Florida Scenics Blog- The art of Sharon Osterholt

The Florida State Park Plein Air Painting Tour – Painting each of Florida's State Parks on location

Park #129 – Fort George Island Cultural State Park


As you drive just outside of Jacksonville, this park is one of the first in a string of scenic State Parks. The quiet road through the park has some great views along the way. There are a few old cracker houses and a lovely church building. The ruins of an old “Tabby” house (made from crushed oyster shells and sand) is just on the edge of the road.

I parked in front of the visitors center, which is located inside the restored  Ribault Clubhouse. Back in the 1920’s this was a showplace for wealthy northerners to play golf and lawn bowling and enjoy the river view. Visitors can rent the clubhouse for parties and weddings, but nature has been allowed to take over management of the golf course!

Rick wasn’t with me this time, but I was still drawn to paint alongside some fishermen! I painted the view across the small cove towards an old house almost hidden in the trees.

As I painted the afternoon sun was getting lower, helicopters and jets buzzed above me to the nearby Mayport Naval Station, and egrets and herons began to roost in the trees near the hidden house. The fishermen managed to catch a few fish too.

This park is next door neighbor to the National Park Service’s Kingsley Plantation, which is definitely worth a stop as well.

With so much history, nature and nearby parks, this coastal area of Jacksonville is well worth a long weekend or even a full week to explore and have fun!

For more information about this park, visit their website


Fort George Island – 8×10″ oil on linen panel

2 comments on “Park #129 – Fort George Island Cultural State Park

  1. marge drew
    December 10, 2015

    looks like a beautiful park! Your painting is really lovely! Not sure what a “Tabby” house is though..Thanks Sharon!  Margé

    • FlaScenics
      December 10, 2015

      Thank you Margé! The tabby house is made from crushed shells and sand to make the walls instead of cement. It’s pretty old, so only the remnants of a few walls are left.

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