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Water Parks

Florida Guide > Other Florida

Olustee and Stephen Foster History to 1950

These 2 parks are close together and can be visited in the same day.

The Battle of Olustee took place in 1864 and was considered to be the bloodiest battle of the Civil War.

The Union troops, led by General Truman A Seymour began their offensive at Hilton Head, South Carolina. Thir objective was to capture Jacksonville to spoil the supply routes of food for the confederates and to take the supplies of cotton, timber and turps.

The Confederates best defence area was in Olustee where only a narrow passage separated the lake and swamp.

On february 20th 1864 a Union army of some 5500 marched from Mac clenny. A troop of almost as many Confederates was formed and they drew the Unionists towards Olustee. The battle between them lasted til night fall when the Union troops retreated.

In this one battle over 900 Confederates and 1800 Union troops were killed.

Today, this area is redolent of this era.

The Stephen Foster Folk Culture Museum is situated in White Springs on the U. S. 41.

This park is a memorial to Stephen Foster who was one of Americas foremost composers. Among his work is Camptown Races, Jeanie with the light brown hair and Old folks at home. The latter was inspired by the Suwanee River.

The Suwanee River is 250 miles long from its source in south east Georgia to the Gulf of Mexico (east of white springs) This is the only white water area in Florida.

Native Americans once occupied this site drawn by the sulpher waters of the spring. These would have been considered sacred because of their healing nature.

After the Civil War, Europeans settled here and later on towards the end of the 19th century they promoted it as a health spa.

Early in the 20th century a wall and gate were erected to keep the river waters out of the springs.

Among the guests at the resort were Teddy Roosvelt (the President) and Henry Ford (he of the motor car)

Here they would have bathed in the springs and taken advantage of the treatment rooms and shops that lined the springs.

As late as the mid 20th century this resort continued to flourish and the concrete walls and gate that were built are still in place today

Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park
Post Office Drawer G
White Springs, Florida 32096

Phone: 386-397-2733
Fax: Contact Park for Number

Citizen Support Organization
Stephen Foster Citizen Support Organization
P. O. Box 666
White Springs, Florida 32096

Visitor Service Provider

Kelli Pipkins, Concession Manager
Post Office Drawer G
White Springs, FL 32096

(386) 397-2733

We aim to provide accurate and useful information, but if you feel anything provided here is not accurate or out of date, please email us with the address of the page concerned and any comments so we can amend as necessary.

Page added on: 10 January 2009
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