Kingsley Plantation, Jacksonville

4.5
Kingsley Plantation (also known as the Zephaniah Kingsley Plantation Home and Buildings) 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 1,000 acres (4.0 km2), most of which has been taken over by forest; the structures and grounds of the park now comprise approximately 60 acres (242,811.385 m2). 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 (1861–1865). 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.

Zephaniah Kingsley wrote a defense of slavery and the three-tier social system that acknowledged the rights of free people of color that existed in Florida under Spanish rule. Kingsley briefly served on the Florida Territorial Council, planning the transition when Florida was annexed by the United States.
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Kingsley Plantation Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
696 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Enjoyed the visit to Kingsley Plantation and learning about the unique history of this plantation. Whether you enjoy plantation tours or not, one should learn a bit about the past of this property  more »
  • a quiet free park. the road to get to the park is not very good so be prepared. On the weekends there are interpreters in period costume. many areas to visit and understand the history of the time...  more »
  • Be sure to look this one up and plan to spend a couple hours touring the remnants of the early slave quarters.  more »
Google
  • It was so informative, beautiful, I'm looking forward to going again in October and or February. When they will be doing more activities of the times. The children and adults learned so much. It was a hot and rainy day. Summer in Florida.
  • Although we went today will be could it C inside the house the rest of the property was really beautiful. You got to see where boats could come in on the water and we even saw some water wildlife. They had great historical facts all around the property which I appreciated because I really enjoyed learning about history
  • best plantation tour ever !! well preserved plantation house and grounds as well as slave quarters. free admission with free audio self- guided tour which narrates the real life back then. I have been to several plantation tours but this one is the best!! thank you so much.
  • Interesting to see the plantation well worth the drive. My wife and I enjoyed a leisure walk around the grounds. It is well maintained and will give you an appreciation of that part of our history.
  • The main building, grounds and location beside the sea are really beautiful. You can imagine what life was like on a plantation some 200 years ago and could easily picture Scarlett O'Hara sitting on the porch. But of course this was a real plantation with a very unromantic history of slavery & exploitation. The slave houses are well preserved and one of them is fully restored to how it would have looked back in the day.

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9 days in Jacksonville, Panama City Beach & Savannah BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular sights Preferences: August Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 7 days in Jacksonville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, teens, popular sights Preferences: March, teens Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 13 days in Jacksonville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems Preferences: July, teens, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 6 days in Jacksonville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, outdoors, wildlife, slow & easy, hidden gems Preferences: July, teens, outdoors, wildlife Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Slow & easy 33 days in Jacksonville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, popular sights Preferences: July, outdoors Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 32 days in Jacksonville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 32 days in Boston & Jacksonville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, beaches, shopping, popular & hidden gems Preferences: June, culture, outdoors, beaches, shopping Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 14 days in Jacksonville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, outdoors, historic sites, popular sights Preferences: October, outdoors, historic sites Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 43 days in Northeast Florida BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, popular sights Preferences: June, teens Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 60 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, extra slow, hidden gems Preferences: June Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Extra slow 4 days in Jacksonville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 7 days in Jacksonville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, popular sights Preferences: June, kids Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium
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