Monday, March 31, 2008

Faye Dunaway and Two Egg, Florida

I'm often asked if it is true that noted actress Faye Dunaway is a native of Two Egg, Florida. In fact, I received a couple of emails on this topic over the weekend.
Yes, it is true. Ms. Dunaway spent her childhood just north of Two Egg crossroads before moving on to Tallahassee and eventually widespread acclaim.
The photo seen here shows her childhood home near Two Egg as it appeared last fall. The old house has been moved from its original site and, as you can see, probably won't be around much longer.
Most of Ms. Dunaway's bios list her childhood home as nearby Bascom, but this was because there was no post office in Two Egg and the local homes were on Bascom mail routes.
It is an interesting footnote in the history of our community.
While Faye is perhaps the best known, many members of the Dunaway family have strong ties to Two Egg and continue to cherish the community to this day. They may not be stars, but they have impacted the lives of many of their fellow Jackson Countians through the years and continue to do so.
(Thank you to Ashley Pollette of the "Southern Heritage" program on Chipola College TV for the photograph!)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Circle Hill Baptist Church - From the Air

This is an aerial view of Circle Hill Baptist Church, located a few miles northeast of downtown Two Egg, Florida.
The historic cemetery at Circle Hill (sometimes called Pine Level) was established during the 1870s when two turpentine workers were killed in a lightning strike. Other burials followed and the picturesque little cemetery now contains dozens of graves of residents of East Jackson County.
The church and cemetery are located on Circle Hill Road just east of the Lovedale Community.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A spring morning in the Two Egg area

This photograph was taken in the Cox community near Two Egg yesterday morning.
The mist rising from the local lakes and ponds is one of my favorite parts of spring in the area.
I mentioned recently that the spring blooms were beginning to show nicely in the area and it doesn't look like this week's frost did a great deal of damage. The dogwoods are now in full bloom and the azaleas are coming out nicely. If you want to enjoy some of the beautiful colors of spring, now is the time!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Florida Caverns State Park - Marianna, Florida

One of the most popular places in the Two Egg area is Florida Caverns State Park. Rich in local history and literally filled with natural wonders, the park is one of the most noteworthy landmarks in Florida.
Men from the Two Egg area helped build the park and it stands as a landmark of their efforts with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the years of the Great Depression.
I've added a new section on the Florida Caverns to my website at To take a look, just follow the link and you will see the heading on the main page.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Easter!

I will be pausing from new posts for a few days to observe Good Friday and Easter.
New posts will be coming next week, but until then you might enjoy reading a brief article about the legend of the dogwood tree and its connection to Easter. It is now available online at, the new website of the Jackson County Times.
Please have a happy, safe and blessed Easter Weekend.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Blooms of Spring in Two Egg

I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the color that is beginning to show around Two Egg.
This photograph of a beautiful cluster of pear blossoms was taken at sunset last night.
The pear are beginning to show some really nice blooms, as are the redbuds and some others. The dogwoods and azaleas are running a little slow due to the late frost this year, but are budding out so we should see a lot more color by next weekend.
It looks like it is going to be a beautiful spring. Some of the azalea bushes have more buds on them than I've seen in many years, so I think we are going to see some really pretty azaleas this year. I'll share some more pictures with you as we move through the week.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Turkey Season in Two Egg

