PokemonGo Lures Trainers into Local History

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Are you a fan of PokemonGo? Well, so are we! We took a ride around Tallahassee and discovered that there are quite a few historic sites in town that offer numerous poke stops and gyms. You may have seen us at one of our Lures and Legends events over the summer. We were setting up our booth at some of the various locations around town and dropping lures. We have discovered that PokemonGo gives folks a reason and incentive to go out and explore new places they may have never been before. At our Lures and Legends event at Mission San Luis we  had a few people come up to us and tell us that they have never been there before until we “lured” them there! Maybe you are a parent who’s child is obsessed with PokemonGo, and you are looking for a way to engage you child’s interest in the game in a meaningful way. Well, we hear you and we get it! Perhaps you are a huge PokemonGo fan and you have been wanting to explore your community to get to know it better. Well, we hear you, and again, we get it! One of our goals here at FPAN is to promote heritage tourism. So we figured we would use PokemonGo as a public outreach tool  to get folks out and about exploring some of our local heritage sites. So, with that intention, below is a map we have created with the locations of heritage sites in our community with the number of gyms and stops at each location. We hope you will use this to get out, get moving and to learn about Tallahassee’s rich history. With that in mind, please remember that these sites are not renewable. You can’t grow another historic Spanish mission or another antebellum plantation. So please, be respectful of these sites and mind all the rules. They are there for your safety and to protect the historic resource. Additionally, a few of these sites require a fee to enter. Please do not try to get out of paying this fee. The money they collect goes towards preserving and protecting the site and providing you with a unique and educational experience. So, with that being said, we hope you will get out and explore Tallahassee while catching pokemon! And while you are out there, if you see something cool, learn something new or catch a rare pokemon, we would like to hear from you! Feel free to post about your discoveries in the comments below!


Lures and Legends: Learn about Tallahassee’s History while Playing Pokemon Go

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So I know that we have a bunch of Pokemon Go fans out there, so we have decided to have some fun with it to help promote heritage tourism and hopefully make our followers aware of some places they may not have

Follow us on Facebook to see where we will be dropping the next lure!

Follow us on Facebook to see where we will be dropping the next lure!

visited before. According to a study published in 2010 by the State of Florida, Department of State, heritage tourism is the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry. Here in Tallahassee we have a wealth of heritage sites. So get out your phone, open up your Pokemon Go app and get ready to explore some of them! Many sites in the area have poke stops and gyms! Mission San Luis, for example, has 17 stops and two gyms! If you haven’t been to Mission San Luis yet, then what are you waiting for?! It is an amazing living history museum and now you have one more reason to visit.

Saturday, July 23 2016, from 9am-1pm we will be dropping lures near The Edison in Cascades Park. Stop by our table to learn about all the various historic sites in Tallahassee that have stops and gyms. While there you can explore Cascades Park, which has a very rich history, and perhaps stop in at The Edison for a delicious brunch!  You can follow us on our facebook page to learn of other places we will be dropping lures in the coming weeks. There is a good chance that you will learn of places you didn’t know existed!


The DeSoto Winter Encampment Site is the location of a Pokemon Go gym.

With that being said, we need to caution you. All historic sites are non-renewable resources. While searching for stops and gyms is harmless, we urge you to be aware of your surroundings and to be respectful of the sites you are visiting. The Old City Cemetery in downtown Tallahassee has six stops and we encourage you to go check out this amazing historic cemetery, but keep in mind that it is a place of rest for some of our most notable residents from history and is deserving of respect. Likewise, some places are only open at certain hours or require a minimal entrance fee. Please be respectful of that. In the case of entrance fees, those fees are used to help support that site. As for hours of operation,  they are in place not only for the safety and security of the site, but also for your safety as well. So go out and enjoy, but please be respectful of our communities wonderful (and non-renewable) historic resources!

As a side note, our office at the DeSoto Winter Encampment is the site of a gym. If you stop by, come on into our office and say hi! If you are visiting during office hours, M-F 8-5 there is more information about the site inside the Governor Martin House/Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research.


Mission San Luis to Host Winter Solstice Celebration on December 16th

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On December 16th from 10 am to 8pm Mission San Luis will host a two-part celebration for the Winter Solstice. During the day, there will be a market fair in the plaza. Visitors can see Spanish dramas of the 17th century. Those looking to participate can learn to stomp dance and partake in a drum circle as well.  Hands-on craft activities will be available for children. There will also be storytelling and living history as well as food vendors. When the sun goes down, visitors will be able to learn more about drumming and storytelling while exploring the spectacular Council House. The Tallahassee Astronomical Society will be present and will provide telescopes to the attendees. This is a great opportunity to learn about the stars, the planets, and how it all ties in with the solstice. So take some time and join the Mission in this wonderful celebration full of fun and learning!

Mission San Luis: Giving Thanks with the Apalachee and Spanish

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Mission San Luis will host a thanksgiving celebration the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The harvest was an important time to the Apalachee and Spanish people. The site of Mission San Luis was a remarkable melting pot of cuisine influenced by both Spanish and Apalachee preferences.

