Sunday, December 16, 2012

Historic Preservation Projects mark the season in Jackson County

Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail
As you know, I love the history and culture of this beautiful place we call home. And this year I'm really pleased to see the way several historic preservation efforts are coming together to save and interpret some really significant parts of Jackson County's past.

The first is the Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail. Now open to the public during daylight hours, the trail leaves from a brand new parking area on Highway 162 only 200 yards west of the Chipola River bridge between Greenwood and U.S. 231.

The trail is a 1/2 mile nature walk that takes visitors to historic Bellamy Bridge, one of Florida's 10 oldest bridges and, of course, the site of one of our county's favorite ghost stories. The trail has been developed without spending a single extra dime of taxpayer money and is being maintained by volunteers. It provides public access to Bellamy Bridge again for the first time in 30 years.

You can learn more about the history of Bellamy Bridge here:

I hope you will stop by and check out the trail. It really is a beautiful walk. We will be adding interpretive signs soon, but it is open to the public and is well-maintained. Remember, the access is on Highway 162, NOT Bellamy Bridge Road. You can no longer reach the bridge the old way that most people remember.

Remember also that the full purchase price of my new book, The Ghost of Bellamy Bridge, goes to benefit the heritage trail project. You can purchase it here: The Ghost of Bellamy Bridge: 10 Ghosts & Monsters from Jackson County, Florida  It is also available for Amazon Kindle.

The other project underway right now is the Jackson County Spanish Heritage Trail, a driving tour that connects a number of historic sites in the county that date from Spanish colonial times. Most residents don't even know that these places exist, but we are hoping to make them part of a wider effort to draw visitors to Jackson County to learn more about our history, culture and scenery.

The Jackson County Floridan ran a nice article on the Spanish Heritage Trail today:

If you have some time to donate, even just an hour or two a week, let me know!  We would love to have your help.

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