Should you be interested in learning more about Jacksonville history during your visit, then you won't want to miss the Zephaniah Kingsley Plantation. Found to the northeast of the city on Fort George Island, this historic plantation offers terrific insight into life on a Florida plantation as it would have been in the nineteenth century. Formerly a state park, the Kingsley Plantation is now part of the National Park Service, and it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1970. The plantation house at this national park is the oldest standing plantation house in Florida.
The history of the Kingsley Plantation is a fascinating one, and it starts at the end of the 1700s. It was in 1793 that the plantation was constructed, and it was owned by an American Revolution veteran. This veteran, who was known as Lightning McQueen, eventually went bankrupt, in which case he sold his plantation. One of the more interesting things about the history of the Kingsley Plantation is the fact that it was established during the days when Spain ruled Florida. This had a lot to do with the selling of the plantation and the eventual fleeing of Fort George Island by John McIntosh, who had purchased the plantation from McQueen. McIntosh was a supporter of a rebellion that aimed at handing Florida over to the United States, so it's easy to understand why he eventually fled back to his native Georgia.
In 1814, Zephaniah Kingsley, who was born in England, settled on Fort George Island and leased the plantation from John McIntosh. Interestingly enough, Kingsley married one of his former slaves, and it was Spain's relatively open views on marriage that encouraged him to move his family to Florida. When it comes to the history of the Kingsley Plantation, it's worth noting that Kingsley's wife, whose name was Anna Madgigine Jai, participated in the management of the Kingsley Plantation. As far as production was concerned at the Kingsley Plantation, it revolved heavily around cotton, sugar cane, corn, and citrus. Some 60 slaves worked at the plantation during its heyday.
It was in the year of 1821 that Spain handed control of Florida over to the United States, which figures strongly into the history of the Kingsley Plantation. The U.S. government did not have the same liberal views on interracial marriage that the Spanish government did, which prompted Kingsley to eventually move his wife and kids to Haiti. Before he could reunite with them in 1843, he died in New York City. Kingsley's wife inherited his plantation, which would be defunct by the end of the Civil War, thanks to the shifting of Fort George Island from an agricultural island to a recreational destination.
When visiting the Kingsley Plantation, you will notice that much of it lies in ruins. Some of the attractions are well preserved, however, and they include the original two-story house and the kitchen house. Also in relatively good shape are the barn and the carriage house, and while the slave cabins are more dilapidated, they are nonetheless fascinating to inspect. While tours of the Kingsley Plantation can be enjoyed without a guide, you're encouraged to take advantage of the knowledge that the park rangers have to offer. The rangers here give guided tours that last approximately 40 minutes, and they are generally offered on a daily basis around 1 p.m. Of all the Jacksonville tours, the tour of the Kingsley House figures among the more appealing, especially if you are a history buff. You might inquire about the Kingsley Plantation ghosts during your tour if you also fancy the supernatural.
For those who are planning on tying the knot in Jacksonville, Kingsley Plantation weddings are worth considering. The romantic and historic grounds of the plantation can make for an ideal setting for your big ceremony, unless of course you want to be wed on one of the local beaches. For those who are planning Kingsley Plantation weddings, there is room for receptions, which can makes things very convenient. One of the other benefits to Kingsley Plantation weddings is the fact that there is plenty to do in the area, no to mention a satisfying array of area accommodations to consider. This means that you can stick around and enjoy your honeymoon right away.