The Hidden Coast

Page 1


The Hidden Coast

The Last of Old Florida

January-February 2018


Cedar Key March 24-25, 2018

February 16-18, 2018

Cedar Key, Florida

Steinhatchee, Florida

See Page 7 & 12 for more information!

Warm Remembrances During Cold Fronts Pg. 6

“Local Flavor” Guide to Area Restaurants Pg. 8-9

Holidays with David Yulee and Family b ra Pg. 11 C r

e dl iF d -Day how w! 2 at S Ne Bo


In the woods or on the water

We strive to supply ALL your outdoor needs

The Deer Camp

Archery Sales & Service Hunting/Fishing Gear

Local Fresh Seafood, Oysters, Clams Mullet & More


306 S. Main St., Chiefland Open Thurs. - Mon. 10am-6pm

• 7 Wildlife Management Areas • 9 Public Boat Ramps for small boats and kayak/canoe launching • Phenomenal Fishing and Scalloping • Restaurants, lodging, gift shops, grocery, hardware & boat rental • Year round events and more!

We offer guides for fishing & scallop season, vacation rentals, sleeping accomodations and restaurants for both Jena and Steinhatchee.

Photo Courtesy of: Kim Kennedy @simplysteinhatchee

Join Us for the

10th Annual Fiddler Crab Festival!

Feb 16-18, 2018 Scan for our Facebook Page and more information!

Steinhatchee is the place to settle for a night, a month or longer. 2 • Florida’s The Hidden Coast • 3


The Hidden Coast

The Last of Old Florida

January 2018

Produced by

North Florida Media Service

P.O. Box 624 | Lake City, FL 32056

Volume 3 Edition 1

Look for our next edition: MARCH 2018! For Advertising Information Please Call 386.719.1354 or email Cover photo courtesy: Kim Kennedy & Bill Killborn





102 9th Street SE, Steinhatchee, FL 32359 4 • Florida’s The Hidden Coast

WELCOME TO THE ISLAND! Small Town Realtors Big Time Results Caryn Stephenson, Broker Ann Young & Julie Vandegrift, Realtors Phone: 352.543.5581 598 2nd Street, Cedar Key Cedar Key, FL 32625

331 Dock St. Cedar Key, FL (352) 543-9992 (Pet Friendly)

Contact Us About Vacation Rentals! A Local Perspective

Santa Blouse Owner Cedar Key Marina II

6470 SW 80th Ave • Trenton (352) 463-0800

Over 600 Acres of Natural Beauty in Gilchrist County

RV & Tent Sites, Cabins • Electric, Water & Sewer •Heated Pool Hiking Trails •Suwannee River Access • Meeting Facilities Boat Ramp Nearby

The Hidden Coast is... a secret little piece of paradise that once you find it, you will always want to come back. While you are here... rent a boat for half a day so you can just relax on the water and see the many islands off of Cedar Key. When you come off the water, walk down 2nd Street and visit all the Mom & Pop stores. If you have time, take the Historical Walking Tour (maps available at Historical Society).

Levy County Quilt Museum 11050 NW 10th Ave. Chiefland, FL 352-493-2801

One of my favorite things... is being able to see the water every day and watch the dolphin playing, but also to see the stars in the sky just about every night. Locals know... how lucky we are to wake up in paradise every day.

Open Tuesday-Saturday 10 – 3 Free Admission | Free Parking RV’ers Welcome | Large Parking Area • 5

