Exploring Northwest Florida
Exploring Northwest Florida
If you came from a town called Two Egg, you might be inclined to not tell anybody, or at least claim the nearest big city, in this case Marianna, Florida, as your hometown. But for author Dale Cox, the little community on highway 69 near the Chattahoochee River is a treasure trove of legendary characters, ghost stories, Florida history, and memories.
For anyone searching for tales of Northwest Florida, the book is a gem. In his introduction, Cox admits that he actually hails from the suburb of Parramore, “a small community nestled in the gum swamps and pine woods” near both the Georgia and Alabama state lines. Growing up, nearby Two Egg was the closest place where he and his friends could by a Coke or a candy bar after picking vegetables or swimming in Blue Springs. Thus, with folksy humor, Cox tells the varying stories of Native Americans, Spanish explorers, and how the town got its name.
There’s no editorial “flow” or transition between chapters, just chapter titles, and at first the stories all seem disparate. There are tales of swamp monsters, including a gigantic alligator named Two-Toed Tom, Andrew Jackson, for whom Jackson County is named, ghosts, historical figures, and state parks and natural wonders of the area, but soon you realize that the book is exactly what it claims to be, a varied collection of tales whose common thread is their proximity to the town of Two Egg.
Ghost stories include the Ghost of Bellamy Bridge, a sad tale of a lady who died on her wedding day, and the Fiddling Ghost of Boynton Island, who loved music so much, he can still be heard playing tunes for phantom dancers.
Cox features a chapter on Florida Caverns State Park, the only dry cave in Florida open for tours, and a chapter on nearby Washington County’s “volcano” and oil drilling ventures in what is today Falling Waters State Park. A chapter on the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, thought to be extinct, and two chapters that tell of the Civil War battles of Vernon and Marianna round out the book.
The book has a total of 84 pages and chapters are short, only four or five pages long. There are 50 black and white photographs, some historical and some recent, that illustrate the chapters and depict the people and historic sites referred to in the stories.
Unfortunately, there is no bibliography, which would be good to have to pursue further reading. But if you’re looking for some of the legends and tall tales that helped shape Northwest Florida, take a trip to Two Egg. You don’t even have to buy gas for the car.
By Dale Cox
Dale Cox, Publisher, 2007, $16.95
This book is available in bookstores and through online book sellers, or click on the link above to order from Amazon.com.