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Kingsley Plantation, Jacksonville

(500+ reviews on the web)
Historic Site Tourist Spot
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
  • Took my kids here for a history lesson. Pleased with the setup. Wonderful view and beautiful grounds. Really enjoyed.  more »
  • If you've ever fallen trap to romanticized, "Gone With the Wind" views of plantation life, come experience Kingsley Plantation. It is hard to believe that humans could have eked out a living on such a...  more »
  • We toured this national treasure and were in awe by some of the slave quarters that are still standing. Learning the history of the people who owned the plantation was unforgettable. We highly recomme...  more »
Google
  • What a great piece of history! I loved it. Beautiful grounds. The workers had us separate cotton from the seeds, not easy... Slave work expectations were listed, wow. Amazing how much work they did daily. I never knew about tabby as a building material. Takes 3 hours to do it 100%.
  • The main house was closed and only available to reserved tours during the weekends. If you are interested in local history, this is a must see.
  • I enjoyed reading about the history and walking around the grounds at my own pace. Several artists were stationed around painting and drawing the pretty scenery.
  • Historical site. Interesting audio tour. Friendly park Rangers. Junior Ranger program kept kids engaged with story.
  • A well preserved piece of history. Very beautiful and emotional at the same time.