Daedalochila avara (Say, 1818) Florida Liptooth
Thomas Say reports the type locality as
"in the orange groves of Mr. Fatio, on the river St. John, East Florida"
(Say, 1818: 278). Research indicates that Mr. Francis Phillip
Fatio Sr. (1724-1811) was a native of Switzerland, and at various times
a citizen of France, Sardinia (his wife's homeland), and England. Fatio
and his family moved from England to the 10,000-acre New Switzerland
Plantation sometime in 1774. New Switzerland extended south from near
Cunningham Creek to Popo Point and Hallowes Cove on the St. Johns River.
Two hundred thirty acres of high ground were cleared, fenced and
planted, along with rice fields fed by a fresh water source, and a
valuable orange grove. By 1778 after the addition of new lands, the New
Switzerland Plantation exceeded 15,000 acres. The recollections of one
of Fatio's twenty-four grandchildren provide further detail about the
dwelling house at New Switzerland. "The grounds were very extensive and
they had avenues of oranges and limes of miles in length, arbors of
myrtle and all sorts of sweet flowers growing spontaneously." New
Switzerland became one of Florida's most prominent plantations and the
Fatio family remains one of the enduring "old Florida" families. See:
Florida History Online
Thomas Say was known to have traveled up the St. Johns River to Picolata via ship in 1818 and then overland to St. Augustine. See: Daedalochila auriculata (Say, 1818) Ocala Liptooth Topotype Locality. Say apparently visited the plantation during his travels.
While the New Switzerland Plantation no longer exists, the boundaries of the plantation now include the towns of Fruit Cove and Switzerland on State Road 13 in far northwestern St. Johns County. The plantations former location is commemorated by a historical marker in the roadside swale at 2080 State Road 13 (30.07555N 081.647917W) as well as a second historical marker a little further south.
Say, T. 1818. Account of two new genera, and several new species, of fresh water and land shells. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 1(2):276-284. June; read 25 May 1818
|Under downed tree limb, left bank of Trout Creek at the County Road 16A bridge, St. Johns County, Florida 9/19/2008 (6.1 mm.)|