2018 Annual Meeting Rescheduled

posted Oct 15, 2018, 7:18 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

Dear WCHS Members and Friends,

The Historical Society's annual dinner has been rescheduled to Tuesday, Oct. 23.  It is being held at Crawfordville Baptist Church Christian Life Center.  Doors will open at 6:00 PM and the buffet meal catered by The Seineyard will begin at 6:30.  The cost is $25 and we are asking that you prepay. 

If you did not previously sign up, but would now like to attend since the date changed, please let me know. 

Thank you.

Arlene Vause, Secretary
Wakulla County Historical Society

Genealogy Lab - October 4

posted Sep 25, 2018, 6:26 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

Wakulla Genealogy Group logo

Thursday, Oct. 4, 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM – The Wakulla Genealogy Group will be in the computer lab to assist anyone with research on and as well as other helpful resources for finding your family.  You may bring your laptop or use the Library’s computers.

Annual Meeting - 2018

posted Sep 17, 2018, 7:04 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

Dear Wakulla County Historical Society Members and Friends,


We are getting ready to close our 2017-2018 season and begin a new exciting year.  Please mark your calendars and join us the second Tuesday of each month, September through May, for our ongoing historical society programs.


Please join us for our annual dinner meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at the First Baptist Church of Crawfordville Christian Life Center.  Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. for a Meet & Greet session and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m.  Again, this year, we are asking that you pre-pay for this event. 


The Buffet meal will be catered by The Seineyard with fried fish, fried shrimp, fried chicken, cheese grits, baked beans, coleslaw, hushpuppies and tea, as well as homemade desserts.  The cost is $25 per person.  Please R.S.V.P. by October 5.  Checks can be made payable to WCHS and brought by the Museum or mailed to P.O. Box 151, Crawfordville, FL 32326. 


Our program will be a presentation on Oyster Aquaculture by Bob Ballard of TCC’s Wakulla Environmental Institute.     


We will vote on our new slate of officers at the annual meeting. Following are the nominations for 2018-2019:  Executive Officers: President, Debra Jay; Vice-President, Position Vacant; Treasurer, Jennifer Raker; and Secretary, Arlene Vause. Board of Directors: Cathy Frank, Carolyn Harvey, Cal Jamison, Gayla Kittendorf, Mary Ann Laird, Tanya Lynn, Mark Perrin, and Rita Sparkman. Associate Directors: Brent Thurmond, Karen Taylor, Susan Turner, Randy Lewis, Richard Harden, Lynn Thompson, Diane Curlee and Murray McLaughlin.


The Historical Society completed a number of accomplishments in the 2017-2018 year.   I would like to mention some of the projects we have completed in the last 12 months.


·       Heritage Village:  The Laird House was moved to its new location in the Heritage Village Park in July.  Grant money also allowed us to repair the Smith Creek School flooring.  Amid all this construction and moving activity, we were able to get electricity and water service installed at the park.  Much appreciation to Walter and Sandra Vidak, Cal Jamison and Contractor Lou Callaghan for pulling this project together.

·       Brick Memorial Patio:  This summer also saw the completion of the brick memorial patio in front of the Old Jail Museum and Archives building.  If you have not seen it, you must stop by and look at the wonderful work done by Mason Matt Snyder.  There is plenty of room for you to buy that brick for a special someone in your family and have it placed in the patio.  A special thank you to Wakulla County employees Cody Solburg and Deputy Leif Sparby for their assistance in this project.

·       Old Jail Renovations:  One-half of the second floor was renovated with carpeting and paint.  We are completing renovation of the remainder of the second floor this month.  We can now start on the task of organizing and storing our collections in the restored space that the renovations have provided.  Again Rita Sparkman and Billy Tully have led the charge on getting this renovation completed.

·       Quarterly:  Another great year of the WCHS Quarterly.  This periodical is full of great stories and information.  Thank you to Arlene Vause, Tanya Lynn and Cathy Frank for their continued dedication to this publication.


I want to express my appreciation for all the hard work of our volunteers and the support from our members and the community.  It takes a lot of time and commitment from many people to keep the Old Jail Museum and Archives alive and well.  This year we will be saying goodbye to Betty Green as she is moving out of state to be with her daughter.  She will be greatly missed but she leaves behind a legacy of years of research and documentation of the history of Wakulla County at the museum.  She is a special lady.  Be sure to come to the annual dinner meeting for a chance to say goodbye to Betty.


Thank you for your support!





Debra Jay


September 2018 Program - Dale Cox

posted Aug 9, 2018, 6:54 PM by Gayla Kittendorf   [ updated Aug 9, 2018, 7:00 PM ]

Call 926-1110 for more information.

Flyer for Dale Cox Program - September 2018

What's My Name?

posted Aug 9, 2018, 6:29 PM by Gayla Kittendorf   [ updated Aug 9, 2018, 6:31 PM ]

After a two-month hiatus, we have a new photo and a new mystery for this month. This is from a photo taken by Cal Jamison inside the cupola of the old Courthouse across the street from our museum. It has been cropped and re-oriented to make it easier to read. It appears to be "F.M.+D.F. 5/24/37." Does anyone know who these initials belong to? We'd love to know the story! If you know, please reply to or comment on the post on Facebook.

