Florida Western

A Florida Western can be used to describe a small number of films and literature set in the 19th century, particularly around the time of the Second Seminole War. Not a significant number of these films have been made, as most Hollywood and other genre westerns are usually located in more familiar regions of the United States, particularly the former frontier territories of "the West".

A series of novels about Florida in the 19th century and their Florida cracker characters have been called Cracker Westerns.[1][2]


In 1895 Frederick Remington and Owen Wister travelled to Florida to write a story on Florida's cowboys for Harper's Weekly.[3]

In the 1990s a series of Cracker Westerns by several authors were published.

In 2014 Rough Edges Press published Palmetto Empire by David Hardy. This novel follows the fictional adventures of backwoodsmen, outlaws, and rebels in the era of the First Seminole War.


It was during the 1950s that most of these films were produced and many included a fictional and stereotypical portrayal of the real life Seminole leader, Osceola, who resisted American expansion into Florida during the late 1830s. The film Distant Drums (1951), which was one of the earliest Florida Westerns made, even changed his name to Oscala and portrayed him as a malevolent savage, filled with a constant blood lust who fed living prisoners to alligators.

One of the advantages of these types of films, however, was that the producers often used the Florida Everglades as a backdrop. Now a contemporary audience has the benefit of glimpsing this wilderness in its mid 20th century form. The producers of Distant Drums even used the historic Castillo de San Marcos fort as a backdrop for the story. It was depicted as a fictitious stronghold for Spanish gunrunners selling armaments to the Seminole on the west coast of Florida, although it is actually located on the east coast.

Films which were made and could be considered Florida Westerns include:


  1. ^ "Cracker Western Books". Archived from the original on March 27, 2011.
  2. ^ p.17 Ste Claire, Dana Cracker: The Cracker Culture in Florida History University Press of Florida, 2006
  3. ^ pp.57-58 Clark, James C. 200 Quick Looks at Florida History Pineapple Press Inc, 01/09/2000
Alabama Midland Railway

The Alabama Midland Railway was incorporated in Alabama and Georgia in 1887, and built a line from Bainbridge, Georgia, to a point near Montgomery, Alabama. The route was completed in 1890. It became part of the Plant System in 1894, and in 1901 it was merged into the Savannah, Florida and Western Railway.

Blackshear Depot

The Blackshear Depot, at 200 S. Central Ave. in Blackshear in Pierce County, Georgia, was built in 1917 by the Savannah, Florida & Western Railway It was used for passenger service into the 1950s and freight service into the 1970s. It is adjacent to the city hall and city park. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.It is a one-story brick building with long rectangular form typical of depots in Georgia. It has a wide-eaved hipped roof over the main portion of the building, which held passenger waiting rooms and offices. It has a gabled-end roof over the long freight warehouse section of the building.

Chicago school (architecture)

Chicago's architecture is famous throughout the world and one style is referred to as the Chicago School. Much of its early work is also known as Commercial style. In the history of architecture, the first Chicago School was a school of architects active in Chicago at the turn of the 20th century. They were among the first to promote the new technologies of steel-frame construction in commercial buildings, and developed a spatial aesthetic which co-evolved with, and then came to influence, parallel developments in European Modernism. A "Second Chicago School" with a modernist aesthetic emerged in the 1940s through 1970s, which pioneered new building technologies and structural systems such as the tube-frame structure.

Distant Drums

Distant Drums is a 1951 American "Florida Western" film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Gary Cooper. It is set during the Second Seminole War in the 1840s, with Cooper playing an Army captain who destroys a fort held by the Spanish gunrunners then retreats into the Everglades while under chase.

The actual location of the fort in the film was the historic Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida, where most of the filming took place.

The enduring legacy of this movie is the earliest known use of the Wilhelm scream sound effect, originally used to vocalize a character being bitten by an alligator.

Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic

The Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic (Spanish: Iglesia Episcopal Dominicana) is the diocese of the Anglican Communion which covers all of the Dominican Republic. It is a member of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America and it is in Province IX. Its see city is Santo Domingo, and its cathedral is the Cathedral of the Epiphany.

