Uncategorized Alcazar Hotel, Flagler College, Florida Anthropological Society, Henry Flagler, John Carrere, Lightner Museum, Ponce de Leon Hotel, St. Augustine, Thomas Hastings, Tiffany Glass, Viva Florida
Ponce de Leon Hotel.
This past weekend was the Annual Meeting of the Florida Anthropological Society which was held this year at Flagler College in St. Augustine. Now, as you may know St. Augustine is the oldest city in the
Henry Flagler ca. 1882
New World, but to write a blog about the whole city, well, it would be the longest blog post ever! So we decided to go with Flagler College since it has a wonderful history that not many folks are aware of. Flagler College is a private college located in the heart of historic St. Augustine. The centerpiece of the college campus is the historic Ponce de Leon Hotel. It was a lavish hotel established by railroad magnate, Henry Flagler in 1888 and was considered one of the finest resorts at that time. The architects for this Spanish Renaissance style hotel were John Carrere and Thomas Hastings. Flagler College was founded in 1968 and since it’s inception the institution has spent $40 million dollars restoring historic buildings and constructing new facilities. Today the building that was once the hotel is now the female dormitory and dining hall. The dining hall is home to 79 Louis Comfort Tiffany’s stained glass windows. The hotel’s parlor boasts one of the first onyx Edison clocks to be used in a public building and Tiffany crystal chandeliers. Recently the solarium was restored and we had the honor of attending a luncheon held there. This summer the college is planning on hosting teas in there. The solarium provides visitors with a very unique birds eye view of the historic city. The Ponce de Leon Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark. Tours of the campus and hotel are available and is well worth a visit. Before you leave campus be sure to stop at the main entrance gate to take your photograph with the statue of Henry Flagler. There are several other historic hotels, including another hotel built by Henry Flagler, the Alcazar Hotel which now houses the Lightner Museum. The architecture off all
these historic hotels is stunning and they provide a rare glimpse into early tourism and leisure in Florida.
Uncategorized Big Bend Maritime Center, Fort San Marcos de Apalache, Historic Wakulla Courthouse, Panacea Warm Mineral Springs Festival, Sopchoppy, Sopchoppy Worm Gruntin', St. Marks Historic Lighthouse, VIVA Florida 500, Wakulla County, Wakulla County Archives and Museum, Wakulla Springs, Wakulla Wildlife Festival, Wild About Wakulla, Worm Grunting
Wakulla County is located immediately south of the state capital and is not only home to a great wealth of wildlife, but also has a charming history. Wild About Wakulla combines both of these elements into a week-long celebration. It is designed to promote Wakulla County’s environment, culture, heritage and asthetics, while striving to improve the well being of the county’s residents. Over 70% of Wakulla county is owned and managed by either the federal government or the state government. These properties provide a great number of unique outdoor experiences. They also help to protect and preserve many of the county’s historic and archaeological resources and provide the public with access to them. This week long celebration is a great opportunity for residents and visitors to explore some of the wonderful natural and historic places located in Wakulla.
The week will kick off with the Worm Gruntin’ Festival in historic downtown Sopchoppy on Saturday, April 13th. That’s right, worm grunting! The worm grunting process involves pounding a stake (called a stob) into the ground and rubbing a flat piece of iron across the top to vibrate the stob. This vibration causes the earthworms to come to the surface where they can easily be collected and used for fishing bait. Many people in the Sopchoppy area have made their living by worm grunting. At the festival folks can try their own hand at grunting! In addition to this wonderfully unique heritage festival, many other events will be taking place throughout the week, including tours of some of the historical and archaeological sites in the area. To get all the details about the festivals, tours, and other Wild About Wakulla events you can visit their website. Since this year marks the 500th commemoration of Ponce de Leon landing on Florida’s shores, there is a special focus this year on Viva Florida 500 themed events.
The Wakulla County Archives and Old Jail Museum.
Some of the historic and cultural sites that are being highlighted this year include the Big Bend Maritime Center, the St. Marks Historic Lighthouse, Fort San Marcos de Apalache, the Wakulla County Archives and Old Jail Museum, the Historic Wakulla Courthouse, the Sopchoppy Train Depot and area historic cemeteries. Additionally, the Panacea Warm Mineral Springs, which were once revered for their healing ability, as well as Wakulla Springs (Ed Ball Wakulla Springs State Park) are included as destinations of interest for this year’s celebration. Wakulla Springs is hosting the Wakulla Wildlife Festival on April 20th, which will highlight both the cultural and natural resources of the area and outdoor activity opportunities available in the region. FPAN will have a booth there where we will have real artifacts found at Wakulla Springs on display, along with a wide array of archaeological information and literature.
