WCHS 2019 Annual Meeting

posted Sep 23, 2019, 7:57 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

Please join us for our annual dinner meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at the First Baptist Church of Crawfordville Christian Life Center.  Doors will open at 6:00 pm for a Meet & Greet session and dinner will be served at 6:30 pm.  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 4. Checks can be made payable to WCHS and brought by the Museum or mailed to P.O. Box 151, Crawfordville, FL 32326.


We are happy to announce that entertainment will be provided by singer and songwriter Ernest Toole.  Ernest, a citizen of Wakulla County, sings songs of Old Florida.  His CD’s will be available at the dinner.


We will vote on our new slate of officers at the annual meeting.  

Family Tree Maker Event - September 20, 2019

posted Sep 8, 2019, 5:39 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

Family Tree Maker logo

Family Tree Maker Event with the Tallahassee Genealogical Society Tickets, Fri, Sep 20, 2019 at 10:00

Family Tree Maker is coming to the Tallahassee Genealogical Society!

Family Tree Maker is teaming up with the Tallahassee Genealogical Society to put on a presentation about what's new and exciting in the newest version, to be released later this summer. Along with the introduction to the newest features, we'll discuss the basic how-to's of Family Tree Maker and give you an insight to the partner printing products, Charting Companion and Family Book Creator. We'll also dive into how to use your DNA results to validate your current family tree.

Please join us for a great event! Come with questions and be ready to learn.

Date and Time

Fri, September 20, 2019 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM EDT Add to Calendar


Unitarian Universalist Church of Tallahassee 2810 North Meridian Rd Tallahassee, FL32312

Family Tree Maker, Organizer of Family Tree Maker Event with the Tallahassee Genealogical Society


WCHS September 2019 Program

posted Aug 29, 2019, 6:13 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

Robert Buccellato, author
The Wakulla County Historical Society will meet on Tuesday, September 10, at 4:30 PM at the Wakulla County Public Library.  Our speaker, author Robert Buccellato, will give a presentation on “Rum Runners and Moonshiners of Old Florida”. Please note the new meeting time.

Travel back to one of the most colorful and captivating periods of Florida history, a time when the rebellious spirit of Old Florida challenged the federal government. When Prohibition ended legal production of spirits and ordinary citizens turned to a life of crime. Robert Buccellato the author of Florida Governors: The Lasting Legacies and Jimmy Carter in Plains, shines light on a forgotten time of bootlegged liquors, corrupt rural sheriffs, crafty moonshiners, and panhandle traditions that date back centuries.

Learn about crooked sheriffs, period cocktails, rumrunners vs the coast guard, AND Al Capone's visits to the Panhandle.

Robert Buccellato is the author of Florida Governors Lasting Legacies, Jimmy Carter In Plains The Presidential Hometown, Finding Dan McCarty, and Rum runners and Moonshiners of Old Florida.
Buccellato was the Historian for the Clerk of Courts for Leon County, a position created for him, between 2015-2017. In 2017 he was appointed by Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum to the Canopy Roads Advisory Committee.

Robert lives in Tallahassee Florida with his Wife Stephanie and their sons Croston and Noah.

We invite you to join us for this very interesting presentation.

Genealogy Meeting - September 2019

posted Aug 29, 2019, 4:46 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

Thursday, Sept. 5, 4:00 PM, Wakulla County Public Library 

At our Genealogy meeting, we will learn about one of the new Beta features from called "tags" along with the assistance of The Barefoot Genealogist from This new feature allows you to organize your ancestors by using unique tags that you can create or use the ones they have added to the program. This feature is great for looking for a pattern in your DNA such as immigrants, royalty, pastors, military or whatever you choose according to the available information in your tree.

Plan to bring your computer for assistance in setting up your tags.  Cathy Frank will be leading this meeting along with assistance from Gayla Kittendorf.

****Also, mark your calendars now and save the date for the Family Tree Maker conference tour coming to Tallahassee on September 20! More details soon.***

John Michael Harvey (1946 - 2019)

posted Jul 22, 2019, 10:35 AM by Gayla Kittendorf

John Michael Harvey
It is with sadness that we announce the passing of John Michael Harvey on July 17, 2019. Mike was the husband of Carolyn Wrenn Harvey, one of our board members, and a long-time truly active member of the Wakulla County Historical Society. He will be greatly missed and long remembered by all of us, and our thoughts and prayers are with Carolyn and the rest of his family.

