Announcements

Estate Sale - Saturday, June 25

posted Jun 22, 2022, 11:37 AM by Gayla Kittendorf

Dear WCHS Members and Friends,

Indoor estate sale, Saturday, June 25, 7:30-1:00 at 214 Bay Pine Drive, Crawfordville.

Furniture, TV, refrigerator, dishes, kitchen and household items, linens, tools and more.

All proceeds go to the Wakulla County Historical Society.

We are very grateful to one of our members who has had to move and is donating all of her belongings to WCHS to sell.  Please share with your friends and come by and see us there on Saturday.  The Museum will be closed this Saturday as we will all be helping with the sale.

 Arlene Vause, Secretary

Wakulla County Historical Society

Old City Cemetery Tour - Saturday, May 14

posted May 8, 2022, 2:32 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

“Join the Division of Historical Resources and the Florida Public Archaeology Network on Saturday, May 14, for two walking tours of Old City Cemetery in Tallahassee, Florida.
Offered at 10:00 a.m. and again at 1:00 p.m., the guided walking tours will focus on the cemetery’s history, offer tips for researching cemetery records, and include live demonstrations on how to properly clean historic headstones and how archaeologists use photogrammetry to create 3D models of cemetery resources. Before and after the program, stop by our outreach table the Downtown Market between 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to learn more about statewide efforts to document the location of Florida’s history cemeteries.
This program is free and open to the public. Both tours will start at the cemetery’s main gate, located on N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. near Park Ave. Street parking is available nearby. Guests should wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk and stand for the duration of the tour. This program is held in conjunction with the Division of Historical Resources’ 2022 Historic Preservation Month theme “Caring for Florida’s Historic Cemeteries.””
May be an image of tree, monument, outdoors and text that says 'Caring for Florida's Historic Cemeteries Florida Department of State celebrates FLORIDA DEPARTMENT Historic Preservation Month ofSTATE'



May 2022 Meeting - Eddie Page presentation on George Nesmith

posted Apr 28, 2022, 5:11 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

Photo of George Nesmith
Please join us for our historical program on Tuesday, May 10, 4:30 PM at the Wakulla County Public Library.  The featured speaker will be Eddie Page with a presentation on George Nesmith and the Fight to Save Wakulla County. 

During the 1943 Florida Legislative session, Wakulla County’s economic survival was in jeopardy.  Deprived of its annual share of racetrack funds as a result of the closing of Florida’s racetracks by federal mandate, Wakulla County faced insolvency and possible annexation to Leon County.  This presentation by Eddie Page describes how George Nesmith, Wakulla’s legislator in the Florida House of Representatives, fought to save the county from economic catastrophe.

Eddie’s family has resided in Wakulla County through 7 generations.  He has lived in Wakulla Station since 1983.  Eddie received a Master’s in History from Florida State University in 1994.  He has worked at FSU since 1988, currently serving as the Director of Student Services for the College of Fine Arts.  Arcadia Publishing printed Wakulla County in its Images of America series which he put together in 2001.  Another of Eddie’s projects is documenting the history of the mullet seine fishery in Wakulla County.

We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.


Arlene Vause, Secretary

George Nesmith, 1943

April 2022 Program - Diane Swearingen

posted Mar 30, 2022, 10:29 AM by Gayla Kittendorf   [ updated Mar 31, 2022, 9:39 AM ]

Book cover: shows trees, swamp, images of Thomas Swearingen and others
The Wakulla County Historical Society invites you to attend our monthly historical program on Tuesday, April 12 at 4:30 p.m. at the Wakulla County Public Library, 4330 Crawfordville Hwy.  The featured speaker will be author Diane Swearingen.  Her book is based on the diary of Thomas Swearingen.  

The Smallest Tadpole’s War in the Land of Mysterious Waters is based on a true story, a family story.  It follows the life of Thomas Franklin Swearingen and is part of the Florida Special Collection at the State Library of Florida, the University of Florida, Florida State University and Gulf Coast State College. 