Warm Remembrances during Cold Fronts

By Capt Brian Smith, Big Bend Charters Steinhatchee

Cold weather sucks the life out of things. When I look around I see trees without leaves, fewer birds, grass flats without pinfish, no bait pods dimpling the waters offshore it is very apparent that chilly weather knocks down much of the life we take for granted in Steinhatchee. Winter fishing can be fantastic during those blue bird days between cold fronts but regardless of how great the trip it still doesn’t measure up to warm weather days on the open Gulf. This spring I took a husband, wife and their son nearshore fishing. It was supposed to be a grunt and sea bass activity day for the family. The wife wasn’t into the demands of the offshore gig and the boy needed animation. The father wanted a good time together day. In a couple of weeks he was being sent overseas to war in the army. My dad was in the army in Korea, leaving my mom and I in West Virginia with my grandmother. I felt for them. We stopped and did some yo-yo fishing for pink mouth grunts and sea bass some 10 miles off Steinhatchee number one. The up and down catching pleased folks. I felt as comfortable with them as if they were kin. It was alright, but I thought of something else that might tweak the day, if they would give me some time. “Can you give me a couple of hours? Your boy may not find it action packed but the time will be worthwhile.” “Sure” was the answer. The sea was calm when we shot ten more miles westerly. There we anchored up, dropped a live bait down, picked up an amberjack and cut it up into two fillets, a head and back bone. I explained, as I rigged two 9/0 combo’s together for a single bait, that we were attempting to catch a goliath grouper of 200 pounds or better. The boy had a weird look when I put it in perspective that the fish would weigh 3 to 4 times what he did. The father, who was in excellent physical shape, had a skeptical look but otherwise, ‘OK, bring it on’. He and the mate were the tag team fishermen. They lowered the head to the bottom and within five minutes the bait package was picked up; by bus. A synchronized hook-set followed by the guys being being jerked down to the gunnel. The ‘locked down’ drags thankfully allowed short burst of 200 pound test to grudge off the spool. I was holding on to the back of their fight belts as we were drug up to the port bow where they both seemed to kneel in prayer for a minute before we were lead, by the spirit, down the port side to the transom. Then over the Honda’s to starboard and up to midship. The line hummed with tension, veins popped with tension and sweat flowed due to tension. “Ready?” “Up” “OK” “Up” “OK” “Up” “OK” were the grunted directions as they would lift up ten to fourteen inches and quickly reel down. That would work for three or four times in a row, then line would be peeled off the reels to their chagrin. After an eternity, ten minutes, their efforts were getting rewarded foot by foot. A large mass could be seen twenty feet below the boat. It got bigger as it got closer. It took the form of a 250 pound goliath grouper. Weak high fives were followed by pictures. I removed hooks left by other encounters before I pulled out our hook and revived the fish. It took a few seconds before that broom size tail jolted to life and sloshed us with water. As we were leaving I asked the young boy, sitting between me and his dad, what he thought about that?

6 • Florida’s The Hidden Coast

“It was cool” he said. “But, we’re further out than were supposed to be... Is this going to cost my dad any more money?” “No” I smiled. We had picked up a good box of amberjack and had moved south to hard bottom as the seas increased from 3-5 foot to 4-6 foot. On anchor, we were being tossed some but fish were hitting the ice. An hour into the experience, the teenage boy informed me he had to pee. Usually, men just step out on the dive platform to relieve ourselves but conditions were too rough for that. “Use this yellow bucket” I said (the bucket is actually yellow). Well, he set his self up toward the bow. Exposed to nature, the first wave came over the nose and washed him. Before he had time to express himself, the second wave came over, hit the windshield, and took the bucket away from him. He slopped back with an expression you’d expect to see after the ride at Wild Water’s. Not missing the moment, the mate quipped “Dude, you missed the bucket.” ‘Welcome offshore, if you hadn’t ever been here before’. The boy loved it. Anyway, the best part of charter fishing is people. People are what life is about. I wish I could better recant some of the boat times to you but often times you have to be there and then time polishes the laughter off the rough edges. Fishing is good on so many levels; isn’t it a privilege to go fishing and be there when ‘it’ happens. Take care of yourself, the ones you love, and the tackle. -Capt. B

Annual Spring Arts Festival March 24–25, 2018

Cedar Key Florida

Looking for that perfect gift for


120 Fine Artists & Craftsmen

Artist Demonstrations, Food, Music, & Kids Activities. Free and Pet-­Friendly

We have just what you are looking for!

