The Pine Level Site Selected For Nomination to the National Register

On June 26, the bi-annual meeting of the Florida National Register Review Board heard the nomination of the Pine Level site (8DE14) for the National Register of Historic Places. Pine Level, located 8 miles west of Arcadia, Florida, is the former seat of Manatee County, and later DeSoto County. The town was founded in 1866 during the Reconstruction Period (1866-1877), and played a pivotal role in the settlement of South Florida during the social and political upheaval that followed the close of the Civil War. Once a small bustling town, complete with a courthouse, jail, school, churches, stores, saloons, boardinghouses, and a newspaper, Pine Level was bypassed by the Florida Southern Railway in the late 1880s. Soon after, Pine Level lost county seat status and began to decline. No longer identifiable as a former town, the Pine Level site has seen little development and is now home to a cattle pasture and an orange grove.

The site’s nomination was written by Jana Futch, an archaeologist in Brockington’s Atlanta office, for the DeSoto County Historical Society through a grant from the State of Florida. The Florida National Register Review Board, noting that Pine Level is one of only seven Reconstruction Era sites recorded in the state, voted to accept the site’s nomination as locally significant. Staff at the Florida Division of Historical Resources will now prepare the nomination for submittal to the National Park Service in Washington, D.C., who will ultimately determine whether the site should be listed on the National Register.

This nomination will join another written by Ms. Futch, with Scott Butler, for the Chattahoochee River Line Battlefield, a Civil War site that was accepted for nomination by the Georgia National Register Review Board in February. The National Park Service’s official determinations for these nominations is expected later this year.

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