Saturday, January 26, 2008

Chipola - The Town that Almost Existed


This is a view looking east down Waddell Mill Pond. In 1826, lots were sold here for a town that developers believed would one day become the County Seat of Jackson County. According to land records, the site was on the south or right bank of the creek coming from Waddell Spring about halfway down today's Mill Pond. Most of the location remains open farm land, but a small portion was flooded by the creation of the pond.
To be called the "Town of Chipola," the community was designed to be constructed around a central square. Streets would then lead out at right angles to form city blocks for the construction of homes. The developers pledged a portion of the profits from the land sale to be used in constructing a courthouse and other civil improvements.
The town's name came from the "Chipola Settlement," a scattering of homes and farms stretching from about Waddell Spring south to Webbville and east to the Chipola River.
The Town of Chipola, however, never became a reality. Although lots were sold and the community was originally thought to hold great promise, the development of the city of Marianna much closer to the Chipola River stalled the project before it ever got off the ground. Several of the developers soon became involved in the scheme to develop the town of Webbville as a county seat, a project that also failed.

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