San Marco: Orange Bluff Plantation

A 500-acre tract known as Orange Bluff Plantation, located four miles upriver from the ferry crossing, extended from the boundary of the tract granted to John Holmes to what is now Point LaVista. This plantation was formed from two adjoining tracts granted in 1765 to Paul Pigg (350 acres) and to Edward Pickett (150 acres). Joshua Yallowley, a migrant from Georgia, purchased the tracts in 1773 and 1774. He described the combined tract as consisting of 100 acres of good cypress swamp with great potential for growing rice, and 400 acres of scrub oak and yellow pine land. Only a shell of a house had been constructed before Yallowley purchased the property. He farmed the combined acreage until he departed for New Providence in 1784.

Yallowley, working with his uncle, Captain John Fairlamb, managed construction of the segment of the King's Road that ran north from St. Augustine to the Cowford Ferry on the St. Johns River, that was completed in the summer of 1774. Perhaps it was more than coincidence that the King's Road crossed through the Pigg and Pickett properties that Yallowley purchased. Under Yallowley's direction, Orange Bluff Plantation exported an average of 600 gallons of orange juice each year which sold for £60 Sterling.

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The 500-acre Orange Bluff Plantation was located at the downriver side of Point La Vista. Owners Paul Pigg and Edward Pickett, followed by Joshua Yallowley, farmed this tract from 1765 until 1784, when Yallowley migrated to New Providence Island in the Bahamas. Yallowley and his uncle, Captain John Fairlamb, supervised construction of the King's Road from St. Augustine to the Cowford Ferry.

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Four slaves cleared and fenced fifty acres of ground for planting provisions, and constructed a dwelling house for Yallowley and his mother, a separate kitchen, barn, fowl house and two houses for slaves, all facing the St. Johns River. Yallowley also claimed by a grant received in 1775 a 500-acre tract, also consisting of cypress swamp and oak and pine land, located eighteen miles northwest of St. Augustine along the Cowford Road. Four other enslaved black men worked at this tract harvesting timber.

When the province was evacuated, Yallowley went from East Florida to New Providence, Bahamas, where he died in October 1786, a bachelor. The East Florida property was willed to his mother, Elizabeth Yallowley, a widow, who resided at the time in Northumberland, England.

Bibliographic Information

A Note On Sources

T77/18/26-Joshua Yallowley and Elizabeth Yallowley; T77/6/2-Joshua Fairlamb.