Saturday marked the beginning of the annual Spring Turkey Season in Florida. Turkey hunting has become a major sport in the Two Egg area.
I'm not a hunter myself, but my youngest son enjoys it very much so I've learned quite a bit about turkey hunting from him.
I have also followed the return of wild turkeys to the Two Egg area with great interest. I remember the birds being somewhat common when I was a kid growing up in the area in the 1960s. My Uncle C.W., who for many years ran Parramore Restaurant at Parramore Landing on Lake Seminole, used to catch live ones from time to time and hold them in a wire pen for me to see. It also used to be tradition for my Uncle Gene to go out each year at Thanksgiving to shoot a wild turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. Whether all of this was legal then, I don't know, but it has been more than 40 years ago.
Then, though, it seemed like the wild turkeys almost completely disappeared from our area. This may have had something to do with over hunting, but I suspect that the use of DDT to combat the region's growing fire ant population probably was the real cause. No one knew it at the time, of course, but DDT weakened the shells of bird, alligator and frog eggs and caused widespread damage to the wildlife population in Jackson County. Many species that I remember being quite common when I was a young child almost totally disappeared.
Things are getting better now, though. Florida wildlife authorities have done a great job of reintroducing wild turkeys into the region and careful management of hunting has allowed them to rebound nicely. I hear them in the woods just standing in the back yard and have seen several of impressive size just in the past week.
It seems like the media often focuses (often with good cause) on the damage that humans do to the environment, but the return of wild turkeys to the Two Egg area is a good example too of what humans can do to help the environment when we put our minds to it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Atlanta Storms

Our prayers go out to everyone caught in the Atlanta storms and apparent tornado tonight. It sounds at this point like most of the injuries are minor and hopefully it will stay that way. Much damage was done, though, and many people in downtown Atlanta have been forced from their hotels and homes.Please remember them in your prayers.

If you wish to help, donations in situations like this can always be made through the American Red Cross at

Photographic Tombstones at Cowpen Pond

In my various travels around the country, Florida is one of the few places I have ever encountered the practice of placing photographs of a loved one under glass on their tombstone.
This nicely restored tombstone is that of Mallissie Neel, who passed away on September 20, 1930. It is one of several photographic tombstones located at Jackson County's historic Cowpen Pond Cemetery near Dellwood.
This practice seems to have begun during the late 1800s and continued well into the 20th century. It is rarely done today, but quite often tombstones bearing photographs can be found in cemeteries dating from this era. The ones at Cowpen Pond, however, are maintained with the most love and care that I have seen.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Connection to Daniel Boone, America's greatest pioneer

Jackson County and the Two Egg/Dellwood area have a unique and little known connection to the famed American frontiersman and pioneer Daniel Boone.

Boone himself passed through Jackson County while visiting Spanish Florida to decide if he should settle there. He crossed overland from St. Augustine to Pensacola and actually acquired land in the latter city. He ultimately decided against moving to Florida, though, and resettled in Missouri (also then a Spanish territory) instead.

Some of his family members, however, later followed his footsteps to Jackson County and descendents of the pioneer Boones still live here to this day.

The tombstone at right marks the grave of Gilley Crawford Neel at Cowpen Pond Cemetery near Dellwood. Born in 1823, she was the great granddaughter of Daniel Boone's brother, Squire Boone. She came to Jackson County with her husband, Benjamin Harrison Neel, during the early 1800s and settled first at present-day Neal's Landing. The couple lost a child there to fever in their first year in Florida. They later moved south to a farm near the Port Jackson community (now under Lake Seminole) and finally settled in the Paront area just south of Dellwood. She was the first member of the Boone family to settle in Jackson County and named her son, Daniel Boone Neel, after her famous great-great uncle.

Many Jackson County families have connections to the Boones of Kentucky fame. Among them are the Neel, Hamilton, Jackson, Mears, Nobles and Cox families, among many others. Some of these families still preserve traditions about the famed pioneer. One favorite story, told to me by my grandmother when I was a young boy, was that he never wore a coonskin cap (as he is often portrayed as wearing by Hollywood). According to her, he wore a black flat-brimmed hat similar to the ones worn by the Amish of today. Since the Boones were Quakers, this makes perfect sense even if it doesn't match well with Hollywood's depictions of the man!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Greenwood, Florida - Two Egg's long-time neighbor

The ties between Two Egg and its neighboring town of Greenwood have been important since the time of Two Egg's founding. Only about 5 miles apart, the two communities share a great deal.
Greenwood is one of the most historic communities in Florida with an outstanding collection of antebellum and late 19th century structures.
I'm doing a short series this week on some of the historic sites of Greenwood on our sister blog, Jackson County History. I think you might find it interesting, so I hope you will take a few minutes to follow the link and take a look.