Wild About Wakulla is a great opportunity to do some exploring of your own and learn about the area. I hope you will join us at some of these events and tours. The weather is warming up and it is a great time to be outdoors!
Uncategorized Florida Folk Festival, Florida Heritage Tourism, Florida Nature and Heritage Tourism Center, Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, sulphur springs, White Springs
Florida boasts many heritage tourism sites. Yup, that is right, there is more to do in Florida than visit the beaches and Disney (not that there is anything wrong with doing either of those things!). In an effort to make more people aware of these wonderful attractions we are going to start posting a monthly blog article titled “Heritage Site of the Month”. Now we know that we have already posted some information about various sites without giving them this “official” title. We hope you will browse through past posts to check out and learn about some of those sites. The North Central region is just full of wonderful little gems of Florida History and it would take me years to get through all of them. So be patient and if you have any suggestions we would love to hear about them. All you have to do is submit a comment to our blog or email the author at email@example.com.
The bath house at White Springs as it looks today, very similar to how it appeared in the 1950s.
Recently I gave a talk at the White Springs Public Library. I happened to arrive a bit early, so I took a drive around the historic town and came upon the historic site of the White Springs, which is obviously the namesake of this town. The town is located in Hamilton County right on the banks of the famous Suwannee River. In the mid-1800s springs throughout Florida had become popular tourism spots, in fact, they were probably the earliest tourism destinations in Florida. These springs, including sulphur springs such as White Springs, were said to have tremendous healing properties. People would flock to these springs to heal ailments such as arthritis, skin rashes and irritations, dyspepsia, kidney disease, anemia, even spinal irritation. Eventually business entrepreneurs built resort style hotels and lodges encompassing many of these Florida springs. One such resort was constructed at White Springs. By the late 1800s this resort boasted 60 rooms to accommodate 200 guests. It had a large dining hall, it’s own livery and stable, bowling-alley, billiard hall , croquet grounds and of course the bath pool. The bath pool measures 20 ft by 30 ft. The bathing pool is cut from the solid rock and the water maintained a temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
By the 1930s the popularity of the resort had faded into Florida’s history. Today the springs and it’s surroundings look much like they did in the
The bath house at White Springs in 1914. Photo courtesy of the Florida State Archives.
1950s. Adjacent to the spring is the the Florida Nature and Heritage Tourism Center. Here you can pick up information about heritage and ecological sites throughout the state that you can visit. White Springs is also host to the annual Florida Folk Festival, which has giving the community the reputation as a long-standing reputation as a folk art destination. Just a tad further down the road is the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park which is another Florida heritage gem, encompassing vast formal gardens and unique Florida architecture. White Springs is just a hop, skip and a jump off of I-10 and well worth a stop, even if just for the day!
Uncategorized Christopher N. Hunt, Constitution Convention Museum State Park, Florida Archaeology Month, Florida Public Archaeology Network, March, Port St. Joe, St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve, St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, University of South Florida, Viva Florida
We hope that you will consider joining us for this awesome celebration of Port St. Joe’s rich archaeological and historical heritage! On Friday, March 29th from 6-7pm EST Christopher Hunt, a University of South Florida Graduate Research Assistant, will present ” A Forgotten Community: Archaeological Documentation of Old St. Joe”. This lecture will take place at St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve. On Saturday we will hold two separate Public Archaeology Day events! From 10am to 12pm EST we will be at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park and from 2pm to 4pm EST we will be at the Constitution Convention Museum State Park. Public Archaeology Days are a great time to bring your artifacts had have them identified, learn about archaeology in the area and pick up information about archaeology in Florida. Archaeologists will be on site to help identify artifacts and answer any questions. This is also a wonderful time to enjoy these beautiful state parks and nature preserve! We hope you will come out and join in our celebration of Florida Archaeology Month!
Uncategorized Archaeology Lesson Plans, Blountstown, FCAT, Florida Archaeology Month, Florida Public Archaeology Network, FPAN, Panhandle Pioneer Settlement, Sunshine State Standards
Are you a teacher, youth coordinator, camp director or otherwise involved with coordinating youth educational activities? If you would like to see archaeological education become a part of your existing curriculum, then we have a workshop just for you! On Saturday, March 16th from 10am to 4pm the Florida Public Archaeology Network and the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement will be offering a teacher workshop, “Archaeology in the Classroom: A Workshop for Educators”. This workshop will be held at the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement in Blountstown. Teachers associated with traditional and non-traditional education are encouraged to participate. Archaeology is an extremely multidisciplinary social science, providing opportunities for teachers and educators to incorporate archaeological information, methods, and ideas into science, history, language arts, math, social studies, and art curricula.
