Where Even The Street Names Tell A Story

Posted by: Rick Pariani in Uncategorized

apsfranklinia[1]World Golf Village is a community with a variety of rich, interesting and entertaining stories that tell a tale of building a great place. One of the more unusual aspects of the community is that even the street names tell a story.

There is a neighborhood in the King & Bear Community called WildWood. Almost the entire perimeter boundary of WildWood is framed by a massive, forested Conservation Area. During the site preparation for the WildWood neighborhood, the edge of the Conservation Area was revealed to have a collar of beautiful Loblolly Bay trees interspersed with native Oak, Pine and Maple. The forested edge had a wild, undisturbed and seemingly “undiscovered” appeal. The forested boundary’s character influenced the design, layout, construction and theme of the neighborhood, hence, WildWood.

To reinforce the unique nature of WildWood, we used comparably unique street names. It just so happens that our nation’s first celebrated Naturalist, from Philadelphia, William Bartram, traveled extensively in the southeast region of the United States along both the Altamaha River in Georgia and the St. Johns River in Florida. In fact, his documentation of flora and fauna during his 1765 scientific survey of Florida, included trips very close to the King & Bear neighborhoods at their interface with the St. Johns River tributary of Six Mile Creek. William was born in April, 1739 to John Bartram, who was in the business of collecting and shipping American plants to the manner born in his native homeland, England. John became William’s mentor and accompanied him on his Georgia and Florida travels.

On one of the Bartram’s travels in Georgia, they discovered a Bay Tree (“a very curious shrub, indeed”) in the Great Altamaha Swamp. William named it after his father’s good friend, Benjamin Franklin. The tree has never again been found in the wilds, although there are cultivars of it growing in a Philadelphia botanical garden from parent seeds harvested by William. Bartram named the tree Franklinia alatamaha (one of the various spellings of the river at that time). Today, botanists refer to the Bartrams’ find as the “Lost Gordonia” (or “Franklin Tree”). And therein lies the connection and spark for the naming of WildWood’s streets. The Bartrams’ find is a cousin of the Loblolly Bay – the tree that occurs along WildWood’s natural edge.

Although a pronunciation and spelling challenge for visitors and residents alike, WildWood features a pair of streets called “Franklinia” and “Alatamaha”. The entranceway street to the neighborhood is named “WildBay Court”. Not long ago, a new resident moved into the neighborhood, thinking how unusual the street names were. She traveled back home to Pennsylvania, for a visit, then returned with her mystery solved. She wrote a letter to a local newspaper, recounting the story of John and William’s discovery and how she felt a connection between her Pennsylvania home and her new home at the King & Bear. The story of the streets was revealed.

Additionally, there is one east – west cross street in WildWood, called Corduroy Court. Long ago, one of the local customs for road building across wildlands constituted felling trees and skinning them into logs. The logs were laid side by side in a corduroy fashion to create a stable roadbed crossing lowlands. Decades ago, there was a narrow road that ran from what is today State Road 16, through the woods, down to a landing on Six Mile Creek. The road crossed east to west along the edge of what is today WildWood. That section of the road happened to be a corduroy contraption, hence, “Corduroy Court”.

As you get familiar with all of the street and place names at World Golf Village, have fun, dream and speculate on their origin. You might just come up with the next storyline.


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