A River That Flows Into Another River Is A Florida’s Torreya State Park

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Florida’s Torreya State Park

Torreya State Park is located in sunny Florida and plays an important role in maintaining unique plant and animal species. There are two other important roles that the park is known for; Essential communities of regional importance and water quality of the Apalachicola River flowing into productive Apalachicola Bay. Torreya State Park and the Apalachicola River are both historic and rich in history.

To find the early history of Torreya Park you have to go back to the Civil War. This is the time when two hundred Confederate soldiers called the High Bluffs home. As you walk through the park you can still see where the cannons were placed. It was in the 1840s where the plantation owner, Jason Gregory and his family, called home. Jason Gregory’s estate was three thousand square feet and was originally located on the west bank of the Apalachicola River. However, in the late 1930s, Gregory’s house was given to the Civic Conservation Corporation. On the other hand the donation came with a condition that the house should be demolished and relocated. Workers from the Civilian Conservation Corp. began taking apart the house brick by brick and board by board. These planks and bricks were loaded onto a barge which carried the goods to the eastern shore. This is where the rebuilding of this old house began and where it stands and can still be seen today.

One of the most populated sites in Florida was located in the Apalachicola region. In the lower reaches of the Apalachicola River Valley you’ll find an abundance of ancient sites along former and current shorelines. Scattered along the waterways and river marshes you can find heaps of clam and oyster shells that are remnants of the early inhabitants. In the 1700s, Creek Indians from Georgia and Alabama began to settle along the Apalachicola River. The word Apalachicola comes from an Indian word meaning “people from the other side”. In 1816 one or more skirmishes occurred between American forces and the Creek Indians and their black allies. It is possible that “Bloody Bluff” is the site of these encounters. Black allies of the Creek Indians captured the “Negro Fort” known today as Fort Gadsden and located at nearby Prospect Bluff. At this time cotton from the interior plantations was shipped by steamboat to Apalachicola for export. However, during the Civil War the Union Army built a blockade on Apalachicola Bay that prevented steamboats from making the voyage. When the war ended, lumber became the new product for shipping. Saw mills began to spring up along the Apalachicola River. Apalachicola had millions of board feet of lumber passing through the harbor. The wood came from longleaf pine and cedar trees. Pine trees had a secondary purpose, their sap. The sap was distilled into resin and turpentine, which together became known as naval stores.

Torreya State Park was opened to the public in 1935 and is one of Florida’s original state parks. The creation of this park is credited to the Florida Board of Parks and the Civilian Conservation Corporation. It doesn’t matter what you like about Torreya State Park, whether it’s the Civilian Conservation Corporation’s masterful craftsmanship in the reconstruction of the original Jason Gregory home, or stepping into one of its barracks or charming stone bridges. Today Torreya State Park is one of Florida’s most scenic spots because of the high bluffs that overlook the Apalachicola River. The park’s namesake, Torreya, is one of the oldest and rarest trees. These trees grow only in the valleys and on the bluffs of Torreya State Park. The Torreya tree became so popular that it was almost destroyed. An estimated six hundred thousand of these trees lived in the Apalachicola Valley in the 1800s, but only two hundred remain today. Around 1835, Florida Torreya was identified by botanist Hardy Brian Crome. Krum gave this name to the famous scientist Dr. Given in honor of John Tory. The tree was known locally as the “stinking cedar” because of its strong odor when cut or bruised. The park is famous for hiking, camping, picnicking and bird watching. More than hundred species of birds were seen here. The hardwood trees in this forest display some of the best fall colors in Florida. The park also offers daily tours of Jason Gregory’s reconstructed home.

With reference to the Apalachicola River, it now separates the Eastern and Central Time Zones. If you venture out into the quiet creeks and bays in April or mid-May, you’ll see a variety of trees and shrubs, including tupelo, black gum, and titi. Another of your senses will be activated which is your ears as you hear the loud and steady buzzing of the bees. The only place on Earth where tupelo honey is made is near the Apalachicola River Valley. Now you can see why Torreya State Parks and the Apalachicola River are historic and rich in history.

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