Historic Locations in Flagler County

Saving our heritage: The Flagler County History Annex has a remarkable collection of photos from the past. Flagler County has 11 properties on the National Historic Register. The Flagler County Historical Society assisted in obtaining the Florida Heritage Markers for The Holden House and the Mala Compra Plantation.  Here are some of our other historic locations:

Bulow Plantation

The Bulow Plantation Ruins stand as a monument to the rise and fall of one of the largest sugar plantations in East Florida. Bulow’s Sugar Mill was constructed of local coquina rock, which was used to build the largest structures in the 19th century. The year 1836 brought a volatile time in the Florida frontier. The Second Seminole War swept away the prosperous Bulow Plantation, a unique spring house, its wells and slave cabins of the former plantation. A scenic walking trail and state park were created amongst the ruins to magnify the historic significance of the area and educate locals, tourists and history buffs alike about the plantation's history. A boat ramp provides access for canoes and small powerboats to scenic Bulow Creek, a designated state canoe trail. Anglers can fish from the dock or a boat. Bulow Plantation was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1970.


Bunnell was established as a model community.  It was often referred to as "Bunnell Colony" by the Bunnell Development Company.  Chartered trains departed from Chicago with prospective land buyers who were put up in a new, modern hotel.  The attractive homes built and well-planned street layouts were designed to attract investors while excellent brochures and news releases were prepared to extol the benefits of the new "Bunnell Colony."

Bunnell State Bank

The Bunnell Development Company constructed the Bunnell State Bank in 1910. The bank was originally located on the southeast corner of Moody Boulevard and Railroad Street. In 1917 it was moved across the railroad tracks to the new bank building on the northwest corner of Moody Boulevard and Bay Street. Over the years, the bank failed and a new bank, Citizens Bank of Bunnell, took its place. Soon after it was chartered in June 1909, the Bunnell Development Company began construction of its two-story headquarters on the southeast corner of Moody Boulevard and Railroad Street. The company offices were located on the top floor with Bunnell State Bank occupying most of the bottom floor. Issac I. Moody, Jr. served as president of both organizations. In 1917, the Bunnell State Bank was moved. The building was added to the NRHP in 1992.

Cherokee Grove (Princess Place)

In 1886, Henry Mason Cutting, a wealthy New England sportsman purchased the property known as "Cherokee Grove". Cutting also bought several adjoining parcels, including a point where he decided to build a lodge. Cutting's New York architect gave the lodge a romantic European look - - a cross-shaped great room of dark wood rising to a 24-foot peak, massive fireplace, a false gallery 'round the second-story level. The woodwork was carved by a father-and-son team who had worked on Flagler's opulent Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Augustine, now Flagler College. Yet the architect also made the place Floridian with wide porches shaded by a deep overhang, and the lodge walls are blocks molded of concrete and native coquina The lodge was completed in 1888, the same year he married Angela Mills. He died in 1892 leaving his estate to his 26-year-old wife and two infant children. (note: she married a John Lorimer Worden after Cutting's death but they were divorced before 1922) Angela Mills Cutting was soon a widow after the passing of Henry Cutting and she eventually married an exiled Russian prince named Boris Scherbatoff. Cherokee Grove was renamed Princess Place and the 1,500 pristine acres attract nature enthusiasts from near and far. In the 20th century, Flagler County Parks and Recreation designated the 1,500 acres a preserve. Visitors can take in the environment on one of the many hiking, biking and equestrian trails, spend time fishing in the salt marshes along the Matanzas River and Pellicer Creek, or camp out under the stars. The Preserve was added to the NRHP in 1997.

Court House

This Bunnell landmark was first occupied on April 4, 1927, making it 85 years old in 2012. The April 7, 1927, issue of the Flagler Tribune stated that “The building is a handsome one, being built along classic Grecian design of varicolored brick with ornamental stone for the trim on the outside while the interior is finished with sand-colored plaster and a silver-grey woodwork except for the floors, which have the usual floor finish.” Some residents still recall October 1941 when a heavy rain placed it in a lake that extended to the first step. In 1982 an expansion was planned for needed office space. When the drilling began for the new annex foundations, many cracks appeared starting on the west wall of the older structure. For safety, it was decided to empty the building and relocate all County offices and Courts. Hundreds of 1/2 inch steel cables were then placed around the structure to strengthen it and pull the walls together.. Disagreements with the new contractor and lawsuits kept the building empty for about three years. The County was able to move back into the building in February of 1985. The classic Grecian design with varicolored brick and ornamental stone had long been a source of local pride. In January 2007 the new government service building was completed and courthouse complex later in September.


