A Travellerspoint blog

Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama


Eight Mile Rock is the largest settlement on Grand Bahama Island, outside of Freeport/Lucaya, and is named after the eight miles of solid rock contained here.

The "town" is actually a string of settlements, each of which takes the name of the family who settled and still inhabits the land. Jones Town, Martin Town, Pinedale, Hanna Hill, Bartlett Hill, Wildgoose, and Hepburn Town are a few of the sub-settlements. Their respective families are chiefly descendants of freed slaves who now own the land because their families have inhabited it since the mid-nineteenth century.

Posted by airwolf09 17:07 Archived in Bahamas Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Deadman's Reef, Grand Bahama


Deadman's Reef is the home of Paradise Cove, where one can swim out to some of the best snorkeling reefs, and the Brown family, who have lived here for 100 years. A recent archaeological dig along the eroding beachfront unearthed many artifacts belonging to the Lucayan Indians—hearths, animal bones, pottery pieces, and shell beads. One of the most important Lucayan archaeological sites discovered to date, it has been dated at around 1200 to 1300 A.D.

Posted by airwolf09 17:05 Archived in Bahamas Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Holmes Rock, Grand Bahama


Holmes Rock & Seagrape together form a little community known for a unique cave that sits behind a local night club. It is over 200 yards in diameter and produces fresh water at low tide and salt water at high tide.

Posted by airwolf09 17:02 Archived in Bahamas Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Williams Town and Russell Town, Grand Bahama


About five miles from Freeport/Lucaya is Williams Town, a sleepy community nestled in pine trees and resting on what Bahamians call "generation land" -- land that is settled by a single family then passed on to its descendants. In this case, the town was settled by the great-grandfather of Joseph Williams, one of the older residents. Williams' ancestor was a slave liberated in Britain's Emancipation Act of 1834, which effectively freed all slaves in crown territory. In the Bahamas, all freed slaves were allowed to lay claim to whatever unsettled land they could find.

The town's oldest building is a shack that sits next to Traveller's Rest, the only restaurant around. At the end of Beach Way Drive there is also an old cemetery marked off with a stone wall. Inside, there's a monument to 21 Haitians who died at sea 1978. Near the waterfront, about 200 yards to the west of the jetty is a "boiling hole" an opening in the seafloor where cold, fresh water pours out.

Posted by airwolf09 16:25 Archived in Bahamas Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Freeport, Grand Bahama


Freeport is a city and free trade zone on the island of Grand Bahama, located approximately 100 mi (160 km) east-northeast of Fort Lauderdale, South Florida and gives its name to a district of the Bahamas.

In 1955, Wallace Groves, a Virginian financier with lumber interests on the island, was granted 50,000 acres (200 km²) of swamp and scrubland by the Bahamian government. On this was built the city of Freeport, which has grown to be the second most populated city in The Bahamas (over 50,000 in 2004) after the capital, Nassau.

The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) operates the free trade zone, under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement signed in August of 1955 whereby the Bahamian Government agreed that businesses in the Freeport area will pay no taxes before 2054. The area of the land grants has been increased to 138,000 acres (558 km²).

Freeport Harbour is accessible by even the largest vessels, and has a cruise terminal, a container port, and a ship maintenance facility. Grand Bahama International Airport (IATA airport code: FPO, ICAO airport code: MYGF) handles nearly 50,000 flights each year.

Tourism complements trade as a revenue earner in Freeport, with over a million visitors each year. Much of the tourist industry is displaced to the seaside suburb of Lucaya, owing its name (but little else) to the pre-Columbian Lucayan inhabitants of the island. The city is often promoted as 'Freeport / Lucaya'.

Posted by airwolf09 16:12 Archived in Bahamas Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

St. Augustine, Florida

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St. Augustine is a city located in St. Johns County, Florida, United States, in the region known as Florida's First Coast. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 11,592. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 12,157. It is the county seat of St. Johns County.

