Monday, March 17, 2008

Historic Butler Road

This is a view of historic Butler Road as it leads west from Lake Seminole. This road is one of the oldest publicly constructed roads in Jackson County and (as you can see here) it hasn't changed much in the last 175 years or so.
The road was originally built in the 1830s to connect the Chattahoochee River settlement of Brownsville with the new county seat of Marianna. The name "Brownsville" only remained in use for a few year's before it was changed to Brown's Ferry.
Located on the river adjacent to the reservation established by the Treaty of Moultrie Creek for the Native American chief Econchatimico ("Red Ground King") and his followers, the ferry was one of the primary landing sites where passengers and commerce coming and going to Marianna caught the paddlewheel riverboats that steamed up and down the Chattahoochee and Apalachicola Rivers. A flatboat ferry also crossed the river to the Georgia bank at the site.
The Butler Road (then called the Brown's Ferry Road) was constructed to replace the originally woods trail that led from the landing to Marianna. It is clearly shown on survey plats dating from the late 1830s and early 1840s. Heading west from the landing, it passed Cowpen Pond before merging with the Blue Springs Road just west of today's Dellwood Community.
The name "Butler" came into use because Butler Landing was the final incarnation of the old Brownsville Settlement. Over time the landing site migrated slightly south and went through a series of names - Brownsville, Brown's Ferry, Port Jackson and finally Butler Landing.

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