Small Town Hospitality in the Center of Florida’s Nature Coast | 352-543-5400 Sponsored By

Capt. Tom Cushman | 386-623-0243 Proceeds benefit the Cedar Key Arts Center and Local Non-­Profit Organizations

Runnin’ Out Fishing Charters

Workout-on-Waterfront (WoW)

On February 24, 2018, UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station is holding its 2nd annual Workout-on-Waterfront (WoW) to raise funds for an aquarium at the new station located in Cedar Key, Florida. Funds raised from this event will also support the 2018 International Coastal Cleanup and the local Cedar Key school. This event will consist of a 5k run around the beautiful waterfront of Cedar Key, a kayak race to Atsena Otie Island, where kayakers will depart from their vessels and search for a piece of trash and return to the finish line on Cedar Key. The final event will be a Repurpose-It-Regatta where captains will race their vessels that are made out of marine debris from G Street in Cedar Key to the front of the NCBS dock. There will be awards, prizes with a silent auction and lunch scheduled in the park around noon. The UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station has space slotted for a 542-square foot aquarium that will be available for tours to the public on scheduled days as well as an aquaculture wet lab when completed. The Florida Aquarium generously donated an 8-foot circular tank to the University of Florida that will be the main focus in the room showing local species from the Gulf. There will be educational information available for the public to see the research that scientists have underway in the region.

Research includes topics like oyster reef restoration, fish and wildlife ecology, and improvements to hard clam aquaculture, and better methods to stabilize shorelines along the coast. One of the projects that will be highlighted in the aquarium and education center is an eight-year project to restore Lone Cabbage Reef, a three-mile long oyster reef at the mouth of the Suwannee River. The reef has degraded because of low freshwater flows – but in its restored state will serve to retain freshwater in coastal bays, and enhance sport and commercial fisheries and protect essential coastal habitat. The project is led by UF researchers Dr. Bill Pine, Peter Frederick and Leslie Sturmer. The reef will be restored through the placement of limerock boulders and shell material on top of the degraded reef; construction will begin in summer 2018. The development of this new aquarium will help educate the public about marine and natural resources in the Nature Coast, one of those pristine areas left in Florida. Please join us in supporting these fun events for all ages! You can find additional information on registering for the WoW events on or call (352) 294-0886 if your business would like to be highlighted during the event. • 7



Steaks, Seafood & Buffet

1306 SE Riverside Dr. | Steinhatchee, FL (352) 498-7427

Donuts and A Whole Lot More! 510 2nd St, Cedar Key, FL (352) 477-5022 The Pink Building

Now Open! 11846 State Rd 24 Cedar Key, FL Serving (Inside the Sunset Isle RV park) Breakfast & Lunch 352-477-0494

Jake’s Waterfront Lounge At The

The Marina

262 3rd St. • Horseshoe Beach (352) 498-5405 Florida’s Last Frontier


Watch the Shrimp Boats Come In and Have a Cold Beer!

Horseshoe Beach



8 • Florida’s The Hidden Coast

YOUR BUSINESS HERE! Restaurant & contact information


YOUR BUSINESS HERE! Restaurant & contact information


LocalFlavor 1-352-498-8088 7022 SW 358 HWY Steinhatchee, FL

Steinhatchee, FL

331 Dock St. Cedar Key, FL Great selection of local clams (352) 543-9992 and oysters! The grouper (Pet Friendly)

Tiki Bar We’re the closest marina to the Gulf of Mexico in Steinhatchee!

sandwich is excellent!

End your day at Steinhatchee with a cold beverage! Open during scallop season and special events only

322 Riverside Drive Steinhatchee, FL VHF Channel 09 • (352) 498-3008

Attention Restaurants!

Be a part of our "Local Flavor" page • Covers Yankeetown to Steinhatchee • Social Media Updates • 70K Distribution • Available at I-75 Welcome Center • Online Presence • Published Six Times a Year

$75/ per edition Call 386-719-1354 for more info!

Attention Restaurants!

Be a part of our "Local Flavor" page • Covers Yankeetown to Steinhatchee • Social Media Updates • 70K Distribution • Available at I-75 Welcome Center • Online Presence • Published Six Times a Year

For information on our next edition call

386-719-1354 • 9

do you have Photos from a recent visit to the area that you would like to share with our readers?

