Floral City Heritage Council Sponsors First Edition Printing

Floral City Heritage Council Sponsors First Edition Printing

By Meaghan Goepferich Posted on November 13, 2023

The Floral City Heritage Council has sponsored the first edition printing of Muriel Eden-Paul’s latest historical novel, “Song of Jaybird” – a lost past and forgotten story of Black laborers working in a turpentine camp under debt peonage for the Navel Store industry.

Floral City Heritage Council Sponsors First Edition Printing

Set in the once active Etna Turpentine Camp located in Citrus County, just east of Sugarmill Woods on the north side of County Road 480, the novel takes place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The site gained recognition with its listing on the National Register of Historic Places after an earlier archaeological survey, required when the gas line was laid through the area.

Among the characters the reader will meet is Delia, a young woman whose math skills help others lower their debt in the ledger she keep for the Camp as she dreams of a life outside the harsh work and treatment of the Camp.

Eden-Paul is not a stranger to Citrus County history. She was born and raised outside Inverness, the daughter of John and Betty Eden. Her book “Once Upon A Pickett” depicts a Second Seminole War battle and tells the story of three men (one of whom was her father) who fought for the defense and preservation of a historic site. That site is now known as Fort Cooper State Park.

Eden-Paul will be autographing books at Floral City Heritage Days on Friday and Saturday, in the Floral City Heritage Museum, from 5:00 to 8:30 pm on Friday, 1 Dec. and 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday, 2
Dec. A special turpentine industry exhibit will be set up in the museum’s media area to support “ Song of Jaybird” and the author.

“Song of Jaybird” is one book of the “Mostly History from Cover to Cover” – meet and greet the authors and book signings – that will be going on Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm. At least a half dozen other authors will be joining us to include John Miller and his three latest books including:

  • “White Gold” a time travel to our phosphate period
  • Sally Settle and her “In the Shadow of the Lone Cypress” that relates the great flood of Lake Okeechobee in the 1920s
  • Linda Welker and her “Untethered Women” accomplished women in Florida’s history
  • Mary Lu Scholl with her “Invernessie a Gaelic Folklore Mystery”
  • Gerry Mulligan with “Out the Window”
  • Floral City’s own authors, Tom Ritchie with “Images of America – Floral City,” “The Contact Period,” “Days Past – Making a Living” and “A History of Floral City;”
  • Bob Metz with both “Memories of growing up in the Duval House” and “Memories of growing up in Floral City & Citrus County.”

All these authors and more may be found on Saturday, 2 Dec. from 10 am to 2 pm under tents in front of the Heritage Museum in the Town Center. Come on out and meet the authors! Info at (352) 726-7740.
Information at www.floralcityhc.org, facebook.com/floralcityheritagedays and instagram.com/floralcityheritagedays and facebook.com/floralcitymusuemandstore



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