|Take a walk down to the third most beautiful beach in the country!|
Another part of the park's history, is the story of the famous pirate, William Augustus Bowles. But, before he became a pirate, Bowles was also a soldier, an indian, a comedian, an actor, and an artist. He was born in Maryland in 1763. He enlisted in the British Army at the beginning of the American Revolution, at the age of only 13. At the age of 15, he was sent to fight off the Spanish at Pensacola. It was here that he defected from the Army, and found refuge with the Creek/Seminole Indians.
He married the chief's daughter, Mary Perryman, and gained prominence within the Creek tribe. When the Spanish naval forces began attacking British forts all along the Gulf Coast, he convinced the Creek, to join forces with the British in Pensacola, But, when Spanish ships fired on it, the fortress fell, and the survivors, including Bowles, were captured. He managed to escape, along with his Creek allies. It was then, in 1783. that he formed the imaginary "State of Muscogee" This was to be his empire among the Creeks and Seminoles.
|William Augustus Bowles|
In 1792, Bowles was captured, and taken to Madrid Spain, to be imprisoned. But, five years later, while being transported, Bowles once again,escaped, and declared his hostility towards both Spain, and the United States. He acquired a schooner from England, which was called, "The Fox." and once again, he came back to pirate the Gulf. This is where the state park comes in. In September, of 1799, "The Fox" went aground, and eventually sank off the coast, at the east end of St. George Island, at what is now called Fox Point. The wreck has never been recovered, and there's a plaque, just inside the park, telling a condensed version, of the story of William Augustus Bowles.
In 1803, with a sizable reward offered, Bowles was betrayed by his fellow Creeks, and was captured once again. After just a few years in a Cuban dungeon, Bowles refused to eat, and died. Thus ended his wild, and varied career. He was only 42.
The Dr. Julian Bruce state park, is approximately 9 miles long, and consumes about 2000 acres, on the east end of St. George Island. The land for the park was acquisitioned in 1963, and with the completion of the Bryant G. Patton Bridge, across the Apalachicola Bay, in 1965, tourism to the island increased, and the park's facilities were completed in 1980.
|In the early 1900's, slash pines were tapped for the resin, for making turpentine.|
|The "hurty" cup|
|The sand dunes can sometimes resemble a Currier and Ives snow scene|
|The dunes, in the park, are a protected area.|
|The beauty of the beaches speak for themselves.|
|Coming to the end of the island.|
But one of the most beautiful parts of the park, is at the very end of the island. The dirt road, you have to take there, can get a little bumpy. But, it's so worth it. Words can't describe the beauty of this little piece of paradise.
|Most of the time, at the farthest point, the water is crystal clear, making it easy to view the different types of sea life.|
A well kept secret, of the island, indeed!