St. Augustine is the oldest continually occupied European settlement in the continental United States; only San Juan on Puerto Rico predates the city as the oldest settlement within the territory of the United States. The city was founded by the Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés on August 28, 1565, the feast day of Augustine of Hippo, and consequently named by him San Agustín. This came 21 years before the English settlement at Roanoke Island in Virginia Colony and 42 years before the successful settlements of Santa Fe, New Mexico and Jamestown, Virginia.

In 1586 St. Augustine was attacked and burned by Sir Francis Drake. In 1668 it was plundered by pirates and most of the inhabitants were killed. In 1702 and 1740 it was unsuccessfully attacked by British forces from their new colonies in the Carolinas and Georgia. The most serious of these came in the latter year, when James Oglethorpe of Georgia allied himself with Ahaya the Cowkeeper, chief of the Alachua band of the Seminole tribe to lay siege to the city.

In 1763, the Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War and gave Florida and St. Augustine to the British, an acquisition the British had been unable to take by force. St. Augustine came under British rule and served as a Loyalist (pro-British) colony during the American Revolutionary War. A Treaty of Paris in 1783 gave the American colonies north of Florida their independence, and returned Florida to Spain as a reward for Spanish assistance to the Americans in their war against England.

Florida was under Spanish control again from 1784 to 1821. During this time, Spain was being invaded by Napoleon and was struggling to retain its colonies. Florida no longer held its past importance to Spain. The expanding United States, however, regarded Florida as vital to its interests. In 1821, the Adams-Onís Treaty peaceably turned the Spanish colonies in Florida and, with them, St. Augustine, over to the United States.

Florida was a territorial possession of the United States until 1845 when it became a U.S. state. In 1861, the American Civil War began and Florida seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy. However, Union troops loyal to the United States Government quickly occupied St. Augustine and remained in control of the city throughout the four-year long war. In 1865, Florida rejoined the United States.

Spanish Colonial era buildings still existing in the city include the fortress Castillo de San Marcos. The fortress successfully repelled the British attacks of the 18th century, was occupied by Union troops during the American Civil War, and later served as a prison for the Native American leader Osceola. It is now the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.

In the late 19th century the railroad came to town, and led by northeastern industrialist Henry Flagler, St. Augustine became a winter resort for the very wealthy. A number of mansions and palatial grand hotels of this era still exist, some converted to other use, such as housing parts of Flagler College and museums. Flagler went on to develop much more of Florida's east coast, including his Florida East Coast Railway which eventually reached Key West in 1912.

The city is a popular tourism attraction, for the rich Spanish Colonial Revival Style architectural heritage as well as elite 19th century architecture. In 1938 the theme park Marineland opened just south of St. Augustine, becoming one of Florida's first themed parks and setting the stage for the development of this industry in the following decades.

Flagler College, with the former Ponce de Leon Hotel.
Lightner Museum, in the former Hotal Alcazar.
Ghost Tours, Hauntings and more, from the corner of Charlotte and Cuna Sts.

Posted by airwolf09 17:10 Archived in USA Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Silver Springs Shores, Florida


Silver Springs Shores is a census-designated place located in Marion County, Florida. As of the 2000 census, the CDP had a total population of 6,690.

Posted by airwolf09 05:48 Archived in USA Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Huntsville, Alabama


Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County, Alabama. As of the 2000 census, the population of the city proper was 158,216, with a metropolitan statisical area population of 342,376.

Huntsville is named after John Hunt, the first Anglo-Saxon owner of the land around Big Spring. However Hunt did not properly register his claim, which was later sold to Leroy Pope, who imposed the name Twickenham on the area to honor the home city of his relative Alexander Pope. The name was later changed to Huntsville to honor Hunt. In 1811, Huntsville became the first incorporated town in Alabama. However, the recognized "birth" year of the city is 1805, since the sesquicentennial anniversary was held in 1955 and the bicentennial was celebrated in 2005.

