Society Notes

This page contains the announcements and details for the THS year 2009 - 2010.

Approved Minutes from January 8, 2015 THS Meeting

posted Feb 25, 2015, 8:30 PM by Romas S   [ updated Feb 25, 2015, 8:41 PM ]

Minutes of Tallahassee Historical Society January 8, 2015 

The meeting was called to order by President Dave Lang at 7:00 p.m. Thirty-four people were in 

attendance, fourteen of them visitors including city Commissioner Nancy Miller and her husband. 

Alva Stone gave the Treasurer’s report – the Society’s balance as of January 7th is $4582.00.

Minutes from the December meeting were voted on and accepted by the membership.

Museum of Tallahassee History prospects and plans were discussed briefly.

Our speaker was William G. Leseman, former head of the Tallahassee Water Department. He spoke to us 

about the change from individuals obtaining water for personal use to water provision as a service 

offered by the City of Tallahassee.

Refreshments were enjoyed by all following the meeting. 


Gerald Ensley, writing an article on Beard Street for the Tallahassee Democrat sought information on 

Letitia Beard, for whom the street was named. Supplied.

Mike Herrin, horticulturalist at Goodwood, asked for information on William Hodges, former owner of 

Goodwood. Information supplied. 

James Rudd needed the death record or obituary of Overton  Dodd, who died on November 3, 1918. 

This was found in the Tallahassee Daily Democrat of November 4, 1918.

Shemele Jordon and her cousin Floyd from North Carolina spoke with Claude in April 2013. They are 

doing research on ancestors who were slaves of Noah L. Thompson. They want to return April of 2015. 

They were referred to the Black Archives Research Center at FAMU and the Black Archives in Miami.

We were invited to several events October 25. First was the memorial service and re-internment of CSA 

Pvt. Allen Scott in Rhodes Cemetery, Woodville, Fla. Another was the Lantern Festival celebrating the 

119th birthday of the Crooked River Lighthouse in Carrabelle Beach. Finally, International Archaeology 

Day was celebrated at San Marcos de Apalachee State Park.

PAST invited us to a presentation by Elizabeth A. Horvath with Archaeological Consultants, Inc. and 

James Dunbar, Consultant, entitled “Maps, Notes, LIDAR, Dip Vats and Old Indian Fields: Predictive 

Modeling in Southwest Florida” held on November 4th at the Martin House. 

On November 7th the Museum of Florida History opened the new exhibit “Civil Rights in the Sunshine 

State”. It will be on display through April 5th. A reception and featured talk by Dr. Robert Hayling was 

held on November 6th. Dr. Hayling was a leader of the civil rights movement in St. Augustine and worked 

with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

All newsletters and programs from the Panhandle Archaeological Society of Tallahassee (PAST), the 

Historic Capital Museum, the Riley House Museum, the Museum of Florida History, the Carrabelle 

Museum and the Knott House Museum will continue to be forwarded to THS members. All these 

newsletters will be included in the 2014-2015 Minutes and Correspondence which will be housed in the 

Archives at the end of the THS season. The only groups which henceforth will be highlighted will be ones 

that we have never heard from before and those which feature significant events.

Approved Minutes from December 22, 2014 THS Meeting

posted Feb 25, 2015, 8:22 PM by Romas S   [ updated Feb 25, 2015, 8:24 PM ]



Our December meeting/holiday party was held the evening of the 15th at the lovely home of  President Dave Lang and his wife, Mary Alma. There were 22 in attendance.

The meeting was called to order at 7:15 by President Lang. The Minutes of the November meeting were voted on and accepted.

Treasurer Alva Stone gave her report. She negotiated with our bank and had the $10.00 monthly service charge waived! The current balance in our account is $4, 422.53.

President Lang announced a tour planned for the following day of the old Tallahassee waterworks site by Cascades Park. Tallahassee Historical Society board members will look at the sites’ suitability for the planned Museum of Tallahassee History.

Our January program, to be held on the 8th, will be presented by Bill Leseman. He will discuss the history of Tallahassee water sources.

The meeting was adjourned and all present were treated to a wonderful potluck dinner and a photo display of the evening courtesy of Mona Lisa Abbott.





Laura Jernigan, Secretary

Approved Minutes from November 13, 2014 THS Meeting

posted Jan 1, 2015, 6:27 PM by Romas S   [ updated Jan 1, 2015, 6:46 PM ]

Tallahassee Historical Society

      Minutes of November 13, 2014 Meeting

The meeting was called to order at a few minutes past 7:00 by T.H.S. President David Lang. We met at the historic Knott House on Park Avenue in downtown Tallahassee. One guest was present, Diane Whitney’s sister Donna.

Mary Alma Lang graciously invited all members to a Christmas party on Wednesday,  December  10 at 6:30. Invitations to the membership will be sent by U.S. Mail.

Treasurer Alva Stone was absent so Past President Claude Kenneson delivered the Treasurer’s Report. Our balance as of 11/9/14 is $4,372.53.

The minutes of the October 14, 2014 meeting were voted on and accepted.

A quorum was present and the new by-laws distributed by e-mail and at the October meeting were accepted by unanimous vote of the membership.

