- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Visit Calhoun, Florida
Not only does it offer plenty of elbow room, several scenic rivers invite you to simply go with the flow.
The laid-back tempo of Calhoun County is nothing new. Teacher and columnist George Atkins wrote an informative overview of Calhoun County that suggests it’s always been this way.
The essential facts reveal that the county was created in 1838 and named in honor of John C. Calhoun, a senator for South Carolina. Go figure. Prior to that, the 1832 Treaty of Payne’s Landing (which followed in the wake of 1830’s Indian Removal Act), pressured Apalachicola Band Chief John Blount to give up his land and head to Texas so his land could be passed over to white farmers and other settlers. Blount died soon after reaching Texas. His consolation prize? A namesake county seat that was chartered in 1903.
With the Apalachicola River at the county’s edge, steamboats were one engine that drove county’s commerce. Another was the proliferation of sawmills. But with the demise of steamboats and the loss of forests the pace was set, and it was slow.
Today there is only one city (Blountstown), one town (Altha), and 26 unincorporated communities in Calhoun County. With room to roam, you have free rein to take in the highlights at your own pace. There are few centralized areas that cater to tourists, but there are quite a few places tourists should consider.
Blountstown (pop. 2,500) has the look and feel of a quiet Southern town, which isn’t surprising considering it’s a quiet Southern town. Through murals and historic markers, you can pick up a brief history of the town just by looking around.
Florida Historic Marker
On Highway 20 just outside the Old County Courthouse (now the home of the Sheriff’s Office) you’ll see the only Florida Historic Marker written in two languages: English and Apalachicola Muskogee/Creek.
In alternating languages, the marker tells the story of the Apalachicola Creek Indians who, in 1815, permanently settled in what became Calhoun County. After establishing a new tribal town, the 1823 Treaty of Moultrie Creek recognized “Cochranetown” with its 100 families as part of the Blunt-Tuskie Hajo Reservation. Less than a decade later, the Indians were forced out when the 1832 Treaty of Payne's Landing pulled the land out from under them – although their unbroken line of titled chiefs continues to this day.