Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tour of "Old Florida"

After a busy day on Friday and some additional riders in our party, 13 of us piled into the van and headed out on Saturday to tour the Ormond Loop and scenic highway.  It's a little over 30 miles along a narrow highway that dates back to the turn of the century and with it's heavy tree lined road that looks much like it would have back when it was originally laid out.

Dummett Sugar mill Ruins

After this stop, it was back in the van and across the Tomoka River

Our first stop along the route was to see the ruins of the Dummett Plantation Sugar and Rum Mill.
"Ruins" are the key word to the little that is left of this building that dates around 1826, but was destroyed during the Seminole Indian war.  After this short stop, we were back on the highway that crossed the Tomoka River and led to our next stop at Tomoka State Park.  The park is named for the Timucua Indians, who were indigenous to the area at the time the Spanish Explorers first arrived in Florida.  The park had a little store and dock, then after strolling through a demonstration of plant, animal and early Floridian tools we took pictures at the statue that is dedicated to the Timucua then found tables to enjoy our picnic lunch.

Tomoka River and dock by the park store
Amber and Eddie in front of the parks statue
Picnic time

Once we finished we were on the road again and drove on down through Ormond beach and over to the coast so we could all stop and let Amber and Eddie put their feet in the Atlantic Ocean.

Road over Ormond water inlet towards beach area
Everyone out and down to the beach

Amber and Eddie put their feet in the Atlantic.  The girls and Grandma

Nice stop - beautiful day!!

This stop was particularly fun for the girls.  Lauren was really funny with the feel of the course sand on her feet and wasn't too sure about walking on it at first.  The girls loved running from the incoming waves.  After this we headed to the last stop on our tour - the Bulow Plantation Ruins.  This was down a very narrow dirt road that was heavily tree lined before it opened near the water inlet to where the little that was left of the old plantation site laid. The old house with it's slave area was gone and only markers stood to indicate where they had been. Then the mill ruins that originally produced sugar and molasses from the sugar cane was the area we explored the longest on this stop.  Indigo and cotton from crops were also grown on the 2200 acres that was owned by Major Charles W. Bulow in 1821.  The sugar producing mill and home were burned in 1836 during the Seminole War.  Today only the larger chimneys and some of the mill building are left to see.  They also have glass enclosed displays of materials found at the sites and old photos or artistic renderings of the area.  After this stop it was time to head home and gather our supplies for a Bar-B-Q at Pat and Jen's.

Bulow Sugar mill Ruins
Hannah and Lauren checking out one of the signs that you can listen to an account of what you are looking at. Steve and Stevie at another of the information plaques.

While the grill was heating it was pool time:

Eddie and Amber at the far end staying out of the fray

PJ with Patrick out back at the grill, Amber, Daniel and Kevin center pic, and the girls painting.

The girl's decided to do some water color painting instead,  and then it was time to eat.

Once we were done with our meal, we celebrated Amber's birthday, that was actually on the 9th of October, with cake and presents.  It was a long, fun day filled with interesting sites and great company!!!

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