White Oak Plantation Is Not Your Typical Florida Plantation

White Oak Plantation Is Not Your Typical Florida Plantation

The 100 buildings along the banks of the St. Marys River north of Yulee belong to the huge White Oak Plantation. The plantation goes back to a land grant to Andrew Way in April of 1768, but since 1982 the land has been the home to African rhinos, grazing giraffes, and fast-moving cheetahs.

Philanthropist Howard Gilman developed the 7,400 acre plantation into not just a site for the conservation and propagation of endangered species, but also as a conference and seminar center for the study of the environment, the arts, and public policy. Mikhail Baryshnikov even held a dance studio on the estate.

Since earlier this year, new owners Mark and Kimbra Walter have placed the emphasis on research and the training of a new generation of students concerned with preserving endangered animals. Tours can be arranged by telephoning (904) 226-3285.

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About floridatraveler

Historian and travel writer M. C. Bob Leonard makes the Sunshine State his home base. Besides serving as content editor for several textbook publishers and as college professor, he moderates the FHIC at www.floridahistory.org
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