Secretary Laura Jernigan announced the Museum of Florida History’s current exhibit “Civil Rights in the Sunshine State” and encouraged all to see it. Also, a retirement party is being held in honor of Claude Kenneson on November 22 from 6-8 p.m. at the St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, 2198 N. Meridian Road. It will be potluck, please bring a covered dish to share.

Dave spoke about a possible site for the proposed Tallahassee History Museum, the old Waterworks building next to Cascades Park. A meeting is scheduled next Wednesday with Dee Crumpler and other City of Tallahassee officials to discuss the proposal. Dave, Claude Kenneson and Mary May will be representing the T.H.S. at the meeting.

Miss Sarah Shaw of the Knott House gave a brief history of the building and introduced our Vice President Diane Whitney, who gave a delightful and informative program in character as Luella Knott.

Following  the presentation refreshments were served.

The Tallahassee Historical Society thanks the Knott House personnel for hosting us.

Respectfully submitted by Laura Jernigan, Secretary

Approved Minutes from THS October 9, 2014 Meeting

posted Dec 3, 2014, 8:30 PM by Romas S



The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. Welcoming remarks were made by Dave Lang and the following guests were recognized: Greg Walker, Emily Whalen and Maurice Majak (Tallahassee Fire Department Historian). In addition to the President, members of the new board of Directors, Vice President Diane Whitney and Treasurer Alva Stone were introduced and recognized. It was announced that our Secretary, Laura Jernigan, was recovering from a recent surgery and was necessarily absent. It was also announced that Past President Claude Kenneson was absent due to the sudden death of his sister at her home near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A sympathy card was circulated to be mailed to Claude from the Society members present.

Treasurer Alva Stone gave the Treasurer’s Report and submitted that the Society’s bank balance was $4,282.58. Alva was also commended for making new name tags for the membership.

President Dave Lang stated that the Board of Directors believes two programs need to be addressed in an effort to preserve Tallahassee’s history: a Tallahassee Museum and a collection of Oral Histories. These items were tabled for future discussion and possible implementation.

President Lang announced that the Board had met on September 18th to discuss, revise and amend the present by-laws for presentation to the membership. The current by-laws have not been changed since 1933. Copies of the proposed new by-laws as submitted by the Board have been sent to the membership by e-mail and additional copies were on hand for those who did not receive them. The changes are scheduled for a vote at our next regular meeting on November 13th.  Also discussed was the possible addition of three members to the current board as specified by the 1933 by-laws.  The Board agreed that this provision of the by-laws should be brought before the membership for implementation. The floor was opened for nominations to fill the three positions. Following nominations, seconds and discussion on each position Claude Kenneson, Mary May and Romas Sparkis were duly elected to the Board.

A summary of summer events was given:

Julie Bettinger is interested in resources dealing with the Capital City Bank. She has been commissioned to write a book for their 125th anniversary, coming up in six years. She wishes to check with Claude and his notebooks.

Trish Mann sought a genealogy written by one of her ancestors, Byron Sharman. A search in the Florida Library and Archives turned up nothing.

Susie Lamb e-mailed Claude on behalf of her grandson who was looking for information on Henry Weld Fuller, an attorney originally from Maine who practiced briefly in Florida. An advertisement found in the Tallahassee Floridian and Advocate dated December 4, 1830, confirmed his presence at Magnolia, Florida. Magnolia then existed in Leon County but all that remains of it now is a cemetery  in Wakulla County.

Rebecca Dela Rosa requested to join the THS Google group. It was suggested that she first attend our October meeting and join the THS before she joins the Google group.

Myra Kinnie, who is writing a book dealing with the riot in Ocoee Florida in 1920 was referred to Claude for information that might be located at the state library. She was given a list of several news articles on the topic found in the state library’s files.

The Panhandle Archeological Society of Tallahassee invited us to hear Curtis Brown and Joe Davis of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission speak on June 3. Curtis Brown profiled Operation Timucuas – a two year undercover operation focused on a large scale illegal collection and sales of artifacts extracted from and causing damage to archaeological sites.  Joe Davis spoke about identifying and protecting the sites within the Aucilla Wildlife Management areas’ 50,471 acres.

Kelly Crocker, commander of Finley’s Brigade Camp 1614, Sons of Confederate Veterans, invited us on June 14 to the installation of a memorial marker for Civil War veteran John L. Farrior, buried in Tallahassee’s Oakland Cemetery.

The Museum of Florida History, Historic Capitol Museum, Knott House Museum, Riley House Museum and Carrabelle Museum all kept us abreast of their activities during the summer with newsletters. These were forwarded to members via e-mail.

Sara McFerrin invited us to her book signing of “Raney Days, the David G. Raney Family and their Antebellum Home” on August 2 at the Raney House in Apalachicola.

The Sierra Big Bend Group invited us on September 11 to hear writer, photographer and naturalist Doug Alderson speak on his Wild Florida Adventures.

Vice President Diane Whitney introduced the speaker for the evening, President Dave Lang. The topic of his presentation was “Strange Facts and Funny Stories About Your Courthouse – And The People Therein”. His interesting and informative presentation was enjoyed by all.

