St. Johns: A Brief History

At 310 miles long, the St. Johns River is Florida’s longest river and one of the few that flows north. The
fishing options here are diverse, and the moving water resulting from seasonal rainfall stimulates
feeding. Stretching half the length of this beautiful state, it is one of Florida’s greatest locales for bass
fishing. Year after year, the St. Johns coughs up amazing amounts of one to five pounders, not to
mention the large numbers of trophy bass netted here.

St. John’s River was one of the earliest routes used by the Europeans during their explorations. Before
the arrival of Europeans, Native Americans including the Timucua called the river home for thousands of
years. French Huguenots established a colony at the mouth of the river in 1562. Not long after, Spanish
soldiers gave the river its name. In 1765, after England had acquired Florida, botanist William Bartram
described the St. John’s River as “a true garden of Eden.” The river was used to transport troops and
supplies during the Seminole Indian Wars (1836-1841). In 1890, Henry Flagler completed the first
railroad bridge across the St. John’s River, and in 1921, the first of seven automobile bridges was built
over the St. John. In 1988, St. John’s River was designated an American Heritage River by President
Clinton – one of only 14 rivers in the United States with that prestigious title.

Whether you need a new, pre-owned or rental boat to net that big one on the St. John’s River, Gerry’s
Marina can meet all of your boating needs. Gerry’s Marina has been meeting Central Florida’s boating,
marina and storage needs for over 30 years.

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