spotlight
  • By Eric Anthony Rodriguez

Taste Suwannee, held last week at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, was a huge success again. The new director of the Suwannee Education Foundation, Adrienne Taylor, did an excellent job keeping this tradition alive in our community. I look forward to Taste Suwannee every year because i…

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  • By Eric Musgrove

By 1905, Live Oak was the fifth-largest city in Florida. Several railroads crisscrossed the landscape, meeting in the county seat. Visitors from all around the world traveled to Suwannee County to enjoy the natural beauty of the Suwannee River and tour the manufacturing facilities in town. T…

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  • By Johnny Bullard

“The day after the Thanksgiving feast, Destini Wilson stood on the back lawn of the Camp EZ lodge and looked down at the slowly moving black waters of the Suwannee River, she breathed in the cool, crisp autumn air. Fall along the upper Suwannee was her favorite time of year. The leaves turne…

  • By Eric Anthony Rodriguez

I have had a sense that there is something very strange going on lately. It feels like things are not going the way they should be going. This hurricane season felt like it was the worst one ever. The tax overhaul that is being proposed would eliminate the estate tax on inheritances of more …

spotlight
  • By Walter McKenzie

There is a lot going on in our area and thanks to the information age we should be able to find out about local events quickly and easily, but we all know, with apologies to Porgy and Bess, “It Ain’t Necessarily So.”

  • By Eric Musgrove

In this day and age, it is easy to underestimate the economic benefit of growing cotton in Suwannee County more than a century ago. However, according to some sources, Suwannee County was one of the largest producers of Sea Island cotton in the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s…

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  • By Walter McKenzie

To some folks, life can seem to be better than it really is. There is an old saying that addresses people that have this kind of rosy outlook. They are said to “See the world through rose colored glasses.”

  • By Eric Musgrove

Today, Suwannee County has several old incorporated and unincorporated communities, including Live Oak, Branford, McAlpin, O’Brien, Dowling Park, and Wellborn, among a few others. Unfortunately, our history has seen many other communities disappear. Some were due to the reduction in railroad…

  • By Walter McKenzie

Smaller acts of generosity often go unrecognized. Sure, we as a society seldom forget to acknowledge the big givers, the generous folks and companies who make high profile donations, who get their name on a building or a banner, or even have a stadium named after them, or perhaps just get pr…

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  • By Eric Musgrove

Today, we’ll look at another Suwannee County citizen who was mentioned in the informative book “Biographical Souvenir of the States of Georgia and Florida: Containing Biographical Sketches of the Representative Public, and many Early Settled Families in These States,” published 1889.

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  • By Johnny Bullard

“Anyone who works on a quilt, who devotes her time, energy, and passion to that art, learns to value the work of her hands. And, as any quilter will tell you, a quilter’s quilting friends are some of the dearest, most generous, and most supportive people she knows.”

  • By Eric Anthony Rodriguez

The U.S. Supreme Court said this week that it will be taking up the case that has been called the “water war” at some point this term. Florida is hoping that the court will not agree with the special magistrate who ruled in Georgia’s favor. Alabama is also hoping that some sort of restrictio…

  • By Patrick Troy

Soil Moisture Sensors (or SMS) are a precision agriculture technology on the rise in North Florida. Using electronic sensors at various depths, moisture readings are taken continuously throughout the day. By using this technology, growers are now able to “see underground” and at a distance t…

  • By Eric Musgrove

Today, we’ll look at a relatively unknown judge from Suwannee County’s history. Quoted information is from the very informative Biographical Souvenir of the States of Georgia and Florida: Containing Biographical Sketches of the Representative Public, and many Early Settled Families in These …

  • By Walter McKenzie

It comes as a surprise to a lot of local folks that we have so many repeat visitors here. I once heard a teenager remark, “Once somebody has visited here, why would they ever want to come back?” Well, that is an understandable point of view from a kid, but it usually changes in time. After t…

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  • By Eric Musgrove

As the saying goes, “Time flies when you’re having fun…” Today marks the 200th article in my weekly historical series that began on Aug. 23, 2013, with an article about the Horace Dexter House on Duval Street.

