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The St. Johns River The Intracoastal and Beyond
SweetWater Resort

Sweetwater Resort - then
SweetWater Resort (Then)

The Sweetwater Family Resort used to be an active fish camp on a canal off the St. Johns river. I used to keep a small houseboat (that's it - the first houseboat just off center of the photo above) there and even lived there for a time after the Challenger disaster.

Kids getting ready to catch the school bus.Cabins at Sweetwater
A Busy Little Community

The dog in the photo above was Spot - a good ol' redneck pit bull hunting dog! Spot had a plastic hip from when he got hit by a truck up on the highway, and was always getting snake-bit, but nothing held him back. One time he got bit by a pygmie rattler right on the nose - his poor nose and neck swelled up something awful. I don't know if he kept chasing snakes because they bit him, or that they kept biting him because he would chase them. He just didn't like them.

One day a few of us were in the bar, looking out the window at Spot ambling up the dirt lane. Suddenly Spot reached down and grabbed the end of what we had thought was a stick. Spot shook his head in a quick snap...there was a sound like a whip cracking and something flew off.

Spot had grabbed the tail of a snake and snapped the head right off of it!

Several people kept boats at Sweetwater all the time back then, but it was particularly popular with airboaters. The Sweetwater canal has no deepwater connection with the river so it had to be pretty high water to be able to get a powerboat thru. Airboats, however had access to all the best trails.

There was food and drink, and a pool table and a juke box. You could buy bait, launch a boat, or fish from the small dock. Small cabins were to be had, or camping space further down the canal.

Sweetwater now
SweetWater Resort Now

The old folk have gotten older and the young people have moved on to other things. There are a few people still living at Sweetwater, but it is no longer the busy little community it once was.

Now the Airboaters Association has a meeting house and launch ramp right next to Sweetwater.

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