Bartram Trail Society of Florida
Spring 2024

Five Counties to Celebrate the 250th Anniversary of Bartram's Travels in Florida with Bartram Events

By Sam Carr

The Bartram Trail Society is expanding and celebrating. April is the 250th Anniversary of William Bartram's TRAVELS to Florida. We will celebrate by participating in six events recognizing the anniversary and the Bartram Trail in Florida. We need help at all these events! If you enjoy good company and are a Bartram fan, we need you at one of these events. Please join us as a member, email us at, or instant message us on Facebook.

BTSF Putnam
April 27-28, 2024

the St. Johns River Bartram Frolic will take place. This will be our ninth year. We will be celebrating the 250th Anniversary of Bartram's visit to Florida by making this a bigger and better event. We will host the Passport-to-the-Past Adventure featuring our living history—Billy Bartram, Trader Job Wiggens, the Long Warrior plus the Fort Mose's Militia, Bartram's cracker horse, snakes, turtles and more. Oh MY!

The 2024 Frolic continues to promote the St. Johns River with paddling tours, boat tours, biking tours, hiking tours, and bus tours. Reservations can be made using the Frolic page on the Society's website.

Florida Humanities Logo

During the Frolic, we feature over 25 Bartram sites. The tenth annual Bartram Symposium, which will be held on Sunday, April 28th, will offer more Bartram scholarship, science, and art. The Frolic's Education program passed an incredible milestone this year.

BTSF Nassau Co
April 13, 2024

The Nassau County Historic Bartram Trail Tour & Presentation will take place at historic Egans Creek Park, Fernandina Beach, 10:00 AM - Billy Bartram and the BTSF will be featured during the event. Paddle on the historic Egans Creek with Amelia Island Kayak Excursions

Amelia Island Kayak Excursions
BTSF Clay Co
April 20, 2024

Clay County will Celebrate the 250th Anniversary of William Bartram's visit to Florida by revealing their Bartram Trail and celebrating Billy's birthday. Clay County is hosting the Bartram Trail Society of Florida at their ECO-Fest. Their Bartram Trail has over 10 Bartram sites, including St. Augustine's Governor Patrick Tonyn's indigo plantation at Camp Chowenwaw, the trailhead of the Bartram Trail in Clay County. Billy visited there in 1774 to pick up his mail!

Black Creek Forest
BTSF Alachua
May 4, 2024

Bartram's Alachua Savannah will celebrate the 250th Anniversary of his visit at the Payne's Prairie Preserve State Park. The Friends of Paynes Prairie will coordinate the Bartram Days Celebration. We will bring our living history friend, Billy Bartram, Trader Job Wiggens and Ahaya the Cowkeeper. Bartram troubadour Lee Pinkerton is writing folk songs about Ahaya, the Cowkeeper, and Puc-Puggy, (the flower hunter). We will reveal plans to complete the Bartram Trail in Alachua County. The Gainesville Garden Club will feature the Franklinia Alatamaha and unveil its new Bartram Trail Historic Marker and the Payne Prairie Preserve Florida Native Plant Society will feature Bartram's Ixia.

BTSF St Johns Co
May 11, 2024 | 10-1 PM at Alpine Groves Park

St Johns County will hold its newly reimagined Bartram Bash, now referred to as the Bartram Living History Festival in celebration of the 250th anniversary of Bartram's arrival in St. Johns County. They will celebrate the Alpine Park property's history through the 1700s-today, including having Mike Adams as William Bartram.

The goal is to provide living history interpretations of the location's various periods. Highlighted will be the Native American History, Bartram, 1800s homestead, early 1900s agriculture, and Louisa Fatio (the lady of New Switzerland Plantation when Bartram landed there).

Bartram Society
May 24-26, 2024

The fun continues with our fourth appearance at the Florida Folk Festival. We will be storytelling, singing, exhibiting, and maybe even holding kids' workshops about Bartram's travels in Florida. This is a highlight every year. Please join us and on Facebook Florida Folk Festival | Florida State Parks


Billy Bartram (Mike Adams)
Travels the Trail!

St. Augustine Alligator Farm & Zoological Park

Billy Bartram provided a series of living history presentations to youth campers at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park last summer. He was able to focus on several turtle and reptile species with emphasis on alligator stories based on his personal colorful encounters along the St. Johns River.

Alligator Farm Zoo Park

Billy Bartram (played by Mike Adams) tells the story of his alligator encounters along the St. Johns River - Photo: Alligator Farm Staff

He explained alligator ecology and physiology to the youngsters, and spoke about poisonous snakes, identification, and safety. He also described Bartram visits to the Ancient City and the coquina quarries located only about ½ mile east from the alligator farm.

Florida Native Plant Society Eco-Tour

Mike Adams hosted an eco-tour for the Pawpaw Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society from Flagler and Volusia counties at Saturiwa Conservation Area, strategically located along the St. Johns River in rural southwest St. Johns County. Mike shared facts and stories about river ecology, wildlife, natural history, prescribed burning and longleaf pine habitat restoration.

Saturiwa Dock St. Johns River

Photo by FNPS on Saturiwa dock in the St. Johns River

The Pawpaw (Asimina species) is significant in Bartram history. It is an upland forest shrub that Billy encountered, described, and sketched in mixed pine and oak forests during his travels in the East Florida territory. The Pawpaw Chapter signed up with the Bartram Trail Society of Florida as an affiliate member at no charge. As with most affiliate members, this membership is the beginning of a great and mutually beneficial partnership.

PawPaw Photo

Pawpaw photo: Mike Adams

Bartram Pawpaw sketch

Bartram's Pawpaw Sketch, 1774