Sunday, September 16, 2012

Alphabe~Thursday "R" is for........

This week I would like to switch things up a bit, and share with you about a town that is no more.

It always puzzles me to hear about places that are no longer here.

This is a story  about a town that was home to many people. There were homes, stores, churches, schools, a post office, industry, and a rail road depot, and now there is nothing.

No people.
No buildings.
All are gone.

The town was Rosewood, Florida.

It was located on the west coast of Florida in Levy County.

If you were driving to a place called Cedar Key, chances are you would drive right through it and never know about it unless you stopped to read a Historical marker alongside the road.

Rosewood was a prosperous happy little town. Houses were painted and roses could be seen everywhere. It had a post office, three churches, a school, a Masonic Lodge, a turpentine mill, a sugarcane mill, a baseball team named the Rosewood Stars, two general stores and a train depot, which carried cedar to the pencil mills in Cedar Key, among other things.  There was prosperity in Rosewood.

When the cedar trees were depleted, most of the white families moved out of Rosewood to Sumner, a couple of miles down the road, leaving Rosewood a predominately black community.

And then in the span of one week it happened.

This sign is the site of the 1923 Rosewood massacre. A violent racist mob lynching that left several dead and an entire town burned to the ground.


An entire town....gone!

Well, all except for John Wright’s home and well. 

Where children hid in the dark of night.

A tragic course of events that went down in history as a big mark on Florida's beauty.

They even made a movie about Rosewood. Maybe you can check it out of your local library.
So tell me, When you take a trip somewhere by car and pass signs that post names of places, but there is nothing there, does it ever make you wonder?
If you are interested in learning about the history of Rosewood Florida, just Google Rosewood, Florida.
“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”
                                                                       ~George Santayana
Thanks for stopping by! ~Ames
To return to Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe~Thursday click here:
(Sorry i won't be stopping by or sending replies, i just had surgery on my right hand and i am right handed. i'll try to catch up with you at a later date.~Ames.)
Other places in Florida that start with an "R" are: Raiford, Reddick, Royal Palm, and Rockledge.


Danielle said...

I visit Cedar Key quite a bit and I never noticed this sign...or even knew about Rosewood....can't wait to watch the video and to do a bit more research on it. Thank you so much for teaching me more about this wonderful state.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Wow I will have to check out that movie. So much history we don't take the time to see. hugs, Linda

Sherry@Back2Vintage said...

I've never heard of Rosewood. Such a sad story.

Jo said...

omg, that was a horrible sad bit of history ... I can't imagine the horror ... Sometimes humans are just the worst of all creatures

Della said...

I've been to Cedar Key a few times...I must have missed the sign for Rosewood. What a terrible way for a town to die.

Sue said...

I had no idea.

What a horror.


JJ said...

Very interesting. We went fishing at Cedar Key earlier this summer. I never noticed any signs of the old town. A pity.

Marsi @ The Cottage Cheese said...

I hope your hand is better soon!

My husband and I had visited Cedar Key several times before we noticed the historic marker for Rosewood on the way out of town one trip. Such a tragedy, and it brings to mind the violent nature of this area at the time (I have read that Cedar Key had kind of a wild-west town atmosphere in it's early days). I've never seen the movie, and the book sits on my shelf waiting to be read. I had remembered seeing previews for the movie, though I hadn't realized until seeing the sign that Rosewood was in Florida. My husband and I haven't yet ventured off 24 to see the ruins of the town. It's difficult to accept that this happened in an area that I love so much, which is probably why I've put off reading the book.

Thanks for sharing this story. It is story that should not be forgotten!

Splendid Little Stars said...

wishing you a speedy recovery, Ames.

fascinating history and tragic.

On vacation some years back, my family went to the ghost town of Independence near Independence Pass in Colorado. Only a few houses were left.

I agree that it is strange to think of all the lives being led in a once thriving place that now no longer exists.

Judie said...

I have seen that movie, Ames. This is an excellent "R" post.

VBR said...

Rosewood must have been a wonderful little town. Sadly, ugliness can ruin even the best of things.
Although Rosewood is no long there, as long as people remember and tell even one other person,the memory and the hard learned lesson will keep it's memory alive.

This is an excellent R post.

Claudia Willison said...

I haven't seen the movie, but now I feel I should. How tragic...
To answer your question: Yes, I do stop and do wonder very often when I see markers like this.

Saying 'hello' from my Riesling / Alphabe- Thursday @ ImagesByCW

Anonymous said...

This series of posts is fascinating, esp. since I also live in Florida. In fact, I look at your posts for ideas where our women's photo group might go for outings. You just never know.

As for Rosewood--what a sad, horrifying story. Thank you for sharing it because, as you say, it's important we learn from our mistakes.

Wishing you speedy healing of your hand...

Annesphamily said...

You share such fascinating facts with us! I always treasure visiting you here! Take care!

Jenny said...

I'm sorry about your surgery Miss Ames!

Sending a healing prayer your way.

This story was really eye opening.

I think of ghost towns as an almost 'gentle abandonment'. How eye opening it is to think of ugliness destroying an entire towns lovely existence.

It sounds like it was an idyllic place. How awful what hate can destroy.

Get well!

Hugs and A+