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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Cold Coldwater Ambush
Milton, Sept. - 2. 1911
Alf and Arch Cooley, residing in the northern part of this county, were ambushed and shot from their horses early last night, adding two more murders to the already long list of crimes in this year. The ambuscade was in what is known as the Clearwater creek neighborhood. A coroner's jury has been impaneled and a thorough investigation will be made of this latest murder. Arch Cooley was a brother and Alf a cousin of Daniel Cooley, who was shot and killed near here last Sunday.There is considerable excitement,!but from what could be learned tonight the Cooleys were returning to their homes early in the night and were shot from the roadside by parties secreted in some thick undergrowth. Shot guns were used and there were several in the party, as five shots in rapid succession were heard. Later the riderless horses galloped up to the homes of the men with blood on the saddles. A searching party found the bodies riddled with shot and death must have been instantaneous.

Santa Rosa County Sheriff John Houston Collins“long John Collins.” faced a wild and sometimes murderous frontier, folks in remote areas of the county generally settled things themselves and for the most part peacefully, however violent feuds are well known to have occurred in many areas of the county during the early twentieth century.  One of the more notorious Munson feuds would lead to the killing of a constable, for unknown reasons this death has not been recorded as an LODD .
Robert E.L. Collins was killed on 2 December 1916 while serving as constable for Munson District.

John Houston Collins was born on May 16, 1868 in Santa Rosa County, Florida. In 1893 Collins was first elected Sheriff of Santa Rosa County. He was considered to be a “frontier type” sheriff and served two separate terms in office. descriptive speaking, Collins stood 6’7”tall, was thin in build, and often considered to be an imposing figure. He earned the nicknames of “honest John” and “long John Collins.” While Sheriff Collins and his family resided in the upper level of the jail in the county courthouse.
At the age of 69, Collins died following a lengthy illness. He and his wife are both buried in the Milton Cemetery.
Served as Sheriff  from 1893-1897
and again from 1909-1913

SRC Courthouse photo (State Archives of Florida

References: Pensacola News Journal- Library of Congress Collection.  Collins Bio and photo srso.org 

Further reading :  History of Santa Rosa County: A King's country Unknown Binding – 1973

History of Santa Rosa County: A King's country 1973 by M. Luther King (Author)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Two Egg TV's expedition to find a mysterious stone structure on the bottom of Lake Seminole in Southwest Georgia. Mystery on the Lake Bottom (Part 3)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Is this all that remains of the Overpass Cafe ?
While site seeing on the old brick road in East Milton, I noticed in a wooded area, this concrete pilling and a partial drive way entrance from the old road. Could this possibly be all that remains of the Overpass Cafe?
The enclosed post card is from the 1940's. If you have any photos or memories of the Overpass Cafe, please post them or email us Jerniganlanding@gmail.com

Monday, August 14, 2017


Early Auto Registrations, 1905-1917

 Thames, Rufus
 Jay, Florida
Modern County: Santa Rosa County (Fla.)
Registration Number: 922
Date: May 10, 1909
Maker's Name: Reo M.Co. [REO Motor Car Co.]
Style of Vehicle: Runabout
Horsepower: 10
https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/300226

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Dear to the hearts of many, the old Holt School now sits silent and derelict in the center of what once was a thriving lumber community.
Built in 1922 of brick and wood, the school has seen many children pass through its now graffiti covered doors, a melancholy reminder of how the times have changed.
The scrub oaks that now grow over the windows add to the ghostly feeling of  the old structure . On the south-side of the building the playground and courts are mostly intact, the asphalt pad was a grand tricycle track in its day.
The school closed in the mid seventies, in those days Holt seemed to be the Mayberry of Florida. The School was sold in 1977 to private parties, and spending its later years serving as a commercial building.



Another School Year

Tomorrow starts another school year. Haiden, my grandson, will be in 4th grade and Annaleigh, my granddaughter, will start Pre-K. They are growing up way to fast!
It only seems like yesterday, that I was getting ready to start a new school year. I would be so nervous and hoped my "first day of school outfit" was cool. I wasn't the most popular kid in school. My parents kept me in private school most of my life, but for 9th grade, I was going to be a Panther, in public school.
You want to talk about being nervous??? I was scared to death! I always had to wear dresses to school (reason you will hardly ever see me in one) and now I was able to wear Levi's and other cool clothes. I made a lot of good friends that year, and throughout my high school years. I am proud of who I am. I believe I have good manners, good morals and I think, a good heart.
Now, there is nothing to separate those times in my life. Every Monday of every week, of every month is the beginning of my work week. No breaks for the summer or the winter, just work and a day off here and there. I have my dream job, so this makes it so much easier. I miss the days of wondering what tomorrow or the next year would bring, but I would not change anything today.
In closing, I hope everyone has a great school year and to those who are in the same boat as me, I hope you have a great work week.

By Contributor Stephanie Cato