Scenic USA - Florida

Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of attractions, points of interest, historic sites, state and
national parks found throughout the United States. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
For further detailed information, links to other related sites are provided.


Port St. Joe

St. Joseph Peninsula

Photo by Ben Prepelka

Florida became a territory of the United States in 1821. Soon after many Floridians hoped for statehood and Port St. Joe, a Gulf Coast community, was selected as the site of the state's constitutional convention. Delegates hammered out their constitutional framework in 1839, submitting it to Congress for approval. Six years passed before Florida was admitted to the Union.
By 1840, the boom town of St Joseph could no longer compete with Apalachicola. An epidemic of yellow fever reduced the town's population of 6,000 to 400. Many of the deserted homes were dismantled and shipped to Apalachicola, and some still stand today.
The port of old St. Joseph thrived during the 1830s and 40s. Shipyard Cove was a site were ships were hauled out on a railway for hull repairs and maintenance. After the town's downturn, Fred Maddox acquired the Shipyard Cove property from the St Joe Dock and Terminal Company. Captain Fred and Miss Zola enjoyed their three acre homestead for the remainder of their lives. Today, part of a city park, the refurbished Maddox home is occupied by the Gulf County Chamber of Commerce. The park features a shoreline walking trail, and educational wetlands nature area, boat ramp and beach. Adjacent the park is Port St. Joe Marina, a modern facility offering 120 wet slips, dry storage and seafood restaurant. Today, Port St. Joe thrives on nature-based tourism and the rich resources of St. Joseph Bay.



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