Monday, November 9, 2009

Maclay Gardens and my Blog's Birthday





Today is my blog's first birthday! I don't know where that year went, but I sure have enjoyed it. Thanks to all of my visitors and followers for making this so much fun. I appreciate each and every one of you!

This week I will be featuring pictures of Maclay Gardens State Park. Most people will say this park is more beautiful in the springtime when everything is in bloom, but I like to go in the fall too. The red hills of Maclay Gardens were home to Native Americans for thousands of years, but by 1825 the area became part of a land grant to the Marquis de Lafayette. A small African American community of farmers and plantation employees lived here in the late 1800's. By the early 1900's, it had become a quail plantation. In 1923, wealthy New York financier Alfred B. Maclay and his wife Louise purchased this property for their winter home and planted beautiful ornamental gardens surrounding it. Maclay originally named it Killearn Plantation and Gardens after his ancestral home in Scotland and later it was renamed Maclay Gardens in honor of Maclay, who died in 1944. In 1953, Louise donated the property to the state of Florida. The gardens and park were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002 as Killearn Plantation Archeological and Historic District. Maclay gardens features hundreds of azaleas and camellias. There is also a reflection pool, a walled garden, a secret garden and beautiful brick walkways from which you can enjoy views of Lake Hall and the gardens. There are nature trails through the gardens, but hikers, bikers and equestrians can also head over to the Lake Overstreet Addition to the park and enjoy five miles of multi-use trails that wind through the woods surrounding Lake Overstreet and Gum Pond. Swimming, fishing, canoeing and kayaking can all be enjoyed in Lake Hall. There are numerous pavilions and grills along the lakeshore for picnicing. High blooming season at Maclay Gardens is from January 1-April 30 with the floral peak in mid-to-late March. Maclay Gardens is located north of Tallahassee.

18 comments:

Julie said...

Sounds like a wonderful place, Lois. I look forward to your posts over the coming days. Fancy this having been the home of two people. I am so glad that it is now available for even the poorest amongst us to use.

I like the idea of it having housed quail. I know that are not beautiful birds but they are quaint little scurriers.

slim said...

Congratulations on 1 year! I'm sure Louise and Maclay would be pleased that you are featuring their winter home this week. It sounds like a wonderful place to go for an outing.

Lois- I'll be interested in learning the results of your genealogical search on Jacob Bigelow . . .

Darla said...

Congrats on your 1 year!! Time is getting on by isn't it? Look forward to your posts on the gardens....need to get my lazy fanny over there.

B SQUARED said...

Congratulations! I always enjoy stopping by. Be safe the next couple of days. My thoughts are with you.

Halcyon said...

Happy blogiversary! Hope you stay around for a few more years at least. :)

I like the sign that says leave flowers for others to enjoy. That's good advice.

Jacob said...

Congrats, Lois. Time flies when you're having fun, right? This looks to be a beautiful park and I'll look forward to seeing more of it. And I promise not to pick the flowers!

Small City Scenes said...

What a neat place to have and to visit all year sround. great information too. MB

James said...

Happy Blog Birthday Lois!

Frank said...

Lois - The gardens sound like a gorgeous place and I know your photos will be superb. Is the home itself a part of the property today and is it part of your "tour" for us?

Happy, HAPPY 1st Anniversary. It's a very good thing you decided to join the blogosphere. I have enjoyed every minute of your postings!

I do wish that IDA was not heading toward Florida and especially the Panhandle and Tallahassee. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Lois said...

Frank - I'm showing a picture of the house tomorrow. It's not as grand as one might think. Maclay must have put most of his money into developing the gardens.

Leif Hagen said...

Happy blog birthday! Bon anniversaire! Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Otanjobi ni omedito gozaimashita! Glad fodelsedag! Gratulere med dagen!

Beth Niquette said...

Congratulations Lois!!! ((hugs)) It has been a privilege to get to know you. I really enjoy your most interesting blog!

Lisa Wilson said...

I can't believe it's been a year!!! Congrats! :)

The park looks like a beautiful place to visit!

Cezar and Léia said...

oh my sweet Lois!
I love your blog, I find here a kind of refuge with good energies and beautiful pictures, also cool information and kind words!
Congratulations my dear friend!
Léia :)

JM said...

Many congratulations, Lois! :-)

Leeds in Yorkshire photography - Paul said...

One year has passed already! I think yours and the Paris DP by Eric were the first couple I came across. Well done Lois.
I hope your grandson got his wish.
Leeds in Yorkshire photography - Paul

walk2write said...

I'm curious about that beautiful brick walkway. Do you know if it was installed when Maclay first acquired the property, or was it a later addition to the property?

Lois said...

Actually if you go to my post of November 14, there is a brief explanation about the brick walkway. Also read the comment by Frank from Tampa Daily Photo. He gives more info on the bricks that were used. Thanks for the comment!