St. Joseph, Florida
St. Joseph, Florida, was a boomtown that briefly became the largest community in Florida, before being destroyed only eight years after it was founded. St. Joseph was founded in 1835 on the shores of St. Joseph Bay, one of the finest natural harbors on the Gulf Coast of the United States. The townsite is in Gulf County, Florida, near the city of Port St. Joe.
As no rivers flowed into St. Joseph Bay, two railroads were built connecting St. Joseph with the Apalachicola River in an attempt to siphon off some of the cotton and lumber being shipped down the river to the port of Apalachicola.
By 1837 St. Joseph had become the most populous place in the Territory of Florida, with approximately 6,000 inhabitants. In 1838 the town hosted the first Constitutional Convention for Florida, which drew up the constitution used when Florida became a state in 1845. Some have called St. Joseph "Constitution City" and even transferred the name to the new Port St. Joe.
In 1841 a ship brought yellow fever to St. Joseph. The disease killed many of the town's inhabitants, and caused the rest to flee. A hurricane in 1843 struck with a large storm surge, destroying the abandoned town. The area remained uninhabited for the rest of the 19th century. In the early 20th century Port St. Joe was founded about two miles north of the site of old St. Joseph.
The only remains of old St. Joseph are some tombstones in the Old St. Joseph, or 'Yellow Fever', Cemetery in present-day Port St. Joe. Which, ironically, is located very close to the current office of the county health department.
The Constitution Convention Museum State Park nearby explains the role of St. Joseph in the early history of Florida government.
-  Web site for "Century 21 Gulf Coast Realty Inc.", Web page titled "Area Information" Port St. Joe section, accessed September 17, 2006
- McCarthy, Kevin M. (1990). Florida Lighthouses, Paintings by William L. Trotter, Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida Press. ISBN 0-8130-0982-0.
- St. Joseph, Florida Ghost Town - retrieved February 17, 2006
- Lighthouse Friends - St. Joseph Point, FL - retrieved February 17, 2006
- Old St. Joseph Cemetery a/k/a Yellow Fever Cemetery - retrieved February 17, 2006
- Louise Porter. Lives of St. Joseph. St Joseph Historical Society (Dec 2001) ISBN 0-9636228-2-X