This workshop will provide educators with non-digging archaeology-based training, lesson plans, activities, and projects to expose students to the excitement of archaeology while teaching the basics. All information and curricula presented directly relate to FCAT requirements and Sunshine State Standards. While there, staff from the Pioneer Settlement will be offering teachers a tour of the museum as part of the training! Participants will receive numerous hands-on archaeological-themed lesson plans. Space is limited, so please call 850.595.0050 or email nbucchino@.uwf.edu to register. A recommended donation of $20 is requested to help cover the cost of materials and refreshments.
Uncategorized Florida Anthropological Society, Florida Archaeological Council, Florida Archaeology, Florida Archaeology Month, Florida Division of Historical Resources, Florida Public Archaeology Network, Juan Ponce de Leon, VIVA Florida 500
The front of the 2013 Florida Archaeology Month poster.
2013 marks the 500 year anniversary of Juan Ponce de Leon’s arrival on Florida shores and first interactions with Florida’s indigenous people. From that point on, Florida has seen the arrival of many people of different nationalities and cultures. The archaeology of Florida’s diverse legacy begins at these distant points and continues into the present day. Archaeologists seek to learn about the more recent past, like the beginnings of tourism and the development of urban centers, because it can also shed light on how our diverse heritage continues to impact and enrich our lives.
Florida’s diverse history and prehistory stretches back over 12,000 years. Every March, statewide programs and events celebrating Florida Archaeology Month are designed to encourage Floridians and visitors to learn more about the archaeology and history of the state, and to preserve these important parts of Florida’s rich cultural heritage. Plan to attend some of the many events throughout Florida during March 2013. You can find events in your area taking place during Florida Archaeology Month by visiting the Florida Archaeology Month website. A full listing of events taking place throughout the year can also be found on the events webpages of the regional centers of the Florida Public Archaeology Network or the Viva Florida 500 website.
Florida Archaeology Month is coordinated by the Florida Anthropological Society (FAS), the Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN), the Florida Archaeological Council, Inc., and the Florida Division of Historical Resources. Additional sponsors include state and local museums, historical commissions, libraries, and public and private school systems. The 2013 Florida Archaeology Month poster is available through your local FAS Chapter, your regional FPAN office or can be acquired at various events sponsored by the participating organizations. You can find out more about Florida Archaeology Month by contacting your local FPAN regional center or your local FAS chapter.
Uncategorized Archaeological Context, Archaeology Public Outreach, Battlefield Archaeology, Battlefield on a Tarp, Civil War, FAS, Florida, Florida Anthropological Society, Florida Public Archaeology Network, FPAN, Olustee, Reenactments, St. Augustine, The Florida Anthropologist
We are so excited because it is again time for us to pack up and head to Olustee for the battle reenactment! We have been attending for the past few years, but we are excited to debut our new activity, Battlefield on a Tarp. The
Our new Battlefield on a Tarp activity!
Civil War is an important event in our state’s and nation’s history, and archaeologists have been hard at work studying our battlefields to create an accurate picture of the events that occurred during the Civil War. Battlefield archaeology has contributed greatly to our knowledge of past battles. Of course, there are many folks out there that collect Civil War memorabilia, including sometimes artifacts from battlefields across the country. As an archaeologist I find this trend somewhat disturbing because with each artifact that is taken off of a battlefield valuable information goes with it which can never again be recovered. Now, I understand that many people feel they have the right to collect, or think that archaeologists just want to keep the good stuff for themselves. However, that is not the case. When you take an item from a battlefield, which are often located on state or federal property, you are taking from every citizen in the state and the nation. An individual may think that they have the right to collect, but what about the rights of those wishing to visit and learn about these sites? The government has taken over the care of these sites so that they can be preserved for everyone to enjoy and have an equal opportunity to learn about the events that took place there. Archaeologists study these sites so that they can be better and more accurately interpreted to visitors and for scholars who want to learn about these sites. Artifacts have much more meaning and can contribute more to our understanding of the past when they are left in context. When they get removed from the site and put into a shoe box to be stored in somebody’s attic for nobody to see or learn about the context is lost! It is for these very reasons that taking artifacts from state or federal property is a crime. Our new activity is an effort on our part to show the public what archaeologists can learn from studying battlefields and exactly what damage is done when artifacts lose their context after they are removed from the site. I hope that you will make your way to Olustee this weekend for all the festivities and stop by our booth to check out our new Battlefield on a Tarp activity. We will also have a display on Florida during the Civil War that I am sure many people will find interesting.
