Friday, July 18, 2014

Seminole Rest

View of Seminole Rest from the Indian River portion of Mosquito Lagoon
Seminole Rest is the mainland portion of the Canaveral National Seashore.  This small spot of heaven is located in rural Oak Hill, Florida, about 10 miles south of New Smyrna Beach on US Highway 1.  Once you get to Oak Hill, turn left onto Canal Road and follow it around a right hand curve to River Road.  Seminole Rest is on your left just ahead.
This is a small National Park section which was saved from destruction by the previous owners decades ago.  In the Florida past, highway and railroad departments would back up to huge piles of shells, load them into dump trucks and cart them off to use as road beds.  Some of us Florida kids remember walking along the crushed-glass texture of shell roads in the past.  With all the sugar sand down here, it made good sense for the Florida roads, plus it was free.  The problem was those innocuous piles of shells were middens, the only remains of the Timucuan native Americans who lived here more than 500 years ago.
The walkway gives views of the mounds
A very inviting canoe launch
Lots of cedar trees are here
A half-mile hiking trail leads you from the parking lot around the waterfront side of the property, by a canoe launch, and through some trees with lots of light colored butterflies flitting about.  The water is the Indian River portion of the Mosquito Lagoon and Intercoastal Waterway.  Weekend motorboat and sailboat traffic was moving by and people were casting fishing lines where they could.
The stories they could tell us...
Here the sign tells us about the middens that were removed from this area by 2000 railroad cars

Note the almost white butterfly in the top right third of the bush.  These butterflies were everywhere.
My favorite photo of the restored house on the midden
A nice peaceful stroll
You have to imagine how many generations pitched their shells here to create this midden
And the story of the preservation of these mounds
Enjoy your short tour of this site with a great amount of lost history!

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