headers Colby landing


William Bartram was one of the first to write about the area when he wrote about Deep Creek in 1774. Small towns and plantations developed on its shores and some of those plantations provided provisions to Confederate troops during the Civil War and were also attacked by Union troops. In the late 1800’s dozens of riverboat landings allowed steam driven riverboats to refuel and carry tourists and travelers through the wilds of Florida. The river was used to transport timber and other goods out to the St. Johns. Many of the children that grew up swimming and fishing and exploring an undammed Ocklawaha River are now grandparents. We found some of these people and recorded their stories of the undammed river, the digging of the canal, and the building of the dam. There are stories of lost businesses and lost lands. There are stories of lost springs and drowned forests. There are stories of young boys on the biggest machines, and of young girls with fishing poles, and of activists who saw the beauty of the river and realized the costs of the Cross Florida Barge Canal that had not been considered.

While we have made many efforts to collect the memories of the Ocklawaha, we also know that there is always more history to be discovered. If you have additional information you would like us to consider for inclusion in our website, please contact us.