In 1791 Josiah Dupont (b-1742) arrived in this area to settle lands near the Matanzas River.  His family remained here until the Indian attacks in 1802.  His lands were listed as 'abandoned' the Spanish authorities with some being acquired by Mr. Hernandez.  In 1825 an Abraham Dupont arrived here (he was not the same Abraham Dupont who was the son of Josiah) and purchased property.  The Duponts became part of the extensive history of this area.


A farming community with railroad access, the old brick road for tourists and a successful economy.  Espanola had a hotel, post office, garage, cafe, rooming house, barbershop, dry goods store, grocery store, school, and mail route. Elzie Hunter, using a horse-drawn cart, was a mail carrier. Farming became an important part of the economy with Irish potatoes, corn and narcissus bulbs being shipped from Espanola, with Bimini (west of Espanola) becoming a major potato farming area. Tourism became another important segment of the economy with campgrounds being established for overnight tourists or, as they often called, “Tin can tourists.” They traveled on what today is called "the old brick road." One camp was “Live and Let Live.” Another was “Hoosier's Inn.” During this time new families who settled in Espanola were Knox Jones, Kudrna’s, Teeters, Pellicer’s, Pringle’s, Cauley’s, Gatlin’s, Whitton’s, Thompson’s, Burnside’s (aka Burnsed’s), Blount’s, Miller’s and Cobb’s.


Remarks by Sisco Deen in 2008 relative to the history of the Hammock area of Flagler County.

Haw Creek

The Haw Creek area is rich in Indian history.  It also is much favored by fishermen and boaters still retaining much of its natural attraction. Flagler County maintains a boat launching area and picnic park at Russell Landing.

Hewitt's Colonial Sawmill

The archaeological site of a water-powered sawmill that operated from 1770 to 1813. Walk over the mill dam and see where the sawmill once stood that cut lumber for structures still in use today in St. Augustine. Slaves built the dam, the mill, tended the oxen and mules, cut and hauled the trees, and sawed them into boards. See the vestiges of The old King's Road that once connected colonial St. Augustine to the colony of Smyrna.  Many of the Revolutionary War-era homes and structures in St. Augustine were constructed with lumber cut at Hewitt's Mill.  Old Kings Road, a highway built before the American Revolution runs nearby. Difficult to visit, contact the Florida Agricultural Museum for details.

Hernandez Landing (Long's Creek)

A colonial-era shipping site on an environmentally sensitive creek and once lead to ships anchored at Matanzas Inlet. Likely used by Gen. Hernandez to ship his plantation goods. Long known by locals, the area was purchased by the City of Palm Coast and is planned for usage as a park with strong historic connections. It was observed this landing could be listed on the National Register of Historic Places... It is near the Old Kings Road and was observed by historian Dana Ste. Claire as a near-perfect combination of history and archeology for future investigation.


Korona was settled in 1914 with some 35 Polish families that moved to the new lands of Florida, built a church and grew into a viable community. It represents the many ethnic groups that settled in Flagler County.

Little Red Schoolhouse

The Little Red School House museum captures the look and components of the single room schoolhouses that once served Flagler County. The Little Red School House was constructed in 1938 as part of Bunnell High School for the Future Farmers of America (FFA) students. Actually, the Little Red School House was constructed for the county’s vocational agriculture education program – when I was attending BHS, the Ag Building, as we called it, housed agriculture classes – the FFA as well as the 4-H Club also had their meetings there. The Little Red School House was added to the NRHP in 2007 Sisco Deen.

