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Kingsley Plantation, Jacksonville

(4.5/5 based on 480+ reviews on the web)
Kingsley Plantation is the site of a former estate in Jacksonville, Florida, that was named for an early owner, Zephaniah Kingsley, who spent 25 years there. It is located at the northern tip of Fort George Island at Fort George Inlet, and is part of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve managed by the U.S. National Park Service.The plantation was originally 1,000acre, most of which has been taken over by forest; the structures and grounds of the park now comprise approximately 60acre. Evidence of Pre-Columbian Timucua life is on the island, as are the remains of a Spanish mission named San Juan del Puerto. Under British rule in 1765, a plantation was established that cycled through several owners while Florida was transferred back to Spain and then the United States. The longest span of ownership was under Kingsley and his family, a polygamous and multiracial household controlled by and resistant to the issues of race and slavery.Free blacks and several private owners lived at the plantation until it was transferred to the State of Florida in 1955. It was acquired by the National Park Service in 1991. The most prominent features of Kingsley Plantation are the owner's house—a structure of architectural significance built probably between 1797 and 1798 that is cited as being the oldest surviving plantation house in the state—and an attached kitchen house, barn, and remains of 25 anthropologically valuable slave cabins that endured beyond the U.S. Civil War . The foundations of the house, kitchen, barn and the slave quarters were constructed of cement tabby, making them notably durable. Archeological evidence found in and around the slave cabins has given researchers insight into African traditions among slaves who had recently arrived in North America.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This attraction is off the beaten path but worth the visit. It is a very quiet and peaceful location but informative. You can see actual slave quarters as well as an original plantation house and lear...  more »
  • Tucked away 3 miles off Heckscher Drive and 17 miles from the interstate lies a fabulous slice of history: Florida's oldest existing plantation, where Sea Island Cotton was grown on the banks of what ...  more »
  • This was my first visit to an 18th century plantation. As a matter of fact, I did not know that this system existed in Florida - too barren. But located on the river, I can imagine how productive this...  more »
Google
  • Enjoyed the property until I saw the signs about rattle snakes. I was glad they are warning people. As someone from an area not known for rattle snakes, that ended the day for me.
  • I absolutely loved it, having African-American hertiage it gave me an appreciation to my ancestors of endurance under oppression and no godly hope. But whatever hope or faith they had was in survival. Love the atmosphere and surrounding was beautiful. Will go back again and again..
  • A must see , a look back into a piece of untold history. Kingsley Plantation is well preserved. Also please be surr to take advantage of the audio tour , it is a great resource to utilize (pick up your equipment from the vistors center on the premises) and it is free!
  • An incredible experience on an actual slave plantation from yesteryear-very educational. Highly recommended
  • The preserved history is amazing. What a beautiful place to walk around and explore.