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Saturday, August 6, 2016

A bit of fun research leads to a ride?

I am, at the core of my being, a researcher.  Give me something odd, something unusual and let me sink my teeth into it.  I have a deep love of learning, a deep love of history, of wanting to know something new.

An old haunted house on a old haunted road
This discussion started at work because we were talking about ghosts and ghost towns.  How a friend of mine lives within a block of the May - Stringer House in Brooksville, Florida - it also turned to the racism there but this in not the forum for that.  I've also written a bit about Brooksville in the past.

When Susan and I visited the caves in the panhandle of Florida not that long ago we drove down a side road to see what was in a small town with a funny sounding name...sadly I don't remember it now...but it was one of those "end of the road towns" where their is only one way in and out.  I remembered thinking at the time, that could be a fun experience to drive this road on Kimmie.

"What" you may ask, "is Robert on about now?"

I started researching end of the road towns and ghost towns....and I found one.  I found one within riding distance.  I found one that checked all the boxes for me.  Their was a navel raid on the city of Bayport which resulted in a Confederate victory.  The town would later play a part in the Brooksville raid as well, when it served as a loading area for retreating Union troops.  Despite being the better known of the two, the raid of Brooksville was nothing more than a skirmish, there was never a full pitched battle like their was in Bayport.
An old naval map showing ship locations
History however remembers Brooksville due to it's larger population, while Bayport faded not only from history but from the map itself.  In fact, I recovered evidence of at least five pitched navel raids and battles in Bayport as Confederate Blockade runners tried to slip by Union Navel ships.

I never really thought about it before I started researching this ride.  The South was desperate for goods and parts, the blockade runners could make a small fortune if their ships got through the blockade, and many did.  A smaller port like Bayport served their needs well. 

Today all that remains is a old park with a historic sign.

Yes, I think a ride is due soon.  You have to honor the past...even if you just learned about it.

While riding just to ride is a wonderful way to spend the day...I'm happiest when I have a destination in mind, someplace to go, to see...that is what makes riding so fun for me.   Now if only this rainy weather would break so I can actually go!

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