The Wakulla Volcano Archive

"Expedition Searches For Lost 'Volcano'"

Tallahassee Democrat

(September 29, 1956)

Expedition Searches For Lost 'Volcano'
The lost "Wakulla Volcano"
may be re-discovered some time
today by a crew of Explorer
Scouts and one of the two
men who once found what may
have been the site of the elu-
sive "volcano."
J. H. Kirkland, 231 E. Sixth
Ave., advisor for Explorer Post
100, was scheduled to leave
shortly after noon today with
about eight members of the
scouting group to attempt to
find the site of the so-called
volcano which has fascinated
residents of the Big Bend for
more than a century.
Kirkland and Wakulla County
Judge A. L. Porter claim they
may be the only two men alive
who have seen the possible site
of the so-called volcano. About
15 or 20 years ago the two men
came across a rocky upheaval
in the vicinity of the Wakulla -
Leon - Jefferson county lines
that may what is left of the
Kirkland said he and the
Scouts will spend the after-
noon trying to track down the
site he and Judge Porter found.
He said they should return to
Tallahassee before dark this
afternoon. The scout group is
an Explorer Post made up of
older Boy Scouts and sponsored
by the First Baptist Church.
Kirkland said a game-pre-
serve official is scheduled to
meet the group at Newport to
go with them on the expedition.
The site they are searching for
may be on land set aside as a
game and forest preserve.
Smoke from the so-called
volcano was noticeable to resi-
dents in Wakulla, Leon and
Jefferson counties from the
days when Florida was a Span-
ish possession until about
World War I. Then the mys-
terious column of smoke, which
could be plainly seen rising
above the trackless forest-
swamp lands of northwest Jef-
ferson County suddenly ceased
to appear.
In the 1930's Kirkland and
Judge Porter stumbled across
the strange rockbound spot
with its odd fissure-opening in
the earth while they were deer
hunting. The rock appeared to
have been burned and sub-
jected to great heat.
Both men said they would
someday return to the site and
examine it more carefully but
never got around to it. Kirk-
land and Porter believe the
rocky area is not the remains
of a volcano but possibly the
opening to a onetime ground
leakage which may have be-
come ignited in some way and
smouldered for years.
The mysterious smoke which
once rose out of the Jefferson
County woodlands has been
wrongly named the "Wakulla
Volcano.". For more than 135
years the origin of the smoke
has caused arguments, has
created fantastic tales and has
been the object of wild specu-
lation among North Florida
Only Kirkland, Judge Porter
and a Tallahassee man, Wil-
liam Wyatt, have thus far
come up with any sites that
even faintly resemble a "vol-
cano." Wyatt claimed to have
discovered a site similar to the
one Kirkland and Porter found.
Kirkland, a native of Wa-
kulla County and an expert
woodsman and forester, said he
and his group of scouts may
have a difficult time re-dis-
covering the site. He said the
area is covered by thick briar-
patch entanglements, pine trees
and scrub vegetation. He said
the area is much more densely
vegetated today than it was 20
years ago, due mainly to forest
and game preserves which have
left much of the neighboring
areas untouched by man.
Judge Porter said he would
be unable to accompany the ex-
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