Visitors can step back about 200 years Saturday as Jacksonville’s historic Kingsley Plantation hosts its Heritage Celebration in and around its restored riverfront home.
Along with free tours of the historic Planters House on the Fort George River at 11676 Palmetto Ave., the event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. will include live music, dancing demonstrations and children’s crafts at the National Park Service site.
Zephiniah Kingsley began the plantation in 1814 and remained there with wife, Anna, through 1837 with their four children. Anna Madgigine Jai was from Senegal, West Africa, and Kingsley purchased her as a slave, the park service said. She participated in plantation management, acquiring her own land and slaves when Kingsley freed her in 1811.
The plantation had an enslaved workforce of about 60 men, women and children, growing and harvesting cotton, citrus, sugar cane and corn. The slaves lived in a ring of tabby cabins whose remains flank the entrance to the plantation and main house.
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Presented by the National Park Service’s Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, Saturday’s activities will include pop-up Ranger programs. The Nan Nakama Pan-African Drum and Dance Ensemble is scheduled for 1:15 p.m., and Kingsley descendant Peri Frances’ will present “Homecomings: Stories from a Journey to Senegal” at 2 p.m. A booth will feature information on the Cosmo Gullah Geechee community, a kids corner and more.
Tours of the Planters House will be done from 10 a.m to 1 p.m. Kid’s Corner Crafts and ranger programs will run from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The celebration will continue from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 25, with living history and historic weapons demonstrations at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. at the plantation.
As part of Saturday’s events, the annual St. George Barbecue will take place at the Historic St. George Episcopal Church at 10560 Fort George Road on Fort George Island.