Uncategorized Florida Memory Project, Florida State Archives, Florida State Library and Archives
State Archaeologist, B. Calvin Jones excavating at the de Soto Encampment site, note the Governor Martin House in the background, 1987.
I have recently realized that having been an archaeologist for awhile now, there are some resources that I have become accustomed to using on a regular basis that many people may not even know exist. Many resources that archaeologists or historians use can be of use or interest to other folks as well. One of my favorite research tools is the Florida Memory Project. The Florida Memory Project is an online collection of documents, photographs, audio recordings, video clips and other similar resources. This project is part of the Florida State Library and Archives. You can search for over 160,000 historical photographs on the Florida Memory Project. You can also access veteran’s records, land grants, family papers, folk music and much more online. It is a wonderful resource that I have used many times in my research, but many people don’t know that such a wonderful online research tool exists. You can access the Florida Memory Project at www.floridamemory.com.
Another wonderful thing about the Memory Project is that it is constantly expanding. Anybody that has any photographs of their family in Florida can create a lasting legacy by donating historic photographs of their family. To donate you will need to contact the Florida State Archives at email@example.com.
Scuba divers recovering mastadon bones at Wakulla Springs, 1950s.photos to the project.
The Florida Memory Project is a great resource for educators as well. There is a whole online classroom dedicated to helping teachers and educators use photographs, documents, sound recordings and film footage from the State Library and Archives. This resource is also great for genealogists, historians, and for those that are just interested in the history of a particular period or place in Florida. The great thing about the Florida Memory Project is that it is constantly expanding and that it is a searchable database. I have used it in the past to look at historic neighborhoods to see how they have changed over time. I have also searched some of my favorite tourism locations in Florida to see what they used to look like. As a Historic Archaeologist, I have often used it to research archaeological sites, such as turpentine camps or historic home sites.
To show you how interesting and informative the Florida Memory Project can be, I have searched several popular tourist destinations in the North Central Region. All of the photos for this blog were found on the Florida Memory Project using a simple search! So the next time you are doing some historical research visit the Florida Memory Project and see what you can find!
Archaeologist excavating at San Marco de Apalache in St. Marks, 1970s.
Uncategorized Cistern, Florida Division of Historical Resources, LEED Gold Certification, LeRoy Collins, Richard Keith Call, Tallahassee, Tallahassee History, The Grove, United States Green building Council, Winn Dixie
Yesterday I was asked by an archaeologist with the Division of Historical Resources to assist in the excavation of a cistern at The Grove. I had heard a little bit about this place, but didn’t know the full history. So being me, after
The Grove, Tallahassee (photo courtesy of the Florida Division of Historical Resources)
saying yes to assisting with the excavation, I went home and immediately began my Google research of The Grove. As an archaeologist, I know it is always easier to conduct an excavation if you are familiar with the site! As I researched it, I became fascinated with the history of The Grove. It never ceases to amaze me at the history we have here in Tallahassee. If only all these old historic structures could talk!
The history of The Grove begins with Richard Keith Call. Call was born in Virginia in 1792, and later in life joined with General Andrew Jackson on the march to Pensacola, Florida as an officer on Jackson’s personal staff. He then assisted Jackson with establishing his military headquarters at his home, The Hermitage, in Tennessee. Eventually Call established a law practice in Pensacola and in 1822 he was appointed to Florida’s first Legislative Council and then in 1823 he was appointed Brigadier General of the Militia by President Monroe. He was eventually elected as a delegate for the Territory of Florida to the United States Congress.
In 1824 Call married Mary Letitia Kirkman in Nashville. Andrew Jackson actually gave away the bride! The newly married couple briefly lived in Washinton, D.C., and after Richard Keith Call retired from Congress he accepted the position of Receiver of Public Monies for Florida. In 1825 he moved to Florida, where he purchased 640 acres at $1.25 an acre in the Tallahassee area. Here he began construction of The Grove, with inspiration from The Hermitage in Tennessee. He served as his own architect and construction manager for this undertaking. The exact date when construction was completed is not known, but it appears that the family moved into their new residence in the early 1830s. Mary died shortly afterwards in 1836 and is buried in the family cemetery located on the property. Less than a month after her passing, Call was appointed to a three-year term as Territorial Governor by President Andrew Jackson. He quickly became a political, business and military leader and in 1841 President Harrison appointed him to a second term as Territorial Governor. The Grove became the center for public and political gatherings in Tallahassee. In 1845 Call retired from public service after an unsuccessful attempt to run for Governor of the State of Florida.
