The Old Spanish Trail: FL to CA

The Old Spanish Trail as it crosses over Gloster Avenue in Sneads, Florida

Once a grand highway system that led motorists from St. Augustine, Florida to San Diego, California the Old Spanish Trail still lies in some places today. Built in the 1920s it was the Route 66 of the South and many of the small towns grew based on the traffic that flowed through the cities from people on their way cross country.

The roadway linked the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean similar as to how Interstate 10 does in the present. It was about 2,750 miles in total length coast to coast. Construction began in 1915 and was not completed until the 1920s.

It is said that the Old Spanish Trail follows the path that Spanish Conquistadors took back in the 1500s as they explored what was later to become the United States.

Today the Old Spanish Trail is known as Highway 90 in the eastern half of the U.S. and Highway 80 in the west.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Victory Bridge

Victory Bridge at Chattahoochee River Landing, Chattahoochee, Florida

Constructed in 1922, the Victory Bridge cost a total of $1 million dollars and was used for over 70 years. It was a 100′ drawbridge that opened and closed to allow for riverboats to make their way through without coming into contact with the spanning arches.

It was named the Victory Bridge in response to the efforts and triumph of World War I which had just ended a few years beforehand. Old Spanish Trail which crossed over the bridge was a popular route that followed the path of colonial era roads. The Old Spanish Trail National Highway connected St. Augustine, Florida to San Diego, California.

After the Jim Woodford Dam was built in 1947, the use for the drawbridge become obsolete as the dam blocked any major boats passage down the river. It was the dam that created Lake Seminole. Each year the river floods but some years with greater intensity. As seen in the photo below, the river levels are monitored and marked during those extreme years. The highest level on record since the bridge was built was in March of 1929 when the river rose 79.6′ and in July of 1994 the Apalachicola River flooded 78.4′.

Violet Sky pointing at Historic Flood Level Markings on the Victory Bridge, Chattahoochee River Landing, Florida

Today Victory Bridge stands as a reminder of the past and makes for some great photo opportunities.

It was replaced in 1994 as the demand for traffic increased and the stability of the bridge were questioned. Soon afterward the bridge was decommissioned and barricaded from future usage. Although access onto the bridge is not allowed walking trails permit for some exploration underneath.

Violet Sky at Victory Bridge at Chattahoochee River Landing, Chattahoochee, Florida

Also nearby is one of the last standing Indian Mounds from the Fort Walton Period (1450-1650).

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

The Last Fort Walton Period Indian Mound

Indian Mound at Chattahoochee River Landing, Chattahoochee, Florida

At Chattahoochee River Landing stands the last of seven Indian Mounds constructed during the Fort Walton Period of 1450-1650 AD. These mounds were built by Native Americans in the area and were used for building dwellings on high ground to prevent being washed out in the event of the river flooding.

Only four of seven mounds have been found nearby with this one being the last standing. These mounds would have been constructed in a pyramid type shape with a flat top. The high surface was also suitable for a look out perch. It is believed that the chief or priest would have lived at the top while others lived around or at the base. This location would have been great for Native Americans as it was located near the river that would allow them to travel, hunt and trade with other nearby tribes.

Indian Mound at Chattahoochee River Landing, Chattahoochee, Florida

When Spanish explorers began navigating through the area in 1674 the Native Americans abandoned this site. With the Old Spanish Trail passing right through this spot the mound became an important stop along the route. During the War of 1812, the British used the mound for their fort.

On November 30, 1817 the Scott Massacre took place at this site and is noted for being a significant battle during the First Seminole War.

Indian Mound at Chattahoochee River Landing, Chattahoochee, Florida

During the mid to late 1800s, paddlewheel boats were docked at the landing and several wrecks are still nearby. Today the mounds are remembered for their significance in local Native American history and culture.

The mound stands on the banks of the Apalachicola River just south of the city of Chattahoochee, Florida and the Jim Woodruff Dam that creates Lake Seminole. The mound is free to visit and offers for some interesting history and beautiful views.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Three Rivers State Park

Violet Sky at Three Rivers State Park, Sneads, Florida

Along the tranquil shores of Lake Seminole just a short drive from the city of Sneads, is Three Rivers State Park. A beautiful landscape offering plenty of outdoor activities and even space for overnight lodging. It is a unique destination due to its connection to three different rivers and three different states.

History of Three Rivers State Park

The term “Three Rivers” comes from the converging of the Chattahoochee, Flint and Apalachicola Rivers that flow in and out of the lake. It was the building of the Jim Woodruff Dam in 1947 that flooded the area to create Lake Seminole. The lake is named after the Seminole Indians who once lived in the area.

In 1955, the area became a state park and has since offered outdoor recreational opportunities to visitors. There are 686 acres of land at Three Rivers State Park.

Lake Seminole from Three Rivers State Park, Sneads, Florida

Fun Facts About Three Rivers State Park

Glance across Lake Seminole from the state park and you can see the Peach State aka Georgia!

The lake is 37,500 acres and borders Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

At its longest stretch the lake spans 35 miles north from the dam.

Lake Seminole from Three Rivers State Park, Sneads, Florida

Visiting Three Rivers State Park

Activities at Three Rivers State Park include cycling, hiking, boating, fishing, picnicking and birding. In the picnic areas there are also playgrounds and a pavilion for events. Camping is also available at the park. There is one cabin available to rent on site that features one bedroom and one bathroom for guests to stay in. At the park are 30 campsites available for tent and RV’s.

For more information about visiting Three Rivers State Park, please visit https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/three-rivers-state-park.

Also nearby is the town of Two Egg, the haunted Bellamy Bridge and Lazy Acres Family Farm!

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Town of Two Egg, Florida

Violet Sky in Two Egg, Florida

Just a short drive from Marianna and the famous haunted Bellamy Bridge, Two Egg, Florida is a quaint community with a unique history.

The town used to be home to the Allison Company Sawmill and a lumbering community. In fact, the town was actually called Allison during the early 1900s after the business. All that was there was a sawmill, grocery store, post office, a few homes and a camp for lumberman.

When the Great Depression hit in the 1930s, the grocery store had locals bringing their eggs in exchange for goods. Many families had plenty of chickens and that was all they had to give in trade for other necessities.

The town named changed to Two Egg after the Great Depression when the man that owned the grocery store in the community kept complaining that he lived in a “two-egg town”. As people would bring in only two eggs in exchange for items. Another tale also came from the idea that during the exchange of two eggs they were dropped at the store. The name for the area kind of stuck as locals kept referring to the area as “Two Egg”. The post office renamed its location and the Florida Department of Transportation marked Two Egg on the map.

Hollywood actress Faye Dunaway known for her leading roles in Chinatown and Bonnie and Clyde, was born and spent a few childhood years between Bascom and Two Egg in northwest Florida.

Also nearby are rumors of the “Two Egg Stump Jumper” a local legend of a wild man similar to bigfoot who roams the woods and swamps.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky