Winding River Road Part 3
ASHS Column for 04 06 2006
Margaret Collier

     Now, just in case your mind has wandered, we want to remind you of the BIG celebration on this Saturday, April 8, from 9 A. M. until ? For the uninitiated, the celebration is to commemorate the naming of Century in 1901. This little sawmill town was built to last approximately 15 years, but somehow has hung in there long after the sawmill closed. It is a great story and to come to the celebration will present an opportune occasion to learn more about it by exploring the three museums in The James Houston Jones Historic Park.
     As interesting as learning the history of Century may be, there will be other events to appeal to all ages. Of course, the really big attraction will be those remarkable Model A antique autos that will be in the Park for your admiration. But, that's not all! There will be lots of pickin' and singin’, dancing, and twirling to hold your attention while you wolf down your choice of hot dogs, burgers and whatever else the cooks have to offer. 
     WAIT! That's not all. Joe Ross will have an ox exhibit; Ethel McKinley and other authors will be there with their books to autograph and sell; Judy Jolly will take orders for the Heritage Book of Escambia County, Florida II; Covenant Hospice will be there to give you information about Alzheimer’s Disease and more; flea market items will be on sale, too.
     If you still haven't been motivated to come I have saved the ultimate temptation for last. SHOPPING! You will not believe what awaits you in our WHITE ELEPHANT SALE! Trust me, you will have lots of fun picking out what you want from a huge choice of goodies, so come to the Park with your lawn chair and your wallet. The proceeds from the sale and from the food will help support the work of the Society (The Leach House Museum needs a $6,000.00 roof, for example).
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     The committee to "Bring Back Old 100" (Bob
Callaway, Don Sales and Jerry Simmons) returned
from Tallahassee last week with great expectations.
They were there to attend the meeting of the
panel reviewing grant applications for historical
preservation. After speaking with staff members
and other officials, their optimism soared. It
seemed that approval was imminent. The next day,
Tuesday, a phone call to Tallahassee confirmed
that the application was among the ones approved
for funding! 
     We believe the effort put forth by Greg
Evers, Representative from District 1 was the
key. Rep. Evers spoke eloquently at the
beginning of the meeting in favor of the Old
100 project. We owe a debt of gratitude to him.
     Now the legislature has to pass the
appropriation for the grants’ funding and
then Governor Bush must sign it. When this
happens, Old 100 will be coming home!
     There’ll be just enough in this grant
and what we have for matching funds (thanks
to generous donations by the public) to get
the engine home. We are beginning the work
of restoration even as this goes to press.
It’s up to the public again to support the
project financially even as we seek other
funding sources. So thank you for your
support, but don’t forget that there’s
more work to do!
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     No, I have not forgotten to bring more of the Winding River Road story. Be patient. We first had to give you the most exciting news we’ve had in a long time. The Road trip continues:
     After searching out the land, in addition to erecting cabins, many of the Spaniards filed applications with the proper Spanish officials for large grants of land in this area. The official records show Spanish Land Grants were issued to the following persons conveying lands in this area:
     1. Joseph Falcon, containing 665.82 acres, near the mouth of Moore's Creek.
     2. Mary Weaver, containing 684.35 acres, taking in the spring of "Healing Waters."
     3. Henry Michalet, containing 639.03 acres, lying just north of the spring of "Healing Waters."
     4. Littleberry Mason, containing 720.96 acres, situated near the mouth of the McCaskill Mill Creek, better known as the McCaskill grant.
     5. Joseph Nelson, containing 638.12 acres, situated directly north of the Wilson Branch, taking in the Dead River Log Landing and a large area of the hill country directly north of the Jay-Century highway.
     6. Mary Weaver, containing 560.48 acres, taking in the Old Steam Mill Bluff log landing and a large area of the creek first known as "Governor's Creek," later as the "Gaylor Mill Creek," and now known as the "Campbell Creek."
     7. John Edgley and Edward Townes, containing 1260.37 acres, covering a large area of swampland, and extending up on the creek first known as "Edgley Creek," later as "Barrow Creek," and still later as "Bray Creek."
     8. Nathaniel Hawthorn, containing 639.20 acres. This grant includes land where the village of Jay is now located.
     9. Elijah Holmes, containing 638.58 acres. This grant includes land directly north from Jay. Holmes Head was so named because Mr. Holmes built his log cabin near it and used water from this springhead. This cabin was near the spot where the Shady Grove Mission Station was first established in l888, later becoming the Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church. After the village of Jay was started the church was moved there and is now known as Jay Baptist Church.
     10. Needham Parker, containing 639.22 acres, situated on the river north of the John Edgley and Edward Townes grant.
     11. Miguel Quiggles, containing 714.94 acres, situated on the river bordering the state line.
     12. Daniel Maloy, containing 638.96 acres, situated directly east from the village of Jay. Maloy Pond and Maloy Branch got their name from Mr. Maloy because he built his cabin not far from a spring near the head of this branch. The Jay public school was once located 200 yards directly east of the Maloy Pond and carried the official name, "Maloy Pond School No. 19."
     13. James Brewster, containing 639.68 acres. This grant is located east of the Mt. Carmel Methodist Church.

     These grants were taken up under laws and regulations similar to the American Homestead law and regulations. About all the grantees had to do was to agree to reside on the land, cut the merchantable timber and market it through the Port of Pensacola. It is probable the Daniel Maloy grant and the James Brewster grant were taken up for agricultural purposes.
     Titles to these grants were issued from one to four years before Florida was purchased by the United States. Under the purchase agreement these grants did not become the property of the United States but remained the property of the original grantees. These people were given the privilege of continuing to reside on these lands under the protection of the United States. However, almost all of them left the area immediately after the purchase, some returning to Spain, some going to Cuba and a few going to Mexico.
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     Tune in next week for the mystery of the departing Spanish settlers.

This page last modified on Tuesday, April 04, 2006

W.N. Jones, formerly of The Alger-Sullivan lumber Company, and Old 100, November 28, 1975 at Pinto Island Metals, Mobile, AL (courtesy Louis Zadnichek, II)