoble Spring, which he described as being of great depth and located in the center of a vast forest. He reported seeing buffalo in the area and noted that the stream coming from the spring was large enough that the Indians sailed on it in canoes. He also mentioned that caves in the area were used as shelters by Chatot hunters.

The Robinson family settled around Blue Spring at the time of Florida's transfer from Spain to the United States and it became the center of a large plantation. The Robinson home stood on the hill overlooking the spring and was the first home in Jackson County with running water. The owner, Col. Robinson, devised a unique apparatus to move water up from the spring to a holding tank at his house. By 1825, the spring was known as "Robinson's Big Spring" or the "Big Spring of the Chipola."

By the time of the War Between the States, the land had passed into the ownership of Florida's Confederate governor, John Milton. Milton's home, Sylvania, stood a little more than one mile from the spring, but according to one antebellum diarist, he often fished there. A camp of Confederate cavalry was maintained at the spring during much of the war and Captain Robert Chisolm's company of cavalry from the Alabama Militia was stationed at Blue Spring during the days leading up to the Battle of Marianna.

During the late 1800s and early 1900s, Blue Spring was developed as a popular resort. Guests from the Chipola Hotel in downtown Marianna were carried out in carriages to bathe in the waters, which were believed to have healing properties.

Today, it is a popular swimming area maintained by Jackson County.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Ghost of Bellamy Bridge

The photograph at right is of the old Samuel Bellamy mansion in Marianna. This was the home where Elizabeth Jane Bellamy supposedly burned to death on her wedding night, the primary event behind the Bellamy Bridge ghost legend. It is her ghost that is said to haunt the area around the bridge.

The mansion no longer stands, which is a shame because it was said to have been an architectural marvel. It stood in the center of the entire city block bordered by Green, Clinton, Market and Jefferson Streets.

In reality, Elizabeth did not die in a wedding not fire. I've recently updated the Bellamy Bridge story at Just follow the link and take a look, I think you'll find it to be a fascinating historical footnote in the history of Jackson County.