Following the program it was announced that the next meeting would be held at the Knott House on Park Avenue. The date is November 13th and our Vice-President Diane Whitney will present a musical program entitled “Luella Knott: Her Life Through Music”. Members were encouraged to bring friends to this musical performance.

The meeting was adjourned and refreshments were served to all in attendance.

Approved Minutes from May 24, 2014 Annual Luncheon Meeting

posted Jul 26, 2014, 7:53 PM by Romas S   [ updated Aug 4, 2014, 7:04 PM ]

Minutes for May 24, 2014 THS Annual Luncheon

The meeting was called to order by outgoing President Claude Kenneson at 11:00. Present were:

Larry & Martha Pytel     Carol & Pete Cowdrey

Mary May                        Wade Birch

Claude Kenneson            Myra Blanchard

Laura Jernigan                 Stanley Garfein

Ernie Sanders                  Diane Whitney

Alva T. Stone                   Jon Whitney

Virginia Newman            Mary Alma Lang

David Lang

Minutes for the April 10, 2014 meeting had been sent to the membership via e-mail. A motion to adopt them as read was made by Virginia Newman and seconded by David Lang. The minutes were adopted.

Ernie Sanders read the Treasurer’s Report. On April 10, 2014 the balance was $4372.15. Expenses of $90.01 and income of $40.00 resulted in $4322.14 as of today’s date. Ernie reported that our bank has begun charging a fee of $10.00 monthly and discussion ensued. Many members are in favor of talking to the bank about our non-profit status to see if the fee can be waived.


Kelly Crocker, commander of Finley’s Brigade Camp 1614, Sons of Confederate Veterans, invited us to the annual Decoration Day memorial at Soldier’s Cemetery in Quincy April 19. He also invited us to the Confederate Memorial Day service held at Old City Cemetery in Tallahassee on Sunday, April 27 at 3 pm.

The Carrabelle History Museum invited us to the 2014 Carrabelle Riverfront Festival held on April 25 & 26.

The Museum of Florida History invited us to several events including: a History at High Noon program April 22 given by historian Thomas Neil Knowles “Long Key Fishing Camp: Henry Flagler’s Most Unique Resort”; Heather Sneed of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission led a hands-on activity about catch and release; May 15 author Doug Kelly gave a lecture on “Florida’s Fishing Legends and Pioneers”.

On May 8 the Florida Historic Capitol Museum featured the 2014 Tallahassee-Leon County Historic Preservation Awards.

The Knott House held the annual Emancipation Day celebration on May 20.


Maurice Majszak, author of “William Early Levy, Sr., Dean of the Fire Service”, is working on his second book that will deal with short biographies of Tallahassee’s other fire chiefs. He was provided  with information on T.J. Rawls, William Pitt Slusser, W.A. Demilly and L.M. Lively.

E. Lynn McLarty, who is doing research for a book on Trinity United Methodist Church, sought information on the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Tallahassee which bought property belonging to Trinity near what is now the Civic Center, almost directly behind the R.A. Gray Building. Claude was able to identify Nathan B. Young, one of the founders, as also a president of what is now FAMU. McLarty was also interested in finding out something about the Universal Investment Company, which bought the property from the Pilgrim Congregational Church. Immanuel Baptist bought the same property from Universal Investment Company. There were a couple of articles from newspapers about the Universal Investment Company online that Claude found for him.

Arianna Long asked to put a link on our website to After consulting with our webmaster Romas Sparkis it was decided that the link belongs on educational websites and not ours which is devoted almost exclusively to Tallahassee and Leon County history.

Bob Trapp, Secretary/Treasurer of the Natural Bridge Historical Society, requested from Claude a letter of support for a Historic Preservation Grant for restoration of the eagle sculpture on the Natural Bridge monument. It was personally delivered to Robert Bendus, Director of the Bureau of Historic Preservation in the R.A. Gray Building. The plan is to display the original eagle in a building in the park and to mount a replica on the monument. Claude emphasized that this could be a historic moment if it were completed by the time of the re-enactment in March 2015 or even sometime that year. 2015 will mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Natural Bridge.

At the request of  Florida History Fair coordinator K.C. Smith, Society members Robert Davis, Pete Cowdrey, Claude Kenneson, Alva Stone, Diane Whitney and Terri Messler participated in the 2014 Florida History Fair (held on May 5th and 6th) by serving on Special Prize judging teams. Myra Blanchard assisted with participant registration and other duties.

Mike Ferrara from Indian Head Acres located on his property what appears to be a cypress bridge, which is now under about 18 inches of soil. He was referred to the Panhandle Archaeological Society at Tallahassee. Their president, Barbara Hines, is due to visit there Wednesday. She determined that the structure was a result of terracing done by the early residents of the area.

Jim Calhoun, a contractor and member of the Wakulla Historical Society, has a client on Centerville Road who is building a home with the look of the early 1800s. They are looking for a Cracker house that needs restoration and can be moved cheaply. He was referred to the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation.

