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Andrew P. Canova And Ed Marr By George Keyes

Written as published in "Tales of Sebastian" courtesy of the

Sebastian Area Historical Society.




In November 1858 Canova and Marr left Tampa Bar Honey Branch, which had attracted Canova’s attention some years before.  They selected a spot near the mouth of the St. Sebastian River where they built a palm shanty. Canova says, “The spot we selected for the scene of our operations was one of our operations was one which left nothing to be desired, as far as nature went. A cool spring of water lifted its crystal waves in the sunlight within easy reach of our door; Indian River, with its untold wealth of fish and fowl, spread out to the east of us,etc.”


Canov continues, “One day in June [1859] I took a stroll out toward the head of St. Sebastian, which was not more than two miles away.


The weather was warm and I became very thirsty.  No water appeared to exist in that region at all, but as I was hurrying back home my eye fell on a green, grassy spot off to the right, and upon closer inspection it turned out to be a dried out pond, covered with a rank growth of maidencane, and a clump of willow trees center,  I thought it was water and in I walked. I wore nothing on my feet but a pair of moccasins.  I had nearly reached the clump of willows, when a blow was struck on my foot which nearly knocked me down. I hastily parted the grass and was horrified to catch a glimpse of a stumptail cottonmouth snake of immense size.   He was not less than five inches in diameter and a little over four feet long. I rushed out of the grass and ran toward home with all my strength.  There was a sensation like a piece of red-hot iron clinging to my toes, where the fangs had struck.  It seemed as if a thousand needles were piercing my body.  My leg became so stiff and badly swollen that I could not run anymore.  Three times I staggered and fell, and each time it was more difficult to regain my feet.  I continued to cry for help, but my com[amion did not hear me until  I reached the border of the clearing.  He ran out and carried me to the house [palm shanty].


He made a poultice of raw onions, beaten up fine and applied to the wound. I went into delirious, and did not regain consciousness until the next day, when I was surprised to see the injured limb almost as large as my body.  Marr renewed the poultice every half hour.  Fortunately, we had raised a good crop of onions, and I knew they saved my life.



The swelling subsided very gradually, and it was two weeks before I regained the use of my limbs. We stayed there until the war broke out between the States, when I left for St. Augustine to join the army. Ed Marr remained at the hut.

(Sebastian River Area Historical Society, Inc Pg.12)



“TO MY COMPANIONS-IN ARMS, AND OTHERS WHO FOUGHT FOR THE PEACE AND PROTECTION OF FLORIDA, THIS LITTLE VOLUME IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED.”


ANDREW P. CANOVA.



Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1885, by Andrew P. Canova and L. Sanders Perkins, in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.


In 1885 Andrew P. Canova wrote Life and Adventures in South Florida, in which he lamented the demise of wildlife in the Indian River area.

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