Wakulla County Historical Society

"A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable." Thomas Jefferson

Donald L. Tucker, Wakulla Native, March 10, 7:00 PM, WCHS Program

Speaker Donald L. Tucker.jpg

Donald L. Tucker       Former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives 1976–1980

Tuesday, March 10, 7:00 PM, Wakulla County Public Library the speaker for our WCHS second Tuesday program is Donald L. Tucker.  We appreciate Don’s faithfulness as a WCHS member and contributor.

The Wakulla County History Society looks forward to another interesting program featuring a Wakulla native whose name is well-known, not only in Wakulla and Leon counties but also throughout the southern states.  Does Donald L. Tucker sound familiar? Of course, there are few days that the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center is not mentioned in the Tallahassee news and activities.  Many Wakulla residents think of the person, Donald Tucker, rather than the Civic Center when we hear the title.

Don, son of former Florida Senator Luther C. Tucker and wife, Grace Spears Tucker, grew up in Crawfordville, graduating from Crawfordville High School in 1953.  Don, senior class president, student body president, and football team captain also attended Florida Boys State where he was elected Governor. After graduating high school, he attended Brigham Young University, enlisted in the Army and after being honorably discharged, served two years as a missionary. After receiving his law degree from the University of Florida, Don began his law practice in Tallahassee and built his home in Crawfordville.

In 1966, Don ran for, and was elected to represent Wakulla, Leon and Franklin Counties in the Florida Legislature.  He was reelected the following five terms becoming Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, the only Speaker in Florida’s history to preside over four consecutive regular legislative sessions.  He was chosen by fellow representatives on two occasions to receive the Florida Times Union Award as “Most Effective Member of the Legislature.”

In 1977, the Legislature unanimously passed the bill signed by Gov. Askew naming the Tallahassee Civic Center “The Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.” Don is also proud that he was responsible for the Continuing Education Center, the Gus Turnbull Building at FSU and the basketball arena at the University of Florida, “The O’Connell Center”.

He was appointed Chairman of the Latin American-Caribbean Commission by Governor Askew and was nominated by President Carter to be Vice-Chair of the Civil Aeronautics Board as well as commissioning him to serve as Special Ambassador to the Dominican Republic.

The Tallahassee Democrat had an extensive article about Don Tucker in April of 1976 in which he is portrayed as a savvy politician enjoying the game, but very much playing to win.  Perhaps that is a very appropriate remark for the man whose name is on the Civic Arena.

The public is invited to attend our meeting on the 2nd Tuesday evening of March, 7pm, at the Wakulla Library.  Come to meet and greet Don and to hear from a Wakulla County native that “made it in the world of politics.”

Submitted by Betty Green

 

Wakulla County Historical Society Presents Concert to Benefit Heritage Village Park

20140519-000312-192274.jpgThe Wakulla County Historical Society presents Lari White and Friends Wakulla Homecoming: A Heritage Event featuring Lari White, Chuck Cannon, Bryan Edwards, Rick Ott, Lindsay Sparkman, and Jerry Evans on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 7:00 PM in the auditorium of Wakulla High School, 3237 Coastal Highway, Crawfordville, Florida. Tickets are $35/$30/$20 each and will be available March 1 online at http://www.wakullahistory.org and at the box office during business hours. The event is A From The Heart Studio-Concert Production.

“This will be a spectacular event,” said Historical Society President Cathy Gray Frank “. . . we are overwhelmed by the generosity of such accomplished musicians, it would notbe possible without the tireless efforts of our volunteers and we appreciate everyone’s contribution.”

Murray McLaughlin, Vice President/Heritage Village Park, indicated that Lari White and Chuck Cannon are coming from Nashville to perform donating their time and talent for the event from which all proceeds will benefit Heritage Village Park. “Lari has deep roots in Wakulla County as her father, Larry White, was born  and raised here and graduated Sopchoppy High School. Her grandparents Cortez and Rosebud White lived in Medart. Rosebud was one of the siblings who lived for a time in the McLaughlin House.” Chuck Cannon has family roots in Jefferson County. “Chuck with Lari as headline performers is a huge contribution for a successful event,” said Rick Ott, Concert Producer. http://www.chuckcannon.com

Read more about the Heritage Village at http://wakullahistory.org/heritagevillage.html

Lari White and Friends Wakulla Homecoming: A Heritage Event

 

Wakulla Homecoming: A Heritage Event

Wakulla Homecoming: A Heritage Event

 

Tickets available March 1, 2015.