As a related note, I often get asked how the public can get involved in archaeology. Archaeology is awesome and who wouldn’t want to have the opportunity to get involved? Well, here in Florida we have an amazing organization called the Florida Anthropological Society, which is open to anyone with an interest in archaeology. There are chapters located throughout the state and every year in May there is the annual meeting of the organization. As a member of the Florida Anthropologist you receive the quarterly journal, The Florida Anthropologist, the quarterly newsletter and a discount on registration for the annual meeting. The 2013 meeting will be held in St. Augustine. It is also important to note that to become a member you must agree to abide by the organizations code of ethics. Many organizations have opportunities to assist on digs or in archaeology labs, hold monthly meetings, conduct public outreach and host Florida Archaeology Month events. If you are interested you can visit fasweb.org for more information. This is a great way to get involved in archaeology and learn more about our state’s rich history!
Uncategorized Artifacts, Excavation, Florida Archaeology, Florida History, Florida Public Archaeology Network, FPAN, Ft. Walton Culture, Goodwood Museum and Gardens, Goodwood Plantation, Leon County, Leon County School District, Riley House Museum, Tallahassee
Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a program called “Blended Lives”. It took place at Goodwood Museum and Gardens and the Riley House Museum, both located in Tallahassee. Last week all the forth grade
Prehistoric artifacts recovered from the Goodwood property. From left to right, an Archaic stemmed projectile point (arrowhead) and a Ft. Walton period decorated ceramic sherd.
students in Leon County had the opportunity to visit both historic sites and learn about all the different people of various backgrounds who lived at those sites and contributed to the history of these two historic homes in Tallahassee. This year the organizers brought FPAN into the mix to teach the students about an archaeological site that was excavated at Goodwood. When you see an old house or another type of existing structure from long ago it is easy to forget that there were most likely people that were living on that piece of land before that structure existed. The Goodwood plantation house was constructed in the 1830s, but some artifacts from the excavation date as far back as the Ft. Walton period (A.D. 1200 to A.D. 1500). While the archaeologists were excavating at this site they found both historic and prehistoric artifacts. In other words, they found artifacts that came from the people living in the 1830s plantation house and other
Historic artifacts, probably associated with the Goodwood house, recovered at the Goodwood site. Bottom Left: etched glass fragment, Top Left: Whieldon ware ceramic sherd, Right: small clay marble.
artifacts from the people living there during the Ft. Walton culture period all at the same site. Archaeologists sometimes refer to these types of sites as multi-component sites. This, as you can probably imagine, is a fairly common occurrence at archaeological sites. The students learned briefly about Florida’s prehistory – from the Paleoindian time period to when the Spanish arrived in the 1500s. Then I had the opportunity to share with them actual artifacts that were recovered from the Goodwood property during the excavation. All in all, I had a wonderful time, and I think the students, teachers and parent chaperones did as well! My hope is that now when the students look at a site they will think about all the different groups of people that were there before them and will have a new found appreciation for Florida’s rich and diverse cultural history.
To learn more about Goodwood Museum and Gardens please visit their website at GoodwoodMuseum.org. To learn more about the Riley House Museum you can visit their website at rileymuseum.org.
Uncategorized Apalachicola, Apalachicola Maritime Museum, Florida, Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research, Florida Public Archaeology Network, Nautical Archaeology Society, The Big Anchor Project
If you have ever visited a coastal city you probably have seen at least one big anchor just laying around somewhere – perhaps in front of a business, a street median or even in someone’s
Measuring an anchor in Apalachicola.
yard. Have you ever wondered where that anchor came from or what it’s story was? Apalachicola has numerous anchors just laying about all over the community. Some are sitting on private property, but many are on public property as well. This past Saturday, FPAN, the Apalachicola Maritime Museum, the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research and community volunteers set out to learn about these anchors and record them for the Big Anchor Project’s world-wide database. It may sound a little strange, and you may be asking why we decided to do this, and we have a valid answer for you!
Think about the symbolism of the anchor for a minute. They are everywhere – flags, military insignia, business logos, etc. Anchors are an iconic symbol for anything maritime related. The anchor represents safety and stability and has been used by mariners as a symbol of such for over 4,000 years. Many times an anchor is all that remains as a visible symbol of something that occurred at sea. The anchor may have been cut loose in an emergency or it may be resting atop an ancient shipwreck. The anchor is a lasting symbol, but amazingly very little work has been done to collect and organize data that exists about these anchors which are on display all over the world.
