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Society Notes

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

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 TalGov.com.
  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

Approved Minutes from November 14, 2013 Meeting

posted Dec 29, 2013, 6:02 PM by Romas S

11/14/13 Tallahassee Historical Society Meeting Minutes
The meeting was called to order at 7 pm. In attendance were John H. Davis, Robert S. Davis, Claude Kenneson, Ernie Sanders, Kristen Bell, Hunter Moore, Michael Hutson, Sue Cowger, Francis & Jane Watson, Dave Lang, Juanita Whiddon, Stanley Garfein and Laura Jernigan.
Ernie Sanders gave the Treasurer’s report. The balance as of 10/10/13 was $4150.85. Expenditures were $100.00 to Mission San Luis (reserve the room for May 2014). Income from members $120 10/10/13 and $30.00 10/21/13, totaling $150.00. The balance as of 11/14/13 is $4200.85.

Minutes from the previous meeting were distributed by e-mail. Two corrections were made, the first by Marti Pytel correcting the venue for her talk to the Florida Historic Capitol Museum rather than the Museum of Florida History. Romas Sparkis sent a correction regarding Johnathan Grandage’s name. All changes were made prior to the minutes being distributed. A motion to adopt the minutes was made by Robert Davis and seconded by Jane Watson. The minutes were adopted.

1)      Mary Alice Linzy was contacted by a FAMU student researching black owners in Leon County from the late 1800’s – 1900’s, particularly Epraim Chaires and Ralph Gooden. No information was available on these two but some was on the Gardners, the Rollins and others.
2)      Lisa Mills wondered where the THS housed its historic documents and photographs. She was told that the Minutes of the Society are kept at the State of Florida Archives and our early publications at the State Library of Florida, but that we do not have a repository for documents and photos. She was directed to the Florida Photographic Collection for historic photos.
3)      Sandra Wallace also was interested in purchasing historic photos and was basically given the same answer as above.
4)      Annie Draper is part of a committee that will be painting a mural of significant art events, persons or images from throughout our history.   She was directed to search for paintings,  sculpture, and art of Tallahassee and Clairbel Jett on the Florida Memory site. She was told to look at the lithographs of early Tallahassee in the book “Vues et Souvenirs de l’Amerique du Nord”, 1842 by Francis de Castelnau. She was also reminded of the buildings still standing that date to early Tallahassee including Bellevue, The Columns, Union Bank, Goodwood, Knott House, the Grove, etc. Finally, for historic persons she was told to look at the book “Red, White and Blueblood in Frontier Florida” by Malcolm B. Johnson.
5)      Fenton Avant wanted permission to link to our website from the Anna Jackson 224 United Daughters of the Confederacy site. Our webmaster Romas Sparkis added it to our Phone Numbers of Interest.
6)    Melanie Brock, on behalf of her son who is working on a school project about the Battle of Natural Bridge, asked for information on the battle. She was told to go to the State Library and look at the two notebooks of references Claude Kenneson compiled on the subject. Mr. Kenneson met them at the Library.
1)      A slideshow event featuring Tallahassee Democrat unpublished images of the local scene from the mid 1950s to the mid 1960s was presented by the Dept of State’s  Division of Library and Information Services in the R.A. Gray Building on October 11. The following day a Free Scan Day of original Florida related family photos was held. These will possibly be installed in the Florida Photographic Collection.
2)      A program entitled “Explorers Day at the Historic Capitol” was held at the Florida Historic Capitol Museum on October 12.
3)      Tamara B. Allen invited us to Carrabelle for the Lantern Fest at Crooked River Lighthouse on October 26.
4)      Terri Messler, Park Service Specialist, invited us to the International Archaeology Day at San Marcos de Apalache Historic Park on October 26.
5)      The Florida Historic Capitol Museum invited us to the Participate Program Series featuring former Congressman Lou Frey, Jr., on October 29.
6)      The November list of events taking place at Mission San Luis was sent out by e-mail.
7)      The Panhandle Archaeological Society of Tallahassee hosted Dan Seinfeld on November 5; his lecture was entitled “New Investigations into the Letchworth Mounds Archaeological Site”.
8)      Peggy Higgins and Dr. Jay Walton spoke at the Knott House on November 7. His lecture was entitled “Duck Hunting During the Great Depression”.
9)      On November 13 the Museum of Florida History opened its new exhibit “Imagining La Florida: Ponce de Leon and the Quest for the Fountain of Youth”; presentation by Florida historian Dr. J. Michael Francis.
Our guest speaker, Dr. Robert S. Davis, discussed his book “Out of Savannah”, based on the life of his great-great-grandfather John Walter Davis. Dr. Davis was a very entertaining speaker and read portions of his book aloud.  Following his presentation the meeting was adjourned and all attendees enjoyed refreshments.
Submitted by Laura Jernigan, Secretary 

