Prof. David Tegeder Examines Cross Florida Barge Canal with Book and Sept. 23 Lecture

What started out as a research project turned into a book called “Ditch of Dreams: The Cross Florida Barge Canal and the Struggle for Florida’s Future.”

Co-authors David Tegeder, history professor at Santa Fe College, and Steven Noll, senior lecturer in the University of Florida History department, were consultants on the design of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway.

The greenway stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to the St. Johns River, basically along the right of way proposed decades ago for a canal that would have cut across Florida.

“As a young boy I remember reading about the Cross Florida Barge Canal in the newspapers,” said Tegeder. “It was started twice but never completed.”

Tegeder and Noll amassed so much information in their research for the greenway project that they felt compelled to publish their findings. They are on the threshold of realizing their goal with “Ditch of Dreams” to be released this November by the University Press of Florida.

The book discusses social and political events surrounding the controversial canal project and how a local resident, Marjorie Harris Carr, organized opposition to the canal in favor of preserving Florida wildlife and the Ocklawaha River.

The co-authors will discuss “Ditch of Dreams” 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23 at the Bob Graham Center for Public Service in Pugh Hall on the UF campus. The program is part of the Sam Proctor Florida History Lecture Series, which is free and open to the public.

Tegeder can be reached at 395-5083.

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