The Big Anchor Project is an effort to gather and organize this information. It was created by the Nautical Archaeological Society and currently contains information on over 500 anchors from all over the world! The great thing about this project is that anybody from anywhere can participate by measuring an anchor and entering the information in the database online at biganchorproject.com. Online they have very descriptive and easy to follow directions on how to do it. This information is made available to researchers that may want to study anchors and thus contribute to our understanding of these very iconic symbols. If you know of an anchor in your community or elsewhere, I encourage you to check out the Big Anchor Project and record your anchor. It is a great group project for youth and adults and you make a direct contribution to furthering the understanding of your communities maritime history. In just one days time, with a great group of citizens from all walks of life, we were able to record fifteen anchors total. It doesn’t take very long to record an anchor and it is a lot of fun!
Volunteers recording an anchor in Apalachicola, FL.
Uncategorized Battle of Natural Bridge, Battle of Olustee, Civil War, Confederate, Florida, Florida Agricutlrual and Mechanical University, Florida Department of State, Florida State University, Florida's Territorial Period, Historic Cemeteries, Historic Tallahassee Preservation Board, James D. Wescott, John G. Riley, NAACP, Old City Cemetery, segregation, St. Johns Episcopal Cemetery, Tallahassee, Thomas Vann Gibbs (Florida State Normal Industrial School, Union, United Daughters of the Confederacy, vandalism
Yellow fever victims are buried in these graves.
This past Saturday, as many of you know, we hosted a tour of the Old City Cemetery in Tallahassee. It was a great success, due in large part to our great tour guide, Erik Robinson!
We had about 35 people attend and I have received a ton of good reviews! I like to think of historic cemeteries as outdoor museums. There is so much history to be learned at these sites, and this cemetery is no exception. This cemetery is the oldest public cemetery in Tallahassee, established in 1829 during Florida’s Territorial Period. It was later acquired by the city in 1840 and in 1841 it twas laid out in a system of squares and lots when a yellow fever epidemic swept through the city. During the time of it’s establishment it was actually located outside of the city, although now it is located downtown. The cemetery was bordered on its far side y a 200 foot wide clearing that surrounded the town to protect it from Indian attacks. The cemetery was segregated, the whites buried in the eastern sections and the African Americans buried in the western sections. Originally various religious denominations had their own plots, but there are few indications today of the Presbyterian and Catholic areas. The majority of the Jewish burials have since been moved to other cemeteries.
This is the final resting place for many men and women who contributed to the development of Tallahassee and the State of Florida. For a long time it was Tallahassee’s only
Constructed in 1890s, this platform is still used for memorial services.
public burial ground it represents a cross section of Tallahassee residents during the 19th century. As you walk through the cemetery you will recognize many names from Tallahassee and Florida’s rich history – James D. Wescott (Wescott Building at Florida State University), John G. Riley (his house is now a museum and the headquarters for the Tallahassee chapter of the NAACP), Thomas Vann Gibbs (founder of Florida State Normal Industrial School, now Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University)…well, you get the picture! I could go on and on. The graves of both Confederate and Union soldiers that fought in the Battles of Natural Bridge and Olustee are also buried in this cemetery. A platform was constructed next to the Confederate graves by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) in the 1890s. Today that same platform is still used to for commemorations and memorial services by the UDC.
Memorial Service at the Old City Cemetery in the early 1900s.
Early Tallahassee was small and frontier-like. People had to make do with what they had and what was locally available. Many of the earliest graves were marked with wood head and footboards, which have since degraded and disappeared. The last plot was sold in 1902 and the cemetery is full, although many graves have no marker above ground anymore. During the Territorial Period there are newspaper accounts of hogs and cattle roaming through the cemetery and running over the graves. There are also articles complaining about the unkept appearance of the cemetery. Today there is a fence around the cemetery and it underwent a major restoration in 1991, with financial support from the Florida Department of State. This project was sponsored and administered by the Historic Tallahassee Preservation Board. Unfortunately, due to limited funding not all of the gravemarkers in the cemetery were restored. They were able to restore the majority of those that had been badly damaged by vandalism and weathering. Unfortunately since the time of the restoration many of the monuments have been victims of vandalism once again! The cemetery is open to the public for visitation during daylight hours.
The marker for the oldest marked grave in the cemetery now lays face down in the dirt because of vandalism.
Another cemetery, located immediately north of this one, the St. Johns Episcopal Cemetery is also open to the public. We encourage you to visit these historic sites, however, please be aware that they are non-renewable historic resources that provide much valuable historical information about their community. They also provide valuable green space for both people and wildlife. Please be respectful and be sure not to damage any of the monuments. Although they are constructed of stone and metal and other very durable material, they are very old and very fragile.
If you are not able to make a trip to this cemetery, we have posted a photo tour on our Facebook page !