Approved Minutes from October 10, 2013 Meeting

posted Dec 8, 2013, 6:36 PM by Romas S   [ updated Dec 8, 2013, 6:39 PM ]

Tallahassee Historical Society     October 10, 2013 

The meeting was called to order by Claude Kenneson at 7 p.m.  He welcomed all attendees and introduced himself, then Ernie Sanders as Treasurer and Laura Jernigan as Secretary. Our Vice President was not in attendance. Mr. Sanders gave the Treasurer’s Report – the Historical Society has a current balance of $4150.85 and yearly dues are due now.
Old Business: 
None noted.

1) Fred Gaske from Tallahassee sought information on a marker which had been found in the underbrush at Goodwood and which was restored and re-erected on site. This was one of six markers paid for and erected by the City of Tallahassee at the request of the Tallahassee Historical Society in 1939. The THS 1939 minutes, kept at the Florida Archives, contained items pertaining to the markers.
2)  Bill Anthony, a professor at FSU, asked the THS to recommend a book on Leon County history from 1800 to 1860. “Ante-bellum Tallahassee” by Bertram H. Groene, plus some notebooks compiled by Claude and publications of the THS were all suggested.
3) Mary May, in correspondence with Gerald Ensley, sought information on the Robert E. Lee monument, which was originally located just north of Bradfordville and is now about a mile from the Georgia border. This was provided.
4) Kelly Crocker had two inquiries. One pertained to contacting the Sexton or the Cemetery Board of St. John’s Episcopal Church Cemetery. A couple of phone numbers proved satisfactory. Next, he was looking for the burial location of Miles Nash, Tallahassee’s first postmaster. He wants to place a marker for him at Old City Cemetery. He was referred to the Tallahassee (Fla) Dept of Public Works Cemetery Records 1836-1989 on microfilm at the Archives and will be able to document his findings to present to the Cemetery Supervisor.
5) Both Jane Gardner and Michael Spellman from St. John’s Episcopal Church contacted Claude for recommendations on speakers for five upcoming sessions dealing with the parallel histories of Tallahassee and the Church. A list of possible speakers was provided.
6) Judy Gross, who writes an online blog, was looking for information on the role of the Irish in this area or in the Panhandle. This was given to her.
7) Linda Basford, whose parents celebrated their honeymoon in Cottage 21A at Lake Ella in the 1940s, wants to visit there in the near future and wanted a contact person to get the precise location. Chandler Corporation, who owns the property, stated that the cottage now houses Mickey’s Lakeside Café. Phone numbers were provided.
8) Kristen Bell of the Leon County Supervisor of Elections office is looking for pictures or portraits of S.D. Hightower (served 1897-1902), Samuel P. Chaires (served 1903-1912), Flavius C. Coles (served 1912-1927) and H.H. Isler (served 1927-1929).  Florida Memory, plus numerous other sources, did not turn up any pictures. However, some biographical information on the subjects was found and provided.