Historic Wakulla Newspapers on the Website!

posted Jun 17, 2019, 2:57 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

Wakulla News Page 1 , May 2, 1941

We are pleased to announce a new resource on the Wakulla County Historical Society website! Thanks to the donation of old Wakulla County newspapers by the Wakulla County Public Library, and the efforts of Eddie Page and Debbie Jay, these are being scanned and added to our website under the Research tab: (

Visit our site to see this and other resources for research and news of the Society!

May 2019 Program - Prince Achille Murat

posted May 2, 2019, 7:10 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

Portrait of Prince Murat from Florida Memory, State Archives of Florida

The Wakulla County Historical Society invites you to attend a program on May 14, 7pm, at the Wakulla County Public Library featuring a presentation on Prince Murat by Aurelia Aubert.


In the span of twenty years, Achille Murat, the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, made the Wacissa area his home and the stage for his impressive list of successes and failures. This French immigrant, former prince of the Italian kingdom of Naples, arrived in Florida in 1826. He travelled around along the Gulf Coast, set up a plantation in Louisiana, tried himself at land speculation in Texas, and went back twice to Europe, but he always returned to Wacissa. There, Murat married a great-grandniece of George Washington. He became an influential member of the community as a cotton planter, lawyer, county judge, aspiring politician, officer in the Second Seminole War, a prolific writer, a director of the Union Bank of Florida, and president of the Wacissa and Aucilla Navigation Company responsible for the Slave Canal. Murat’s story, however, is also a tragic one. Within his twenty years in Florida, he owned close to one hundred enslaved people. And in spite of his multiple endeavors, he never became wealthy and, instead, died ruined by debts, and relatively unknown. In this presentation, I will explore Murat’s unique life and legacy, and even some of his oddities—he supposedly once boasted that he “never removed his boots from their first days use until they were worn out.”


Aurelia Aubert earned her Ph.D. in history at the University of Florida where she wrote her dissertation on Achille Murat. She is currently the associate director of the Richard J. Milbauer Program in Southern History at UF, and teaches history courses at Santa Fe College in Gainesville. She has presented her work at a number of academic conferences including the Southern Historical Association, the Florida Historical Society, the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies, and the British American Nineteenth Century Historians’ Association. Starting in September 2019, she will be the McCormick Center Postdoctoral Fellow in Revolutionary Era Studies at Siena College in Albany, New York.


This program is free and open to the public.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Message from the Friends of St. Marks Wildlife Refuge

posted Apr 18, 2019, 6:57 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

 Bring the Past to Light – The Final Phases


lighthouse lantern room image

Would you like to see the St. Marks Lighthouse illuminate the night sky as it did for 173 years? This is certainly what we’ve been working toward. Help us in our continued journey to Bring the Past to Light.

A generous donor has contributed funds to construct a replica of the historic Fourth Order Fresnel lens, and we are planning to install it in the lantern room.  However, there  are expenses associated with installation and wiring.  Help us make the dream come true and see the St. Marks Lighthouse once again light the coast.

As many of you may know, the light from the Fresnel lens was extinguished in 2000 when the Coast Guard installed a modern solar powered light on the exterior of the lantern room.  That light has since been removed, and the lighthouse has stood dark ever since. Bringing back the light has been the dream of many Refuge supporters. If you want to see this historic lighthouse once again beam its message to sea, please contribute to the Lighthouse Fund by donating online (scroll to the lighthouse choice) or by mail to Friends of St. Marks Wildlife Refuge, PO Box 368, St. Marks, FL 32355.

Be sure to mark Lighthouse Lens Fund on your check.  Thank you for your support  as we “Bring the Past to Light!”

Genealogy Group - April 4 - Land Record Research

posted Apr 1, 2019, 1:51 PM by Gayla Kittendorf

The Wakulla Genealogy Group will meet on Thursday, April 4, 4:00 PM, at the Wakulla County Public Library.  Our speaker will be Brian Plant, President of Wakulla Title Company, who will give a presentation on Land Record Research.  Please come and join us.  You will note the time change of our meeting.  It was agreed at the March genealogy meeting that we will try having the meetings at this earlier time and see how that works out.

The Historical Society will not have its regularly scheduled program on April 9 due to the special election and the Library being a voting precinct.  We will see you in May for our final program before the summer break.

March 2019 Program - Annual Show and Tell

posted Feb 27, 2019, 7:33 PM by Gayla Kittendorf   [ updated Feb 27, 2019, 7:36 PM ]

Annual Show and Tell March 12, 2019

1-10 of 58