Steinhatchee & Jena,

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The city of Steinhatchee is a complacent fishing community which has retained its pristine natural surroundings and serenity for over a century. The Steinhatchee River is renowned for its surplus of trout and redfish, as the river’s uncongested waters challenge the most skilled anglers. The river also has a deep water port adequate for larger vessels and off-shore fishing excursions.

Steinhatchee combines the ambiance of the 19th century with the conveniences of the 20th. Victorian waterfront homes line the shores and footpaths and gardens sequester the surroundings. Steinhatchee is often referred to as "The Best Kept Secret in Florida." Come find out why.

Jumping to the 1700's, the Seminoles, Creek and other Muskogean peoples continued coming down to Florida. The English were also exploring and here again no major development was undertaken. In the 1780's the Spanish government encouraged migration into Florida through land grants. The Seminoles gradually established a foothold in Florida -- and with it a hostile environment which brought the eventual confrontation with the United States.

GPS Coordinates

1) The Steinhatchee-Jena Bridge
29.668135, -83.378265

2) Barnett Realty
29.672715, -83.378356

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General Andrew Jackson was sent to dispatch the Seminoles for raids they were making into Georgia. Jackson was reported to have crossed the Steinhatchee River at the Falls, a beautiful spot on the river still available for picnicking and swimming.

In 1812, Florida became a territory of the United States. Settlers, primarily of Scottish, English, and Irish ancestry, began coming to Florida in great numbers. Of course, this meant more confrontation with the Indians, and in 1838, General Zachary Taylor was sent to put an end to the Indian uprising. Taylor's troops came into the Steinhatchee area (then known as Istenhatchee) during his battles with the Seminoles.

On the other side of the river, the community of Jena was named after Jena Chewning, the beautiful sister of George Chewning, who named the post office on the south side of the river after her. The Jena Post Office later combined with the Stephensville Post Office, and both sides are now served by the Steinhatchee Post Office. There were only a few settlers with small farms who had their gardens and raised a few hogs, also know as "pineywoods rooter. The primary livelihood, however, was from fishing. People from surrounding communities would come to Jena and Steinhatchee by horse and wagon after the crops were in and set up camp. They brought meal, grist, syrup, and their garden produce to swap for fish. The locals would split mullet, put them in barrels, and cover them with brine, which preserved them for many months. The community began to grow as some of these traders chose to stay. As local children got older, they married and stated raising families of their own.

The Steinhatchee/Jena area has always been a fishing and hunting paradise. Fishing is something else here. The long flats with sea grass hold many species anglers love to fight along with scallops, stone and blue crabs. Snorkeling for scallops is from July - Mid Sept is a great family sport for all ages. Wildlife from alligators, turkeys, hogs, panthers to eagles and many species of birds may be seen if one chooses to explore. our back roads by bike or horseback. Many artists find our little peace of heaven an artist paradise and with tender care, it will be for years to come.

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