Genealogy Program

posted Feb 5, 2019, 9:18 AM by Gayla Kittendorf

Dear WCHS Members and Friends,


We will not have a Genealogy meeting this month, but will resume our genealogy programs on March 7. On Thursday, March 7, 6:30 PM, we will gather at the Museum and then go together over to the Courthouse.  Donna Richardson from the Clerk’s Office will give us a tour of their records and show us the research computers and let us know what is available on them.  You will need to sign up for this tour by just sending me an email with your name.  If possible, please let us know if you are planning to attend by Friday, March 1. 


We will see you on February 12 for our program on Contributions of Women to Florida State Parks.  On March 7, we will have our annual Show and Tell program.  If you have a piece of history or artifact you would like to show us and tell us about it, please email me or call the Museum at 926-1110.  We have had a lot of fun at our first two Show and Tell programs, and we hope this one will be just as successful. 


Thank you for your interest in the Historical Society.



Arlene Vause, Secretary

Wakulla County Historical Society

February 2019 Program - Contributions of Women to Florida State Parks

posted Jan 30, 2019, 2:41 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

Retired Wakulla Springs Park Manager Sandy Cook
The Wakulla County Historical Society invites you to attend our monthly program on Tuesday, February 12 at 7 p.m. at the Wakulla County Public Library located at 4330 Crawfordville Highway.  This month’s program will feature Sandy Cook, former Park Manager at Wakulla Springs State Park.  Sandy will give a presentation on the “Contributions of Women to Florida State Parks.” She will discuss the history of the role women played in the creation of the Florida Park Service and share her experiences of working in state parks for 37 years.

Preview of February and March Programs

posted Jan 24, 2019, 5:27 PM by Gayla Kittendorf   [ updated Jan 25, 2019, 6:03 PM ]

February 12 - Sandy Cook, retired Park Manager, Wakulla Springs State Park, will give a presentation on "Women in the Florida Park Service."

March 12 – Third Annual Show and Tell.  Individuals will bring their artifacts and tell us about them.  To sign up to bring artifacts to show, please call the Museum at (850) 926-1110.

More information to follow!  Meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Wakulla County Public Library, 

January 2019 Program - The Battle of Newport

posted Dec 25, 2018, 7:42 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

Bill Gauger
The Wakulla County Historical Society’s program on Tuesday, January 8, 7:00 p.m. at the Wakulla County Public Library will feature Bill Gauger with a presentation on The Battle of Newport.

The Civil War Battle of Natural Bridge March 6th, 1865, at the present day town of Woodville, southeast of Tallahassee, is commemorated by the Natural Bridge Battlefield State Park containing appropriate monuments, and hosts an annual reenactment.  Preceding, overlapping, and extending after the battle, events at Newport on the St Marks River helped determine the Confederate victory. Our speaker, Bill Gauger, will tell us about the little-known, but important role Newport played in the ill-fated Union attempt to invade this part of Florida as the Civil War neared its end.

Bill is a member of the WCHS and participated in our annual Show and Tell program last March showing a Dr. Caldwell’s Pepsin medicine bottle he found in the Ochlockonee River and sharing the story of this company.  He and his wife Maryann currently reside in Morehead City, NC, and enjoy spending their winters in their 5th wheel here in the Panhandle. He and Maryann both took early retirement from the Lee County, FL school system in 1999.  Bill's interest in history, particularly Civil War history, goes back to childhood. He has an extensive Civil War library, collects Civil War artifacts, and has visited most of the major battlefields in the east. He enjoys researching lesser-known Civil War actions.

ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE - December 1, 2018

posted Nov 27, 2018, 7:49 PM by Gayla Kittendorf   [ updated Nov 27, 2018, 8:01 PM ]

The Wakulla County Historical Society invites you to attend our Annual Christmas Open House at the Museum, 24 High Drive in Crawfordville, on Saturday, December 1, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM.  All are invited to come and have a great time with us. 

We will have several activities going on at this event.  We will have tents set up outside the Museum with a live performance by Sammy Tedder with guitarist Mike Andrews, and refreshments.  Sammy will have his CD’s and movies available as well. 

Inside the Museum we will have a book signing by Eddie Page, local historian and author of Images of America: Wakulla County.  His book will be available for purchase through the Museum Gift Shop, or if you already have this book, you may bring it for Eddie to sign.  

These books and CD’s are great Christmas gifts, and our Museum Gift Shop is filled with many other nice gift items as well.  Our theme is An Old Fashion Christmas and I know you will enjoy seeing this exhibit which will include a tree of ornaments made by students in our Wakulla County schools. 

We look forward to seeing you on December 1 for a good time of fun and fellowship with friends.


Arlene Vause, Secretary

Wakulla County Historical Society

November 2018 Program - John Y. Roberts on the Community of St. Marks

posted Oct 31, 2018, 8:16 PM by Gayla Kittendorf   [ updated Oct 31, 2018, 8:16 PM ]

St. Marks
The Wakulla County Historical Society program on Tuesday, November 13, 7:00 PM, will be held at the Wakulla County Public Library, 4330 Crawfordville Hwy.  The presentation led by John Y. Roberts will feature a panel of lifelong residents of the historic village of St. Marks who will share their memories of life there as well as talk about life there today. You will also get a condensed version of the colorful history of St. Marks, from the home of the Apalachee Indians and the arrival in the area of the Spanish expedition of Panfilo de Narvaez in 1528.  Because of its strategic location at the confluence of the St. Marks and Wakulla Rivers, the Spanish constructed a fort at that location, Fort San Marcos de Apalache, in 1679.  During their periods of occupation, the flags of Spain, England, America, and the Confederacy flew over the fort until 1865. 

Admission is free and open to the public, and we believe all who attend will enjoy the program and come away with an appreciation for the little village of St. Marks situated on the beautiful St. Marks River.  For more information, please call the Historical Society at (850) 926-1110.  We look forward to seeing you there.


What's My Name?

posted Oct 22, 2018, 12:02 PM by Gayla Kittendorf   [ updated Oct 22, 2018, 12:08 PM ]

WHAT'S MY NAME? Below is a photo of a Wakulla Masons gathering at the Courthouse in 1948. Do you recognize any of these faces? If so, comment below or send an email to Make sure to include where you see them in the photo.Starting with the Front Row: 1._____2._____3._____4._____5._____6.______7._____ 8._____9._____ Row 2: 1._____2._____3._____4._____5._____6._____7._____ Row 3: 1._____2._____3._____4._____5._____6._____7._____ Row 4:1. (standing)_____2._____3._____4._____5._____ 6._____7._____ Row 5: 1._____2._____3._____4._____5._____6._____7._____8._____Row 6:1._____2._____3._____4._____5._____6._____7._____8._____ Side Row (left side of photo) 1._____2._____3._____4._____5._____6._____

Wakulla Masons gathering in the courthouse, 1948

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


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