Send over what you have and we will post it on our social media sites! Please include a date and location. Beth Davis Owner



Workout on Waterfront February 24, 2018


Old FL Celebration of Arts March 24-25, 2018

Monday - Saturday 10-4 Sunday 11-3

Look for our NEW sign!

434 2nd St., Cedar Key Phone: (352) 543-9779 Hours: 10a–5:00p Monday – Saturday

Cedar Key Marina II & “Hooked Up” Charters

12780 SR 24, Cedar Key, FL

Upcoming Events:

10% OFF Any Purchase

Valid with this ad. Some restrictions may apply. Limited time only.

Cedar Key Country Store 598 2nd Street | Cedar Key, FL | 352.543.9697 Hours: 10-5 Thur, Fri, Sat, Mon, 11-3 Sun


Bring this ad in for

$2 off OR

Any Bait

We Have All Types of Gift Ideas!

$50 off

Labor on any Boat Repair

Boat Rentals • Lodging Boat Repairs • Boat Storage All Your Fishing Needs Authorized Yamaha & Key West Boat Dealer! AUTHORIZED DEALER

KEY WEST BOATS | Email us at

10 • Florida’s The Hidden Coast

Locally Made Items, Island Home Décor, Memorabilia, Jewelry, Unique Finds & So Much More!

10% OFF Any Purchase Valid with this ad. Some restrictions may apply. Limited time only.

Holidays with David Levy Yulee and Family The Holiday season of 1855 was a time of rejoicing for David Levy Yulee. Yulee was successful in his bid to re-gain his seat in the US Senate representing the State of Florida which he lost in the 1850 election. His dream of a cross peninsula railroad from Fernandina to Cedar Key was realized when construction was started in September. And the Town of Fernandina was laid out with lots selling quickly ensuring new residents to populate the town. To celebrate the holidays, David and Nannie Yulee decided to take their four children to the palatial mansion on their 5,100 acre plantation, “Marguerita” on Tiger Tail Island in the Homosassa River. Upon their arrival, Nannie Yulee set about decorating the two story plantation house in preparation for the many guests expected to visit during the holidays. The mansion house was constructed of wood on a foundation of coquina. The exterior was covered with cypress siding with cedar shingles on the roof. The cedar, oak, and other hardwood timber used in the construction of the house came from the island when the land was cleared. The logs were shipped to the Cedar Keys where they were cut into boards and framing material and returned to the plantation.

By: Toni C. Collins

Most guests arrived by boat and entered the house by climbing the wide steps of the portico which was supported by round columns. Upon entering the large entrance hall, the first thing visitors saw standing in the center of the hall was a decorated tree which reached the ceiling. Ropes of greenery decorated the bannisters of the curved stairway which led to the second floor. On one side of the entrance hall was a large parlor with a music room in which stands another decorated tree. The dining room and extensive library across the hall also were decorated for the holiday. Garlands of greens circled the handhewn beams of live oak which supported the ceilings in each room. The Yulee’s home was built under the direction of a Washington, DC architect, While the house was being built, Mrs. Yulee selected furnishings and had them shipped by boat from Washington to the plantation. In 1862, shortly after the invasion of the Cedar Keys by Union blockading vessels, troops sailed up the Homosassa River and pillaged the plantation house. Mrs. Yulee, the children, and the servants escaped. However, the wholesale destruction of the property was completed by the deserters and runaway slaves who converged upon the plantation after the Union troops were gone. Today, visitors can view the remains of the plantation at the Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park on SR 490, just west of US 19/98 in Homosassa. Want to learn more? Readers can go to levycountyhistorical to learn more about the Yulee family and also historian and author, Toni C. Collins. You may also email her directly at • 11

A Local Perspective

CAPT. BRIAN SMITH Owner Big Bend Charters

Chiefland’s Newest and Largest! Gated/Fenced and well lit A clean professional facility We offer a wide range of storage unit’s sizes RV-Boat covered and uncovered Clean Dry and Safe Long Term or Temporary Fully paved Open 365 Days a Year Climate Controlled and Conventional Units Video Surveillance