Historic Cowpen Pond Cemetery

I spent some time yesterday visiting the graves of ancestors at Cowpen Pond Cemetery near Dellwood (a few miles south of Two Egg). I was struck once again by what a beauty and peacefulness of this historic cemetery.

Many of Jackson County's earliest settlers are buried here and marked graves date back to the mid-1800s.

Cowpen Pond was a major gathering place for the early settlers of eastern Jackson County. Residents came here for gatherings, political meetings and even militia musters. In the early days of Florida, all male citizens were required to participate in the state militia (today's National Guard) and they gathered regularly to drill and enjoy each other's company.

In 1864, the meeting grounds at Cowpen Pond were selected as the muster point for Captain George Robinson's Company of the Florida Home Guard. This company (sometimes confused with Captain Henry Robinson's Greenwood Club Cavalry) began meeting at Cowpen Pond during the late summer of 1864 and included men from all over eastern Jackson County. A few men from the unit participated in the Battle of Marianna on September 27, 1864, and one was wounded, but most did not reach town in time to take part in the fight.

The cemetery contains the graves of many members of Robinson's company, as well as numerous other soldiers from many different wars.

To reach the historic cemetery, take State Highway 69 south from Two Egg through Dellwood and turn left onto Butler Road south of Dellwood. Watch for the Cowpen Pond Cemetery Road on your right.

I'll post more about Cowpen Pond and some of the important early citizens buried there over coming days.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Springtime in Two Egg, Florida

It is an absolutely beautiful spring day here in Two Egg. The weekend rains have moved on, leaving the air cool and clear.
I spent a little time roaming around today and snapped this picture of our "Downtown District."
We are seeing the first real signs of spring now. The dogwoods are beginning to bloom and some of the azaleas are starting to show a little color. Redbuds are out and the trees are beginning to "green up" nicely. No leaves on the pecan trees yet, though. That means, according to those who know, that we will have at least one more frost.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Congratulations Chipola!

Congratulations are in order to the Chipola College men's basketball team. They won convincingly tonight in the semi-final round of the Regional Junior College Tournament (the region is the state of Florida, so the tournament also determines the state championship) and will go on to play Okaloosa Walton College in the championship game tomorrow (Saturday) night.

The game will take place at 5 p.m. at the Milton Johnson Health Center on the Chipola Campus in Marianna.

Good Luck to Chipola College!

Just a quick note to wish good luck tonight to the Chipola College men's basketball team. The Indians will play tonight at the Milton Johnson Center in the semi-final round of the Florida Junior College (JUCO) state championship tournament.

Chipola (30-1) is the defending state champion.

If you would like to attend, the game starts at 6 p.m. and tickets are available at locations all around Marianna.

If Chipola wins tonight, they will play for the State Championship tomorrow at 5 p.m. Both games will be on campus in Marianna, which is hosting the state tournament this year.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Dunaway Chapter meets tonight

The William Dunaway Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution will meet tonight at Jim's Buffet in Marianna. This is Jackson County's first chapter of the patriotic organization and the first new chapter chartered in Florida in more than two decades. Members of the Dunaway family, all of whom have close ties to Two Egg, were instrumental in the effort.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. and will feature a presentation on the Battle of Kettle Creek, Georgia. Members, their spouses and prospective members are welcome.

To join the SAR, you must be able to trace your ancestry to a soldier who fought in the American Revolution.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Rain falling in Two Egg

After a long winter of very dry conditions, things are beginning to look much better here in the greater Two Egg area.

February produced enough rain to begin bringing pond and lake levels back up and, while they still remain well below normal, things look much better.

We've been getting more rain today (1/2 of an inch so far today), with more to come. The bass are beginning to swirl in the ponds and lakes again and it looks like things are shaping up for good spring fishing!

