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