Mala Compra Plantation

The Mala Compra Plantation Archeological Site is an archaeological site in Palm Coast, Florida. Mala Compra (Spanish for a bad bargain or bad purchase) was originally part of northeastern Florida's largest plantation system. It was worked from 1816 through 1836, when the Seminoles burned it down near the beginning of the Second Seminole War. Mala Compra’s owner, Joseph Marion Hernández (1788–1857), was Florida’s first delegate to the U.S. Congress in 1822 and 1823 and the first Hispanic to serve in Congress. Plantations lined the banks of tidal waterways and freshwater rivers in northeast Florida by the late 1700s. Planters sought wealth from rice and indigo and later sea island cotton. Florida’s Spanish government offered free ownership of land to settlers after ten years of homesteading. But repeated raids and invasions destroyed most homesteaded plantations. Josiah Dupont and then Miguel Crosby owned Mala Compra (Spanish for Bad Bargain) and were plagued by raids and thefts. When Joseph and Ana Maria Hernandez purchased the plantation in 1816, they could not know that later events would prove the appropriateness of the name and continue the cycle of struggle, loss, and abandonment. The site was added to the NRHP in 2004.

Marco Polo Theme Park

Back in the 1970s, there was a fairly large local theme park, which was built on 5000 acres, located off of I-95’s exit 278 on the Flagler-Volusia County line in Bunnell called Marco Polo Park. The park featured an Oriental theme based on the exotic travels of Marco Polo from his native Venice through the lands of Turkey, India, China, and Japan. The park featured various rides, puppet shows, movies, live music, internationally themed restaurants, and other touristy entertainment.

Marine Studios

Marineland of Florida (Marineland) is one of Florida's first marine mammal parks. It is billed as "the world's first oceanarium." Marineland functions as an entertainment and swim-with-the-dolphins facility. After closing its doors for several years, the oceanarium re-opened to the public on March 4, 2006 (charging the original 1938 admission price of one dollar). Marineland opened in 1938 as the world's first underwater motion picture studio. A new word, “Oceanarium,” was coined to describe it - denoting a place where various species of marine life lived together, as they do in the sea, rather than kept segregated, as they had traditionally been in aquaria.

The founding group of “Marine Studios” - the original name given the facility - included men who shared an interest in film making and exploring and who had ties to some of the great American fortunes: W. Douglas Burden, a great-great-grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, was a trustee of the American Museum of Natural History; his cousin, Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, also a museum trustee, was chairman of Pan American Airways and involved in making the motion picture classic “Gone With the Wind;” Sherman Pratt, whose grandfather was one of the partners of John D. Rockefeller in Standard Oil and was connected with RKO pictures and an active member of the Explorers Club; and Count Ilia Tolstoy, grandson of the Russian novelist, Leo Tolstoy, who shared with his cofounders an interest in natural history and film-making.

Two notable early visitors to Marine Studios were First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who wrote about it in her syndicated newspaper column, "My Day," and correspondent Ernie Pyle, who proclaimed it "something absolutely new in Florida." In succeeding years Marineland became a watering hole of sorts for literary figures such as Ernest Hemingway, Alexander Woolcott, John Dos Passos, Thornton Wilder, and exiled Norwegian Nobel Prize winner Sigrid Undset. Brothers William Rose and Stephen Vincent Benet, descendants of a prominent St. Augustine Minorcan family, visited as well. It had the famous rocking bar room that simulated the action of a moving ship. William Rose Benet was inspired by Marineland to write a children's book about dolphins, and also mentioned Marineland in his autobiographical The Dust Which Is God, which won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Humorist Robert Benchley, (whose grandson, Peter Benchley, would later write the best-selling novel Jaws) came so often that he was proclaimed honorary mayor of Marineland. Its literary connections continued after World War II when the operation of the Dolphin restaurant at Marineland was taken over by Norton Baskin, husband of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. In January 2011, Atlanta’s Georgia Aquarium, the world’s largest, bought Marineland’s storied Dolphin Conservation Center from developer Jim Jacoby Marineland was added to the NRHP in 1986.

Moody Homestead

Moody Homestead is a small slice of Flagler County’s history wrapped in a grove of 400-year-old live oak trees. The 3.4-acre park is the former homestead of Robert Moody and his brother, I. I. Moody, who both built homes there in 1916. I.I. Moody has been given the title of Founder of Flagler County. The property was purchased by Environmental Sensitive Land funds approved by the voters of Flagler County in 2008. The park is designed as a passive park for picnics and enjoying the beautiful spreading oaks on the property. It is dedicated to the pioneers of Flagler County. Adjacent to the park is a short section of "The Old Brick Road" that once ran from the north down into Flagler County and was a frequent routing of the "tin can tourists" in their Model A and Model T Ford automobiles.

