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City Of Palatka

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201 N 2nd St, Palatka, FL 32177
http://palatka-fl.gov
(386) 329-0100 Additional Contacts
 
'Palatka' is a contraction of an Indian word meaning 'cow crossing' or 'cow ford'. The original was some variation of 'Pilaklikaha' or 'Pilotaikita.' Originally spelled 'PIlatka', the City Charter, approved on January 8, 1853,had the name spelled 'Pal...read more
'Palatka' is a contraction of an Indian word meaning 'cow crossing' or 'cow ford'. The original was some variation of 'Pilaklikaha' or 'Pilotaikita.' Originally spelled 'PIlatka', the City Charter, approved on January 8, 1853,had the name spelled 'Palatka', sparking a debate as to the "correct" spelling which would last another twenty-two years until the U. S. Post Office officially changed the spelling to 'Palatka' on May 24, 1875 so asnot to cause confusion with the town of 'Picolata'.As early as 1655 the Spanish were developing Palatka, as well as Gainesville and Tallahassee into the state's three principal ranching areas to feed the settlers particularly in the St. Augustine area where the slaughterhouses were located. Palatka became the main forging point for the cattle to cross the St. Johns River on their way to the slaughterhouse.In 1763 when the British took possession of Florida all Spanish land holdings were declared null and void and the Spanish left the state.On an expedition in April 1774 William Bartram, a British Botanist, wrote of finding an Indian village on the site of present day Palatka. The village included a large cultivated orange grove and several hundred acres of corn, potatoes, beans, squash, melons and tobacco.After the war for Independence broke out Florida became a haven for loyal British subjects and Florida population swelled from 3,000 in 1776 to 17,000 in 1784. One such immigrant, Joshua Gray, an unmarried mulatto farmer and Indian interpreter received 1,500 acres, which is known as the Palatka Tract today or "Gray's Place".With the return of Florida to Spain in 1784 the British for the most part left the state and the population declined to less than 2,000. Gray abandoned the Palatka Tract. However, the Spaniards were anxious to have Florida settled and adopted a very liberal settlement policy allowing anyone who would swear allegiance to the Spanish government to settle in Florida. Based upon this, Gray returned to his home in the 1790s on the west bank of the St. Johns River. Although he never acquired title, Gray lived in Palatka until 1804 working as an agent for the trading firm of Panton and Leslie. He supervised the company cattle crossing the St. Johns River in route to St. Augustine.On August 3, 1818, the Spanish Governor, Coppinger, conveyed title of Gray's Place to Bernardo Segui, a St. Augustine merchant and Mayor. Segui passed title to George Flemming in January 1819.When Florida was transferred to the United States in 1821, development of central Florida increased dramatically. Palatka was the southernmost point in the river where large oceangoing vessels could venture. Below Palatka became the main jumping off point into Florida s interior either by cart or by small boat further down the St. Johns or Oklawaha Rivers.In August 1821, Belton A. Copp, a Connecticut Attorney, bought "Gray's Place" from Fleming to use as a jumping off place for the settlement of the Alachua (Gainesville) area which was being heavily promoted in the Northeast.In 1822, a ferry was begun between Palatka and St. Augustine and an improved road was built between Palatka and Alachua.In 1827, a post office was built and Palatka replaced Picolata to the North as the major transportation center on the St. Johns River. The army constructed warehouses in Palatka in 1827 where provisions were deposited for further shipment down river and into the interior.With the Seminole Indian unrest, which began in 1826 the influx of settlers again reversed and the post office was closed in 1829, due to the decrease in population.In December 1835, Seminoles attacked and burned Palatka and the white settlers from the entire St. Johns River valley fled to the safety of St. Augustine.In the early 1840s, Fort Shannon was built in Palatka and served as the military headquarters of the Central Florida District. As such it was built as a supply depot and staging area and was not fortified, as were most other forts deeper in the inte
 
 

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'Palatka' is a contraction of an Indian word meaning 'cow crossing' or 'cow ford'. The original was some variation of 'Pilaklikaha' or 'Pilotaikita.' Originally spelled 'PIlatka', the City Charter, approved on January 8, 1853,had the name spelled 'Palatka', sparking a debate as to the "correct" spelling which would last another twenty-two years until the U. S. Post Office officially changed the spelling to 'Palatka' on May 24, 1875 so asnot to cause confusion with the town of 'Picolata'.As early as 1655 the Spanish were developing Palatka, as well as Gainesville and Tallahassee into the state's three principal ranching areas to feed the settlers particularly in the St. Augustine area where the slaughterhouses were located. Palatka became the main forging point for the cattle to cross the St. Johns River on their way to the slaughterhouse.In 1763 when the British took possession of Florida all Spanish land holdings were declared null and void and the Spanish left the state.On an expedition in April 1774 William Bartram, a British Botanist, wrote of finding an Indian village on the site of present day Palatka. The village included a large cultivated orange grove and several hundred acres of corn, potatoes, beans, squash, melons and tobacco.After the war for Independence broke out Florida became a haven for loyal British subjects and Florida population swelled from 3,000 in 1776 to 17,000 in 1784. One such immigrant, Joshua Gray, an unmarried mulatto farmer and Indian interpreter received 1,500 acres, which is known as the Palatka Tract today or "Gray's Place".With the return of Florida to Spain in 1784 the British for the most part left the state and the population declined to less than 2,000. Gray abandoned the Palatka Tract. However, the Spaniards were anxious to have Florida settled and adopted a very liberal settlement policy allowing anyone who would swear allegiance to the Spanish government to settle in Florida. Based upon this, Gray returned to his home in the 1790s on the west bank of the St. Johns River. Although he never acquired title, Gray lived in Palatka until 1804 working as an agent for the trading firm of Panton and Leslie. He supervised the company cattle crossing the St. Johns River in route to St. Augustine.On August 3, 1818, the Spanish Governor, Coppinger, conveyed title of Gray's Place to Bernardo Segui, a St. Augustine merchant and Mayor. Segui passed title to George Flemming in January 1819.When Florida was transferred to the United States in 1821, development of central Florida increased dramatically. Palatka was the southernmost point in the river where large oceangoing vessels could venture. Below Palatka became the main jumping off point into Florida s interior either by cart or by small boat further down the St. Johns or Oklawaha Rivers.In August 1821, Belton A. Copp, a Connecticut Attorney, bought "Gray's Place" from Fleming to use as a jumping off place for the settlement of the Alachua (Gainesville) area which was being heavily promoted in the Northeast.In 1822, a ferry was begun between Palatka and St. Augustine and an improved road was built between Palatka and Alachua.In 1827, a post office was built and Palatka replaced Picolata to the North as the major transportation center on the St. Johns River. The army constructed warehouses in Palatka in 1827 where provisions were deposited for further shipment down river and into the interior.With the Seminole Indian unrest, which began in 1826 the influx of settlers again reversed and the post office was closed in 1829, due to the decrease in population.In December 1835, Seminoles attacked and burned Palatka and the white settlers from the entire St. Johns River valley fled to the safety of St. Augustine.In the early 1840s, Fort Shannon was built in Palatka and served as the military headquarters of the Central Florida District. As such it was built as a supply depot and staging area and was not fortified, as were most other forts deeper in the inte