Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Florida's "Lost City"
The legend of St. Joseph, Florida's "Lost City," is well-known in Northwest Florida.
Closely connected with Marianna and Jackson County, the city was founded in 1835 on the present site of Port St. Joe and within three years was home to 12,000 residents. It was virtually wiped out by a yellow fever epidemic in 1841 followed by a hurricane in 1844. In a matter of just a few years, St. Joseph disappeared from the map.
Yet its legacy lives on. St. Joseph was the site of the 1838-1839 Constitutional Convention that drafted Florida's first constitution. Among the delegates attending was Dr. Samuel C. Bellamy, of Marianna. The death of his wife, Elizabeth, is the story behind today's legend of the "Ghost of Bellamy Bridge."
In addition, the highway that Jackson County residents know today as the "Old U.S. Road" was originally constructed by the U.S. government to link the Alabama line with St. Joseph (by way of Marianna).
I've added a new section on old St. Joseph and other historic sites around Port St. Joe to my website at: www.exploresouthernhistory.com. Just follow the link and you will see the heading.