1) On June 25 the Museum of Florida History presented a lecture by Barbara Hines for the monthly History at High Noon program, entitled “Archaeology of the Seminole People”.
2) On July 23  for History at High Noon Johnathan Grandage spoke on “Seminole Culture Across Three Centuries”.
3) On August 10 the Museum of Florida History continued its focus on the Seminoles, featuring Museum Program Representative Ana Perez at the Second Saturday program.
4) On August 15 the Museum of Florida History presented Tallahassee Democrat columnist Mark Hinson at the Third Thursday program. He told humorous summer vacation stories from his childhood.
5) On August 24 the Carrabelle Historical Museum invited us to a Lower Muskogee Creek Tribe History Seminar.
6) Also on August 24 we were invited to the 13th Annual FAMU Grape Harvest Festival.
7) On August 27 the Museum of Florida History invited us to the History at High Noon lecture entitled “Conserving Your Stuff”. That same evening The Old Capitol Museum opened a new exhibit “Choosing to Participate: The Power of Civic Engagement”. The program was entitled “Engaged, Not Enraged: Civility, Politics and Civic Engagement”. Presenters included Nate Garvis, author of “Naked Civics”, and Michael Allen, a professor at Stetson University.
8) On September 3 the Panhandle Archaeological Society of Tallahassee hosted a potluck supper and celebration to open its season of programs.
9) On September 5 at the Governor Martin House the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation presented speaker Eduardo Robles, who lectured on “Plus Ultra: Spanish Architecture in Florida”.
10) On September 10 the Wakulla County Historical Society featured author Dale Cox, who released his new book on Milly Francis. Also on September 10 the Museum of Florida History opened the 32nd Annual Capital City Quilt Show.
11) In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month the Museum of Florida History had as speaker on September 19 Dr. Diantha Steinhelper, an FSU art history professor. She lectured on “Casting the Colonial Body: Race and Lineage in Spanish America”.
12) From September 24-28 the John G. Riley Visitors Center held a Grand Opening Celebration Week.
13) On September 26 past THS president Marti Pytel spoke about her book “Baker’s Haulover” at the Florida Historic Capitol Museum.
14) Beatrice Cotellis from the Knott House Museum sent a list of upcoming Knott House events through December.
15) On September 28 the Museum of Florida History held a Volunteer Training Session for the Florida Historic Capitol Museum.
16) September 29 Steve Kahn of the Jewish Genealogical Society spoke at Temple Israel on “Jewish Main Street Tallahassee”.
17) September 30 in the City Commission Chambers at Tallahassee City Hall the Civil Rights Commemorative Sidewalk Dedication Ceremony was held. Honored were the 58 men and women who played a part in Tallahassee’s 1956 bus boycott and the lunch counter sit-in in the 1960’s. Afterwards we walked over to the corner of Monroe and East Jefferson streets to view the Heritage Trail. Those unable to attend will definitely want to go down there sometime and take a look at it. Very well done.
The speaker for the evening was Johnathan Grandage, historian from the State Archives. He has taught at both Tallahassee Community College and Florida State University. The talk was titled “Tallahassee and 1513” and focused on the Native American populations of Florida, mostly northern Florida. To aid the lecture several maps were displayed on power-point. A question and answer session followed the talk.

1) On October 11-12 the State Library and Archives will hold events commemorating American Archives. On the 11th from 6-8 a slideshow of photographs taken by Tallahassee Democrat photographers in the 1950’s and 1960’s will be shown and free food and drink will be available. On the 12th the Archives will offer scanning services for old photos brought in by the public for use on the Florida Memory website.
2) Also on October 12 the Museum of Florida History will sponsor programs for their Explorers Day at the Historic Capitol. Member Pete Cowdrey will be  participating. He is scheduled to speak to the THS in January.
3) Beth LaCivita has invited THS members to the Ghost Walking Tour in downtown Tallahassee on October 17-20. Members are offered a discount on tickets for the tour, $12 instead of $15.
4) Our speaker November 14 will be Dr. Robert S. Davis, who will tell us about his book “Out of Savannah”. There is a West Florida connection to the story.
The meeting was adjourned and refreshments and fellowship followed.
Respectfully submitted by Laura Jernigan,  Secretary.

Claude Kenneson a winner

posted Nov 10, 2013, 3:56 PM by Romas S   [ updated Nov 10, 2013, 4:07 PM ]

Claude Kenneson a winner  [Tallahassee Democrat, OCT 24, 2013] 

He feeds poor, studies history

By Steve Starke

Special to the Chronicle

Good News Outreach is pleased to announce that our very own Claude J. Kenneson has been recognized as a runner up for the covet­ed Glenn J. Winuk Hu­manitarian Award. Claude was presented his award by former Florida Governor Bob Martinez at the Florida State University College of Law Rotunda on Sept.
 11 . Claude’s nomination for this award read as follows: Claude Kenneson is a 69-year-old “gentle” man who has dedicated his life to serving the homeless and poor in our community. Since 1989, he has prepared daily meals for an average of 170 homeless and hun­gry persons in our com­munity.

Claude coordinates the efforts of 31 commu­nity churches and civic groups as well as over 200 volunteers to assist in the enormous task of addressing hunger in our community. His day starts at 5:30 in the morning by making preparations for the noon meals. Claude be­gins heating the food at his home, then loads the supplies in his well-used vehicle, arriving at the The Shelter kitchen by 9:30 to greet his volun­teers. Salads are pre­pared, bread cut, and large food pans are placed in the warmers. Tables are set and water is poured to begin serv­ing the hungry in our
 community by 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday.

