|Haw Creek by Bill
Haw Creek runs though an area of Flagler County that is rich in wild life.
It is a favorite area for boaters and fishermen.
Tucked away in western Flagler County lies Haw Creek Preserve, a
1,005-acre tract of land bordering Haw Creek for about two miles on its
southern boundary. This area was set aside to preserve the cypress oak and
hardwood swamp that borders Haw Creek. Many Haw trees line the creek and
produce the small apple-like fruit from which the creek gets its name. The
fruit is popular for making jelly.
It was once the camp of Halleck-Tustenugge, a Seminole Indian Chief who
was noted as a looter and burner of early settlers' homes and fires, and
was believed to have camped at the head of Dunn's (Crescent) Lake in Haw
Creek. He was reportedly the head of a war party attacking the
settlement of Mandarin, twenty miles south of Jacksonville, on the aster
bank of the St. Johns. The small village was raided while its men
were away on a deer-hunt. Houses and residents were attacked, killed
or burned in a 10 mile radius. Two men, a woman and an infant
were reportedly killed.
The army long sought after the Seminole camp. They made seven months of
search guided by friendly Indian scouts. He reportedly had a group
of thirty-five Miccosukee warriors who were noted as being the most
determined not to surrender to the army. It was also believed this
was the routing of Osceola when he travelled north to meet with the army
and be captured under a white Flag of truce. Careful scouting of Graham's
and Bulow's swamp, the Tomoka river and the Spring Garden trail had failed
to produce the elusive Indian. On 25 January 1842 an infantry
detachment located Halleck's hidden camp at Haw Creek near Dunn's Lake but
the Indians escaped. One soldier was killed in the battle and two wounded.
They did locate many buried supplies including five buried kegs of powder,
cloth, and other items. However, the Tustennugee and his group
Halleck was captured on April 19, 1842. He later served as a
scout in the Civil War fighting against pro-South Indian tribes.
The Three Fords of Haw Creek. This 1739 soldier's sketch map
provides a clue as to where the Indian camp may have been. It was
located on the "Spring Garden Trail" which was a much used route to the
Haw Creek area was popular with sportsmen for many years. It is
noted for its great beauty and still is untouched.
Haw Creek flows into the junction of the southeast corner of Crescent Lake
and the south end of Dead Lake. This is a very beautiful area with
abundant wildlife to be observed. The Crescent Lake Conservation Area and
the Haw Creek Preserve provide over 4,500 acres of protected wetlands and
forests around Haw Creek and they offer great opportunities for outdoors
recreational activities. The nearby waters of Crescent Lake and Dead Lake
are known throughout the southeastern United States as great places to
fish for trophy size bass and speckled perch. Crescent Lake is also known
for the large alligators taken there during alligator hunting season, some
in the 12–13-foot range.
When the narrow gauge railroad was constructed through the Haw
Creek section, two families were living in the area, the Walter Eugene
Knight’s and the Nathan Roberts’. Mr. Knight was raising sheep and doing
some farming. Mr. Roberts did some farming too, but he had a fair sized
orange grove and a large Scuppernong grape arbor.
With the many working people coming into the area, Utley James White built
three houses in the area. Utley also put up telephone lines and all the
homes had telephone service. All the bridge timbers for the Key West
Extension of the Florida East Coast Railway were cut from the Haw Creek
section and manufactured in the Utley J. White sawmill at Dupont. The Key
West Extension was later the Over Seas Highway (now U.S. 1), when the
railway was removed.
In 1907, Mr. White planted Irish potatoes for commercial purposes. When
the Dupont Land Company took over in 1912, they built the Tippecanoe Inn
at Dupont. It was under the management of Mr. and Mrs. Gomez Pacetti and
offered splendid accommodations for that day and time.
The Dupont Land Company also changed the narrow gauge railroad to Haw
Creek to standard gauge. This connected with the Florida East Coast
Railroad at Dupont. The "Dummy", as the train was called, made several
trips a day to Haw Creek and the people living there at that time boasted
of mail delivery twice a day.
Many people used hand cars to go back and forth to their work and to
Dupont. The telephones were connected to the Bunnell Exchange with Billie
Graham McIntosh as the telephone operator.
After the timber had been cut from this area, the people became interested
in agriculture. Northern settlers began to come and build homes. During
the harvesting season long trains of car load lots of produce on its way
to market was a common sight.
The school house was built in 1918. It was used for church services on
Sunday. Neva Brown Eisenbach was the first teacher and George Wickline was
one of her pupils. The Wickline’s had moved from Dupont to the house on
Section 25 and Mrs. Wickline had a rooming house there. Neva had a room
there but rode back and forth on the "Dummy" much of the time for her
family still lived at Dupont. Julia Ferguson Clegg was the second teacher.
She lived with the Wickline’s until they moved to Flagler Beach.
Turpentine became a big business in Haw Creek. One of George W. Deen’s
turpentine stills was located at Orange Hammock. My Grandfather James
Emmett Deen operated this still for a time as did Major James Frank
Lambert. There was also a turpentine still at Relay (about where the
present fire tower is today on S.R. 11 just south of C.R. 304), operated
by David Brown Paxton.
In the late 1800's a stage coach ran from St. Augustine to Daytona Beach,
and they changed horses at Relay - - hence the name.