Twickenham is one of three of the city's Historical Districts and features homes in the Federal and Greek Revival architectural styles which were introduced to the city by Virginia-born architect George Steele ca. 1818, and has the most dense concentration of antebellum homes in Alabama. The 1819 Weeden House Museum, is open to the public, as are others in the area. The other two historical districts are : Old Town and 5-Points. Old Town has varied style houses dating from the 1850's-wide tree-lined streets make Old Town especially attractive. 5-Points predominates with bungalows from the turn of the 20th century.

Huntsville's quick growth was from wealth generated by the cotton industry. In 1819, Huntsville hosted a constitutional convention in Walker Allen's large cabinetmaking shop, and forty-four delegates wrote a constitution for the state of Alabama. Huntsville was Alabama's first capital when it was admitted to the union; the capital was moved to Cahawba in 1820.

In 1855, the Memphis and Charleston Railroad was constructed through Huntsville. On April 11, 1862, during the American Civil War, Union troops led by General Mitchell seized Huntsville to sever the Confederate's railroad communications. Union troops then used Huntsville as a base for operations in the area.

After the Civil War, Huntsville became a center for cotton textile mills such as Lincoln and Merrimack. Several of Huntsville's earliest neighborhoods were built to house mill workers.

By 1940, Huntsville was still a small town with a population of only 13,150, which changed at the onset of World War II when Huntsville was chosen as the site of several military manufacturing plants. The plants were almost shut down in 1949 when they were no longer needed, but instead, the military used the area for missile research. In 1950, the military brought German rocket scientist Werner von Braun and his colleagues to Huntsville's Redstone Arsenal to work on the United States' fledgling space program.

On September 8, 1960, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicated the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville (NASA had already activated the facility on July 1).

Huntsville is home to the Redstone Arsenal and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, and is nicknamed "the Rocket City," because of its history with U.S. space missions. Huntsville has been important in developing space technology since the 1950s, when a group of German scientists headed by Dr. Werner von Braun were brought to the United States through Operation Paperclip and developed rockets for the U.S Army. Their work included designing the Redstone ballistic missile, a variant of which, the Jupiter-C, carried the U.S. first satellite and astronauts into space. The Saturn V, was utilized by the Apollo program manned moon missions and was developed from the Redstone Arsenal. Huntsville continues to play an important role in the United States' space shuttle and International Space Station programs; it is estimated that 1 in 13 of Huntsville's population are employed in some engineering line of work.

Huntsville is also the location of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM). Huntsville's contributions to United States Cold War missile armament and technology earned it a "red star" designation as a target of the Soviet Union in the event of a nuclear exchange, fourth behind only New York City, Washington, DC, and NORAD.

Before Huntsville earned the moniker "Rocket City" and accompanying rapid growth, it was known as the Watercress Capital of the World, because watercress was harvested in such abundance in the area.


