Newsletter – October 2011

Vol. 1 No. 2

Welcome to the Inaugural William Bartram Scenic and Historic Highway Newsletter!

Our inaugural newsletter in April gave you a brief history of our Scenic Highway – our beginnings, our mission, our current happenings and our future planning projects. I hope you enjoyed our first electronic newsletter.

I’m happy to welcome you to our second electronic newsletter, the fall edition of the William Bartram Scenic & Historic Highway (WBSH) newsletter and as usual, your ideas and comments are welcome. Please feel free to e-mail me at alabbat@bellsout.net with your comments and suggestions and please feel free to visit our web site at bartramscenichighway.com.

We’re pleased to say that all the projects mentioned in the April electronic newsletter have now come to fruition. We’ve completed our 34 oral histories, new membership brochure, and our first electronic newsletter. The View Shed Analysis is nearing completion and when complete it will provide us and St. Johns County with a “blueprint” on how to best preserve the various scenic and historic views sheds along our environmentally sensitive scenic corridor.

We are also nearing completion of the historical timeline video (3-4 minutes). This video and the new table top display will be used for presentations to schools, clubs, business organizations and social clubs interested in the history of the Northwest community and the mission of the WBSH organization. Our mission is to maintain, preserve and protect the environment of our scenic corridor and our community.

The completed oral histories will be formally presented to the downtown St. Augustine Historical Society sometime in early 2012. Copies of the oral history transcripts have already been given to the Bartram Trail library on SR 13; however, at the present time, the documents are being bound and catalogued and will not be available to the public until sometime in November 2011. You will be able to read the oral history transcripts by asking for them at the reference desk at the Bartram Trail library. You will enjoy learning about the everyday lives and customs, traditions and relationships with family, long time friends and neighbors. You will enjoy the inside perspective the oral histories provide of events both large and small. These personal oral histories often change the way we look at the past by giving us a fresh perspective.

Since our last electronic newsletter we’re sad to say we suddenly lost one of our honored members, Louise Thrower. We also lost a local hero, Stetson Kennedy – an honored civil rights activist and author. In addition, last winter Corridor Management Council (CMC) members lost one of their dedicated scenic highway members, Noble Enge. A brief review of their lives will be discussed later in this newsletter.

In October (October 21-23) members of our organization will be attending the 2011 biennial Bartram Trails conference in Macon Georgia. If you are interested in attending this conference please feel free to go to their web site at wwwbartramtrail.org. This will be our first meeting with the group and we’re excited about joining hands with another organization dedicated to the work of William Bartram.

As mentioned in my April message, our Scenic Highway CMC members need to expand the membership so we can begin to work on the various projects identified in our Master Plan ( please see http://glatting.com/williambartram/workinprogress.htm). Toward this end, we are planning a new membership mailing to residents and businesses residing along both sides of the William Bartram Scenic & Historic Highway. The objective of the new membership campaign is to educate local residents and businesses about the ongoing work of the CMC members and to identify other projects needed to for filling our mission. With the anticipated new members the CMC members will enjoy creating new subcommittees to help meet the goals, objectives and strategies set forth in the Corridor Management Plan and the proposed beautification projects identified in the Master Plan.

Thanks again for your interest in the William Bartram Scenic & Historic Highway organization. Our next WBSH electronic newsletter is anticipated to come out in January 2012.

- Al -


 

Meet Your Neighbors

Meet Your Neighbors

Sarah W. Bailey has been a long time resident and community agricultural and environmental activist of St. Johns County since 1960s. Sarah recently celebrated her eighty fifth (85th) birthday. If you see her make sure you wish her Happy Birthday.

Since the early 1960s, Sarah Bailey worked with her husband and son on the family cattle and horse ranch, Needmore Land and Cattle Company, located in Northwest St. Johns County. Mrs. Bailey was one of the first elected women to the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) and served on the board from 1984-1992. While she was a County Commissioner, Sarah served on the Growth Management committees for the Florida Association of Counties and the National Association of Counties. She was also very instrumental in getting agricultural and the environmental community in St. Johns County involved in the local and regional Comprehensive Planning process.

In 1993, Sarah W. Bailey became the “Woman of the Year in Agriculture”. She was the ninth (9th) recipient of the award, which recognizes women who made outstanding contributions to Florida Agricultural. Sarah combines a strong agricultural background with a keen interest in the environmental conservation and education.

Mrs. Bailey was also very instrumental in promoting and initiating St. Johns County’s first (1st) Land Acquisition and Management Program (LAMP) and worked with the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) until the LAMP Board ordinance was finally adopted in 1999. Sarah became the first LAMP Board Chairwoman in 1999 thru 2000. In 2002-2004 she became the Vice Chairwoman of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Science (IFAS) SHARE Council and during this same time period she was the Honorary Director of the St. Johns County Audubon Society, Chair of the Northeast Florida Environmental Education Resource Council (EERC) and sponsor of the University of North Florida Natural Science lecture series.

Mrs. Bailey has been honored for her environmental and civic activities by such organizations as the Northeast Florida Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, the Audubon Society and the Girl Scouts of America.

Personally, Sarah W. Bailey raised three (3) children and involved them in 4-H activities when they were very young. She is an enthusiastic horsewoman, Mrs Bailey participated in numerous trail rides, including the Sesquicentennial Trail Ride from St. Augustine to Tallahassee, the Florida Cracker Trail Ride from Bradenton to Fort Piece, and the Osceola County Trail Ride.

