Latitude / Longitude:
30° 7′ 52″ N, 84° 11′ 42″ W
Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Port Leon, Florida was a river port town located in what is now Wakulla County, Florida, which existed for only about six years in the first half of the 19th century. Port Leon is classified as an “extinct city” by the State Library and Archives of Florida and only remnants can be found today.
Port Leon, established in 1837, in large measure by former inhabitants of Magnolia, was located about 3 miles (4.8 km) south of St. Marks on the east bank of the St. Marks River. It, like neighboring St. Marks and Magnolia, was an important port for the cotton plantations of the Red Hills Region of Florida and Georgia.
Port Leon had several hundred citizens at its peak with 8 to 10 businesses, some wharves, warehouses, a hotel, two taverns, a newspaper and an annual fair. One of the successful citizens was Daniel Ladd who had married into the Hamlin family from Maine that established the town of Magnolia.
Port Leon received a post office in 1840, and was incorporated in 1841. In the same year Port Leon, along with the other communities in the area, endured a severe yellow fever epidemic. On March 11, 1843, it was chosen as the seat of newly created Wakulla County. On September 13, 1843, a strong hurricane with a 10-foot (3 m) storm surge hit the area and destroyed Port Leon as well as heavily damaging nearby Magnolia and St. Marks. Port Leon was abandoned and many of its residents moved inland to the new town of Newport.