Bethune Beach Memories

Turtle Mound

One of the largest shell middens on the US’s east coast is here on our beachside in Bethune. At nearly 50 feet tall the Turtle Mound midden heap is an archeological wonder. The turtle-shaped mound it made up of oyster shells and other refuse of the Timucuan people who lived in the area from 1200 to 400 years ago. Later sailors used the mound as a landmark because it can be seen miles out to sea. 

Turtle Mound 1921

There used to be a number of middens in our area. However, developers tore the middens down and used the packed oysters to make shell roads. Turtle Mound is special because it was saved from the same fate when the Florida State Historical Society bought it for $8,000 in 1924. 

There’s a hiking pathway/boardwalk that brings you to the top of the midden. Up there you get a glorious view of the Mosquito Lagoon, the beach and the beachside. Truly one of the best views in Florida. April through October turtles nest on the beaches in the area – and some years there will be hundreds or even thousands of eggs waiting to hatch. You’ll also see dolphins and manatee from the quiet beaches nearby. 

Our family – The Kosmases

Fishing in NSB has been a Kosmas way of life

The Kosmas family arrived in Bethune Beach in 1973 close to Turtle Mound via a “very dark A1A” to quote Paul Kosmas – David’s father. The night they came exhausted to their new home they found their countertops sprinkled with “pepper” – that later turned out to be no-seeums. The little bugs were a novelty to a family from Virginia, but of course they’re a Florida staple. 

Suzanna Kosmas showing off her fresh catch

The Kosmas’s home was, unbeknownst to them, on the edge of unspoiled and natural land that was to become the 9th National Seashore Park in the US. The Kosmas family grew up in paradise – fishing in the river and ocean, clamming and setting out crab traps. Ironically, their friends were hesitant to visit them on the unsettled beachside – an area with few houses and so much wild beauty. 

Kosmas kids in Bethune

Today David Kosmas lives just a few miles from the pristine land where he grew up. Married to Donna Concannon, David remains committed to the gorgeous town that raised him. 

This week at NSB Homes we’re celebrating our families – those that raised us in a beautiful and special place. Many of us had childhoods full of the beach, fishing, boating and enjoying all that NSB has to offer. We have lived here all or most of our lives – making us the foremost experts on NSB – and the best real estate professionals to help you whether you want to buy or sell. 

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