Florida Northern Railroad (current)

The Florida Northern Railroad (reporting mark FNOR) is one of several short line railroads run by the Pinsly Railroad Company. It has connections to CSX at Ocala, Florida, running north to Lowell, Florida and south to Candler, Florida. It was formerly run by CSX as their Ocala Subdivision.

The railroad also operates lines connecting to CSX in Newberry, Florida, running south to the Crystal River Energy Complex in Red Level, Florida, just north of Crystal River. This line was formerly CSX's West Coast Subdivision and Crystal River Subdivision. Long coal trains are still pulled by CSX locomotives on this branch while local traffic still uses the Pinsly Red with Yellow locomotives.

Florida Western and Northern Railroad

The Florida Western and Northern Railroad was a railroad line built and operated by the Seaboard Air Line Railroad running from Coleman, Florida (near Wildwood) all the way to West Palm Beach via Auburndale and Sebring (near Lake Okeechobee), a distance of 204 miles. Part of the line remains today from Auburndale to West Palm Beach and is now operated by CSX Transportation as their Auburndale Subdivision and Miami Subdivision.

Florida cracker

Florida crackers were colonial-era Ireland/Celtic and American pioneer settlers and their descendants in what is now the U.S. state of Florida. The first of these arrived in 1763 after Spain traded Florida to Great Britain following the latter's victory over France in the Seven Years' War.

General James A. Van Fleet State Trail

General James A. Van Fleet State Trail is a rail trail in Florida, named after General James A. Van Fleet, who was a distinguished combat commander in both World Wars and the Korean War.It is protected as a Florida State Park and occupies a 29.2-mile (47.0 km) abandoned portion of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad's Florida Western and Northern corridor through Central Florida's Green Swamp area. It extends from Polk City in the south to Mabel in the north.It passes through Bay Lake and crosses Lake, Polk and Sumter counties.

The entire 29.2-mile (47.0 km) length of the trail is paved approximately 12-foot (3.7 m) wide and is mostly straight, containing only one slight curve toward the southern end of the trail just north of the Polk City trailhead.

Johnny Tiger

Johnny Tiger (1966) is a Florida Western film directed by Paul Wendkos, starring Robert Taylor, Chad Everett, and Geraldine Brooks.The Universal Studios film was shot in Central Florida in 1965, with the city of Longwood, Florida substituting for a fictional town in southern Florida adjacent to a Seminole Indian reservation, with additional filming at nearby Sanlando Springs. Originally titled The Cry of Laughing Owls, the film's title was changed to Johnny Tiger prior to its release. It had its world premiere in Orlando, Florida in 1966.

Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy

The Judge Advocate General's Corps also known as the "JAG Corps" or "JAG" is the legal arm of the United States Navy. Today, the corps consists of a worldwide organization of more than 730 commissioned officers serving as judge advocates, 30 limited duty officers (law), 500 enlisted members (primarily in the Legalman rating) and nearly 275 civilian personnel, all serving under the direction of the Judge Advocate General of the Navy.

The headquarters of the Judge Advocate General's Corps of the United States Department of the Navy is located at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

List of Florida railroads

This is a list of railroads operating in the U.S. state of Florida.

Piedmont blues

Piedmont blues (also known as East Coast, or Southeastern blues) refers primarily to a guitar style, the Piedmont fingerstyle, which is characterized by a fingerpicking approach in which a regular, alternating thumb bass string rhythmic pattern supports a syncopated melody using the treble strings generally picked with the fore-finger, occasionally others. The result is comparable in sound to ragtime or stride piano styles.Blues researcher Peter B. Lowry coined the term, giving co-credit to fellow folklorist Bruce Bastin. The Piedmont style is differentiated from other styles, particularly the Mississippi Delta blues, by its ragtime-based rhythms.

Plant System

The Plant System named after its owner, Henry B. Plant, was a system of railroads and steamboats in the U.S. South, taken over by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1902. The original line of the system was the Savannah, Florida and Western Railway, running across southern Georgia. The Plant Investment Company was formed in 1882 to lease and buy other railroads and expand the system. Other major lines incorporated into the system include the Savannah and Charleston Railroad and the Brunswick and Western Railroad.

