Wonder

Troy Spring

Remnants of sunken steampship "Madison" in Troy Spring
Remnants of sunken steampship “Madison” in Troy Spring. / Phil’s 1stPix, Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

WorldBlue  In short

The powerful Troy Spring is located in a somewhat pristine area and is one of most beautiful of the great springs of Florida.

4.2 out of 10 stars 42.3%

GPS coordinates
30.0061 N 82.9973 W
Location, address
North America, United States, Florida, Suwannee County, north-west from Branford
Type
Artesian spring, single vent
Average discharge
Around 3,700 l/s

Map of the site

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WorldYellow In detail

Description

The spring is located at the Suwannee River and has formed a small lake with a short, 80 – 100 m long stream falling into Suwannee.

Troy Spring
Troy Spring. / Paul Clark, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The spring pool is some 36 by 42 m large, 18.6 m deep (at flood time – 21.3 m). Banks of the spring are surrounded by limestone cliffs. At the bottom of the spring are multiple vents but especially impressive is the central vent. Here is the entrance in an underwater cave system – a major part of the spring water flows from it.

The daily flow of the water is around 259 million liters, medium temperature – 21.7 °C.

Life in the springs is abundant – here are lots of turtles, diverse fish, occasional alligators. Also, people enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving here. Sometimes, though, the level in the Suwannee River rises and brownish river water enters the spring (so-called “brownout”). At these times it is forbidden to swim here.

Turtles in Troy Spring
Turtles in Troy Spring. / Phil’s 1stPix, Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

History of Troy Spring

People have lived around the springs for at least 2,500 years – nearby have been found pottery shards, burial offerings, hunting gear.

Not far from the springs European immigrants built a town named Troy (now Old Troy). It burned down around 1850 – 1860 and its exact location has not been found.

The best-known man-made monument though is a wreck of a steamship closer to the Suwannee River. The story goes as follows:

The steamship “Madison” was built around 1844-1845 and served as a floating mail service and trading post – roads and railroads in this area were not built yet.

As the American Civil War started, the ship was used by Confederates as a gunboat and privateer. Nevertheless, this activity of the ship was disliked by many sympathizers of the Union and rather frequently Union managed to seize other Confederate vessels.

The young captain and owner of the ship, the 23 years old James Felix Tucker ordered to sink the ship in Troy Spring in order to raise it up after the war. This happened in September 1863. Around 1864 Tucker was wounded and after the war returned to Troy Springs. Unfortunately, there was not much left to raise up: locals took whatever they could from the ship.

Remnants of the ship – ribs, and keel of the hull – are seen in the lucid water up to this day.

Nature conservation area – State Park – was founded there in 1983 and now Troy Spring is a well-tended, charming natural area.

References

  1. Melissa Watson. Touring the Springs of Florida: A Guide to the State’s Best Springs. 2015. ISBN-10: 9781493001477.
  2. Troy Spring. Springs Fever: A Field & Recreation Guide to 500 Florida Springs. Last accessed on 17th February 2019.

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FLORIDA SPRINGS FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: Your Guide to the Best of Florida’s Springs, Parks and Recreations


The author started gathering information for this unique guidebook of Florida Springs over 40 years ago. In 1973 Robert F. Burgess began diving and photographing the underwater caves associated with Florida’s labyrinthine freshwater springs long before scuba divers had such things as depth gauges, personal flotation devices, or cave divers training programs. He attributes his survival in what has been called “the world’s most dangerous sport” to the fact that he always stayed within sight of the way out of these underwater sites.

Florida’s Waters (Florida’s Natural Ecosystems and Native Species)


Taken from the earlier book Priceless Florida (and modified for a stand-alone book), this volume discusses the fresh- and saltwater systems of Florida, including lakes and ponds; rivers and streams; springs; aquatic caves; estuarine waters and seafloors; submarine meadows, sponge, rock, and reef communities; and the Gulf and Atlantic Ocean. Introduces readers to the trees and plants, insects, mammals, reptiles, and other species that live in Florida’s unique water ecosystems, including chicken turtle, barking treefrogs, osprey, herons, bass, crayfish, conchs, cordgrass, and railroad vine.


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