J. Harold Thurmond & Judge Mike Carter Share Wakulla County’s Rich History

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The Historical Society’s second Tuesday program in January Judges of the 1800s and 1900s featured speakers J. Harold Thurmond, retired Clerk of Court, and Mike Carter, retired County Judge.

Thurmond’s remarks included: H.L. Henderson (1871), W.T. Duval (1873, 1877), W.A. Giles (1881), B.S. Smith (1885), W.A. Giles (1887), C.M. Cox (1888), William H. Walker (1890), W.W. Giles (1891), and S.J. Giles (1895). WCHS member Helen Harvey, who regularly attends the programs, commented that she was impressed with the “spectacular research Harold did to share so many interesting facts.” Thurmond’s humor, teaching background, and talent for storytelling mesmerized the audience. He commended the effort of his “whole family” to produce the presentation while daughter Jana monitored the slide show.

Mike Carter litigated the last case ever tried in the Historic Wakulla County Courthouse (c. 1892) and his remarks began with R. Don McLeod who presided as county judge from 1901 to 1928. McLeod’s famous ruling that a mullet is a bird because it has a gizzard occurred in the old courthouse which has sported a mullet weathervane since it was restored by the Chamber of Commerce. Carter continued the topic with Raney Whaley (1928), A.L. Porter (1932), George Harper (1956), Evelyn Flack (1974), Michael Carter (1983), and Jill Walker (1990). Carter shared many stories of personal interaction with Judge Porter and fellow lawyer Jewell Hudson during his career of practicing law. Carter also recounted with good humor the controversial election between himself and Judge Flack.

Both Carter and Thurmond are active Historical Society members. Program Chairman Betty Green said, “We are so thankful to have people who are willing to share the rich history of Wakulla County with such fascination. We really appreciate their support.” Alongside Thurmond’s family in the audience were Judge Harper’s widow, Naomi, and sons George, Kenny, and Larry. All historical programs are recorded and available on CD upon request in the Old Jail Gift Shop. Historical Society meetings are on the second Tuesday, September through May, except October and December, at 7:00 pm in the Public Library at 4330 Crawfordville Highway. The Wakulla County Historical Society Museum & Archives is located on Courthouse Square at 24 High Drive in Crawfordville and is open Thursday and Friday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

By Arkad

What Does WCHS Offer?

Wakulla County Historical SocietyAND MUCH MORE…. Call us at 850-926-1110.

Wakulla Museum and Archives Opens a New Exhibit

Mr. PageAn exhibit on Wakulla Station has been opened at the Wakulla Museum and Archives, downtown Crawfordville, Florida. The exhibit includes artifacts from people whose families lived in that community. We have a very strict policy and items on loan to the Museum are always returned to the person who brought them to the exhibit. Our exhibit cases are closed in glass. If you’d like to share something please contact the Museum: 926-1110 or 24research at gmail.com.

Photos of Wakulla Station Exhibit

The exhibit is now open for viewing.

View Our Historic Photos on Pinterest

Visit our historic photos on Pinterest

http://www.pinterest.com/24research/wakulla-historical-society

 

Share Your Historic Photos With The Historical Society

Hello Fellow Historians ,

Wakulla county Historical Society is developing a collection of historic photos on Pinterest. Visit our site and send us any photos to Facebook of local history or anything you might consider of value to add to our collection. Hope to see your ideas soon! Cathy Frank

Visit http://www.pinterest.com/24research/wakulla-historical-society

 

Visit The Museum To See Early Artifacts of Wakulla County

Drop by the Museum today for our Open House to see a fantastic exhibit. Read more about it…

By Sandra Vidak

We are pleased to officially open the Forbes Purchase-Hartfield Survey exhibit in the Betty Oaks Green Room at the Museum.

