The Peace River is a river in the southwestern part of the Florida peninsula, in the U.S.A.[1] It originates at the juncture of Saddle Creek and Peace Creek northeast of Bartow in Polk County and flows south through Fort Meade (Polk County) Hardee County to Arcadia in DeSoto County and then southwest into the Charlotte Harbor estuary at Punta Gorda in Charlotte County. It is 106 miles (171 km) long and has a drainage basin of 1,367 square miles (3,540 km2). U.S. Highway 17 runs near and somewhat parallel to the river for much of its course. The river was called Rio de la Paz (River of Peace) on 16th century Spanish charts.[2] It appeared as Peas Creek or Pease Creek on later maps. The Creek (and later, Seminole) Indians call it Talakchopcohatchee, River of Long Peas.[3] Other cities along the Peace River include Fort Meade, Wauchula and Zolfo Springs.[4]

Image of the Peace River
Image of the Peace River

History edit

Fresh water from the Peace River is vital to maintain the delicate salinity of Charlotte Harbor that hosts several endangered species, as well as commercial and recreational harvests of shrimp, crabs, and fish. The river has always been a vital resource to the people in its watershed. Historically, the abundant fishery and wildlife of Charlotte Harbor supported large populations of people of the Caloosahatchee culture (in early historic times, the Calusa). Today, the Peace River supplies over six million gallons per day of drinking water to the people in the region. The river is also popular for canoeing.[5]

There were many Pleistocene and Miocene fossils found throughout the Peace River area, eventually leading to the discovery of phosphate deposits. Most of the northern watershed of the Peace River comprises an area known as the Bone Valley.[6][7]

The Peace River is a popular destination for fossil hunters who dig and sift the river gravel for fossilized shark teeth and prehistoric mammal bones. Several campgrounds and canoe rental operations cater to fossil hunters, with Wauchula, Zolfo Springs, and Arcadia being the main points of entry.[8][9][10][11][12][13]

Gallery edit

List of crossings edit

Crossing Carries Image Location Coordinates
Headwaters (Juncture of Peace Creek and Saddle Creek)
Spessard L Holland Bridge   SR-60   Bartow 27°54′08″N 81°49′03″W / 27.902242°N 81.817583°W / 27.902242; -81.817583
  Homeland Garfield Road   Homeland 27°49′16″N 81°47′59″W / 27.821029°N 81.799746°W / 27.821029; -81.799746
John Singletary Bridge   US-98   Fort Meade 27°45′06″N 81°46′55″W / 27.751658°N 81.781944°W / 27.751658; -81.781944
Mt Pisgah Road   Fort Meade 27°43′22″N 81°47′24″W / 27.722731°N 81.790080°W / 27.722731; -81.790080
  CSX Transportation   Bowling Green 27°39′25″N 81°48′09″W / 27.656907°N 81.802422°W / 27.656907; -81.802422
  County Line Road   Bowling Green 27°38′46″N 81°48′08″W / 27.646201°N 81.802127°W / 27.646201; -81.802127
  Lake Branch Road   Bowling Green 27°38′46″N 81°48′08″W / 27.646201°N 81.802127°W / 27.646201; -81.802127
Heard Bridge Heard Bridge Road   Wauchula 27°34′33″N 81°48′16″W / 27.575748°N 81.804507°W / 27.575748; -81.804507
  SR-636 (East Main Street)   Wauchula 27°33′02″N 81°47′37″W / 27.550552°N 81.793650°W / 27.550552; -81.793650
  Griffin Road   Wauchula 27°32′27″N 81°47′31″W / 27.540773°N 81.791993°W / 27.540773; -81.791993
Doyle E. Carlton Bridge   US 17   Zolfo Springs 27°30′16″N 81°48′01″W / 27.504464°N 81.800392°W / 27.504464; -81.800392
  FL 64   Zolfo Springs 27°29′59″N 81°48′38″W / 27.499605°N 81.810426°W / 27.499605; -81.810426
NE Brownville Street   Brownville 27°18′10″N 81°50′46″W / 27.302668°N 81.846136°W / 27.302668; -81.846136
Seminole Gulf Railway   Arcadia 27°14′12″N 81°53′10″W / 27.236562°N 81.886005°W / 27.236562; -81.886005
Footbridge (Old SR 70 bridge)   Arcadia 27°13′20″N 81°52′34″W / 27.222132°N 81.876162°W / 27.222132; -81.876162
  FL 70   Arcadia 27°13′16″N 81°52′35″W / 27.221049°N 81.876462°W / 27.221049; -81.876462
  CR 760   Arcadia 27°09′45″N 81°54′06″W / 27.162392°N 81.901656°W / 27.162392; -81.901656
  CR 761   Fort Odgen 27°05′19″N 81°59′38″W / 27.088557°N 81.993994°W / 27.088557; -81.993994
  I-75   Solana 26°57′37″N 82°01′13″W / 26.960237°N 82.020220°W / 26.960237; -82.020220
Barron Collier Bridge and Gilchrist Bridge   US 41   Punta Gorda 26°56′42″N 82°03′29″W / 26.945115°N 82.057946°W / 26.945115; -82.057946
Mouth (Charlotte Harbor)

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ McCarthy, Kevin M. (1992). The Book Lover's Guide to Florida. p. 304. "The Peace River begins at Lake Hamilton in Polk County and runs through Arcadia southwesterly to Charlotte Harbor. For a description of the river, read Rivers of Florida (Atlanta: Southern Press, 1974) by Henry Marks and Gene Britt Riggs ..."
  2. ^ O'Donnell
  3. ^ Brown, Canter, Jr. (1991) Florida's Peace River Frontier. Orlando, Florida: University of Central Florida Press. ISBN 0-8130-1037-3 P. xiv (Preface)
  4. ^ O'Donnell
  5. ^ O'Donnell
  6. ^ "Peace River 3A". Florida Museum. 2017-03-27. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  7. ^ "Peace River Paleo Project (PRiPP)". Florida Museum. 2020-12-05. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  8. ^ Duns, Rob (May 10, 2021). "Buried beneath the Peace River: fossil hunting in DeSoto Count". NBC 2. Retrieved June 21, 2021.
  9. ^ Galbraith, Alex. "Central Florida divers find mammoth leg bone in Peace River". Orlando Weekly. Archived from the original on 2021-04-30. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  10. ^ Cavitt, Mark (August 25, 2015). "Beneath the surface: Fossil hunting uncovers Peace River treasures". The Ledger. Archived from the original on 2021-06-28. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  11. ^ Florea, Linda (November 1, 2004). "Search For Fishing Hole Uncovers A Mammoth Find". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  12. ^ Company, Tampa Publishing. "Paddling through prehistory on the Peace River". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  13. ^ "FOSSILS … FLORIDA'S PAST UNEARTHED – ONE FIND AT A TIME | Naples Florida Weekly". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  • O'Donnell, Brian. (1990) "Peace River," in Marth, Del and Marty Marth, eds. The Rivers of Florida. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, Inc. ISBN 0-910923-70-1.

External links edit

  Media related to Peace River (Florida) at Wikimedia Commons

26°55′02″N 82°08′33″W / 26.9172844°N 82.1425909°W / 26.9172844; -82.1425909