1635 NW 27th Ave. Chiefland FL, 32626 (Across from Chiefland Dodge/Chrysler)

The Hidden Coast is... hiding treasures from pristine flats to the crystal blue waters off Steinhatchee. You never know what you might catch, but when you are here catch some sun, fun and make it a great stay. While you are here... Canoe, kayak or motorboat the river, enjoy the view and fish for panfish, big catfish and bigmouth bass. Adventure onto the clear flats and estuaries that make Steinhatchee famous for monster redfish, gator trout and flounder. Go for the gusto and go deep for grouper, amberjack, kingfish, cobia and snapper. One of my favorite things... is scalloping. It is like a big kid’s Easter egg hunt. It is so peaceful, floating along and watching for the iridescent eyes or the patch of grass that moves when they close their shells or looking for the brown patch of algae they like to lay in. Each one seems bigger than the last. Locals know... every sunset is a gift from God. Stop and take the time to see the colors and the clouds and enjoy the live painting that is the crescendo to your perfect day.

February 16-18, 2018 Steinhatchee, Florida Jamie King and The SoulShine Band headline the entertainment and events over the three day weekend! Enjoy three days of food, music, and more than 100 vendors showing off their arts and crafts. New this year will be a 2-day boat show! Live Music, Craft and Food Vendor Booths, Fiddler Crab Races, Parade, Swamp Water Challenge Cook-off, Kids’ Activities, Eco River Boat Tours, Fish Tournament and much much more are also part of this fun filled weekend!

For additional information, please scan QR Code! Hours: Fri 6pm-11pm, Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 11am-4pm.

12 • Florida’s The Hidden Coast

Photo Courtesy of: Kim Kennedy

Serving Heroes Who Serve Us

By: Capt. Kyle Skipper

The local non-profit 10CAN Inc. recently established a fishing program for Military personnel and first responders out of Steinhatchee. With the assistance of Capt. Kyle Skipper and Marker One Flats Charters and the Sea Hag Marina the non-profit offers free fishing trips and a Bi-yearly fishing tournament geared towards getting military personnel and first responders on the water. 10CAN gathers donations and offers an average of four trips per month all expenses paid for those who qualify. Through this program they also host a fishing tournament at the Sea Hag Marina called Cerberus. Cerberus is a free fishing tournament that anyone can enter, the only stipulation is that fifty percent or more of the participants on the boat are either military personnel or first responders. Cerberus is a random weight tournament meaning winners are chosen by random weight so anyone can win. Each boat weighs in a one person limit of redfish and trout for their cumulative weight. The Cerberus tournament is meant to be a relaxing non-competitive event built around the beauty and serenity of the local nature. Sponsors provide prizes and three boats are awarded two matching prize packages if their random weight is chosen. At last years events enough small prizes were awarded that on average more people won something than didn’t. 10CAN stays active year round and is continuously getting military and first responders outdoors. There is more to 10CAN Inc. than just fishing. 10CAN stands for Christian Adventure Network which was founded by a wounded warrior Mathew Burke who serves Military and First Responder families. 10CAN is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization designed to honor the families of our Heroes, revive a warrior’s ethos, and grow adolescents through outdoor recreation, education, and rehabilitation. Their faithbased approach encompasses a fit-to-fight model for the entire family. Spiritual well-being, mental health, and physical abilities establish a diverse and wellrounded approach for our Heroes and their families.

100% of all funds donated to 10CAN go directly towards their programs and getting military and first responders in the outdoors. 10CAN, Inc. is comprised of an all-volunteer force. They are run by five board members and nearly 100 volunteers per year. They are not associated with a particular church or religion, and work with all ministries to take the Light of Christ into places that only the boldest go. They evangelize through action, adventure, and the great outdoors. They believe that a solid childhood foundation equates to effective and resilient adulthood. This is a proactive approach to solving the medical phenomena of PTSD, reducing criminal behavior, and changing the world through our backyard. Their goals are: to enhance the quality of life for our Heroes by bridging the family gap created during combat; empower self-healing through faith and purpose; and develop a future of warriors who are equipped to handle Secondary Traumatic Stress and Post-Traumatic Stress. While the most effective healing happens at home, it is a strong root system that keeps a tree standing through the storm. 10 CAN is a great non-profit working hard to give back to the local community and truly making a difference. To learn more you can visit A portion of every charter with Capt. Kyle Skipper is donated to assist funding this program.