The story of the Forbes Purchase began in 1776 when three Tory sympathizers: William Panton, Thomas Forbes and John Leslie, arrived in St. Augustine. They had been prominent in the Indian trade in South Carolina and Georgia and sought similar opportunities in Florida. They did so as Panton Leslie & Company establishing headquarters in Pensacola. In 1792 Panton admitted John Forbes (the youngest brother of Thomas Forbes) to the firm as a junior partner and sent him to Alabama to handle the Chickasaw and Choctaw trade. By that time Panton Leslie & Company had a monopoly on Indian trade with the Upper and Lower Creek, Seminole, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Cherokee in the Southeast. The leather and fur trades were lucrative for the firm and in some years as many as two hundred fifty thousand deer hides and beaver pelts were traded and shipped to Europe. The firm’s success during Panton’s leadership, deteriorated after his death in 1801 as damage was inflicted on its commerce by William Augustus Bowles, the War of 1812, Andrew Jackson’s war on the Creek nation, and competition from American traders.
Read more…

WCHS Quarterly

WCHS Quarterly Cover

Did you know that WCHS now has  published a quarterly entitled “Wakulla County Historical Society, Historic News in Review”. To get a copy, call the museum at 926-1110. There is no charge to members, non-members will pay a copy fee.

The Greens and Cornbread of Wakulla County: Historical Stories Told by the People “Best Seller”

Wakulla historical Society New Book Green and Cornbread

Good News, the books are now in at the Museum. Come get yours!

THE GREENS AND CORNBREAD OF WAKULLA COUNTY: Historical Stories Told by the People

This delightful book is a collection of stories depicting the history of Wakulla County.  The stories were written and submitted by different authors and families.  The text includes a wide variety of topics and time periods.  Many of the stories contain photos that were included by the author.
The subject matter is divided into several categories that include:

  • The Heritage Village Project
  • Early Times
  • Family Military Memories
  • Modern Times
  • Our People and Lifestyle
  • Water Stories Around the County
  • Wakulla County Landmarks

The first chapter on The Heritage Village Project describes the Historical Society’s vision of this project for the people of the county. It presents photos of homes that are actively being preserved and some history of each home is given to illustrate why it should be saved.
The reader can find tales that describe Wakulla County as families learned to live in the wilds of northwest Florida, as well as learn information about some family genealogies.  Some stories chronicle the individual life of a unique person in the history of the county.
Wakulla County’s development has always been influenced by the ocean and the many rivers, streams, and other bodies of water found there in abundance.  The water stories chapter shows how the people used these bodies of water to support their families in addition to anecdotal accounts about unique events that occurred. Of course, this section would not be complete without a few fishing tales.
The reader can also find information about some of the unique sites and landmarks in Wakulla County, including Wakulla Springs and other historical places of significance.
Overall this book is a wonderful mixture of the old, the new, and the hopes for the future of Wakulla County and the people.

Place Your Order Today! Click here for order blank…

ISBN-10:
0985706228
ISBN-13:
978-0-9857062-2-7

©”Wakulla County” Art work by Allison Green, JoAnn Palmer, and Cathy Frank

WCHS Website Has Important Projects Posted

Mt. Zion Cemetery

Mt. Zion Cemetery

Did you know that Wakulla Historical Society’s website has many important historic projects posted. Have you been trying to find a relative in the local cemeteries? Take a look at our “Cemeteries” link.

Thank you to John E. Roberts and his family for the work they have put into this project.

Hello Wakulla County History Buffs

Florida non-profit, tax exempt, charitable donations. 501c3

Wakulla County Historical Society

Welcome to a site developed by Wakulla County Historical Society for history lovers like you. You can share your history with us. Watch for all the latest happenings.

Don’t forget that our local Musuem and Archives are opened Thursday, Friday, 10:00 – 4:00 p.m. and Sat. from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Check out the gift shop and the genealogy research suite located at 24 High Drive, Crawfordville, FL, in the Courthouse Square. It is one of  Wakulla’s greatest treasures. Call 850-926-1110.

