Footprints of the Past
The Forgotten Coast spreads across Wakulla, Franklin and Gulf counties – check out the map and a bit of history about the areaFootprints of the Past
Man’s interest in the Forgotten Coast has ebbed and flowed since the first Europeans began exploring the continent. The great powers of the 18th and 19th centuries fought for possession of North Florida and later, entrepreneurs, inventors and tycoons used the resources of the tri-county region in a myriad of moneymaking schemes.
The United States took possession in 1821 and the Forgotten Coast was the economic hub for the U.S. territory. Blessed with a deepwater port and river access to the plantations of Florida, Georgia and Alabama, Apalachicola became a major trading center and the third-busiest port on the Gulf of Mexico.
In 1839, delegates drafted Florida’s first constitution at St. Joseph. The following year, the territory of Florida applied for statehood. Apalachicola continued to grow and prosper into the 1850s, when bad weather and political decisions conspired to erode its economic base.
Throughout the Civil War, the U.S. Navy blockaded the Port of Apalachicola. The port, along with salt-producing plants along the coast, was critical to the Confederate war efforts. The river provided access to military and industrial centers and salt was needed for preserving meat and other foods.
When the St. Joe Company, which owns hundreds of thousands of acres of land, decided to end its logging operation and develop the land, a building boom was ignited and a flow of economic activity has resumed along the Forgotten Coast.