Seminole (film)

Seminole is a 1953 American Technicolor Western film directed by Budd Boetticher and starring Rock Hudson, Anthony Quinn, Barbara Hale, and Richard Carlson. Much of the film was shot in the Everglades National Park, Florida.

Shark River (film)

Shark River is a 1953 American Florida Western adventure film directed by John Rawlins and written by Louis Lantz and Lewis Meltzer. It stars Steve Cochran, Carole Mathews, Warren Stevens, Robert Cunningham, Ruth Foreman, Spencer Fox and Bill Piper, and was released on November 13, 1953, by United Artists.

Suwannee River

The Suwannee River (also spelled Suwanee River) is a major river that runs through South Georgia southward into Florida in the southern United States. It is a wild blackwater river, about 246 miles (396 km) long. The Suwannee River is the site of the prehistoric Suwanee Straits which separated peninsular Florida from the panhandle.

Western (genre)

Western is a genre of various arts which tell stories set primarily in the latter half of the 19th century in the American Old West, often centering on the life of a nomadic cowboy or gunfighter armed with a revolver and a rifle who rides a horse. Cowboys and gunslingers typically wear Stetson hats, neckerchief bandannas, vests, spurs, cowboy boots and buckskins (alternatively dusters). Recurring characters include the aforementioned cowboys, Native Americans, bandits, lawmen, bounty hunters, outlaws, gamblers, soldiers (especially mounted cavalry, such as buffalo soldiers), and settlers (farmers, ranchers, and townsfolk). The ambience is usually punctuated with a Western music score, including American and Mexican folk music such as country, Native American music, New Mexico music, and rancheras.

Westerns often stress the harshness of the wilderness and frequently set the action in an arid, desolate landscape of deserts and mountains. Often, the vast landscape plays an important role, presenting a "...mythic vision of the plains and deserts of the American West". Specific settings include ranches, small frontier towns, saloons, railways and isolated military forts of the Wild West.

Common plots include:

The construction of a railroad or a telegraph line on the wild frontier.

Ranchers protecting their family ranch from rustlers or large landowners or who build a ranch empire.

Revenge stories, which hinge on the chase and pursuit by someone who has been wronged.

Stories about cavalry fighting Native Americans.

Outlaw gang plots.

Stories about a lawman or bounty hunter tracking down his quarry.Many Westerns use a stock plot of depicting a crime, then showing the pursuit of the wrongdoer, ending in revenge and retribution, which is often dispensed through a shootout or quick-draw duel.The Western was the most popular Hollywood genre from the early 20th century to the 1960s.

Western films first became well-attended in the 1930s. John Ford's landmark Western adventure Stagecoach became one of the biggest hits in 1939 and it made John Wayne a mainstream screen star. The popularity of Westerns continued in the 1940s, with the release of classics such as Red River (1948). Westerns were very popular throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Many of the most acclaimed Westerns were released during this time, including High Noon (1952), Shane (1953), The Searchers (1956), Cat Ballou (1965), The Wild Bunch (1969) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). Classic Westerns such as these have been the inspiration for various films about Western-type characters in contemporary settings, such as Junior Bonner (1972), set in the 1970s, and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005), set in the 21st century.

Western High School

Western High School may refer to several schools in the United States:

Western High School (Anaheim, California) – Anaheim, California

Western High School (Barry, Illinois) – Barry, Illinois

Western High School (Davie, Florida) – Davie, Florida

Western High School (Russiaville, Indiana) – Russiaville, Indiana

Western High School (Baltimore) – Baltimore, Maryland

Western High School (Auburn, Michigan) – Auburn, Michigan

Western High School (Parma, Michigan) – Parma, Michigan

Western High School (Las Vegas) – Las Vegas, Nevada, part of the Clark County School District

Western High School (Silver City, New Mexico) – Silver City, New Mexico

Western High School (Latham, Ohio) – Latham, Ohio

Western International High School - Detroit, Michigan

Western Canada High School - Calgary, Canada

Walled Lake Western High School - Commerce Township, Michigan

Western MST Magnet High School (Louisville, Kentucky) - Louisville, Kentucky, formerly known as Western High School

Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., formerly known as Western High School

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