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Set in Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve — one of the last bits of unspoiled wetlands along the Atlantic Coast — Kingsley Plantation is the former home of Zephaniah Kingsley. His story is slightly different than those of other plantation owners: He moved to the area in 1814 with his wife and three children, only his wife, Anna, was a former slave hailing from Senegal. Anna helped manage a workforce of roughly 60 slaves, who helped the Kingsleys produce cotton, citrus fruit, sugar cane and corn. Over the course of his lifetime, Zephaniah Kingsley managed to expand his plantation empire to include more than 32,000 acres (across four plantation complexes) and more than 200 slave workers. However, Anna worked hard as an advocate for the end of slavery, even on her own property.
Today, you are invited to explore the plantation home, the slave quarters, the barn and the rest of the property. According to one TripAdvisor user, "This is a great place to take your kids to learn about Northeast Florida history and see plantations, something few people even know existed back in the 18th and 19th centuries."
You can visit Kingsley Plantation any day of the year (except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; however, you may only tour the house on weekends from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit the National Park Services' Kingsley Plantation website.