Valkaria – romantic Valkaria – once a rendezvous of pirates, wreckers, and Indians. In the 18th century it was one of the main boating stops from Jacksonville to Miami. Located within its borders was one of the largest pineapple plantations in Florida.
The property at Up the Creek Farms is the original homestead of one of the area’s first pioneers, Ernest Svedelius. Ernest migrated from Stockholm, Sweden to the east coast of Florida and built a two story frame house in the 1870’s. He began an orange grove and started a wholesale fish camp at the head of the creek that runs the length of the property to the Indian River Lagoon. Svedelius is purported to have named the town of Valkaria after Valkyre, a maiden of Norse mythology.
Through many years of different owners, the house fell into disrepair. In 1984, the Tuten family acquired the property and repaired the old farm house enough to raise two kids and lots of animals for the ensuing 29 years. In 2013, one of those ‘kids’ returned to the home with a vision. Transitioning from a catering and restaurant management background, Jessica Tuten, brings her knowledge and passion for event coordination to a new level.
Recognizing the beauty and envisioning a space to share with others, work began to update the homestead into a Bed & Breakfast. With an appetite to entertain, the scope of the project expanded into including a wedding and special events venue. Up the Creek Farms clients are welcomed as friends and can expect nothing less than extraordinary with our facility and grounds.
Up the Creek Farms is owned and operated by Jessica Tuten and Tim Watson. The engaged couple live on premise at the Decklan House and surrounding property with their two labs, Max & Parker.
Jess studied at Jacksonville University majoring in Marketing and Business Management. Her background in hospitality combines restaurant management, catering special events, and advertising campaigns in the industry. A vision to expand on an idea brought her back to her hometown.
Tim met Jess in college via a rowing rivalry between their schools. Fortunately, the two settled any disputes early by showing feelings for each other. His degree in Mechanical Engineering from Florida Tech in Melbourne, has given him the opportunity to work for the Department of Defense and private corporations in various engineering roles. Overseeing the day to day operations at Up the Creek Farms, Tim enjoys taking care of the maintenance and landscaping at the farmhouse and considers it a labor of love.
“We are excited to be able to share our passion with others and look forward to
sharing many great memories with new friends. See you Up the Creek!” – Tim & Jess