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Florida

Explore the Enchanting Mala Compra

The site of Mala Compra translates to “bad purchase” in Spanish but visiting the site today is well worth both your time and your money as the site is recognized for its cultural and historical both nationally and internationally.

The land originally under the control of the Seminole people later became a territory of the Spanish Crown before eventually becoming the site of one of Florida’s largest plantations. The plantation first began operation in 1816 when it was purchased by Joseph Marion Hérnandez and was used for growing cotton, corn, and oranges. The plantation was also home to Anna Maria Williams Hérnandez and her fourteen children. The plantation was in operation all year round and slaves would typically plant the crops in March and toil in the heat of August for harvesting.

Mala Compra Plantation

The Mala Compra Plantation was historically important not just for its size and output but also for Hérnandez himself. Joseph Marion Hérnandez served as Florida’s first delegate to congress and helped select Tallahasee as the state’s capital. The plantation also hosted notable American author and artist John James Ardohon who painted numerous pictures of waterfowl for his treasured book Birds of America. Hérnandez served as a general for the Florida militia.

The plantation would become a site of military importance during the Second Seminole War. Hérnandez and the United States’ military would eventually lose the plantation as a base and the Seminole warriors burned the home and the crop storage buildings to the ground. The plantation would fully stop operation in 1866 shortly after the ratification of the thirteenth amendment.

Today, the site is still known for its natural beauty and historical importance. Guests to the site can walk around the old ruins of the home and buildings along a boardwalk. There are numerous different interactive exhibits to present the historical information of the area in a fun and informative way. Mala Compra is located just off of A1A and is a fun stop for anyone visiting Palm Coast.


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