U.S. Space & Rocket Center[19] is also home to Aviation Challenge, Space Camp, and the only Saturn V rocket designated a National Historic Landmark.
Hampton Cove[20] is one of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course Trails featuring three 18 hole courses - two championship and one par three.
Monte Sano State Park [21] has over 2,000 acres (8 km²) and features hiking and bicycling trails, rustic cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, campsites, full RV hook-ups, and a recently reconstructed lodge.[22]
The Von Braun Astronomical Society[23] has two observatories and a planetarium on 10 acres (40,000 m²) in Monte Sano State Park.
The Huntsville Madison County Public Library[24] founded in 1818, is Alabama's oldest continually operating library system with 12 locations throughout the county including one bookmobile. The Main Library Archives contains a wealth of historical resources, including displays of photographic collections and artifacts, has Alabama's highest materials circulation rate, and features daily public programs.
Big Spring Jam [25] is an annual three-day music festival held on the last full weekend of September in and around Big Spring International Park in downtown Huntsville. It features a diversity of music including rock, country, Christian, kid-friendly, and oldies.
Panoply of the Arts [26] is an annual springtime arts festival held at Big Spring International Park.
Alabama Constitution Village[27] features eight reconstructed Federal style buildings, with living-museums displays downtown.
Burritt Museum and Park [28] located on Monte Sano Mountain, is a regional history museum featuring a 1930's mansion, nature trails, scenic overlooks and more.
Clay House Museum [29] is an antebellum home built ca. 1853 and showcases decorative styles up to 1950 and an outstanding collection of Noritake Porcelain.
Early Works Museum [30] is a child friendly interactive museum in downtown Huntsville.
Harrison Brothers Hardware Store [31] established in 1879, is the oldest operating hardware store in Alabama. Though now owned and operated by the Historic Huntsville Foundation [32], it is still a working store, and part museum featuring skilled craftsmen who voluteer to run the store and answer questions.
Huntsville Museum of Art [33] in Big Spring International Park offers permanent displays, traveling exhibitions, and educational programs for children and adults.
Huntsville-Madison County Botanical Garden [34]features educational programs, woodland paths, broad grassy meadows and stunning floral collections.
Huntsville Symphony Orchestra [35] is Alabama's oldest, continuously-operating professional symphony orchestra, featuring high quality performances of classical, pops and family concerts, and extensive music education programs serving public schools.
Land Trust of Huntsville [36] is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of the natural heritage of the area, and has preserved more than 2,300 acres (9 km²) of open space, wildflower areas, natural springs, and local caves in Madison County, including 600+ acres (2.4 km²) on Monte Sano Mountain.
The National Speleological Society [37] is headquartered in Huntsville on Cave Street.
Sci-Quest [38] is an interactive premiere hands-on museum for early childhood education, aged four through sixth grade.

Professional Sports Teams
Huntsville Stars [39] - AA Baseball for Milwaukee Brewers
Huntsville Speedway - NASCAR sanctioned stockcar racing[40]
Tennessee Valley Raptors[41] - United Indoor Football (UIF)
Huntsville Havoc - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL)[42]

Famous Residents/Natives
Bobby Eaton, professional wrestler, one half of the Midnight Express with Dennis Condrey & Stan Lane, also teamed with Arn Anderson, Chris Benoit, Steve Keirn, Koko Ware & George Gulas.
Dr. Jan Davis, former Astronaut; among crew on three Space Shuttle missions in 1992,1994 and 1997.
Jimmy Key, former MLB All-Star pitcher with the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees
John Stallworth, former Pittsburg Steelers player and 2002 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia founder

Posted by airwolf09 05:50 Archived in USA Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Fort Stewart, Georgia


Fort Stewart is a census-designated place and U.S. Army post primarily located in Liberty County, Georgia, but also occupying significant portions of Bryan County, Georgia. As of the 2000 census, the base had a total population of 11,205. Its main residents are members of the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division.

The Fort Stewart United States Army base includes land that was formerly the town of Clyde, Georgia.

Posted by airwolf09 05:55 Archived in USA Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Kissimmee, Florida


Kissimmee is a city located in Osceola County, Florida. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 47,814. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 56,153. It is the county seat of Osceola County.

Kissimmee (pronounced kiss-SIM-mee, with the accent on the second syllable), on the northwest shore of Lake Tohopokeliga (locally called "Lake Toho") was founded in the mid-19th Century as Allendale. The name was changed when the city was incorporated in 1883.

Cattle ranching was an important part of the economy and large cattle ranches remain nearby.

After the opening of nearby Walt Disney World in 1971, Kissimmee and its neighbouring city of Saint Cloud grew rapidly.

On August 13, 2004, Hurricane Charley went through Kissimmee bringing winds of greater than 100 miles per hour. Even though hurricane winds only affected the city for less than an hour, it damaged many buildings, knocked down trees, and left much of the city without power for a week or longer.

Posted by airwolf09 05:57 Archived in USA Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

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