Kingsley Plantation, part of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic
Preserve administered by the National Park Service, is
located on Fort
George Island and includes the plantation house, a kitchen house, a
barn, and the ruins of 25 of the original slave cabins. The plantation
was named for one of several plantation owners, Zephaniah Kingsley, who
operated the property from 1813-1839. Kingsley operated under a "task"
system, which allowed slaves to work at a craft or tend their own
gardens once the specified task for the day was completed. Proceeds from
the sale of produce or craft items were usually kept by the slaves.
Purchased as a slave, Kingsley's wife, Anna Madgigine Jai, was freed in
1811. She was active in plantation management and became a successful
business woman owning her own property. As an American territory,
Florida passed laws that discriminated against free blacks and placed
harsh restrictions on African slaves. This prompted Kingsley to move his
family, impacted by these laws, to Haiti, now the Dominican Republic,
where descendants of Anna and Zephaniah live today.
|LOCATION: Kingsley Plantation is at the northern tip of Ft. George
Island at the Ft. George inlet east of Jacksonville off
|ADDRESS: Kingsley Plantation Timucuan Ecological and Historic
Preserve 13165 Mount Pleasant Road Jacksonville, Florida
|Open daily 9 am - 5 pm Closed December 25.
|DIRECTIONS: The preserve is in the northeast portion of Jacksonville
(Duval County), Florida. From Interstate 95, exit on
Heckscher Drive (FL 105); follow Heckscher East to Florida
9A. Continue straight on Heckscher about nine miles; turn
left at the NPS sign onto Fort George Island; follow signs,
the road leads directly to the plantation parking lot.
|The drive into
Kingsley Plantation is along a scenic, narrow (and sometimes
bumpy), dirt road. Stately sabal palms line the historic
road as it nears the plantation entrance. The historic site
of today is on about 25 acres of mostly open land. One trail
takes visitors from the planter's home to the slave
quarters; the return trail winds slightly through the
forested landscape. The total loop is approximately
one-third mile. The site is self-guiding and a staff member
is available throughout the day. Scheduled Ranger talks are
posted on-site. Call ahead for current schedule. Food,
Supplies Restaurants, fast food, convenience stores, and
grocery stores are located within or near the park.
|Accessibility The Kingsley Plantation is an historic site
with maintained grounds and historic structures. The parking
area is centrally located. The exhibit areas in the
planter's house and kitchen house are reached via a
wheelchair-accessible pathway and ramp. The slave quarters
have a separate parking area and are generally accessible to
all visitors, however, weather and impacts from wildlife may
make mobility difficult in some places. The rest rooms are
located near the planter's house with the path and
facilities fully accessible.