Maddox Park at Shipyard Cove

A number of historically significant locations can be found within the City of Port St. Joe, and Maddox Park at Shipyard Cove is definitely on that list. Located between George Core Park to the north and Frank Pate Park to the south, Maddox Park was known as Shipyard Cove, a place where sailing vessels were built and repaired during the thriving years of Old St. Joseph, 1836-1844. The 3.2 acre parcel was in the Maddox family for five generations, and the home of "Capt. Fred and Miss Zola" Maddox, two of Port St. Joe's most beloved residents is located on the property, still nessled under a shady cover of live oak trees. The building, constructed in 1937, now serves as the Cape San Blas Lighthouse Gift Shop.
Public restrooms, benches and picnic tables are available in the park, and the Bay Walk Trail makes it's way through the tall pines of the park, where a connector trail leads visitors over a small footbridge and beautiful sandy beach to the shorline of St. Joseph Bay.



Capt. Fred Maddox was the son of Capt. John Maddox, the harbor pilot for St. Joseph Bay in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Fred was one of the workers for the railroad dock that extended 2.500 into St. Joseph Bay for the purpose of loading lumber for shipment elsewhere. Fred and the other workers lived in a bunkhouse built on the Maddox Park property for that purpose. Fred later became the pilot and his brother Roy operated the pilot boat.

Miss Zola Maddox was born in Cypress, Florida in 1890 and began her teaching career in 1910. In 1915 she moved to Port St. Joe to teach and met Fred Maddox at a reception for the new school teachers. She taught school until her retirement in 1955.

During World War I, Fred joined the Army, and served with the American Expeditionary Forces in France. Upon his return from the war, they were married and lived in the house he had built on the bay. Their son, Dave, was born in 1921 and they continued to live in that house until it burned in 1928. Another house was built where the present one stands, but was torn down so the current house could be built in 1937. This was the Maddox home for more than 60 years.

Many older citizens recall visiting "Capt. Fred and Miss Zola" Maddox, while the Maddox grandchildren and their friends remember their homesite as a fun place to enjoy a menagerie of birds, animals, horses and goats to ride, trees to climb, and a great place to play in the bay. The Maddox family wanted this property to become a park for people to enjoy just as they had for five generations.

Follow the links below for photos of each park and trail in the system.