Volusia County Florida
St. Johns River
In 1766 the spring area was visited by John Bartram.
In 1856 it was settled by Louis Thursby and his family.
1869 (A Guide Book of Florida and the South by Daniel Garrison Brinton.)
In 1869 the landing had a post office but no hotel. The spring is a large and beautiful fountain of crystal clear water. It
forms a basin one-fourth of a mile long, twenty-five to thirty yards wide, and ten to twenty feet deep. The water is slightly
sulphurous and thermal, the temperatures at tims reaching 75 degrees f. This spot was called by the English, Berrisford,
and was the most southern settlement made by them while in possession of the county.
Hunting and fishing in this vicinity are remarkably fine. The back county is fertile and some magnificent orange groves
are under cultivation.
The Thursby house built in 1872 is still standing. Thursby cultivated Oranges with a railway connected to Orange City.
The 1895 freeze wiped out the citrus groves. The Thursbys started a tourist trade that emphasized hunting and fishing.
The park was created in 1972. Today it is Blue Spring State Park covering more than 2,600 acres.