Capt. Kyle Skipper | Marker One Flats Charters

352-317-1654 | • 13

An Artisan’s Art Journey Each year, after the beautiful fall leaves have turned color outside our home in Arkansas, we set out on our journey to our winter respite in sunny Florida. As we meander through the rich lands of Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, I enjoy stopping at art shows and always pull over to support my habit whenever I see an “Art Show” sign. I am an ARTISAN! I love finding treasures and ideas along the way. My favorite from all the stops is in the most out of way location we have discovered. When our daughter and son-in-law lived in Gainesville, FL a number of years ago, they took us to a beautiful little village just 45 minutes southwest of there. We traveled on SR24 until we found ourselves crossing bridges surrounded by water, pelicans, and mangroves. Then we came upon the quaint little old fishing village of Cedar Key. We spent the day learning about the unique history of Cedar Key that included the Faber Pencil Mill, which we remembered from our grade school days, the Civil War railroad, the rich and interesting story of the Donax whisk brooms made of palm fiber, and an interesting present-day economy that is tied to the aquaculture – fishing, clamming, and tourism. We enjoyed a day of sun, shopping, eating and an unbelievable beautiful sunset. It was only a one-day trip for us then – but now our daughter has been married for over 20 years, we’ve retired, and we spend two months each year in Cedar Key. My search for art shows continues along our annual drive, but now my focus is on the Old Florida Celebration of the Arts held each spring in Cedar Key, and I am blessed to be a member of the sponsoring organization, the Cedar Key Arts Center, as well as a proud volunteer at the Old Florida Celebration of the Arts Working Committee. I have been so amazed at the high quality of art this island community draws to the celebration. It is a joyful occasion with the main street covered in over 100 booths of pottery, fine art, jewelry, metal work, and many other forms of art. I most often walk one side of the street and then make my way to the City Park on beach front, to taste Cedar Key special local food

14 • Florida’s The Hidden Coast

by Misty Baker

offered by school groups and civic organizations. This is truly a community celebration with most of the volunteers coming from school groups, the city Lions Club, and members of the sponsoring Cedar Key Arts Center, whose mission is to nurture and promote the arts in Cedar Key. I would encourage any reader to consider a vacation in Cedar Key during the Old Florida Celebration of the Arts in 2018. The event will be March 24th from 10am – 5pm and March 25 from 10am – 4pm. And why not stay for a few days and take the clam tour, go on a sunset pontoon tour of the islands, visit Atsena Otie Island and the remnants of the original Faber Pencil Factory, shop for unique gifts or Cedar Key memorabilia at the fine shops, tour the remarkable Cedar Key Historical Museum, have a glorious chocolate chip scone or decadent donut at one of the local coffee shops, buy a unique hand-made canvas bag, visit the Shell Mound where artifacts dating from 500 BC have been found, kayak or canoe among the many small islands of the Cedar Keys, and top off your day with a wonderful dinner – maybe some Cedar Key fresh clams – at one of the many fine restaurants. You will fall in love with Cedar Key, dream of your return and admire the beautiful art you were able to purchase from the artists and artisans at this juried fine art event that was recognized as one of the Top Ten Art Fairs in America in 2016 and 2017 by For further information about the 54th Annual Spring Arts Festival in Cedar Key, go to the website at or contact or 352-543-5400. For additional information about Cedar Key and the surrounding area, visit,_Florida. • 15

The Marina

262 3rd St. • Horseshoe Beach We offer good rates an You’ll see nature in Florida’s Last Frontier d ! gr ty ea t au ho be sp ’s itality! all it (352) 498-5405

Featuring Jake’s Waterfront Lounge and marine gas. Now open Fri. and Sat. 4-12 with live music weekends.

We also rent kayaks, bicycles, golf carts, fishing poles, crab traps plus a full line of scalloping supplies. Kayak Our Beautiful Shoreline!

See Our Newly Added

The Only Boat Lift in Horseshoe Beach!

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