After meals are served, Claude meticu­lously cleans up the kitchen and loads his pots and pans back into his vehicle by 1 p.m. in order to volunteer his af­ternoons researching Tallahassee history at the State Library. Claude wades through old microfilms, journals, and documents to gather references and facts for continued research, and has compiled 41 note­books of references. Claude is currently serv­ing his third consecutive term as president of the Tallahassee Historical Society.

He has been a full­time volunteer for the last 24 years serving the homeless and contribut­ing to the preservation of Tallahassee history. Claude is well known for his sacrifice of personal time in serving the com­munity’s poor and utiliz­ing his talent in preserv­ing Tallahassee history, and is known by many as “Mr. Soup Kitchen” and “Mr. Tallahassee Histo­ry.”

Approved Minutes from May 25, 2013 Picnic Meeting

posted Sep 19, 2013, 7:06 PM by Romas S   [ updated Sep 25, 2013, 8:35 PM ]

     The Annual picnic was held at Mission San Luis. Setup began at 11 a.m. The meeting was called to order at 11:35 a.m. Welcoming remarks by President Claude Kenneson.  A moment of silence was observed in memory of one of our members, Betty Pichard Barnett. Her memorial service was held at St. Peter’s Anglican Church on Monday, May 6th, at 2p.m. The program for the service was passed around to view for those who were unable to attend. 

     There was no financial report given because Ernie Sanders, our Treasurer, suffered a stroke and is being treated as an outpatient. 

     A draft of the April 18th meeting was sent to all members by e-mail. Claude Kenneson called for a motion to adopt the minutes as sent. Wade Birch made a motion to adopt the minutes as sent, and it was seconded by Laura Jernigan.  There being no additions or corrections, the minutes were adopted.        

Inquiries and Requests:   
     Peter Mullen sought Claude’s email address. This was provided.

     Heather Burch from the Sunrise Rotary Club was looking for a speaker on Tallahassee history.  Claude contacted Mary May, who in turn, contacted Heather. Mary will address the Club on Tuesday, August 13th at 7:30 p.m. 

     Michael Rodrigues, representing the All Saints District Community Association, Inc asked for information on that area. This was supplied. 

     Frances Taber, one of our newest members, sent a link to an article in the Democrat, entitled “U.S. Navy sword returned to owner’s daughter 70 years after his death”. Since it was her dad’s sword, she felt that fellow historians would find the article of interest.    

     Kila Pyle asked for the name of Tallahassee’s hospitals in 1944. She was informed that there was only one-Johnston’s Sanitarium, which was built in 1924. She was instructed to go to the Florida Photographic Collection for photos of it. 

     The Carrabelle 2013  Riverfront Festival was held on Friday, April 26th, in the afternoon and evening and all day Saturday, April 27th.  There were demonstrations, music, food and visits to museums. 

     The Museum of Florida History, in the R. A. Gray Building, closed its exhibit “Reflections: Paintings of Florida 1865-1965” on May 6th. 

     The Panhandle Archaeological Society at Tallahassee invited us to attend a lecture on the Munree Cemetery by Barbara Hines on May 7th, at 7 p.m., at the Governor Martin House. Part of the program included the presence of a cadaver dog which was used in the project to help locate burial locations. 

     The Museum of Florida History invited us to the opening of the Seminole Exhibit on May 16th, from 5 to 8 p.m. Seminole historian Willie Johns spoke on “Seminoles Past and Present”.

     The Emancipation Day celebration was held on Monday, May 20th, beginning with the decoration of Union graves at Old City Cemetery at 10:45 a.m. and a dramatic reading of the Emancipation Proclamation at the Knott House at 11:45 a.m.

Five items need to be discussed: 

     1. Most organizations have two people to sign checks. Claude consulted with our treasurer, Ernie Sanders, and he alone is authorized to sign checks. It was decided that Wade Birch will also be authorized to sign checks. Wade and Ernie, will go the bank as soon as they can to put Wade on the account. Also, Wade will talk with Ernie to find out what the treasurer does in case an emergency arises.  Claude called for a motion to be made to add Wade Birch to our bank account with authority to write checks. A motion was made by Michael Linzy to accept and was seconded by Laura Jernigan. The motion was adopted by a show of hands.    