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Ghost of Bellamy Bridge - Conclusion

This is the final part of an eight part series on the story behind Jackson County's famed "ghost of Bellamy Bridge" legend. To read the other parts first, please scroll down the page.
As promised, here is an actual photograph of the "ghost" at Bellamy Bridge.
To be completely honest, I'm not exactly sure what this photograph shows. It was taken from the old boat ramp by the bridge in December of 2005. You can see the iron frame of the bridge in the background and in the lower right, there is a strange white "mist." Of over 100 photographs taken that day, this was the only one that resulted in anything unusual.
My own opinion is that it is probably a light effect picked up by the camera, but I would be interested in hearing what you think.
As I've explained over the last week or so, the "legend" of the "burning bride of Bellamy bridge" doesn't match very well with the actual facts of the history, but the story of a ghost being seen around the old bridge has been a part of Jackson County's folklore and culture for well over 100 years. I guess in the end it all comes down to what you believe or don't believe. Personally, I don't believe in "walking spirits of the dead," but that is not to say that people aren't actually seeing something out at Bellamy Bridge. There are a number of explanations for what ghosts could be and what causes them.
Regardless of what you believe about them, such stories make up an interesting part of our culture as Southerners. We remember these stories today because our ancestors used to sit around fireplaces long before radio or television and entertain themselves by telling tall tales, legends and more. It is for the most part a lost art today, but it is part of the foundation of who we are as Southerners. That, to me at least, makes the stories worth remembering and fun to hear about.
You can read more about the Ghost of Bellamy Bridge by clicking here. The complete true story behind the legend is also included in my book, Two Egg, Florida: A Collection of Ghost Stories, Legends and Unusual Facts. It can be purchased at Chipola River Book and Tea in downtown Marianna or through, for by order through most bookstores.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Bellamy Bridge, Part Seven

This is part seven of an eight part series on the Ghost of Bellamy Bridge. To read the other parts first, please scroll down the page.

In our last post, we explored how Southern writer Caroline Lee Hentz wrote a novel years before the Civil War that told a story very similar to Jackson County's legend of Bellamy Bridge. According to Mrs. Hentz, her story was based on a real event that took place at a plantation near Columbus, Georgia. She indicated that she had based the character of "Mrs. Bellamy" in her book on a real person, a friend of her's during her residency in Columbus.

Shortly after writing Marcus Warland, Caroline Hentz moved to Florida. She lived for a time at the small resort community of St. Andrews (today's Panama City) before moving to Marianna to live with her son, Charles, in the Hunter house across Lafayette Street from St. Luke's Episcopal Church. Mrs. Hentz died in 1856 and was buried at St. Luke's.

Because she spent her last days in Jackson County, over time she became closely associated with Marianna. Many local residents came to believe, incorrectly, that her books had been based on her observations of life in and around the area. The spring in Marcus Warland, for example, was assumed to be a representation of Jackson County's Blue Spring. In reality, the description was based on a similar spring in Georgia.

The same was true of Mrs. Hentz' account of a tragic wedding night fire on the "Bellamy plantation." Although she was not describing the Bellamy plantation of Jackson County when she wrote the book, the story came to be associated with Samuel and Elizabeth Bellamy and, particularly, Elizabeth's lonely grave near Bellamy Bridge.

Over time, the memory of Caroline Hentz and her books faded, but her sad story of the tragic death of a young bride survived as part of the folklore of Jackson County. The identity of the victim, over time, was altered from a young slave named Cora to Elizabeth Bellamy and so was born the story of the Ghost of Bellamy Bridge.

It is a strange case of a real story in Georgia being used as the basis in a book of fiction that, in turn, finally evolved into a Florida legend.

Our series on the Ghost of Bellamy Bridge will conclude in the next post, which will feature an actual photograph of the "ghost." In the meantime, if you would like to read more, please visit