Ocean City - Flagler Beach

The first development in Flagler Beach was a community called Ocean City, located on the west bank of the inland waterway which was constructed in 1890. Ocean City rapidly became a popular vacation spot that rapidly developed. Mrs. and Mrs. A.V. Wickline, who were former residents of Dupont and Haw Creek, moved to Ocean City in 1913. In 1916 George Moody built the Ocean City Casino. The Flagler Beach hotel was constructed in 1924 with a beautiful view of the ocean across a landscaped park (later given to the city.) In 1925 Flagler Beach was incorporated as a city.

Old Brick Road

The Old Brick Road extends for a distance of 11 miles between (St Johns County Road and SR 204) and the rural community of Espanola. The northern two miles of the road is located in St. Johns County while the remaining portion is located in Flagler County. The road was part of the Dixie Highway, which stretched from Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, south to Miami Beach, Florida. The road is composed of a packed shell foundation topped with a 9-foot-wide brick roadbed and 4-inch-wide concrete curbs, flanked by 3-foot-wide shell shoulders for a total width of 15 feet. The road construction was part of a 66-mile project completed in 1916 by St. Johns County. The road was part of The Dixie Highway which was the brainchild of Carl Graham Fisher, who was also a big backer of the Lincoln Highway and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. When it was completed it was more than 5,706 miles long and stretched as far north as Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan and reached as far south as Florida City, Florida, south of Miami."

On April 1, 1914, the voters of St Johns County, Florida voted for a $650,000 bond issue for the purpose of constructing the Dixie Highway through the county. Our I. I. Moody, was chairman of the St Johns CO commission when the bond passed. There were 450 voters countywide, 89 of them being from Bunnell and all 89 votings for the bond issue. The work on the highway in present Flagler County began at the corner of now Moody Blvd and Railroad Street - - one crew worked east toward Ocean City (now Flagler Beach) and one crew work north toward Espanola. The road was made of vitrified brick The last brick in the Dixie Highway through St Johns County was laid in March 1916, the event being celebrated by a barbecue and general good time for the construction crew. Laborers then began grading each side of the brick preparatory to planting it with grass. The Old Brick Road was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

Old Kings Road

The Kings Road was built by the British prior to the American Revolution. In 1774 it ran from the St. Mary's River to the south from a trading post called Colerain to Cowford (Jacksonville), St. Augustine, what would become Flagler County, then to the new colony of New Smyrna being founded by Dr. Turnbull. Old Kings Road is one of the most historic roadways in the United States and was in active use right up to 1914 when it was replaced by the rails and early roads. Virtually every historic event in Florida happened in one manner or another on this route. Today the old road has almost vanished, been re-located, and buried under paving. It connected to even older routes from Savannah and Charleston making it the entryway for many of Florida's early settlers and figured actively in both the Seminole War of 1835 and in the Civil War. A section of Old Kings has been re-constructed from the colonial Hewitts Saw Mill north to Pellicer Creek at the Florida Agricultural Museum. The section from Palm Coast Parkway south to the Dixie Highway and the entrance to the Bulow Ruins Park is said to be on the original routing. It is a rich part of our Florida history.


From early horse-drawn rail cars running on crude narrow gauge tracks to the steam railroads built to carry farm produce to markets, and finally the rail empire of Henry Flagler, railroads played an important role in the settlements of Flagler County.

St Johns Park

The land boom in present-day Flagler County started on the west side of the county in the early 1900s at a settlement called Omega. The area had been settled in the early 1880s by James Andrew Burnsed, Mathew (Mack) Davis, Jesse Valentine Malphurs, and James C. Miller families A post office was established at Omega on 15 Nov 1902. Georgia Senator George W Deen was on the board of directors for the St Johns Development Company. The first meeting of the company was held at Omega on 21 Dec 1908. The officers of the company elected at that meeting were: Charles H. Seig, president; Ernest Frederick Warner, who later served Flagler County as State Representative, first vice president; John Phillips, second vice president; Herbert L. Stewart, third vice president; and George W Deen, secretary, and treasurer. In January 1909, the St Johns Development Company made a contract with the Ben Levin Advertising Agency of Chicago for the purpose of advertising the land parcels, both lot sizes and small farms, for sale. They advertised in northern papers with "Five Dollars Down and Five Dollars a Month." Much of the land was sold by mail order and much of it was sold in 25-acre parcels. The company built a three-story frame hotel on a 5-acre waterfront park. A large administration building was erected nearby, as was a two-story general store and a post office.

