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TWO EGG
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Old Parramore: A Real Florida Ghost Town
by Dale Cox
Copyright 2009 by Dale Cox
All Rights Reserved
A monument erected by former students
stands before the ruins of Central School.
Just six miles east of downtown Two Egg by
road is Oak Grove Church, a memorial that
stands in the heart of what of Old Parramore.

A riverboat town that sprang to life during the
years after the War Between the States,
Parramore was once a thriving community.
Today, however, it is a ghost town. The
stores, industries and houses are gone and
only churches, cemeteries and dirt roads
remain as reminders that the bustling
community ever existed.

The Parramore community actually boasts a
long and intriguing history. Long before the
first American settlers arrived in the area, this
was a center for Native American life. The
now-destroyed Alday Pond Indian Mounds
appear to have dated from the time when the
Poverty Point culture thrived in Louisiana.
Poverty Point was an important civilization
that grew even before the invention of poverty
and its influences spread in all directions
from a main site in northeastern Louisiana.

The Alday Pond Mounds, which took the form
of unique circles and other designs, were
destroyed during timber clearing operations,
but produced artifacts consistent with the
culture that spread as far as Florida more
than 3,000 years ago.

The people of the mounds were followed by
others. Shell middens and mounds dating
from the Weeden Island period (A.D. 400 -
A.D. 900) still exist in the Parramore area, as
do sites from the Mississippian or Fort
Walton time period (A.D. 900 - A.D. 1500).

When the first Spanish explorers arrived in
the area during the 1600s, however, the
Parramore vicinity was something of a
vacuum. The woods and ponds were
claimed as a hunting ground by the Chacato,
Chisca (Yuchi) and Apalachicoli (Lower
Creek) nations and also served as a barrier
dividing these groups. It was not until around
1763 that Indians once again returned to live
in the beautiful pine woods.

A band of Lower Creeks established the
town of Tellmochesses on the high ground
just west of the Chattahoochee River near
Parramore in around that time. Led by
members of the Perryman family, who were
descended from an English trader named
Theophilus Perryman and his Lower Creek
wife, the town grew large and played a major
role in the early years of the American
republic.

It was here, for example, that the one-day
pirate WIlliam Augustus Bowles came
seeking food and shelter. The warriors of the
town fought in the American Revolution, trying
to help the British protect their Florida
colonies. They also fought on the side of the
British again in the War of 1812, but by 1817
they realized without doubt that the future of
the continent lay in the hands of the United
States. In that year they went to war to help
the Americans and the chief of the town,
William Perryman, was killed at the Battle of
Blunt's Town (Blountstown) in what is now
Calhoun County, Florida.

By 1821, the first American settlers began to
drift into the area, occupying fields once
farmed by Native Americans and making new
homes and new lives for themselves in the
new American territory of Florida. From
isolated farms, a small community grew,
known first as the Owens' Settlement.
By the time of the Civil War the community
was called Bellview (or Bellevue) and was
the site of an important ferry where mail
being carried from Tallahassee and beyond
crossed the Chattahoochee River on its way
to Marianna. The ferry capsized during the
war, halting mail delivery in Jackson County
for weeks.

In the years after the war, as the paddlewheel
steamboats returned to operation on the river
and commerce again resumed, that the
community became known as Parramore.

Named for a family that lived and operated a
riverboat landing and ferry there, the village
grew steadily during the years after the Civil
War. Additional landings were established
and cargoes of lumber, cotton, tobacco and
eventually turpentine rosin were shipped out
to Columbus and Apalachicola and from
there to points around the world.

Several large turpentine stills operated in
and around Parramore and by the 1890s the
town had grown large enough to receive its
own post office. By the beginning of the 20th
century, the town was in full swing. More than
five stores operated there, as did a cotton
gin, sawmill, blacksmith shop, mule barn,
grist mill and more. Three churches - two
Baptist and one Methodist - served a local
population that grew to include several
thousand.

But even as it reached its height, Parramore
was already on the verge of decline. Paved
roads and new rail lines in Florida spelled
the doom of the steamboats that served the
town and one by one they faded from view.
Then came the flu epidemic of 1918, that
ravaged whole towns. The cemeteries are
dotted with the graves of its victims.

The flu launched the South into the Great
Depression before other regions  and by the
early 1920s Parramore was fading away.

It clung to its commercial existence until
World War II when so many of its young men
and women left, many never to return.

Today, very little remains of the once thriving
town. The stores and mills and turpentine
stills are all gone. Only a few buildings still
survive, among them an old one-room
school on Cox Road. A monument has been
erected at the site of Central School on Circle
Hill Road and people gather each year at
Oak Grove Baptist Church for an annual
homecoming, celebrating the memory of
Parramore and its former residents.