Graffiti in old courthouse cupola

See What We Have at the Gift Shop!

posted Aug 9, 2018, 6:11 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

Whispers from Verdura (book cover)
Now in!  Whispers from Verdura is a fascinating and dynamic look at Benjamin Chaires and how he helped shape the early history of Florida. Whether your interest lies in his influence, his family, or Florida history, you will find it difficult to put this book down once you begin reading it.  Includes a bibliography and notes on the ancestry and family of Benjamin Chaires.

Find this and other books, as well as local artisan crafted items in the Museum Gift Shop. Come visit us!

What's My Name?

posted May 7, 2018, 7:25 PM by Gayla Kittendorf   [ updated May 9, 2018, 5:15 PM ]

These are in the Green Family notebook at the Museum. Betty Green thinks they may be Rakers. Can you identify the people in these two photos? Any idea of the occasion, place? If so, send an email to or leave a comment on the post on Facebook.

Back Row: _____________, _________________
Front Row _____________ , Jenny Lee Crawford

1. _____________, 2. ______________, 3. Jenny Lee Crawford

May 2018 Program - Hyde Park Community/Shadeville High School

posted Apr 27, 2018, 12:46 PM by Gayla Kittendorf   [ updated Apr 27, 2018, 1:25 PM ]

Shadeville High School before additions
The Historical Society’s program on Tuesday, May 8, 7:00 PM, at the Wakulla County Public Library, will feature the Hyde Park Community and Shadeville High School.  Bossie Hawkins has put together a panel of speakers and this will be a very informative program as we learn more of Wakulla County’s history.


Thomas Mitchell, a descendant of one of the Hyde Park families and unofficial historian of Hyde Park, will trace the genesis and history of the nearly all-black community from its beginnings well before the Civil War through a detailed in-depth presentation.  He will also answer questions related to this community.


Dr Edith Hargrett Ward, daughter of one of the founding members of Shadeville High School, will talk about her father, Andrew J Hargrett, one of the founding members of the school.  Dr. Ward will also touch on her family’s enviable legacy as educators and their widespread influence.


Graduating its first class in 1934, Shadeville was the Wakulla County’s African-American high school.  The school remained in existence as a high school until the 1966-67 school year.


Several individuals who grew up in the Hyde Park community in the 1940’s and 1950’s will share their experiences in growing up in the nearly all-black community and its lasting impact upon their lives.  They will highlight little-known facts such as the statewide influence of the community during Reconstruction through prominent citizens such as Amos Hargrett who served in several important appointed and elective positions in Wakulla County and as a Wakulla County delegate to the 1885 Florida Constitutional Convention.


Hyde Park still exists as a community today but had its largest population and greatest influence during the period between the two World Wars, to just after WWII.  Just as much of the Old South experienced population losses through large-scale migration northward of African Americans during and following WWII, many of Hyde Park’s residents joined the trek northward.  This led to a sharp decline in population from which Hyde Park never recovered.


This program is free and open to the public.  For more information, please call the Historical Society at (850) 926-1110.

Genealogy Program - May 3

posted Apr 19, 2018, 6:18 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

Please publish the attached in your next issue and include in the Community Calendar and the Neighbor, if possible. Thank you!
Gayla Kittendorf, Publicity Chairman

May 3, 2018, 6:30 p.m., Wakulla County Public Library

Our program on Thursday, May 3, 6:30 p.m., at the Wakulla County Public Library will feature Mark Hudson who will share about the Rehwinkel family and how they came to America from Germany and eventually settled in Wakulla County.  If you missed our WCHS program in November, this is an opportunity for you to hear the stories that Mark will tell about the Rehwinkel family and the many families they connect to in Wakulla County.  If you were in attendance at our November program, please join us again and you may even learn something new that was not mentioned before.

Mark Hudson is a 4th generation Wakulla Countian on his mother, Miriam Rehwinkel Hudson's side.  Mark has extensive extended family in Wakulla County, including the Alligoods, Boatwrights, Greens, Boyettes, Rakers, Duggars, Towles, Allens, Moodys, and McCallisters. 

On May 3, Mark will be telling us about his great-great-grandfather, Henry Charles Rehwinkel, Sr. (1837-1929), who immigrated from Hanover, Germany in 1856 to New York, where he worked as a gardener.  He decided to move south, stopping for a while in Savannah and Columbus, Georgia.  He finally made it to Wakulla County after the War Between the States and Mark will tell you the rest of the story.

His great-grandfather, Henry Charles Rehwinkel, Jr. (1876-1969) was a census enumerator on the 1920, 1930 and 1940 records in Wakulla County.  Many of us remember Mark's grandparents, Roy and Florence Moody Rehwinkel.  They had a mercantile and feed store in Crawfordville, right on the corner of Crawfordville Highway and Arran Road.  His parents were Bert and Miriam Rehwinkel Hudson.  Bert Hudson was considered an authority on raising and managing livestock and he authored a textbook on cattle diseases in the early 60's.  His father's brother was Jewell Hudson, a lawyer in Wakulla County for many years.  Jewell donated the land for Hudson and Azalea parks.

Please make plans to join us on May 3rd for the story of a true Wakulla County family. 

Arlene Vause, Secretary

Wakulla County Historical Society

What's My Name?

posted Apr 13, 2018, 4:25 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

We have two photos this month! If you recognize any of the faces, please let us know by commenting on the post on Facebook or sending an email to 

Photo 1
1. __________, 2. __________3. __________, 4. __________, 5.__________.

Photo 2

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