     2. Elections were held for officers for the upcoming THS season. Claude agreed to be President, with the understanding that a replacement be in place to take over next year.  Laura Jernigan offered to take over the Secretary position, replacing Michael Linzy. Dave Lang will remain our Vice President. The members, by consensus, also voted David president-elect for next term. Ernie Sanders will be our Treasurer. A show of hands to approve these actions was called for and all passed unanimously.         

      3. Gene Jones, author of a Civil War novel, “Suwannee Divide”, based in Florida, was asked by Claude if he would speak to the THS. He agreed to speak in April of 2014, but asked if the Society could help with gas money to travel from Sarasota to Tallahassee round trip, plus a motel and a couple of meals. The members at our last meeting did not like the idea of using funds for this purpose, and this proposal was tabled for another time.  After the last meeting, someone mentioned to Claude that she is in a musical group and that she sometimes takes in other performers into her home. Claude decided that since he has an extra room, he would ask Gene to stay with him, and Claude will cover Gene’s breakfast.  On the night of his presentation the members agreed to a pot luck meal. Also, it was agreed by members to begin taking up donations during our THS meetings to cover gas money for Gene.  Claude has asked Gene if this meets his approval, and it does.  

     4. Gene also e-mailed Claude about a possible fundraiser, with him and a friend, Bill Schustik, the American Troubadour. Bill is a professional performer and has appeared at the White House for three different Presidents. Gene and Bill have done joint presentations at different Florida Historical Societies. Gene speaks and Bill sings Civil War songs and tells stories.  The way it works is that Bill is paid one half of his fee at the door and the historical society hosting the event will sell food, drinks and other goods to raise money for the rest.  Our members decided not to participate in this offer. 

     5. The topic of changing our meeting night to the second Thursday evening was brought up.  Some people would like to attend lectures sponsored by the Museum of Florida History or the Old Capitol Museum, which also fall on the 3rd Thursday evening of every month, but they cannot do so now.  There may also be people from those other 2 groups who might wish to come to ours.  A poll was taken and everyone present favored the change. No further action was taken.  The final decision will depend on several factors:  (1) making sure that the Gov. Martin House will be availabe to us on the second Thursday evening;  (2) checking with all the scheduled speakers to see if they can change from the 3rd Thursday evening to the 2nd Thursday; (3) giving all those who were not in attendance at the picnic an opportunity to also voice their approval or disapproval.

            The business part of the meeting was adjourned and we enjoyed fried chicken and many delicious dishes that were brought by our members.   

These minutes were sent to the members by e-mail. Laura Jernigan made a motion to adopt the minutes as sent. Michael Linzy seconded it. No corrections were made.  One addition -- Claude Kenneson had also sent an e-mail pertaining to changing our meeting night from the third Thursday of each month to the second Thursday. All responses received by the July 10th deadline were in favor of the change. Our first meeting after the summer break, therefore, will be October 10th, 2013. Mark your calendars now.  

     This season's minutes, notes and correspondence will be turned in to the State Archives.            

                                                       Respectfully submitted, Michael Linzy, Treasurer

Approved Minutes from April 18, 2013 Meeting

posted Sep 19, 2013, 6:58 PM by Romas S

Tallahassee Historical Society Minutes April 18, 2013

Claude Kenneson called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm. He introduced himself and welcomed all in attendance. No financial report was given. The March 21 minutes had previously been sent to members for review. Claude asked for a motion to adopt the minutes as sent. Dave Lang made the motion and was seconded by Mona Lisa Abbott. There being no addition or corrections, the minutes were adopted.

New Business: Inquiries and requests- Mary Alice Linzy from Tallahassee inquired about a house that Chaires United Methodist Church purchased from the Seaboard Railroad in 1960 for $75.00. She is trying to find out when it was built and has been in contact with the Preservation Board. It was suggested that she try and contact the Railroad Company, which might have records of its stations/depots, etc. She was told also, to contact the family of Thomas Wagner, from Chaires, who served for 40 years as a conductor of the Seaboard. They might be able to give her information.

