Survey Unearths Cemeteries; Nassau: County Hopes to Protect History

By Hart, Amelia A. | The Florida Times Union, May 26, 2004 | Go to article overview

Survey Unearths Cemeteries; Nassau: County Hopes to Protect History


Hart, Amelia A., The Florida Times Union


Byline: Amelia A. Hart, Nassau Neighbors staff writer

Fifty unrecorded Nassau County cemeteries have been identified in a recent archaeological survey of unincorporated Nassau County.

Myles Bland of Bland & Associates, an archaeological and historic preservation firm, gave the Nassau County Historic Advisory Committee a brief rundown of the findings of the first comprehensive archaeological survey conducted in Nassau County last week.

Survey workers found 67 previously unrecorded archaeological sites, including an American Indian camping site in Nassauville that dates back 4,000 years, Bland said. Workers also revisited another 90 previously identified sites.

There are more unrecorded cemeteries on private property that surveyors did not gain access to, Bland told the committee.

"There are more out there; we're sure of it," Bland said.

Information about the location of the cemeteries and other archaeological sites will be given to the county's Geographic Information System mappers, who will add a layer to the county's computer maps identifying historic spots.

Bland & Associates also will give the county's Growth Management Department a computer model that will help predict the likely sites of other unidentified archaeological sites.

County planners say the data will help them protect historic resources as developments come up for review.

Nassau County provided $30,000 for the 11-week survey, while another $30,000 came from a matching historic preservation grant from the National Park Service.

The 951-page survey report includes a 100-page history of Nassau County, Bland said.

Archaeologists identified the original locations of a number of historic roads and railroads and replicated all the Spanish land grants, Bland said.

They found artifacts dating back to the 1800s along the banks of the St. Marys River in Kings Ferry, once the site of one of the county's largest milling operations, and spotted large piles of 19th century ballast stones in the river, Bland said.

However, survey workers didn't find proof that a train plunged off a bridge into the St. …

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