St. Josephs Plantation

A major sugar works were located in what is today The St. Joseph's shopping district of Palm Coast. It is bounded by Old Kings Road, Palm Coast Parkway and Florida Park Drive North is one of the busiest traffic spots in Palm Coast. Nothing remains of this plantation as it was destroyed in the building of the center. However, it is one of the more historic locations in Flagler County and connects to the history of Joseph M. Hernandez. This major plantation was in operation from 1816, was destroyed in February of 1836, but was rebuilt and put back into operation by General Hernandez. It was sold in 1896 to Venancio Sanchez. Reportedly the large metal kettles for sugar production were also used to produce salt from seawater for the Confederate forces.

Joseph Marion Hernandez’s St. Joseph’s Plantation by Randy Jaye
In the early 1800s, the area now known as Flagler County was home to a network of large plantations that created a thriving and growing economy. Human slaves from African origin not only constructed these plantations but also worked, maintained and managed their vast and intricate operations. In fact, black slaves outnumbered whites and Native Americans in this area during that time. One of the more prosperous, and reportedly the most cutting-edge, of these plantations was a sugar plantation called St. Joseph’s which consisted of 807.5 acres. St. Joseph’s Plantation was located near the present-day intersection of Palm Coast Parkway and Old Kings Road in Palm Coast, Florida.

Shell Bluff

From the occupations listed in the January 1920 census, we know that Shell Bluff had a sawmill, a hotel, and four farms – there were eleven white families and 5 black families residing at the bluff at this time. Also residing in Shell Bluff were 19 black and 9 white living singly. I did not find any turpentine industry-related occupations listed in the Shell Bluff section which I found strange.

From postal records, I found that a post office was established at Shell Bluff on 18 Apr 1919 with the name changed to Andalusia on 01 May 1925. Mail delivery here was discontinued on 31 Oct 1932 with the mail being sent to San Mateo.

An article in the Flagler Tribune of July 7, 1921, tells of a Fourth of July celebration here with a barbecue, ‘under the direction of Mr. Bohannon, who has the reputation of being one of the best barbecue dir­ectors in the country.’ He was assisted by Mr. Lichleitner and Mr. McLeod. The Rev. Paul Kinnard of Haw Creek gave the invocation before the meal of barbecued pork, beef and mutton and a table laden with many delicious dishes was served. A baseball game was played in the afternoon between Shell Bluff and Bunnell, with Byrd and Barber pitching for Bunnell and Wilkinson pitching for Shell Bluff, who won the game. Many from Haw Creek attended.

Washington Oaks State Gardens Park

This was once a plantation owned by Joseph M. Hernandez. It was named for a relative of President George Washington. Washington Oaks is famous for the unique shoreline of coquina rock formations that line its Atlantic beach. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzas River, this property was once owned by a distant relative of President George Washington. The gardens, which are the formal centerpiece of this park, were established by Louise and Owen Young who purchased the land in 1936. They named the property Washington Oaks and in 1965 donated most of the property to the state. The gardens make remarkable use of native and exotic species, varying from azaleas and camellias to the exquisite birds of paradise, all sheltered within a picturesque oak hammock. Visitors can picnic and fish from either the beach or the seawall along the Matanzas River. A number of short trails provide opportunities for hiking and bicycling. Washington Oaks, originally part of Joseph Marion Hernández’s (1788–1857) Bella Vista Plantation. When Claude Varn and Wm Ed Johnson built Oceanshore Blvd in 1926, it was routed through what is now the park as they had established a platted sub-division there know as Hernandez Estates, due to the economic depression it was not built otherwise there would be subdivision there and not a nice park Washington Oaks was added to the NRHP in 2009.

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