Shemele Jordan and her cousin, Floyd Riley from New Jersey, spent some time last week at the State Library. They are researching their ancestors who had been slaves of Noah L. Thompson of Tallahassee. They were referred to Clifton Paisley’s “Cotton to Quail” and “Red Hills of Florida” books. They were also told about Thompson’s tombstone in Episcopal Cemetery. Wanting photos of his tombstone, they were given directions to get there. The Thurman family was ancestors they sought out to research. They were given phone numbers of Thurman’s listed in the city directory.

Nancy Rembert has old photos of Tallahassee and surrounding areas from the Houstoun family and wanted to know if the THS wanted them. She was informed that we do not keep a repository for pictures and that she should contact the Florida Photographic Collection.

Invitations – We were invited to an interpretive tour of the Lake Jackson Mounds from a Native American Perspective on Sunday, March 24th, at 1:30 pm.

We were invited to the Museum of Florida History to a Floor Gallery Talk on March 25th with Dr. Michael Francis. The title was “Rethinking La Florida”: From Ponce de Leon to Jamestown.”

The Panhandle Archaeological Society of Tallahassee sponsored a talk at the Governor Martin House on April 2nd at 7pm., entitled “Submerged Landscape Reconstruction: Modeling Florida’s Terminal Pleistocene/Early Holocene Site Distribution on the Continental Shelf”.

The Holocaust Education Resource Council hosted a dinner and performance on April 6th, beginning at 6 pm. at Florida State University School, capped by featured speaker Ela Weissberger.

On April 11th at 5:30 pm. at the Knott House, one of our past THS presidents, Joe Knetsch, gave a talk entitled “Florida in the Great Depression: Desperation and Defiance.”

On April 16th beginning at noon, the Florida Historic Capitol Museum featured John Dos Passos Coggin, author of “Walkin Lawton!”

The Tallahassee Jewish Genealogical Society and the Tallahassee Jewish Federation will present a lecture entitled “Janice Rothschild Blumberg Records The Whole Alphabet” on April 21, at 2 pm at Temple Israel.

Tonight-Our speaker for the evening, Martha Saconchik Pytel, spoke about her new book “Baker’s Haulover – A Maritime Treasure of History and Pioneers”. She also did a book signing.

Announcements – Reminder that elections will take place at our picnic at Mission San Luis. The annual picnic will take place on May 25th – Setup begins at 11:00 am, at Mission San Luis.

Meeting was adjourned followed by refreshments.

Respectfully Submitted: Michael Linzy, Secretary

Approved Minutes from March 21, 2013 Meeting

posted May 12, 2013, 1:38 PM by Romas S

The meeting was called to order by Claude Kenneson at 7 pm,  with welcoming remarks and introductions.  The financial report was given by Ernie Sanders. Our current balance is $4,188.85. The minutes were sent ahead of time, and a motion was made by Bob Davis to adopt as sent. The minutes were adopted, as there were no additions or corrections called for. 

New Business- Inquiries and requests.   Dr. William Lees, Executive Director of the Florida Public Archaeology Network, who spoke on Natural Bridge and the Civil War at the March 5th PAST meeting, requested from Claude, any information he has as to whether Civil War veterans buried in Old City Cemetery  died from wounds incurred at Natural Bridge. It has been determined that only one named Union soldier who died in a hospital might possibly be at Old City Cemetery. The others are believed to have been buried on site at Natural Bridge or their bodies were thrown in the St. Marks river or sinkholes. The majority of Union soldiers buried in Old City Cemetery died at hospitals here from wounds received at Olustee. Others died here of disease during Reconstruction, after the war. Only three Confederate soldiers died from wounds received at Natural Bridge. Captain Henry Simmons is buried in Episcopal Cemetery.  John Grubbs and Eli Triplett are probably buried in unmarked graves in the Confederate section of Old City Cemetery.  Other Confederate soldiers buried here were from other engagements who died in hospitals here or lived here after the war and died later. This information was sent to Dr. Lee.

Invitations – On March 1st, we were invited to attend at the Knott house, an outdoor film entitled "Dumbo: How a Flying Elephant Saved Disney”, which was followed by a discussion. Although it was cold, some of our members were in attendance.

     On March 10th, we were invited to the Jewish Food and Cultural Festival held at Temple Israel. There were thousands in attendance, including some of our members.

     On March 12th, we were invited by the Florida Historic Capitol Museum to the opening reception for their new exhibit “Anne Mergen: Florida Cartoons, Trace the Power of the Editorial Cartoon.”  If you have not seen this yet, it will be there until July 21, 2013. There was also a gallery talk on the topic given by Dr. Paul S. George, Professor of History at Miami Dade College.

