Exploring Cedar Key and the remains of Rosewood

Exploring Cedar Key and Rosewood

On Saturday, we decided to go exploring Florida’s Cedar Key and the remains of Rosewood, both cities I have never heard of in Levy County, Florida. I was so excited to start this post I had such high hopes for exploring Cedar Key. The pictures online had me very intrigued to go there. I was so excited to go I started writing this on Friday making it seem all exciting, which at the time it was… However, I was a little disappointed. I don’t know if not only we went on an off day or but also weren’t in the best place in Cedar Key to see everything.

L & M Cedar Key

Exploring Cedar Key

It wasn’t ALL bad. I mean it wasn’t bad at all, it just wasn’t what we expected. All the photos I saw online I thought it would be a fun place to go. However, when we got there the sky was gray, made everything around us look gray. Although it was gray, it was a cute little city to walk through. As a matter of fact, we definitely found a new place to go fishing for free, too bad this was the one day we didn’t have fishing poles in the trunk of the car… (lesson learned)

Steamers Restaurant Cedar Key

We ended up just walking around for a good 2 hours enjoying the water and the historic looking buildings around town. I don’t want to discourage anyone from checking out Cedar Key. We definitely still had a good time. We just didn’t stay for as long as we wanted.

Flowers in Cedar Key

All was not lost though, in the midst of exploring Cedar Key, we stumbled upon Rosewood. Which we found interesting because Mike, Mikayla and I love history. We love finding out about things that had happened previously in our state or any state and we talk about the situations. We discuss ways to make things better or what we could do differently to prevent history from repeating itself. I state this as a preface on what is coming up next because I do think it’s important to talk about and raise awareness.

(Warning this takes a turn and gets deep real fast…)

The Remains of Rosewood

On our way down to Cedar Key, we saw a sign that we drove through the city of Rosewood. If you are not from Florida or maybe you are, but didn’t know about this place. I’m from here but surely didn’t know about it either. Mike had to school me and he is from Massachusetts… (Doesn’t seem right, I know lol)

What was left of Rosewood
Picture from History.com

However, a little back story is in 1923 there was a huge massacre in Rosewood (which was a city predominantly occupied by blacks) because a white woman from Sumner (the next town over) claimed a black man from Rosewood raped her and it basically caused a riot with the white men in surrounding cities and they ended up burning down everything, causing all of Rosewood’s residents to evacuate the city and hid in the woods.

This could have been prevented from ever happening, because from what I read… it turns out the white woman lied about being raped by a black man. She was actually beat by her white lover she was seeing, while her husband was at work. She made up this story to cover up the fact she was cheating on her husband. Reading this made me very angry, how about you?

News heading about Rosewood
Picture from Rarenewspapers.com

Although, only one house survived because it was owned by a white man and it was the house of John Wright. He owned the general store in Sumner but lived in Rosewood. In the events that happened, He helped out his neighbors by sneaking them into his house from the woods. We did find the house and the memorial plaque that was put up in 2004 by JEB Bush. Hearing about an event like this happening hurts my heart.

What remains of Rosewood
Rosewood FL John Wrights Home

Not that I was born in that time or participated in the events, but in reality knowing that it was that bad then and although not as widely popular now, be that as it may still happening. It hurts my heart because even though I had nothing to do with it, I still feel partially responsible because of the color of my skin.

Exploring Cedar Key and Rosewood

I always wonder why people have such a hard time accepting someone who has different colored skin, heritage or religion. I have never been one to judge and I think a lot about how different I could have turned out if I was born then when segregation was enforced or when the holocaust happened. Would I still be the same person I am now?

Growing up we never had the conversation about racism or prejudice. I grew up with the belief if you were nice to me then I would be nice to you. If you wanted to act like a fool then that’s how you would be treated back. It was never about color, heritage or religion. It was about the person and their personality.

Reading other articles about Rosewood

Not that I want to make this about me or take away anything from what happened in Rosewood, however, I would like to think I would be right there alongside John Wright with helping my fellow neighbors.

If you want to read more about Rosewood, here are a couple of links to articles that go more in depth about what happened. Check out Timeline.com and Sun-Sentinal.com.Not only is their numerous articles, but there is also a movie that Mike and I are going to check out tonight named after the city, Rosewood.

I don’t want to get into a big racial conversation or offend anyone. I just know what happened in Rosewood was horrific and I, along with Mike and Mikayla, apologize for pass mistakes and wish things could be different.

I apologize, Rosewood

All I will say about this is that it is horrible. I am truly sorry that this happened and we wish we didn’t live in a world where things like this occurred. On the other hand, we can’t change history, what we can do is extend an invitation to all to know that if you see us or talk to us just know you will not be treated differently, in our eyes everyone is equal and you deserve so much better than what has happened in the past.

Let me know in the comments what you think about exploring Cedar Key and Rosewood? Visit us on our Facebook Page to continue the conversation. I’ll see ya over there! Also, let me know if you celebrated the holiday on Monday, April 8th?

Until next time, Have a good day!

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Michele Surett

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Hey Redonkulous Peeps! Its Michele here... I was born and raised in what I thought was lifeless boring Florida until I grew up and got a car of my own. I now see the adventures to be had here around every corner and I want to share it with my family as well as you guys! Join us on the adventures of exploring Florida, Food and Making family memories.

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