A visual journey, through time, along the St. Johns River
“Indispensable for anyone seeking to explore Florida beyond the brochures.”–Herbert L. Hiller, author of Highway A1A: Florida at the Edge
“If you are looking for an elegant way to navigate up the St. Johns River without leaving your armchair, allow me to recommend spending time with this book. It is beautifully illustrated and a wonderful read.”–John Delaney, president, University of North Florida
The mighty St. Johns River flows from its headwaters near Lake Okeechobee north through central Florida to Jacksonville. Its watershed covers an area nearly the size of New Hampshire. The river and its tributaries have been part of the cultural landscape of the peninsula for thousands of years. From the Native Americans who first settled along its banks to the French, Spanish, British, and American settlers who followed, it has been a source of food, water, transportation, industry, agriculture, and recreation.
In 1998 the St. Johns was declared an American Heritage River, the only one in Florida and one of only fourteen in the country to be so designated. Shortly thereafter, Mallory O’Connor and Gary Monroe began searching for and collecting paintings, sketches, sculptures, photographs, and material culture from the region.
Searching in antique shops and art galleries, nineteenth-century periodicals and twentieth-century fish camps, the authors found literally thousands of images. They selected the best two hundred for this volume, some from the fine art tradition as represented by Thomas Moran and Martin Johnson Heade; others by self-taught visionaries. The result is a broad survey that captures and celebrates the beauty, power, and impact of this unique landscape.