Wakulla County Historical Society Offers…

Wakulla Homecoming: A Heritage Event Tickets Now Available

Concert to Benefit Heritage Village Park

The Wakulla County Historical Society presents Lari White and Friends Wakulla Homecoming: A Heritage Event featuring Lari White, Chuck Cannon, Bryan Edwards, Rick Ott, Lindsay Sparkman, and Jerry Evans on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 7:00 PM in the auditorium of Wakulla High School, 3237 Coastal Highway, Crawfordville, Florida. Tickets are $35/$30/$20 each and will be available March 1 online at wakullahistory.tix.com and at the box office during business hours. The event is A From The Heart Studio-Concert Production.
[Read Press Release]

Lari White, Florida Native Returns To Wakulla County

Lari WhiteFlorida native Lari White enjoys a uniquely multi-faceted career as a Gold and Grammy recording artist, hit songwriter and producer, and versatile actress.  Lari grew up in a musical family, performing with parents Larry and Yvonne White and two younger siblings, entertaining with pop, gospel and folk favorites across the state of Florida. At the University of Miami Lari earned a degree in Music Engineering, preparing herself to become one of the few women in music production.

Lari moved to Nashville as soon as she graduated and won the Nashville Network’s talent show “You Can Be A Star.” She started her illustrious career as a songwriter and recording artist with Ronnie Milsap’s publishing company and RCA Records. Lari’s music has earned three Grammys (The Apostle Soundtrack and Amazing Grace 1 and 2: A Country Tribute), and RIAA Gold status (Wishes/RCA Records). Her most recent studio albums include the R&B flavored “Green Eyed Soul,” hailed by the London Times as “the best soul album this year,” and “Piano Bar,” music from her live appearances on the Delbert McClinton music cruise.

As the first female producer of a male superstar, Lari made music history by producing Toby Keith’s platinum album “White Trash with Money.” Her songwriting credits include Tammy Wynette, Toby Keith, Lonestar, and most recently Danny Gokey, and Pat Green.

Lari turned heads around the world with her role opposite Tom Hanks in the blockbuster movie Cast Away (as the “Angel at the Crossroads” in the final scene). Most recently she hit the silver screen in “Country Strong,” with Gwynneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw. She’s also starred in films for Lifetime TV and CMT. Lari made her critically-acclaimed Broadway debut in the Johnny Cash musical “Ring Of Fire” (2006), and received rave reviews for her performances in the Marilyn and Alan Bergman Tribute with Michael Feinstein at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. She’s been a featured artist with Marvin Hamlisch and the NY Pops, and has won critics and audiences alike with her appearances at Lincoln Center and Town Hall in New York City.

Most recently Lari has shown her Southern roots as producer of The Shoe Burnin’ Anthology companion music CD available at http://www.lariwhite.com.

See Lari White “live” on April 25, 2015 in Wakulla Homecoming: A Heritage Event. Visit https://wakullahistoricalsociety.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/1252/ for more information.

WCHS to feature Robert Buccellato, author of Florida Governors: Lasting Legacies.

Wakulla County Historical Society Second Tuesday Program
February 10, 7:00 PM, Wakulla County Public Library

The Wakulla County Historical Society’s February 10 program features Robert Buccellato, author of a new book entitled Florida Governors: Lasting Legacies.  This 128 page book with 194 photographs will be released by Arcadia Publishing on February 2.  “Florida has a rich and diverse history, with a wealth of exciting events and colorful characters that form a brilliant narrative for any lover of history,” Buccellato said.  Highlights of this book include a foreword by Governor Wayne Mixon, new insights into forgotten figures of Florida’s past, and 200 years of Florida history covered in one book.  The Historical Society will have these books available for sale at the February 10 meeting and in the Old Jail Gift Shop in the WCHS Museum & Archives.

Robert Buccellato, 28, is a noted historian of the Florida governorship and the authorized biographer of Governor Wayne Mixon.  His second book on the Life and Politics of Florida’s 39th Governor will be released by The History Press in August 2015.  He is a graduate of Florida State University and lives in Crawfordville with his wife Stephanie.

Wayne Mixon served as lieutenant governor during the Bob Graham administration and became Florida’s 39th governor in January 1987 when Graham stepped down to take his seat in the United States Senate.  Mixon served as governor for three days until Bob Martinez’s inauguration.