Thomas came to Wakulla County in 1852.  Florida was a pioneer state in the 1800’s.  The majority of the white population was relatively poor and rural.  Thomas purchased land just north of Crawfordville, he followed his family profession as a farmer and operated a cotton gin.  He married a widow and adopted her children as his own.  For the next ten years, Thomas and his family farmed the land and fished the Gulf waters and the many rivers that crisscross the county.  The heat, insects and storms from the Gulf made life difficult; family, friends and neighbors made it a good life. 

Everything would change dramatically with the talk of war.  There is a quote that reflects the changes, it takes place after a wedding. 

“I searched the night sky and I made a wish.  I wished we could always be as happy as we were that day, but I didn’t get my wish.  Maybe I jinxed us, wanting it so badly, or maybe so many forces were already in motion that even the brightest stars couldn’t change our destiny.” 

Lieutenant Thomas Swearingen joined the Wakulla Guards in Newport on May 17, 1861.  They become part of the 3rd Florida Infantry.  Thomas was wounded in May of 1962 and return to Crawfordville to recover.  He later reported to duty as a member of the Capitol Guard, the 5th Florida Cavalry.  We are able to follow the war from the letters home and the news that trickled down to rural Florida, following battle after battle, including Gettysburg. 

While the book follows Thomas’s life and the war news, the lives of those left behind are compelling.  The women and children left without a man in a dangerous environment.   Blockade runners that tracked the Union vessels taking advantage of the many rivers, bays and inlets to transport salt, and other products needed for an army on the move.  And finally, the local battles to protect Florida’s Capitol. 

Thomas’ time as a Capitol guard gave him an introduction to Florida politics.  After the war, he would serve Wakulla County as a Representative and as a Senator.  He was a framer of the 1885 Florida Constitution and retired as President Pro tem of the Florida Senate, elected unanimously. 

The descriptions of 1800’s Florida come mostly from Wakulla and Jefferson County, with the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge offering the most untouched, rich accounts.  Each is worth the read! 

The public is invited to attend and there is no cost.  For more information, call the Historical Society at 850-926-1110.  

WAKULLA WONDERFUL 2022

posted Mar 8, 2022, 11:36 AM by Gayla Kittendorf   [ updated Mar 31, 2022, 9:29 AM ]

Dear WCHS Members and Friends, 

The Museum will be open for the Wakulla Wonderful Festival on Saturday, March 12 from 3:00 until 8:00 p.m.  Come by and see us and enjoy the festival.  We will have a drawing for a gift basket valued at $65.  There will also be tours of the Old Courthouse and the current Courthouse.  There will be vendors, food, music and county history to enjoy at the festival.

Remember our Show and Tell Program is March 8, 4:30 p.m. at the Wakulla County Public Library.  See you there.

Arlene Vause, Secretary

Wakulla County Historical Society

WCHS Annual Show and Tell March 2022

posted Feb 24, 2022, 12:57 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

Wakulla County Historical Society

5th Annual Show & Tell

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

4:30pm

Wakulla County Public Library

 

Back by popular demand! Our annual Show & Tell program! This is a great opportunity for those of you lucky enough to have a long family history in this part of Florida to bring in and show off those items handed down from earlier generations—and for the rest of us to see and learn about and admire them! Collectors will also be there to identify and discuss historical artifacts. Members and guests are invited to display and talk about their items related to North Florida or Wakulla County history.   Display tables will be set up for attendees to view your artifacts.

 

Bring those antique books, buttons, tokens, bottle or any object of historical value you’ve been storing in the closet, share your stories about them and enjoy viewing the artifacts of other collectors!

 

Call the Museum to reserve table space.

850-926-1110

New Book Club at Wakulla County Public Library

posted Feb 16, 2022, 12:06 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

Flyer for new WCPL Book Club

February 2022 Program _ 1862 Peninsular Campaign

posted Jan 30, 2022, 1:12 PM by Gayla Kittendorf   [ updated Jan 30, 2022, 1:29 PM ]

The Cornwallis Cave, Yorktown, Virginia

The Wakulla County Historical Society invites you to join us for our monthly historical program on Tuesday, February 8, 4:30 PM, at the Wakulla County Public Library, 4330 Crawfordville Hwy., Crawfordville, Florida.  The public is cordially invited and there is no cost to attend this event.  This program originally scheduled for January had to be rescheduled due to unforeseen circumstances. 

