Monday, March 17, 2008

The Site of San Carlos - Sneads, Florida

I've mentioned before here the site of the Spanish mission of Senor San Carlos de Chacatos near present-day Sneads.
The mission was the last Spanish settlement in Jackson County and was established in 1680 by Franciscan missionaries. The site is located at the west end of the Jim Woodruff Dam at the West Bank Overlook Park and is, of course, protected by Federal law.
This aerial photograph, taken last week, provides a good view of the San Carlos Site. The spillway of the dam can be seen in the right of the photograph, along with the blue waters of Lake Seminole. The mission was located on the hilltop overlooking the lake (a large swamp in 1680). The paved parking area visible in the left center of the photograph is the West Bank Overlook, where archaeologists found traces of the mission during the 1950s.
San Carlos was established to minister to a village of Christian Chacato Indians who had relocated to the site from western Jackson County and eastern Washington County between 1676 and 1680. The had been converted to Christianity in 1674-1675 by missionaries working at the missions of San Nicolas and San Carlos west of the Chipola River. Both missions were destroyed in a rebellion by part of the Chacato in 1675. The portion of the tribe that had accepted Christianity relocated to this hilltop near Sneads over the next few years and the Spanish responded by establishing a new mission for them.
Senor San Carlos was occupied for about 16 years and was the westernmost mission and Spanish post in Florida during its existance. It is described in several Spanish documents of the time and was destroyed in 1696 during an English inspired raid by Native American warriors from Alabama and Georgia.
There are no markers at the site.

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