Maria Matilszki, catering manager at Four Points by Sheraton in downtown Tallahassee, mentioned that many groups meet there monthly for meetings, socials, etc., and that they also cater for the groups. She wondered if the THS might be interested. She was told we already have meeting place at the Governor Martin house, free of charge.

Robert Hines from Jacksonville, Florida has some old aerial photos of Tallahassee taken in October 1957 he wants to donate to THS. This information was passed on to the Florida Photographic Collection. THS does not have its own repository and we turn such artifacts to either the Florida Archives, the Florida State Library or the Florida Photographic Collection.


The resolution opposing demolition of the Firestone Building and Bloxham Annex was distributed to the membership for discussion and revision. After minor revisions were made and adopted the membership voted to adopt it (motion made by Diane Whitney, seconded by Laura Jernigan) and distribute it. Rabbi Garfein suggested the membership attend a City Commission meeting en masse to protest  the proposed demolition of the building.

Elections for the club officers for the 2014/2015 year were held. All proposed officers were elected unopposed:  President, Dave Lang; Vice President, Diane Whitney; Secretary, Laura Jernigan; Treasurer, Alva Stone. All newly elected officers were given copies of the Society by-laws written in 1933. Many members feel the by-laws could be reviewed and possibly revised/updated. President-Elect Lang stated he intends to contact his officers through the summer and work on this project.

Members were reminded of former THS President Marti Pytel’s talk at the Museum of Florida History on Tuesday, May 27 at the History at High Noon program. Free parking is available, and it was recommended that members tour the current temporary exhibit at the Museum “The Lure of Florida Fishing”.

Minutes for this meeting will be sent to the membership by e-mail.  If no corrections/additions are submitted by June 5, Claude will consider them approved and turn the season’s minutes and correspondence in to the Florida Archives to be stored with the others.

The meeting was adjourned and all members enjoyed lunch together.

Submitted by Laura Jernigan, Secretary


Leon County Commissioner Mary Ann Lindley responded to our petition as follows:

Dear Mr. Kenneson,

I’m in receipt of your resolution regarding the Firestone & Bloxham buildings. However the news story was incomplete. There are no plans to demolish those buildings & any redevelopment will have oversight of the Community Redevelopment Agency, of which I’m a voting member & which is very supportive of historic preservation. I want you to have the enclosed update on the situation from CRA director Roxanne Manning so you’ll have a fuller picture of what’s really going on – or not going on with regard to demolition of those historic buildings.

Best regards,

Mary Ann Lindley

The enclosure reads:

From: Roxanne Manning

To: Arielle Franklin, etc.

CC: Vince Long, etc

Date: 5/14/14   11:55 AM

Subject: Information regarding the historic buildings adjacent to Cascades Park

Attachments: Preservation facts.doc; image003.png

Commissioners and aides,

Attached please find accurate information regarding the potential preservation of historic art deco buildings at Cascades Park. Unfortunately, the article in Sunday’s Democrat was inaccurate. Neither  the Democrat or the staff of the Tallahassee Trust contacted CRA staff to discuss the issues before publishing the article. I have already contacted both entities.

There are no plans to demolish the buildings. When a redevelopment plan is created, all responsible options for preservation will be considered. Please note, however, that in order to meet the fiduciary requirements of the CRA, the property will need to be sold and redeveloped. We have some exciting opportunities for that redevelopment which will be discussed at future CRA meetings, following actual acquisition of the property.

We also have a response letter for your use which we will send you shortly.

Thank you.

Roxanne M. Manning AICP

Executive Director

Facts Related to the Art Deco Buildings on Gaines Street

  1. No decisions have been made regarding the use of the art deco buildings on Gaines St. In fact, the property exchange with Florida State University involving the O’Connell, Firestone, Bloxham Annex properties has not yet been completed. The estimated timeframe for completing the exchange is August or September of 2014.

  2. After the transaction is completed, the Firestone and Bloxham Annex properties will be owned by the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). The CRA will not, however, be the sole developer of the Firestone, Bloxham Annex properties. In order to meet the goals and fiduciary responsibilities of the CRA, the properties will have to be sold and redeveloped.

  3. CRA staff has already started to look at opportunities for preservation of the art deco buildings.

  4. Fortunately, as seller of the property, by using conditions of sale and other methods, the CRA will be able to have a strong influence on the redevelopment of the property. This will include thorough consideration of the design of proposed projects, as well as preservation and reuse of the art deco buildings if possible. As part of the deliberative process, CRA staff will be reaching out to local professionals and citizens to gather input regarding use and design of the redevelopment.

  5. The CRA’s goal is to have a project of which we can all be proud.

  6. As is always the case in historic preservation, the CRA will need to balance the desires of the community with redevelopment needs and preservation opportunities to make the best possible decision.

  7. The largest of the three subject buildings contains the old jail. Due to its size, location and “escape proof” masonry construction, it will be very costly to reuse or preserve this building. Attempts to do so may preclude redevelopment of the site. The two smaller buildings present the best opportunity for preservation and reuse.

  8. The City and CRA are aware of the value of historic buildings. The preservation of the Waterworks complex, the Electric building at Cascades and the redesign of Gaines Street to preserve historic railroad warehouses are good examples of the City and CRA’s work in this area.