For more information contact the Wakulla County Historical Society Museum & Archives, located at 24 High Drive in Crawfordville, at 850-926-1110 or 24research@gmail.com. Business Hours are Thursday/Friday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Do You Need Help Discovering Your Ancestors?

August Calendar

Wakulla County Museum and Archives has highly trained Genealogy specialist to assist you with finding your family.

Call 850-926-1110 to make an appointment.

News From WCHS

<div class="source">Picasa</div><div class="image-desc">Board members pictured from left: Betty Green, Murray McLaughlin, Carolyn Harvey, Arlene Vause, Jennifer Raker, Helen Strickland, Rita Sparkman, Sandra Vidak, Cathy Frank, Cal Jamison, and Gayla Kittendorf.</div><div class="buy-pic"></div>

Board members pictured from left: Betty Green, Murray McLaughlin, Carolyn Harvey, Arlene Vause, Jennifer Raker, Helen Strickland, Rita Sparkman, Sandra Vidak, Cathy Frank, Cal Jamison, and Gayla Kittendorf. Photo by Albert Strickland Not pictured: Mark Perrin & Mary Ann Laird

The Wakulla County Historical held its 23rd annual dinner meeting on Oct. 14.
In her message, President Cathy Frank said, “We have become recognized as a resource for historic preservation and a repository for local history.”
Frank mentioned a few highlights for the year including that the Museum and Archives opened three days a week for genealogy research and where exhibits featured The Forbes Purchase, Quilt Show, Wakulla Station, and Paleontology Exhibit of Prehistoric Bones. Events included: “A Land Remembered” with Rick Smith; “Looking Back Series”- historical programs, planned by Betty Green, about our area; Maintain eight local historic cemeteries; Genealogy programs; “Save The Crackers” themed fundraisers to benefit The Heritage Village Park; The John Archie McLaughlin House moved to the Heritage Village Park; Annual Yard Sale; the first Tea Social; December Open House at the Museum; Local parades; and recipient of a $50,000 grant for ADA improvements to The Museum and Archives.
The following Historical Society members were elected to the Board of Directors: Cathy Frank, President; Betty Green, Vice-President; Murray McLaughlin, Vice-President for the Heritage Village; Arlene Vause, Secretary; Mary Ann Laird, Treasurer; Carolyn Harvey; Cal Jamison; Gayla Kittendorf; Tanya Lynn; Mark Perrin; Jennifer Raker; Rita Sparkman; Helen Strickland; and Sandra Vidak. The following were elected to be associate board members: Brent Thurmond, Clerk of Court; Lynn Thompson, Attorney at Law; Randy Lewis, AIA Architect; Richard Harden, Wakulla County Commissioner; Nancy Speigner, Centennial Bank; and Terry Gerrell, SYP Publishing.
Vice-President Betty Green introduced entertainers for the evening, Mays Leroy Gray and his wife Delores Greene. They were in costume as Elvis and Priscilla and danced to several Elvis songs. Mays Gray was the second president of WCHS.

By Sandra Vidak
Public Relations Chair

Wakulla County Historical Society Monthly Programs

20140519-000312-192274.jpgWCHS Members and Friends,

We will have two really good programs in January.  Please come and join us for both programs.

The Wakulla Genealogy Group will hold its meeting on Thursday, January 8, 6:30 PM at the Wakulla County Public Library.  Melody Porter will talk about the Dawes Rolls and researching Native American ancestors.  Proud to be a Native American (both Cherokee and Choctaw), Melody is a voting member of the Western Cherokee Tribe in Oklahoma.  She lives in Thomasville, GA and has been doing genealogy research for more than 25 years.  Come and learn how to search for your Native American ancestors.

Our monthly WCHS program is on Tuesday, January 13, 7:00 PM at the Wakulla County Library.  The topic is Judges of Wakulla County.  J. Harold Thurmond and Judge Mike Carter will tell us about the judges that served in the 1800’s and 1900’s.  I know many of you have lots of memories about the judges that you have known.  This promises to be a very informative and interesting program.  Come and learn more about these prominent citizens of Wakulla County.

Wishing all of you happiness in 2015 and we look forward to seeing you.

Arlene Vause, Secretary
Wakulla County Historical Society

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