Steve and Patty Fentriss are returning to the Wakulla County Historical Society for a new presentation, focusing on the 1862 Yorktown, Virginia, part of the Peninsula Campaign. This Civil War campaign resulted in the Union Army’s failed attempt to capture the Confederate Capital of Richmond, Virginia. Steve brings a unique perspective on the subject having lived and gone to school in both Richmond and the Historic Triangle communities of Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown. Jamestown, on the James River side of the peninsula and founded in 1607, was the first capital of Virginia and considered by many to be the oldest continuously occupied English speaking settlement in the United States. Confederate earthworks still exist there today and photos appear in the presentation. Williamsburg, the Virginia capital from 1699 - 1780, is located in the middle part of the peninsula and was lost to the Union Army as it battled its way northwesterly toward Richmond. Yorktown was already historically significant before the Civil War as being the place where British forces of General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington in 1781. Included in the program are several 1862 and recent photos showing Revolutionary War era structures in both photo sets. This presentation is designed to provide a foundation for a future contemplated program about the 1865 Confederate Evacuation and Burning of Richmond. 

Steve and Patty spent decades following and standing in the steps of Civil War photographers. They are retired and have made Wakulla County their home since 2016.  They will show comparison slides of these historic sites in 1862 and how they look today. 

 Our Museum & Archives is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00 until 4:00 and on Saturdays from 10:00 until 2:00.  We feature exhibits on local history, many books and pictures on local families and communities, and a Gift Shop filled with items made by local artisans and books on local history.  The Museum is located in the Old Jail at 24 High Drive in Crawfordville.  For more information, please call us at 850-926-1110.

 

Arlene Vause, Secretary

Wakulla County Historical Society

  [Above photo: The Cornwallis Cave, Yorktown, Virginia. Courtesy of Steve and Patty Fentriss.]

JANUARY PROGRAM CANCELLED

posted Jan 11, 2022, 8:53 AM by Gayla Kittendorf

Due to COVID outbreaks and several of our volunteers being sick, we are cancelling today's program at the Library.  It will be rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 8, 4:30 PM at the Library.  We will send out a reminder notice to you at the beginning of February.

We apologize for the last minute notice, but I know everyone would rather be safe.  

Thank you.


Arlene Vause, Secretary
Wakulla County Historical Society

January 2022 Program

posted Jan 2, 2022, 1:08 PM by Gayla Kittendorf   [ updated Jan 2, 2022, 1:09 PM ]

The Cornwallis Cave, Yorktown, Virginia
Dear WCHS Members and Friends,

 Please join us for our historical program on the 1862 Peninsula Campaign on Tuesday, January 11, 4:30 PM at the Wakulla County Public Library.

Steve and Patty Fentriss are returning to the Wakulla County Historical Society for a new presentation, focusing on the 1862 Yorktown, Virginia, part of the Peninsula Campaign. This Civil War campaign resulted in the Union Army’s failed attempt to capture the Confederate Capital of Richmond, Virginia. Steve brings a unique perspective on the subject having lived and gone to school in both Richmond and the Historic Triangle communities of Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown. Jamestown, on the James River side of the peninsula and founded in 1607, was the first capital of Virginia and considered by many to be the oldest continuously occupied English speaking settlement in the United States. Confederate earthworks still exist there today and photos appear in the presentation. Williamsburg, the Virginia capital from 1699 - 1780, is located in the middle part of the peninsula and was lost to the Union Army as it battled its way northwesterly toward Richmond. Yorktown was already historically significant before the Civil War as being the place where British forces of General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington in 1781. Included in the program are several 1862 and recent photos showing Revolutionary War era structures in both photo sets. This presentation is designed to provide a foundation for a future contemplated program about the 1865 Confederate Evacuation and Burning of Richmond.

Steve and Patty spent decades following and standing in the steps of Civil War photographers. They are retired and have made Wakulla County their home since 2016.  They will show comparison slides of these historic sites in 1862 and how they look today.    

 We look forward to seeing you there.

 

 Arlene Vause

Secretary

 [The Cornwallis Cave, Yorktown, Viriginia. Photo above provided by Steve Fentriss.]

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