Happy Father’s Day!

You taught us how to bait our hooks and land the big catch.  You showed us how to throw and how to hit the ball just right. You picked us up and swung us around and cheered us up when we needed it most. Thank you to all the wonderful dads out there. Happy Father’s Day!

3 year old Bruce Carlton shows his father, Pet Carlton, his first fish - Saint Petersburg, Florida

3 year old Bruce Carlton shows his father, Pet Carlton, his first fish – Saint Petersburg, Florida (1948)

 

Commercial seine net fisherman with his son in Naples, Florida.

Commercial seine net fisherman with his son in Naples, Florida (June 1949)

 

Edwin Perry having breakfast with his daughters on Father's Day in Tallahassee.

Edwin Perry having breakfast with his daughters on Father’s Day in Tallahassee (1962)

 

Leigh M. Pearsall and daughter Edna with alligator on dock - Melrose, Florida

Leigh M. Pearsall and daughter Edna with alligator on dock – Melrose, Florida (ca. 1905)

 

Governor Farris Bryant playing ping pong with his daughters on Father's Day in Tallahassee (1962)

Governor Farris Bryant playing ping pong with his daughters on Father’s Day in Tallahassee (1962)

 

Gubernatorial candidate Fred B. Karl with his daughter (1964)

Gubernatorial candidate Fred B. Karl with his daughter (1964)

 

Eddie Oxendine and son with hoop nets - Georgetown, Florida

Eddie Oxendine and son with hoop nets – Georgetown, Florida (1985)

 

Daughter wields gavel at legislative session - Tallahassee, Florida

Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Peter Rudy Wallace prepares to conduct business while his daughter wields gavel at legislative session – Tallahassee, Florida (1995)

 

John Cypress holding his daughter Julia at a temporary camp in Immokalee, Florida.

John Cypress holding his daughter Julia at a temporary camp in Immokalee, Florida

Blue Crabbing… in the Ocala National Forest?

Nestled in between lakes Kerr and George in Marion County near Ocala is a somewhat unusual attraction called Salt Springs. The name says it all: in this picturesque pool of roughly 190 by 130 feet, four vents in the limestone floor emit spring crystal clear water with a slight salinity owing to the presence of sodium, magnesium, and potassium salts in the underground passages below.

View of salt Springs in Marion County, Florida (1941)

View of salt Springs in Marion County, Florida (1941)

The saltiness of the water has not deterred many visitors, as Salt Springs has long been one of the foremost attractions of the Ocala National Forest. The water discharged from the springs travels about four miles down a broad run into the northwest corner of Lake George, providing excellent opportunities for boating and fishing, which locals and visitors alike have long enjoyed.

Boys in a small boat near the vents at Salt Springs (1941).

Boys in a small boat near the vents at Salt Springs (1941).

Youth canoeing near Salt Springs (circa 1970).

Youth canoeing near Salt Springs (circa 1970).

Unlike most Florida springs, however, Salt Springs is home to another fun activity – crabbing. The salinity of the water allows blue crab to live in this aquatic habitat, despite it being over an hour’s drive from either coast. As a consequence, many people have enjoyed visiting the springs as much for gathering this favorite Florida delicacy as for the swimming. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, famed Florida author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Yearling, was a frequent visitor to the springs to collect the main ingredient for Crab a la Newburg, one of her favorite recipes.

Women sitting above a crab storage bin at Salt springs (circa 1960s).

Women sitting above a crab storage bin at Salt springs (circa 1960s).

 

A couple showing off their blue crab catch at Salt Springs (circa 1960s).

A couple showing off their blue crab catch at Salt Springs (circa 1960s).

The connection between Rawlings and Salt Springs goes even farther, as several buildings near Salt Springs were used by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios during the filming of The Yearling.

Barn near Salt Springs used in the production of the film adaptation of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' The Yearling (circa 1940).

Barn near Salt Springs used in the production of the film adaptation of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ The Yearling (circa 1940).

House and gasoline pump on property near Salt Springs used in the production of the film adaptation of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' The Yearling (1940).

House and gasoline pump on property near Salt Springs used in the production of the film adaptation of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ The Yearling (1940).

 

Florida Memory has a wealth of resources relating to Florida’s renowned natural springs.  Type the name of your favorite Florida spring into the search box above to learn more.   We also have a number of photographs depicting the life and work of author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.

 

Hooked

With thousands of lakes, rivers, springs, and swamps, Florida has a wealth of fishing opportunities. The famous tarpon and marlin swim the southwestern coast and the Keys. Bizarre and unique species include the giant manta rays and sawfish. Florida has attracted the curious and ambitious to test its waters for centuries.

 

[Fishermen with goliath grouper at Jupiter Inlet

Fishermen with goliath grouper at Jupiter Inlet (1910s)

 

Men standing around Sawfish and Bonito shark: Key West, Florida

Men standing around Sawfish and Bonito shark: Key West, Florida (1911)

 

Portrait of author Ernest Hemingway posing with sailfish: Key West, Florida (1940s)

Portrait of author Ernest Hemingway posing with sailfish: Key West, Florida (1940s)

 

Mr. John Hachmeister and Mrs. Earl Baum admiring a 1,200 lb manta ray caught by Forrest Walker (1938)

Mr. John Hachmeister and Mrs. Earl Baum admiring a 1,200 lb manta ray caught by Forrest Walker (1938)

 

The state’s fertile waters have provided a wealth of food species, from small-scale family operations to large-scale industrial enterprises. While the years of harvesting have taken significant tolls on sensitive fisheries and ecosystems, Florida’s marine environments remain principle economic and cultural hallmarks of the state.

 

Grouper caught in the Halifax River displayed at Gene Johnson's Tackle Shop: Daytona Beach, Florida picture (1920s)

Grouper caught in the Halifax River displayed at Gene Johnson’s Tackle Shop: Daytona Beach, Florida picture (1920s)

 

Whale shark recovered from shallow water (1912) The fish weighed 30,000 pounds and was 45 feet long.

Whale shark recovered from shallow water (1912) The fish weighed 30,000 pounds and was 45 feet long.

 

Fishermen and their catch of a 350 lb. mullet shark: Saint Petersburg, Florida (1918)

Fishermen and their catch of a 350 lb. shark: Saint Petersburg, Florida (1918)

 

See “The Lure of Florida Fishing,” an exhibit now on display at the Museum of Florida History, 500 S. Bronough Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301