An important staple in the Apalachee diet was known as the “three sisters”. The three sisters were made up of squash, corn, and climbing beans. These crops were not only able to co-exist but actually supported each other’s life. The corn formed the structure for the beans to climb. The squash grew along the ground eliminating weed growth and maintaining soil moisture by blocking sunlight. The beans added nitrogen to the soil, which benefited both corn and squash. Moreover, the nutrition gained from the three sisters provided a balanced diet for the Apalachee people. They also grew and gathered other native plants to the area, such as pumpkins, sunflowers, persimmons, and wild strawberries. Additionally, the yaupon holly, or ilex vomitoria, was fundamental to their culture; the leaves of this holly were used to make a tea, called “cassina” or the “black drink”, that was drunk the night before the ball game.

The Spanish people brought a variety of things with them from Europe. Religion was a major aspect of their influence on the Apalachee; however, they also altered the Apalachee diet. They brought domesticated chickens, hogs, cattle, horses, and sheep to Mission San Luis. The Spanish also added olive oil and wheat as common staples of food. In addition, Spanish impact inserted many new fruits and spices in the cuisine.

The event at Mission San Luis will be Saturday, November 24, 2012 from 10 am to 4 pm. Historical interpreters will be dressed in time appropriate garb and preparing meat and fish on the barbacoa. They will also be using crops gathered from the gardens to demonstrate cuisine from the Apalachee and Spanish.


FAS, PAST, FAM…What Do All These Acronyms Stand for Anyways!?!

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This month I have been to so many festivals, and many people come to my booth wanting to know how they can become involved in local archaeology. So I thought it would be great to blog about this topic! I always recommend getting involved with your local Florida Anthropological Society (FAS) chapter. FAS provides those interested in archaeology and professional archaeologists a formal means to come together in a way that is mutually beneficial. FAS is open to anybody that is willing to abide by the FAS statement of ethics. The organization promotes the study of Florida’s past and brings attention to the general public and the appropriate governmental agencies the need for preservation of archaeological and historical sites within Florida. Members of FAS also receive the quarterly publication, The Florida Anthropologist, which provides readers with a great variety of articles detailing various aspects of Florida archaeology. It is always a great read!

The 2011 PAST Kick Off Meeting and Potluck!

There are sixteen FAS Chapters currently operating in the state. The Panhandle Archaeological Society at Tallahassee (PAST) is probably the closest chapter for many of the people that live within the North Central region. This FAS Chapter was first established in 1999 and holds a variety of activities and events throughout the year. By joining PAST you will have the opportunity to work alongside professional and avocational archaeologists on a variety of projects. Currently they are working on two field projects, where members may have the opportunity to assist with excavation, artifact curation and much more! Additionally, the Society hosts guest speakers from around the region to speak at their monthly meeting.  PAST meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month at 7pm at the B. Calvin Jones Center for Archaeology at the Governor Martin House (1001 De Soto Park Drive).

PAST has the unique honor of hosting the 2012 Florida Anthropological Society’s Annual Meeting. The meeting will be held at Mission San Luis in Tallahassee from May 11th to May 13th.  There will be paper and poster sessions, various workshops, behind-the-scenes tours and fieldtrips. It is sure to be a great meeting and a wonderful opportunity to learn about Florida’s archaeology! To fit with the meeting’s setting, there will be Spanish food at the reception and banquet as well! Yummy! FPAN, PAST and FAS will provide more information about the meeting and how to register as it becomes available, so be on the look out!

Each March is Florida Archaeology Month (FAM). Every year has a different theme. Many of you may remember last year’s theme, “Native Plants, Native People”. Each year a poster with information about the theme is printed and given out at various FAM events. Additionally, book marks with similar information are made available to the public. The 2012 theme will relate to Florida’s involvement in the Civil War. This is to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. It is a great time to get out and learn about Florida’s history and archaeology as there are always many events that are taking place to celebrate FAM! FAM has become an important program for school children in Florida and many educators take advantage of FAM information to teach about the history and prehistory of Florida. Some FAM events are specifically designed for school children or field trip groups. The Florida Park Service is a great supporter of FAM, displaying the posters in park entrance stations and other high traffic areas. State Parks throughout Florida are also host to a wide variety of events during FAM.  Various private museums and public libraries display the posters and make bookmarks available for students of all ages to promote stewardship. An interactive FAM website

PAST members pose for a photo after maintaining an archaeological site they have adopted.

is also in the works and will provide the public with even more information about Florida archaeology!

So there you have it, a rundown of some of the more common archaeology acronyms in Florida (in addition to FPAN of course)! Many professions are full of acronyms, and unless you are in that field it can be somewhat confusing! But as a member of the public with an interest in Florida archaeology, these acronyms, or what they represent, may be of great importance to you! So if you are interested in becoming more involved and taking advantage of the archaeological opportunities in your community FAS might be the answer you have been looking for!




Archaeotourism and Ecotourism: Finding Common Ground

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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!