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


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


posted Nov 20, 2021, 5:34 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

Open House December 4, 2021 from 1pm to 4pm

Program Cancellations: Please Read

posted Sep 3, 2021, 12:59 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

Dear WCHS Members and Friends, 

Wakulla County Historical Society Fall Events: 

Diane Swearingen, local author, was scheduled to be the featured speaker at the Historical Society’s program in September.  However, because of the widespread resurgence of COVID in the community, we have made the decision to cancel the September program as well as the annual dinner in October.  We plan to have Diane speak at a future program. 

In the meantime, Diane has just donated to the Historical Society’s Gift Shop copies of her book, The Smallest Tadpole’s War in the Land of Mysterious Waters.  This book is based on the diary of Thomas Swearingen who lived in Wakulla County before, during and after the War Between the States.  These books were donated in memory of Helen Strickland and Clarence Morrison who both had ancestors that were mentioned in the diary.  And to my delight, my 3rd great grandfather, Jesse Langston, is also mentioned in this diary. 

The Museum & Archives at 24 High Drive in Crawfordville is open Thursday and Friday from 10:00 until 4:00 and on Saturday from 10:00 until 2:00.  We welcome you to come in and see our new exhibits, research your family or shop in our Gift Shop filled with items made by local artisans and many books on local history.  

For more information, please call the Museum at 850-926-1110.  


Arlene Vause, Secretary

Wakulla County Historical Society



Recording History of Shadeville and Hyde Park

posted Aug 15, 2021, 9:09 AM by Gayla Kittendorf

<div class="source">Special to The News</div><div class="image-desc">Interviewer Joyce Jefferson with Shadeville graduate Jennie Jones.</div><div class="buy-pic"></div>
Special to The News
Interviewer Joyce Jefferson with Shadeville graduate Jennie Jones.

Do you have memories of the old Shadeville High School? Do you or your relatives have stories about the Hyde Park community? The Wakulla Historical Society wants to hear from you!
A new initiative seeks to record and document the history of Shadeville High School, the only high school for Wakulla County’s black students during segregation; and Hyde Park, the community surrounding the school.
Leading this effort is Joyce Jefferson, who works with the Florida Memory Project team, a program of the State Library and Archives of Florida. Ms. Jefferson is a current graduate student in Museum Education at Florida State University, and a Wakulla County native, herself. In her work with the Wakulla Historical Society, Ms. Jefferson is conducting oral history interviews with individuals in the community who lived in Hyde Park, and/or attended or worked at Shadeville High School.
The first such oral history interview was conducted with Jennie Jones, a Shadeville High graduate, on Saturday, June 19 at the Wakulla Historical Society Museum and Archives.
Mrs. Jones graduated in the Shadeville High class of 1963, and brought photos and a Shadeville High reunion program, which the Museum scanned for digital preservation.
Participants in the project are always able to keep the originals of any materials they choose to share. The ultimate goal of the project is to showcase documents, mementoes, and oral histories for the public to view online, and at the museum. Says Jefferson of this new initiative with the Wakulla Historical Society: “Oral history is such important work overall, and it’s very important to preserve the stories of African-Americans here in Wakulla County.”
The Wakulla Historical Society is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization operating the Wakulla County Museum and Archives. The Museum is located at 24 High Road in Crawfordville, in the old Wakulla County Jail, across the street from the historic wooden Courthouse. The Museum is open to the public Thursdays and Fridays 10-4pm, and Saturdays 10-2pm. Membership in the Wakulla Historical Society is available to all, at $25 per year. Visit the website at to learn more.
Anyone with stories about Shadeville High School or the Hyde Park community is encouraged to contact the Wakulla Historical Society at (850) 926-1110. The Historical Society asks that you leave a detailed message with your name and a return phone number, so that volunteers may contact you. You may also email the Historical Society directly at

WCHS Cookbook Fundraiser

posted May 3, 2021, 5:27 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

cookbook clip art
WCHS Cookbook Fundraiser:
The Historical Society is putting together a cookbook as a fundraiser. We need your help. Please submit favorite family recipes. You may also send a photograph of your family member or friend whose recipe you are submitting and provide a little information about them.If possible, please type the recipe on the computer and email it to us at You can also bring it by the Museum or mail it to P.O. Box 151, Crawfordville, FL 32326. If you want us to scan your picture into the computer, we can do this while you are at the Museum and give you the original back.

Georgia State Archives Re-opening

posted Mar 29, 2021, 9:39 AM by Gayla Kittendorf

Georgia State Archives Has Reopened for Genealogy Research

29 Mar 2021

The Georgia State Archives in Morrow has reopened by appointment only.

Genealogists and historians now have access to the reference library, microfilm library, computer terminals and original records by appointment. Appointments can be scheduled Tuesdays through Saturdays: Morning: 9:00 to 12:00; afternoon: 1:00 to 4:00.

Please use Ask an Archivist Form  or call 678-364-3710 to schedule your appointment or enquire about resources.

[From Eastman Online Genealogy Newsletter (]


posted Dec 1, 2020, 6:49 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

Due to the recent spike in Coronavirus cases, we have decided to cancel our annual Christmas Open House at the Museum.  However, our Gift Shop will be open on Saturday, December 5 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. for anyone wishing to do some Christmas shopping. 

We ask that everyone wear a mask and we will let only one person or group in at a time.  Doors, etc., will be sanitized after each group exits.  We are trying to keep everyone as safe as possible as we provide this opportunity for Christmas shopping. 

The Museum will be closed for the remainder of 2020.  If you wish to purchase something and cannot make it by during those hours next Saturday, please let me know and we will arrange for someone to meet you at the Museum another time.

Everyone stay safe and healthy.


Arlene Vause, Secretary

Wakulla County Historical Society

Phone: 850-926-1110


WCHS Annual Open House 2020

posted Nov 19, 2020, 5:45 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

WCHS 2020 Open House flyer
Please join us for our Annual Christmas House at the Museum on Saturday, December 5, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM.  We will have vendors set up on the lawn outside the Museum.  Our Gift Shop will be open and we have two new exhibits that we know you will enjoy seeing.  We will follow safety precautions and will only have a limited number of people in the Museum at one time.  We ask that masks be worn. We look forward to seeing you there. 

Holiday shopping?Use AmazonSmile and help WCHS!

posted Nov 16, 2020, 1:06 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

You can make an impact while you shop for Black Friday deals. Simply shop at and AmazonSmile will donate to Wakulla County Historical Society Inc, at no cost to you.

Holiday shopping or anytime shopping, remember to use AmazonSmile and help Wakulla County Historical Society!

You can make an impact while you shop for Black Friday deals.
Simply shop at and AmazonSmile will donate to Wakulla County Historical Society Inc, at no cost to you.

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