Approved Minutes from April 10, 2014 Meeting

posted Jul 26, 2014, 7:18 PM by Romas S   [ updated Jul 26, 2014, 7:32 PM ]

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by President Claude Kenneson. He welcomed our visitors and members. A total of thirty-five people attended the meeting. The Treasurer's Report was given by Ernie Sanders. We now have a balance of $4372.15 in the bank.

The March 13, 2014 meeting minutes were sent by e-mail to the membership. Bob Davis made a motion to adopt them as they stand and the motion was seconded by Ernie Sanders. The minutes were approved.

Requests and Inquiries

Kelly Crocker, commander of the Sons of the Confederacy Camp Cresset Finley's Brigade from Havana Florida, is doing research on Confederate veteran John L. Farrior. The Sons are preparing for a memorial service and the placing of a government marker on the site of his grave at Oakland Cemetery in Tallahassee. A patron thought that the State Library had Tallahassee City Directories prior to 1904 and that John might be listed there. No such directories were located with the other city directories.. There are Florida Gazetteers (1883-1884 and 1885--1886) plus Elliott's Florida Encyclopedia of 1889, which contain entries of Tallahassee businesses and professionals but Farrior is not listed. Kelly has been in touch with the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation which has a copy of the 1887 Bensel's Tallahassee Directory. In the meantime, Claude also, quite by accident, stumbled upon Bensel's work in the State Library in a section devoted to Leon County - unfortunately, Farrior was not listed.

THS member Diane Whitney is working on a monologue with music associated with Louella Knott for Bea Cotellis of the Knott House Museum. It pertains to a dissertation by Cynthia Robertson Waddell on William Valentine Knott that contains two footnotes listing a couple of boxes, one on Luella and one on the Knott family. She asked Claude to check to see if the State Archives had them. They do and he has seen Diane at the State Library researching and taking notes.

Mark Perrin from Tallahassee sought information on the Marion Race Track, which existed in Tallahassee from 1832 to 1843. He was referred to an excellent article "Horse Racing in Middle Florida 1830-1843" by Dorothy Dodd which appeared in a publication by the THS called " Apalachee 1948-1950". Bertram H. Groene in "Antebellum Tallahassee" also relates the story of the Marion Course.

Mary May, who has previously spoken to us, arranged for Jim Apthorp to meet with Matt Lutz, Director of Records for the City of Tallahassee, herself and Claude at the State Library on April 8. He is doing research on his ancestors the Apthorps. Claude shared with him information from a notebook on Union soldiers buried in the Old City Cemetery that he had complied for the State Library. John Perkins Apthorp is listed. Another notebook on the dairy industry in Leon County contains several mentions of the Apthorps, who were involved in dairy farming.

Architect Deborah Desilets sent Claude an update from Larry Coltharp on the Calvin C. Phillips mausoleum in Oakland Cemetery. Phillips was a professional architect to whom the state of Pennsylvania and the government of France had awarded medals recognizing the exemplary quality of his work. He designed his tomb and the Clock House of Tallahassee (since torn down). Phillips also built his own casket of Cherry wood which he had placed in the mausoleum. On November 19, 1919 he was found dead in the mausoleum on a cot he had placed there to rest upon when tired. Greg Smith, who is in charge of Tallahassee cemeteries, is holding discussions with the city on its possible restoration.

A THS member sent Claude an article from the website posted from Osprey, Florida in Sarasota County entitled "Historic graves stones located on Osprey property". A photo of one stone shown was a military civil war marker bearing the name of 1st Lt. John D. Young. These stones were found on land being cleared for development but there were no grave sites or bones near them. Claude researched "Biographical Rosters of Florida's Confederate and Union Soldiers 1861-1865" and found John listed with the same information as on the marker but with an additional note stating he was buried in Alachua County. The website Find a grave listed Lt. Young as being buried in Kanapaha Cemetery in Gainesville with a tombstone but no military marker. The mystery is how the stones ended up on Osprey. Claude posted a comment on the website and has contacted the head of the Florida Division of the Sons of the Confederacy to look into the matter and have the headstone returned to where it belongs. At our meeting Kelly Crocker informed us that a Son of the Confederacy in Sarasota is now in possession of the marker and has contacted Kanapaha Cemetery regarding the return of the marker.

Florida History Fair Coordinator K.C. Smith has put out a plea for judges at the Florida History Fair contest on Monday, May 5 at Tallahassee Community College.


Betty Ashler from the Birdsong Nature Center invited us to a presentation on March 29 "History: The Dickey Plantation Era". Ginny Hardcastle informed Claude after the meeting that the talk was postponed and will be rescheduled.

The Panhandle Archaeological Society invited us to hear on April 1 archaeologist Jeffrey Shanks of the National Park Service speak on "Prehistoric Peoples on the Redneck Riviera: Rediscovering the Woodland Cultures of Coastal Northwest Florida". Archaeological surveys, excavations, archival research, systematic probings and a cadaver dog were used by the Southeast Archaeological Center to determine the exact locations of middens and mounds located on Tyndall Air Force Base over the last eight years. Several THS members attended this most interesting talk.