In 1851 he deeded The Grove to his daughter, Ellen, and he moved to another plantation nearby. In 1882, he returned to The Grove where he passed away. For years after that The Grove remained in the family, then in 1942 the house was put on the open market. However, Call’s great-granddaughter, Mary Call, and her husband LeRoy Collins were able to purchase the property. In 1942 the couple moved in, fulfilling a life-long dream of Mary’s. Unfortunately, by this point the house was in a state of disrepair. The Collin’s were able to restore the property and acquired additional family property that, though out the years, had been sold off. They were also able to purchase the family cemetery where Richard Keith Call and other family members had been buried.
Eventually, Mary’s husband and aspiring politician, LeRoy Collins was elected as Governor in 1956. As governor he advocated for education, tourism, environmental conservation and more! Civil rights and segregation were major issues during his time as Governor, and he was one of the first southern governors who opposed segregation.
In 2009 the Division of Historical Resources began the process of restoring The Grove. The goal of this restoration is to have the historic property used as a museum. The Call and Collins families both had a tradition of public service, leadership, innovation, community and family. The goal of this project is to turn The Grove into a museum with themes and activities that capture the essence of the family’s history and life at The Grove in a compelling and engaging way for the public. In keeping with the family tradition of resourcefulness and innovation, DHR and the renovation team is attempting to restore The Grove in such a way that they are able to achieve LEED Gold Certification by the United States Green Building Council.
To further support historic sites and their preservation in Florida the Division of Historical Resources entered into a partnership with Winn-Dixie incorporated. As part of this partnership, Winn-Dixie recently released their Winn-Dixie Southern Style Sweet Tea featuring The Grove on the product label! If you would like to learn more about The Grove, the renovation or the partnership with Winn-Dixie incorporated,you can visit http://www.flheritage.com/grove/index.cfm
Uncategorized Archaeology, Archaeotourism, Civil War, DeSoto Encampment, Florida, Florida Public Archaeology Network, Heritage Tourism, Hike, Kayak, Lack Jackson Mound State Park, Mission San Luis, Old Fort Park, Olustee Battlefield State Park, Outdoors, Tallahassee, Travel
he North Central Region of Florida is a beautiful and unique area. The area has been a tourist destination for a long time now, and many people come here to view wildlife, visit the beaches and springs, and enjoy the outdoors.
Mission San Luis in Tallahassee
Well, the very things that attract people to this area today were responsible for attracting people to this area throughout history and prehistory. It is amazing how many archaeological and heritage sites around here are open to the public. The great thing about it is that there is a site available to suit almost any interest! You can visit prehistoric mounds built by early Native American cultures, or check out a Civil War or Seminole War era fort, and of course, don’t forget that we have a recreated Spanish Mission-period sites with living history programs (all of which is based on archaeological and historical information, and reconstructed on the actual archaeological site)! There is much more here as well, and more is becoming available as time goes on.
Lake Jackson Mound and picnic area.
The great thing about archaeotourism and eco-tourism is that they easily go hand-in-hand. One example of the many that I could choose from is Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park. At Lake Jackson you can climb an ancient Indian mound that looks out over beautiful Lake Jackson, and then you can go for a hike along one of their nature trails. The wildlife and history are abundant at this park, like so many others in the North Central Region. Is the Civil War more you cup of tea? Well then, take a day trip to Olustee Battlefield State Park or San Marco de Apalache, or how about Natural Bridge? Again, you can learn about history and experience Florida’s beautiful natural landscape.
The great thing about archaeotourism in the North Central Region, and throughout Florida as well, you never have to travel far to find something new to learn about or to create lasting memories. These archaeological and heritage sites are everywhere! For example, just around the corner from the FPAN North Central Office, and in the middle of a suburban neighborhood, there is a Civil War fort. For that matter, my office is sitting on top of the DeSoto Encampment Site and the office building is part of the Governor Martin Property, which is
Hiking trail at Olustee Battlefield State Park
listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
You might just find yourself amazed at the history and prehistory that surrounds you! So the next time you have a few moments check out our website, www.flpublicarchaeology.org, and use the tools on the website to find some true and unique Florida history near you. Each region has a
Old Fort Park, Tallahassee
listing of sites located in that region, and you can also check out “Destination: Civil War” to find Civil War related sites in your area. Love the outdoors? Well, then load up the kayaks or the mountain bikes, strap on the hiking boots and visit a heritage site near you!