     We were recently asked by KC Smith, Florida History Fair Coordinator, at the Florida History Fair, to serve as judges to be held at TCC on May 6th.

     Our speaker for this evening, Mark Rominger, was introduced. The title of his lecture was “The Florida Militia During the Spanish American War”.  A question and answer period followed.

Announcements: Our speaker for next month’s meeting on April 18th will be past president Marti Pytel. Her talk will be entitled “Baker’s Haulover: A Maritime Treasure of History and Pioneers”.  The meeting was adjourned followed by refreshments.

Approved Minutes from February 21, 2013

posted Apr 7, 2013, 7:24 PM by Tallahassee Historical Society

Tallahassee Historical Society Minutes

        The meeting was called to order by Claude Kenneson at 7 pm with welcoming remarks and introductions. No financial report was given due to our treasurer not being able to attend our meeting. The minutes from our January 17th meeting were read. A motion was made by Mona Lisa Abbot to adopt the minutes as read and was seconded by Dr. Robert Davis. The minutes were adopted, as no additions or corrections were called for. Mona Lisa Abbot suggested that it would be beneficial if our members had a chance to read the minutes from the last meeting before the next meeting. It was agreed that this would be beneficial to our members and this will be done.

Inquiries and requests

Marguerite Santini from Good Shepherd Catholic Church sought a speaker for a women’s group on the first Tuesday in March. She had heard about Scott Edward’s talk to us in November entitled “A History of the Catholic Church in the Capital City” and wanted to know if we could put her in touch with him. This was done.

Rachel Chesteen from Cherry Laurel Retirement home was looking for someone to speak to the residents there on February 16th on a topic centering on Tallahassee history. She was put in touch with Mary May, who gladly complied. Her topic was on the saga of the Old Capitol.

Dan Weinfield, writing a book on the African American journalist, T. Thomas Fortune, to be published by the University of Alabama, is looking for photos of African Americans and Florida politicians, particularly in the 1870’s. He was provided a list from the Florida Photographic Collection to compare with his own list. He also asked if we could confirm the existence of Otis saloon in Tallahassee during the 1870’s. Found in the “Southern Business Guide, 1879-80” was the name of E.L. Otis, Wines and Liquors. Presumably, that is the same person.


We were invited on February 5th to hear Claire Tindal speak to the Panhandle Archaeological Society at Tallahassee (PAST) on “So you’ve excavated your first object….” She is the Bureau of Archaeological Research Historic Conservator. Included in her talk was the conservation of the eagle on the Natural Bridge Monument and the chandelier in this room of the Governor Martin House. Several of our members were present.

The Florida Historic Capitol Museum opened up a new exhibit entitled “Navigating New Worlds: Identity, Perception and Politics in Florida” on January 17th. There are about 30 early maps and prints of Florida, containing some of the most rare and historically important pieces of the Fisher collection.  A number of our members were present. If you have not yet seen the exhibit, be sure to go sometime. It will be there until December 31st of this year.

On Friday, February 22nd, from 11 am until noon, we were invited to a special event at the Old Capitol, the Curator’s Tour with exhibit specialist Pete Cowdrey, discussing and highlighting 500 years of African American history in Florida, beginning in 1513 with the black sailors, soldiers and explorers who arrived on our shores with Ponce de Leon.

            We were invited to attend the Primitive Arts Festival at Ochlockonee River State Park on February 23rd and 24th.

            We were invited to the annual Reenactment of the Battle of Natural Bridge which was held on March 2nd and 3rd.

On March 5th in this room, PAST featured Dr. William Lees, Executive Director of the Florida Public Archaeology Network, who gave a presentation on Florida during the Civil War.

The John G. Riley Museum opened on February 9th a new exhibit,: “Artistic Resistance”, featuring the paintings of the Florida Highwaymen. These were “self-trained African American painters who sold original paintings out of the trunks of their cars, often for as little as fifty dollars. Today, they are considered masterpieces". If you have not been there yet, be sure and go by.

Our speaker that night was Althemese Barnes. The title of her talk was “Time Travel Through Black History in Tallahassee”. This was followed by a question and answer session. The meeting was adjourned followed by refreshments.

Our speaker for our March 21st meeting will be Mark Rominger. His talk will be “The Florida Militia During the Spanish American War”.


Respectfully Submitted,

Michael Linzy


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