Marina Brown invited us to the Book Launch of "Airport Sketches, A Week of Lives at Tallahassee Regional Airport" at the Tallahassee Regional Airport today (April 10).

Past THS president Marti Pytel sent an invitation to a presentation and slide show about her book "Baker's Haulover - A Maritime Treasure of History and Pioneers" at the Museum of Florida History on May 27 at noon. This is in conjunction with the current exhibit "The Lure of Florida Fishing".

On April 17, at the Museum of Florida History, renowned marine artist Randall Scott presented "Portraits of the Sea - Art of the Dive".

Our speaker Gene Jones of Sarasota gave a lecture entitled "The Myth; Not Much Happened in Florida during the Civil War". He answered questions and had a book signing of his novel "Suwannee Divide".

The meeting was closed, followed by refreshments.

Laura Jernigan, Secretary

Approved Minutes from March 13, 2014 Meeting

posted May 11, 2014, 4:20 PM by Romas S   [ updated May 11, 2014, 4:21 PM ]

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 pm.  Claude Kenneson introduced himself and welcomed everyone present. 

Ernie Sanders gave the financial report.  Our balance in the bank is $4,352.15.
Wade Birch is now Ernie's assistant and his name has been added to the bank's signature card.

The minutes for the February 13 meeting were sent to the membership by e-mail. David Lang  made a motion to adopt the minutes as sent. Ernie Sanders seconded the motion. There being no corrections or additions, the minutes were declared approved.

New Business
Mary Glowacki, on behalf of the Department of State, asked her colleagues to write a letter to Susan Gales, Grants Coordinator, at VISIT FLORIDA requesting a grant to create a virtual tour of Mission San Luis. A letter of support was sent by our president.

K.C. Smith and Jennie Brock from the Museum of Florida History asked our participation to serve as Florida History Fair Judges on May 5, 2014.

Inquiries and Requests
James Rudd requested information on James Thomas "Tobi" Chester killed by Mark Houstoun on Feb. 7, 1908. Claude was able to locate the story in the Jacksonville, Florida Times Union on Feb. 8 under the heading "Tragedy at High Springs."

Melaney Cordell of Buigas & Associates, lobbyists, asked for the history behind the property at 713 E. Park Ave. The Leon County Property Appraiser's website and Polk's Tallahassee City Directories provided most of what she wanted to know.

Karla Brandt, who produces a bimonthly newsletter called The Senior Gazette, asked permission to quote from an article Claude wrote on Fort Braden. Permission was granted.

Romantic Readings by Barbara Hamsby were held at the Knott House on Feb. 14.

We were invited to the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Olustee held from Feb. 14-16.

On Feb. 19, Dr. Michelle Williams spoke on "Pathos and Plants: Medicinal Plants and Pathologies Among the Windover Population"  to the Panhandle Archaeological Society of Tallahassee.

The Museum of Florida History sent us a list of events through April for their History at High Noon programs. Likewise, the John G. Riley Museum also sent us a list of events which they sponsored during the months of February and March.

On Feb. 20, Dr. Jane Landers discussed "Africans as Discoverers and Settlers in La Florida" at the third Thursday program at the Museum of Florida History.

On March 1 and 2, the 149th anniversary of the Battle of Natural Bridge was held near Woodville, Florida.

On March 5, the Carrabelle History Museum opened its Salt Exhibit, chronicling Florida's contribution to the South during the Civil War.

On March 8, Donna Meredith had a book signing at My Favorite Books in Market Square on her Florida environmental thriller entitled "Wet Work."

On March 11, Alva T. Stone spoke at San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park Museum on her great-great-grandfather, Dr. James M. Madden, and other relatives who lived in St. Marks, Port Leon, and Newport during antebellum days.

On March 15, the third annual "Authors in Apalach" will be held at the Fort Coombs Armory in Apalachicola.

On March 18, at the Florida Historic Capitol, former U.S. Senator Bob Graham will discuss his long-standing involvement in Florida politics.

Deborah Desilets, a local architect and Barbara Mattick have been working on a historic marker for Gilbert S. Chandler's Tin Can Auto Camp/Ben Bridges Ball field. The City has agreed to this placement on South Adams Street across from the Gramling Feed Store (near where the Fletcher Building is now placed). The review will be on March 21st with Michael Zimny. She is also making a poster for a Music Fest and Marker Benefit Party, for April 6, 2014 from 1-4 p.m. with Labamba and Harvest Gypsies playing.

Past president Marti Pytel invites us to a presentation with a slide show about her book, "Baker's Haulover-A Maritime Treasure of History and Pioneers" at the Museum of Florida History for the new exhibit opening tonight on 'The Lure of Florida Fishing." This will take place on May 27 at 12:00 noon.

Juanita Whiddon was introduced. The title of her topic was "A History of Tall Timbers." She brought a fascinating scrapbook of photos taken at Tall Timbers in the early years.

