Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Coquina Quarry, Flagler County
I am on a quest to find the quarries that supplied the coquina for John Bulow's sugar mill built in Flagler County in the early 19th century.  This is a shout out to anyone who has any info on this topic.  For several years now, I have wondered if it is possible to tie stone structures with quarries.  Historical documents firmly establish that the coquina stone for the Castillo de San Marcos came from the quarries on Anastasia Island.   But there are veins of coquina with evidence of early quarrying at numerous places along the East Coast of Florida. Coquina veins run parallel to the coast as much as 20 miles inland from the current sea coast.   Companies quarry and sell coquina stone even today for landscaping and building facings.

Quarried coquina boulders

In colonial times, many structures were built out of the abundant coquina stone in Flagler, Volusia and St. Johns Counties.   Joseph  Hernendez's Mala Compra Plantation house at Bing's Landing, Flagler County, was built of coquina stone as were buildings and foundations at the Turnbull Plantation in New Smyrna.   Sugar mills in and around Flagler, Ormond, Daytona and New Smyrna Beaches were constructed with large blocks of coquina.  Is it possible to determine where the coquina stone was quarried and how it was moved to the construction sites before gas powered trucks were invented? 

A walk in the woods

Recently several of my friends accompanied me on a walk through the northern reaches of the Bulow Plantation in Flagler County to observe some coquina outcroppings and water- filled coquina quarries.

Headwaters of Bulow Creek
Some "friendly" inhabitants of the quarries

Vein of coquina at the surface

I have a theory that Bulow obtained his coquina building materials from a coquina vein close to Bulow Creek and that he floated the quarried blocks south on rafts to his sugar mill site.  Is it possible to support this theory by comparing the color of the coquina stone with coquina still in the ground?  Coquina from different quarries has a range of colors from white to red.  What are your thoughts on this question?  And does anyone know of any work already done to source coquina from quarries?  Any comments on this question would be appreciated and acknowledged.

Text by Toni Wallace, FPAN staff
Photos by Joyce Peterson

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