Florida did not become a state until 1845. In the Treaty with Spain in 1819, the East and West Floridas would become the Territory of Florida under federal jurisdiction in 1821 until the "territory" became a "state" under the United States Constitution. Most of the meager population inhabited the extreme northern portion of the territory. [...]
Built on June 11, 1764, at Sandy Hook, N.J., Sandy Hook Light is now located about one and one-half statute miles from the tip of Sandy Hook as a result of the natural occurrence of littoral drift. Its original location was only 500 feet from the tip. The natural accumulation of sand drifting in the [...]
Under the 1927 federal legislation authorizing the Corps of Engineers to take control of the Florida East Coast Canal for conversion into the larger Intracoastal Waterway, Congress required Florida to designate a local sponsor. That local sponsor designated by the Florida Legislature was FIND, a special taxing district made up of eleven east coast counties [...]
The Matanzas Inlet is eighteen miles south of St. Augustine at the the south end of the St. Johns County barrier island. On the south side of the inlet is the barrier island to Ormond Beach, another twelve miles. West of the barrier islands is Fort Matanzas National Park. The absence of jetties at this natural inlet makes possible the continued shifting north of the Inlet by natural Atlantic littoral shifting described in another posting that has been an ongoing process for at least a hundred and fifty years. The waterway running north and south through the inlet inside the barrier islands is the Matanzas River reach of the Intracoastal Waterway.
In 1882, when the Florida Coast Line Canal & Transportation Company (“the Florida canal company”) began the actual work of dredging what would become the Intracoastal Waterway, the company started its work with one dredge south of St. Augustine working south and another dredge at Ormond Beach working north.
Using crude continuous bucket dredges, the work was difficult, almost incorrigible in many places. The Inlet shown in this photograph made that part of the work even more challenging, introducing swirling currents, tides, and beach sand as well as rock, coquina, and mud.
Because the State of Florida agreed to grant the company 3,840 acres of public land for every mile of waterway dredged, the canal company soon moved the work south into easier cuts such as the Indian River Lagoon. The lagoon was a waterway of sorts but not navigable in any sense of the word.
A canoe could traverse the large body of water but its depth barely exceeded a few feet in many places. The State of Florida required a waterway at least five feet deep. The canal company cut a navigable pathway through the lagoon and marked the Lagoon’s depth at five feet and width of fifty feet as required by the State, even though the large sheet of water expanded to as much as four miles wide in some places.
Matanzas Inlet -South St. Johns County In 1881, the private St. Augustine-based Florida canal company agreed to dredge an inland waterway from Miami, Fla., to St. Augustine, Fla., and later to Jacksonville, Fla., a distance of approximately 400 miles. For every mile of waterway dredged, state legislators agreed to convey to the canal company 3,840 acres of state-owned land. Upon the delivery of the last (12th) deed to the canal company, the State had granted the canal Company a little over a million acres of public land.
Of the total length of the waterway, between 80% and 85% of the total was pre-existing waterway. Nonetheless, of that 80% to 85% of the waterway, much of it required the dredging of safe, uniform channels as we see them today in the Intracoastal Waterway.
Moreover, both artificial and natural inlets dot Florida’s east coast making difficult maintenance of the waterway at these…
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In 1881, the Florida canal company asked for and received a state land grant of 3,840 acres for every mile of waterway dredged. Henry Flagler asked for the same land grant for every mile of railway track laid. But Flagler was years late in making application because the Legislature had reserved for granting more east [...]
In the 1930's, Commodore Avylen Harcourt Brook, second chairman of the Florida Inland Navigation District, diligently worked with community leaders to bring the Amphitrite, a floating hotel and restaurant to Fort Lauderdale. Actually, the Amphitrite served as a warship in the Spanish-American War and the First World War; later, she was decommissioned and sold to [...]
In his 1870 Government Map of this section, Surveyor General Marcellus Williams named this feature Lake Mabel after Mabel, fiancee' of James White. White and Mabel accompanied the surveying party along with Williams's son, Arthur T. Williams. The Intracoastal Waterway runs through the middle of the Lake, paralleling the east coast of Florida from what [...]