Spuds
(Holy Branch)
St. Johns County, Florida

Florida East Coast Railway
Spuds is an unincorporated community in St. Johns county Florida. It latitude is 29.74 and longitude is -81.471. The
elevation of Spuds is 20 feet.

Development began at nearby Spuds in the early-1880s. Largely Minorcan in its origins, the heritage of the area is
largely derived from small family farms.

John Henry Sanchez
John Henry Sanchez was among the early settlers. In 1879, Sanchez acquired property along Holy Branch, a small
creek, and built a house about 1883. Father Langlade helped Sanchez construct the house, which initially was one story
and expanded with a second story about 1900. Nearby a post office opened under the designation of Holy Branch in
1886, but within less than a year, the office was relocated to the nearby settlement of Armstrong. Over time, Sanchez
expanded his farmstead, adding to the dwelling and enlarging the farm to include potato fields and various truck crops.

By 1915, the Sanchez Farmstead  included a barn, corn crib, garage, kitchen, and a smoke house. Over time, Sanchez
produced 175 products on his Spuds farm. Indicative of the lightly settled region, nearly twenty-five years passed before
a second post office opened under the name of Spuds. Spuds supported a small freight depot for the Florida East
Coast Railway. Several farmers, including Sanchez, consistently shipped potatoes and truck crops from the community.
Various businesses harvested lumber and naval stores for Spud's forests in the early twentieth century.

F. E. C. Offers $1,000 Reward (Miami Herald, August 30,  1922)
A reward of $1,000 was offered today by the Florida East Coast railway company for the arrest and conviction of the
perpetrators of the dynamiting outrage at Spuds, near here, last night. A bridge spanning Holy Creek was damaged by
three charges. Traffic was delayed until repairs could be made.

(
Aberdeen Daily American, August 29, 1922)
A dynamite explosion Monday night damaged a bridge on the Florida east coast railway at Spuds, 50 miles south of
Jacksonville. Trains were moving over the bridge later under "slow" orders. No arrests have been made.

(
Miami Herald, August 29, 1922)
A dynamite explosiong tonight damaged a bridge on the Florida East Coast railway at Spuds, 50 miles south of
Jacksonville, road officials announced. Trains were moving over the bridge tonight under "slow" orders. No arrests have
been made.

The bridge, spanning Holy creek and 150 yeards long, was damaged for a distance of about 60 feet, according to
officials, who investigated.

The explosion took place about 9 o'clock. G. A. Beach, who lives at Spuds, heard the explosion and said he saw two
automobiles moving from the scene. He promptly communicated with headquarters of the road at St. Augustine. The
dynamite charge was connected with time fuse, officials said.

Later it was stated at the headquarters of the road at St. Augustine that the Jacksonville-Key West express,
southbound, was being held at that place until a bridge crew could be sent to the scene and make repairs or definitely
ascertain the extent of the damage. Later reports indicated that three charges of dynamite were set off. The trackage is
said to have been thrown out of line and the rails twisted in spots.

Prisoner of War Camp
A German Prisoner of War Camp was built in Spuds by the intersection between State Road 206 and 207.

She's 89 Years in the Same House (The St. Augustine Record, May 28-29, 1977)
She was born during more simple times before the expansion of the railroad in St. Johns County, before the network of
interstate highways and before air travel.

She has had 89 years to choose to leave her birthplace in the country, but claims she has never had any desire to
leave her family's home.

She is Miss Hattie Sanchez of Spuds, the St. Johns Countian who a survey indicates has lived continously in one house
for the longest period of time. Recently, the St. Augustine St. Johns County Board of Realtors saluted Miss Hattie as the
winner of a contest to find the resident who has lived in the same house the longest number of years.

The duaghter of the late John Hnery Sanchez, a vegetable grower, Miss Sanchez was forn April 6, 1888 in a small house
behind the main family residence near Holy Branch Creek, now known as Spuds. There she has lived for 89 years, and
today is the sole resident of the two-story, eight-room frame home.

The house, she says, remains unchanged since the days when Spuds was known as Holy Branch Creek, except for the
addition of a few modern conveniences. Her house now has electricity, inside plumbing, a gas refrigerator, a gas stove,
a telephone and a television set.

The third oldest of nine children (three girls and six boys), Miss Hattie remembers the days when a trip to the St.
Augustine produce market meant a full-day trip by horse and wagon, and when the Sanchez children traveled by horse
and cart to a two-room schoolhouse. She also recalls the day when streetcars were a familiar sight on St. Augustines
streets and when the railroad was built 300 yards from her house.

As 89 years of age, times have slowed down slightly for the still single Miss Hattie and have simplified once again. She
attends Mass weekly at
St. Ambrose Church and spends most of her days rocking on her porch and looking after her six
cats.

"I've just always liked the quietness out here," Miss Hattie comments. "I've never wanted to live anywhere else.

Her younger brother, Charley Sanchez, 85, adds Miss Hattie repeatedly refuses invitations to live in town with him and
his family.

Miss Sanchez was chosen from 19 entries submitted in the realty board's contest. Second place went to Miss Nell
Dupont of Dupont Center, who has lived in the same house 82 years.
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