Wednesday, February 8, 2023

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." -- Martin Luther King Jr.

Don't see many of these anymore! Pat said it wasn't in working order. 

Mike and Pat were on a mission Tuesday at the Bellamy Bridge Trail. I mentioned last week that because of high water on a creek we couldn't get to the haunted bridge, but now Mike and Pat came equipped to conquer! Temperatures in the mid 70's.

Bellamy Bridge is one of Florida's most famous haunted bridges. Elizabeth Jane Bellamy died in Jackson County on May 11, 1837. It is said that her restless spirit haunts the bridge and surrounding area as she searches for her husband Dr. Samual C. Bellamy whom she said she would love forever. 

Legend has it that shortly after their wedding her dress caught on fire and she perished, being buried near the Chipola River and the bridge. Her husband struggled for 16 years before taking his own life.  Because he had taken his own life he could not be buried next to Elizabeth on sacred ground as he had requested.

They really were a real couple, but according to Samuel's letters and an obituary in the Tallahassee Floridian, Elizabeth died from fever on that date at the age of 18. Sickness and death were common with Malaria and Yellow Fever in the day. A week later her young son also died from fever and was buried next to her. Samuel did not remarry and mourned the rest of his life for Elizabeth. And he did kill himself by slashing his throat in 1853.

Many people have claimed to see a ghost near the bridge. Some claim to have seen a ball of fire descending down through the bridge, others have seen white lights surrounding the swamp at night, while others have seen the figure of a young women in a white dress walking in the swamp. 

Mike and Pat gathering boots and tools needed to move logs so we could cross the creek.

The water was down and someone had already built a log bridge. Maybe Mike and Pat were a little disappointed?

The Bellamy Bridge was built in 1914 on the same site as a wooden bridge that dated back to 1840.

Sally checking out the Chipola River. Mike went back for his fishing pole but soon  decided there mustn't be any fish in the river.😉

Chipola River

The quantity and height of the tree knees were impressive.

Yellow Jessamine is the state flower of  South Carolina and contains alkaloids that are poisonous to humans. There were several blooming vines on the trail.

This picture doesn't do justice to the many holes dug along-side the trail. Pat thought he saw a hoof print in one so we wondered if the holes might be from feral hogs.

Pat wanted to complete our journey by finding the cemetary where Elizabeth and her son were buried. Google seemed to think it was here but we found nothing, not even spirits. 

We went to Crestview to pick up our mail Monday. Thanks for those who sent Christmas Cards! I scored a stop at one Quilt Shop. I thought Sally and I were pretty quick but the guys not so much. A lunch stop and then on to Beasley Park, formerly a state park until 1976 when it was transfered to the county. A beautiful day with highs in the upper 60's.

Stewby's Seafood Shanty was based on Stewart's father's restaurant, Sam's Oyster House opened back in the 1960's. Long story short, the thriving business was sold in 1995 and failed after a year under the new owner. Stewart then opened this site followed by 2 more locations. All sauces and sides are made from scratch and service is quick. Sally got to enjoy the grilled shrimp she yearned for and a piece of key-lime pie.

Stewbys Seafood Shanty in Fort Walton Beach. It is in an old portable classroom. 

In 1960 Beasley park was created for black families. In 1964-1965 the park was desegragated and open to all.
Where are the Piepers now? Bonifay, FL

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