  • By Walter McKenzie

On a still day you can hear it from miles away. It’s a sound that residents love, and visitors marvel to find such a big, rich sound in such a small historic town! The Carillon Tower at the Stephen Foster State Park is a local, state and national treasure that has been serenading us for 60 y…

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  • By Eric Musgrove

As I have mentioned before, there are a variety of old books available that shed light on the first one hundred years of Suwannee County’s history. One of these is the Biographical Souvenir of the States of Georgia and Florida: Containing Biographical Sketches of the Representative Public, a…

  • By Walter McKenzie

Renaissance! What a hopeful word. Thoughts and concepts that spring to my mind at the mere mention of the word are uplifting! Renaissance! A period of hope and change and growth, in the most positive sense of those words. A blossoming! An awakening! An enriching! Dictionaries mention “a new …

  • By Walter McKenzie

I’m always talking and writing about the amazing variety of visitors we have in White Springs, and how we should be welcoming and friendly to them. I do feel this way about most visitors, but I have my limits and not every visitor is welcome.

  • By Eric Musgrove

My family has lived in Suwannee County for at least seven generations, eight if you include my children. As such, in my work as historian and records manager I will sometimes stumble upon information dealing with kinfolk. Most of the time, the information is for normal things like marriage l…

  • By Walter McKenzie

The other day, no doubt about it, “somebody” in White Springs needed some help. It might have been something simple, like helping “somebody” move a piece of furniture, or loaning a lawnmower while “somebody’s” was in the shop. It may have been more important; maybe “somebody” needed a ride t…

  • By Eric Musgrove

The lives of Suwannee County frontiersmen fascinate me for some reason. Something about the early settlers of a virgin land braving the wilderness, establishing communities, and then thriving within them despite hardships and heartaches brings to memory the fiery spirit of American individua…

  • By Walter McKenzie

There is an old saying that “First impressions are lasting impressions.” Though that is often true, you and I know how deceptive first impressions can sometimes be. Every now and then you see something or someone and you just don’t think there is much more to see. Some people and places can …

  • By Walter McKenzie

Current events have brought to mind some observations, some are new, some are revisited, all are relevant. A common theme of folks that move from big cities to rural areas and small towns is the concept of “escape,” and White Springs is an example of that. People move to White Springs and ot…

  • By Eric Musgrove

As I have mentioned in previous articles, the Reconstruction era (1865-1877) after the Civil War was a turbulent era for the United States, especially the South. Due to the ravages of time, first-hand accounts of this era in Suwannee County are few and far between other than official documen…

  • By Eric Musgrove

Last week, I began a discussion about a letter written during the Second Seminole War by a woman who lived in Suwannee County, Corinna Brown Aldrich. The following is the letter, which sheds much light on what life was like in frontier Suwannee County in the 1830s-40s. Corinna’s description …

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  • By Walter McKenzie

Now, shouting “White Springs is full of it” may be fighting words for some, but certainly not if you’re talking about talent. White Springs has an amazing amount of talent for a town its size. Authors, athletes, educators, farmers, businesses, builders, performers and artists are all part of…

  • By Eric Anthony Rodriguez

We are about to have something here in Live Oak that you can’t find in Valdosta or Gainesville. I saw the construction beginning on several Tesla superchargers at the Busy Bee just north of I-10 on U.S. Highway 129.

  • By Eric Musgrove

As I study local history, I come across a few old writings of early Suwannee County settlers. I have shared excerpts from some of these writings in the past. These first-hand accounts are very informative in teaching us about what these early settlers faced, from disease to Indians to boredo…

  • By Walter McKenzie

Stephen Foster. It’s a name that comes up quite often in White Springs, usually in relation to the State Park that bears his name, but sometimes in reference to the man himself, Stephen Foster.

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  • By Johnny Bullard

In this week’s article, I opened a scrapbook on the shelf at the Jasper Public Library and there was the unmistakable and very precise printing of my first grade teacher, the late Miss Virginia Bell. 

  • By Eric Musgrove

The Suwannee County School System expanded between the late 1980s and 2000 by the addition of new intermediate and middle schools in Live Oak, and a new elementary school in Branford. These new schools provided much-needed space relief for the growing number of children in the public school system.

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