Claude announced that at our next meeting (on April 10) Gene Jones would speak about his book Suwannee Divide, A Civil War Novel.  Since then, Gene informed him that the title of his talk will be "The Myth: Not Much Happened in Florida during the Civil War."
When Claude spoke to the membership at our May picnic about Gene, who will be driving from Sarasota, we decided to have a pot luck on that night to defray the cost of his expenses. Since the meeting Claude has thought it over and decided that it  is too difficult to eat regular food with a fork while sitting down in a chair and requests that members bring trays of finger foods to share instead. This is what the Archaeological Society does and it works out well. He will send out a list asking for specific items that members can sign up to bring. Gene also will not need a room for a hotel since he will stay at Claude's, who has an extra room. However, if anyone wants to help Claude pay for Gene's gas for the trip, please see Claude. The cost will be around $50.00.

Next--this is the most important and urgent announcement.
At the upcoming 2014 May picnic three officers are stepping down. Ernie Sanders, who has been treasurer for 13 years will not continue. Neither will our secretary Laura Jernigan. And Claude is stepping down from the presidency after four years. David Lang Jr. is the president-elect, but someone will need to replace him as Vice President. So everyone is asked to please think hard about it and step up to the plate and become an officer. No one wants to see the THS come to an end, yet the outcome is in your hands. Contact Claude if you wish to replace any of the officers, PLEASE.

Romas Sparkis told us about the opening of Cascades Park on the upcoming weekend.

Francis Watson reminded us that the F.S.U. Digital Library Collection is now accessible online. He called our attention to an article by J.H. Reese entitled "The Lands of Leon" in the "New Era Edition True Democrat" of Dec, 1911. There are also lots of photos and postcards of F.S.U. as well as Alumni and Faculty Collections.

The meeting was officially adjourned and was followed by refreshments.

Laura Jernigan,

Approved Minutes from February 13, 2014 Meeting

posted Apr 9, 2014, 6:25 PM by Romas S

The meeting was called to order at 7:08 p.m.  Claude Kenneson introduced himself and welcomed all in attendance.

Ernie Sanders gave us the financial report. Since he was not here for the Jan. 9 meeting he stated that the balance then was $4,332.15. The balance for Feb. 13, 2014 remained the same at $4,332.15.

The Minutes for the Jan. 9, 2014 meeting were sent via e-mail. David Lang moved to adopt the Minutes as sent. Erica Clark seconded the motion. With no additions or corrections, the Minutes of the Jan. 9 meeting were declared approved.

There was no old business.

Inquiries and Requests
  One was from Will Stoutamire who expressed interest in the THS, and wants to attend a meeting before our May picnic and perhaps join the organization.       Another was from Grant Gelhardt who requested to join the THS group at Google. 
  In connection with an inquiry on Calvin C. Phillips at our Jan. 9 meeting Deborah Diselets sent some links about the man, which were forwarded to the membership. 
  Fred Gaske asked for verification on whether in 1990 the THS and the Jefferson County Historical Association had raised $800.00 to send to the Gettysburg National Military Park for repainting and protective coasting of the Florida Monument on the Gettysburg Battlefield. This info was conveyed to him by David Coles, who was president of the THS at the time. Going through the Minutes one reference was found of money being sent (but no amount given) and also of having a fund raiser for the same.

  At the Museum of Florida History on Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. Florida archaeologist Roger C. Smith discussed vessels of exploration and the loading of ships for colonial ventures. The many sunken ships off Florida's coast give us keen insights into the cargo Spanish explorers chose to take along with them. 
  On Sat., Jan. 25, at 2:45 p.m., Dr. Sixto Garcia, historian and theologian, spoke on the Martyrs of La Florida during the destruction of the Spanish missions by the English and Creek invaders. The lecture was held at the site at Chaires Cross Road, where a museum and Shrine of the Martyrs of La Florida is planned. 
  On Tuesday, Jan. 28 at noon the Museum of Florida History featured Rick Kilby who spoke about his book "Finding the Fountain of Youth. Ponce de Leon and Florida's Magical Waters." He also had a book signing. 
  On Jan. 31, at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall was shown a documentary commemorating the 1956 Tallahassee Bus Boycott and the 1960s lunch counter sit ins. Several of the participants involved in the struggle were in the audience. Also present were some of our members. Anyone interested who could not be there for the viewing can now watch it online at
  Several upcoming events include a free, open to the public conference on Feb. 21-22 at F.S.U. celebrating 450 years of the French presence and influence in Florida.  
  On Feb. 22-23, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala, Florida will be held the fourth annual Silver River Knap-In Stone Tool Making and Primitive Arts Festival.

Our presenter for the evening was Jarvis Rosier who showed us a documentary entitled "Slavery to Emancipation. Fight for Freedom U.S.C.T." He also spoke on the role of the United States Colored Troops participation in Florida battles, including Olustee and Natural Bridge. This was followed by a question and answer period.  

Next month on March 13 Juanita Whiddon will speak to us on  "The History of Tall Timbers."

With no other announcements, our meeting was officially adjourned and followed by refreshments.