Special Tributes

Louise Thrower

William Bartarm Scenic & Historic Highway members lost a long time Northwest St Johns County resident Louise Thrower who passed away suddenly on June 3, 2011. Louise was passionate about her beloved rural and very scenic northwest St. Johns County defined on the west by the American Heritage River and the centennial Governors Oaks that drape over the William Bartram Scenic & Historic Highway (WBSH). Louise was a well educated English instructor and environmental activist whose writing, grammar, research and speaking skills represented Northwest St Johns County residents well during her numerous county public presentations. In the late 1990s and early 2000, during St. Johns County’s economic and development boom, Louise intelligently presented her environmental activist perspectives on proposed new development projects in her community. Many people in the county admired Louise for her infinite knowledge and the citizens relied upon her knowledge to represent the Northwest community’s environmental perspectives. One of Louise’s proudest achievements was working with the St. Johns County staff billboard and sign ordinance committee. Because of Louise’s work, the WBSH does not have any billboards. Whether you agreed with Louise or not, she was always an inspirational teacher who touched many peoples lives and inspired you to think about preserving the environment. For all of us who knew and admired Louise Thrower, she will be missed…

Stetson Kennedy

Stetson Kennedy was an author, folklorist and human rights activist who passed away August 31, 2011 a the age of ninety four (94). He is known as pioneering folklorist, labor activist and environmentalist. Kennedy is the author of eight books and the co-author of the ninth book.

Kennedy was one of the pioneer folklore collectors during the first half of the twentieth century. As a teenager, he began collecting white and African American folklore materials while he was collecting “a dollar down and a dollar a week” accounts for his father furniture merchant. He left the University of Florida, in 1937, to join the WPA Florida Writers Project, and was soon, at the age of 21, put in charge of the folklore, oral history and ethnic studies.

Kennedy’s post World War II activities included infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups. While undercover in the Klan, he provided information including secret code words and details of the Klan rituals – to writers of the Superman radio program. Resulting in a series of four episodes in which Superman battled the KKK.

A founding member and past president of the Florida Folklore Society, Kennedy is a recipient of the Florida Folk Heritage Award, the Florida Governor’s Heartland Award as well as an inductee of the Florida Artist Hall of Fame. For additional information please visit the web site at www.stetsonkennedy.com.

In Stetson Kennedy’s life’s work will be honored at his Beluthahatchee estate on October 1, 2011 through a luncheon.

Noble Enge

William Bartram Scenic & HIstoric Highway members lost Noble Enge a retired Engineer, Water Resource Planner and active environmental community member who passed away on December 24, 2010. Noble lived in Switzerland, St. Johns County since 1982. He was a long time steward of the centennial Governors Oaks along the William Bartram Scenic & Historic Highway and he made sure they were well maintained.

Noble Enge was raised in Arlington. He graduated from Landon High School. In 1954 he earned a degree from the University of Florida, College of Civil Engineering. He was also an award winning gymnast while he was attending school. Noble retired from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in Jacksonville where he was involved with Water Resource Planning and prior to his illness was involved with writing a research paper on the original flows of the Everglades drainage area. For all those that knew Enge his environmental stewardship efforts will be missed…

Recent Events

Canoe At Trout Creek

Over the past several months several of the WBSH CMC members attended the Scenic Highway state conference held from June 8-10, 2011 at the Hilton along the St. Augustine Bay front. A few of the WBSH CMC members were able to attend the A1A Scenic & Historic Coastal Highway bus tour given the first (1st) day of the state conference. The narrated scenic bus tour given began in downtown St. Augustine and ended in Flagler Beach. Attendees learned about the A1A’s beautiful intrinsic resources (historic, archaeological, natural, scenic, cultural and recreational) along this coastal byway. The second day of the state Scenic Highway conference was filled with educational opportunities ranging from utilizing social media, harnessing the power of preservation, transportation enhancement funds, sustaining the scenic highway organization, hospitality training, wildflower growing techniques, scenic highway goal setting, availability of FDOT enhancement funding, and National Scenic Highway funding opportunities. Most of all, the WBSH participants walked away with more knowledge about the Scenic Highway program than they came with. Just in case you missed this state Scenic Highway conference and you are still interested in the information please feel free to go to www.floridascenichighways.com/program/meeting/.

The Switzerland Garden Club is celebrating its fiftieth (50) anniversary this month by selling raffle tickets. They will be giving away prizes such as a home made quilt, a porcelain collectable by Lynn Chase, and a Seascape oil painting. All proceeds from the raffle ticket sale will go toward pay for trees to be planted along the Scenic Highway. Help the Garden Club celebrate their fiftieth anniversary by contacting Claire Fioriti at 287-9772 and purchasing a few raffle tickets.

Ongoing Projects

Dan Manley, AECOM Project Manager is preparing the final View Shed Analysis power point presentation for county staff members and the WBSH members to review. Dan will be conducting an educational seminar for the WBSH CMC members October 13, 2011 beginning at 6:30 pm. This meeting will be held at the St. Johns County Annex at 725 Flora Branch Blvd., St. Johns County, Fl.

Once this project is completed it will identify which view sheds along the Scenic Highway should be protected from various modern improvements.

INTRINSIC RESOURCE INTERPRETATION/EDUCATION

Brockington and Associates is in the process of finalizing the interpretative historical timeline three-five (3-5) minute video of the William Bartram Scenic and Historic Highway beginning with the Timucuan Indians and proceeding through time with audio and video excerpts from Charlie Philip’s oral histories.

Other educational interpretation projects are being planned for the scenic highway use; however, this will depend on future funding availability.