3 weeks ago
|St. Augustine Branch|
The St. Augustine Branch arose from several springs; one was located on the site of Leon High School. One was the source of water for the Apalachee Indian village and was near the site of the Parkway Shopping Center. One was located in Myers Park. The only surviving spring is located off Call Street in Magnolia Ravine. The spring fed waters of the St. Augustine Branch fell in the waterfall or cascade into a sink near the Capitol Building. This area was known as the ‘County Club’ area where several of our early Governors lived (Governors Broward and Duval). The falls were destroyed in the 1860’s by the railroad when they discarded used railroad ties in the sink, clogging it.
The Cascades Sink became a small lake and a popular swimming hole off the east side of South Monroe where the railroad overpass was constructed. It was even the site of a high diving competition, off the bluffs, and a suicide. Eventually as the little lake began to fill in with trash and sediment it became marshy and being near the railroad attracted vagrants. The City Dump and a Coal Tar Gasification Plant were located here. By 1959 the little lake was completely filled in. Once the Cascade Sink filled in the St. Augustine Branch began to flow on to Lake Munson, since it no longer disappeared into the ground.
Forty per cent of the species Oudolf put on the High Line were already there, dropped by birds and blown by the winds on to the railbed during its derelict years. Sustainable may be an overused adjective, but Oudolf embraces the notion, in that what was put there by nature was, by definition, sustained.
|Franklin Flats: a vanished Bohemia|