Laura Jernigan
Tallahassee Historical Society

NOTE: At a regular meeting of the Tallahassee Historical Society, held at the Governor Martin House at 1001 De Soto Park Dr in Tallahassee, FL, on Thursday evening, March 13, 2014, with the President in the chair, and Laura Jernigan as secretary, the minutes of the previous meeting were approved without changesThe minutes for the February 13 meeting had been sent to the membership by e-mail. David Lang made a motion to adopt the minutes as sent. Ernie Sanders seconded the motion. There being no corrections or additions the minutes were declared approved.

Approved Minutes from January 9, 2014 Meeting

posted Mar 11, 2014, 8:43 PM by Romas S   [ updated Mar 11, 2014, 8:44 PM ]

Tallahassee Historical Society Minutes January 9, 2014 

The meeting was called to order by Claude Kenneson at 7:00 p.m. He introduced himself and welcomed everyone present. The Treasurer's Report was sent to Claude via voicemail  by Ernie Sanders, who could not be present.  This report was not received in time for the meeting, but is as follows:

Balance as of our last meeting:  $4232.15
Deposits:                                      $100.00
New Balance:                             $4332.15

A motion to adopt the minutes from the December meeting sent to the membership by e-mail was made by David Lang and seconded by Bob Davis. No comments or additions were sent in and none were made,  so the minutes were adopted.

New Business:

There were two inquiries and two invitations.

Suzanne Elliott asked for information on Calvin Phillips, a local architect who came here to Tallahassee around 1907, died in 1919 and was buried in Oakland Cemetery. He was somewhat eccentric. He designed his own mausoleum, built his own casket and placed it right alongside his "resting cot" in the mausoleum, where he often took naps. He bought some lots off of Gaines Street about a block and a half from the railroad station and built his own house with an attached high brick clock tower. Unfortunately, it was taken down by persons unknown at night.  Deborah Desilets offered to give Claude a link to additional information on Mr. Phillips.  Matt Lutz, Director of Records for the City of Tallahassee, sought a copy of the 1840 Articles of Incorporation for the City.  He was given a link online at the University of Florida Digital Collections, where he could locate it. 

We were invited by the Panhandle Archaeological Society at Tallahassee to attend a lecture by Dr. Adam King on Tuesday, January 7 at the Governor Martin House.  His focus was on the connection between the Lake Jackson Mounds and those in the Etowah River Valley in northwestern Georgia.

Terri Messler invited us to hear author Dale Cox speak about his book "Milly Francis;  the Life and Times of the Creek Pocahontas" at San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park Museum.  This was scheduled for Sunday, January 12 from 2:30 to 3:30.

Our guest speaker Pete Cowdrey was introduced.  His presentation of "The Maritime World of Juan Ponce de Leon" was well received.

Next month's meeting will take place on February 13.   In commemoration of Black History Month, our presenter will be Jarvis Rosier instead of Althemese Barnes,  who had been asked to speak.  

The meeting was adjourned and all were invited to refreshments.

Submitted by Laura Jernigan, Secretary

Approved Minutes from December 12, 2013 Holiday Luncheon

posted Feb 8, 2014, 3:26 PM by Romas S

The meeting was called to order by our President-elect, David Lang, Jr. at 11:44 a.m. Eighteen members  were present.  The Treasurer's report was given by Ernie Sanders -
Balance 11/14/13      $4200.85
Expenditures                  68.70   Christmas luncheon
Income                         100.00   New members
Balance 12/12/13      $4232.70

Minutes from the previous meeting were sent to members by e-mail; one correction was made. Frank Watson was changed to Francis Watson. There were no more corrections or additions, a motion to accept the minutes was made by Romas Sparkis, seconded by Ernie Sanders. The minutes were accepted.
Old Business
There was no old business.
New Business

Rabbi Garfein announced that the latest copy of Biblical Archaeology Review has an article on a finding in Israel that may be the foundation of King David's palace.

Suzanne Elliott from Tallahassee requested information on Calvin C.Phillips, who lived here in the early 1900s and died in 1919. He was an architect who designed his own mausoleum in Oakland Cemetery as well as the famous Clock House on Macomb Street which was unfortunately torn down years ago. Information available was provided to her.
C. Newborne, a student at Chiles High School, requested information on the Battle of Natural Bridge. He was referred to Mark Rominger for information.
Steve Starke from Tallahassee requested information on investor and philanthropist E.C. Allen. A building at First Baptist Church is named in his honor. Information provided.

A list of upcoming events at the Museum of Florida History beginning November 14, 2013 to February 23, 2014  was sent to the membership. 
The concert schedule for the Holiday Music Series by different Leon County Schools given at the Historic Capitol beginning on December 4 through December 13 was also sent to the membership.
On December 7 the Community Pig Out was held at the DeSoto Winter Encampment Site from 10:30 am until 3 pm. Romas Sparkis attended and gave the membership a rundown of the days' events. 
We were invited to the Carrabelle Boat Parade of Lights at 7 pm on December 14th. 

Pete Cowdrey will be our speaker next month on January 9, 2014. His topic will be The Maritime World of Ponce de Leon.

There being no further business, our meeting was adjourned. 
Rabbi Garfein gave the blessing and our Christmas luncheon was enjoyed by all. 

Submitted by Laura Jernigan, Secretary

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