FLORIDA HERITAGE TRAILS
Florida Heritage publications are excellent guides to the best of our historic and cultural places. It's a way to learn about museums, communities, archaeology, buildings, festivals, and the arts and crafts of a particular time and history. These guides are published through the Division of Historical Resources, a branch of our Florida Department of State. They are designed to be driving guides along their trail of discovery. Small exerts from a few of the publications are listed below in the hopes of increasing your interest in the history of our area.
FLORIDA NATIVE AMERICAN TRAIL presents and honors the past and present. There are more than 100 destinations where you can experience the history and culture of our native people. It celebrates their 12,000 plus years here in Florida. Some scholars believe these first Floridians may have arrived here much earlier, probably on foot, following the extinct mammals such as the mastodon. At that time, the land mass of Florida extended 100 miles farther into the Gulf of Mexico, and the climate was cooler and drier than today. They were real wanderers, never staying in one place very long. They developed rich cultures that produced pottery, complex villages, technologies in bone, shell, wood, and stone. They developed local and long-distance trade networks. They left behind dugout canoes, burial mounds, and midden. Temple mounds, earthworks, artifacts, but not a written history. Archaeologists have pieced together what we know today. Most of the roads we use today were part of a transportation system they developed. By about 1000 years ago, they were engaged in agriculture. Their success supported large, complex societies, with permanent towns, and even homes with baked clay walls. By the mid-1700s, most of the original people of Florida had been enslaved, devasted by disease and warfare, all resulting from the European invasion. Those left alive were relocated or fled to other areas. Some of the important sites in our area include Fort Gadsden Historic Site within the Apalachicola National Forest. This fort is often referred to as the Negro Fort. Orginally built during the War of 1812 by the British, and manned by African Americans and Creeks. There are interpretive exhibits and artifacts on the role of these people during the early 1800s. Fort San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park in St. Marks. It is located at the confluence of the St. Marks and Wakulla Rivers. The site was used by Native Americans for thousands of years. The fort was built by the Spanish in the 1600s to protect the missions. De Soto Winter Encampment Site, Anhica, Tallahassee. The Anhaica was the Apalachee village where Spanish explorer Hernado de Soto spent the winter of 1539-1540. The park serves as the northern trailhead of the de Soto Trail, which follows his route through Florida. There are interpretive kiosks which explain the site's history and the archaeological excavations at the site. Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park, Tallahassee. This site contains six earthen temple mounds, and one possible burial mound. The site was part of a larger southeastern culture known as the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex. Outdoor exhibits explain the history and lifeways of the native people who lived here. Mission San Luis, Tallahassee. This was the largest and most populated mission in northwest Florida during the 17th century.Based on archaeological excavations at the site, the community, including the fort, the Apalachee council house, the church, and priory have been recreated. Living history demonstrations portray daily life at a 17th century Spanish mission in Florida. Museum of Florida History, Tallahassee. The Museum collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets past and present cultures here in Florida. The exhibits are extensive. Velda Mound, Tallahassee. The mound that was built by Apalachees around 500 years ago was probably the foundation platform for the leader's house. An interpretive panel at the site explains its origins.
In addition to the guide, which can be obtained through the Division of Historical Research, Gray Bldg., there is a TRAIL of FLORIDA'S INDIAN HERITAGE. This brochure can be obtained through www.trailfofloridasindianheritage.org It has different sections of the state, such as Trail of the Lost Tribes, Gulf Coast; Trail of the Lost Tribes, ancient archaeological sites.
FLORIDA BLACK HERITAGE TRAIL;
The legacy of African Americans in our towns history and culture is significant. Slave labor built the Historic capital, made the bricks that pave many of our downtown streets, cared for the plantation owners, worked the fields, and gave us some delightful, uplifting music. But the roots of the black heritage across our state run much deeper than most of us realize. Free blacks were members of Spanish expeditions where they performed duties such as gun bearer, scout, soldier, and they fought side by side with the Spanish soldiers not only here, but across Central and South America. They helped build the fort at St. Augustine, where their skills in blacksmiting, carpentry, cattle ranching were utilized. As slave trade expanded, so did efforts to escape severe bondage. The first Underground Railroad in our country led from north to south. The terminus was generally with the Spanish in St. Augustine. In 1738 the Spanish established the fort and town of Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose. It was the first black community on our continent, and housed more than 100 former slaves. The Seminoles owned slaves, but allowed them to live in separate villages, kind of like tenant farmers. They provided the Seminoles with a portion of their crops. Some runaway slaves joined the tribe and helped in the Second Seminole War. During the Civil War, blacks founded a large number of churches within the plantation belt. An "invisible church" developed when slaves held secret religious meetings, not believing or adhering to the masters' Biblical interpretations that emphasized their bondage. These were usually held in the woods, and became known as "brush meetings".
During the Civil War blacks fought on both sides. The Reconstruction era (868-1876) allowed more freedom for the black freedmen here in Florida. The military supervised blacks voting, and blacks were elected to political positions. During this time, black colleges and universities were established. Our own Florida A & M University began in 1887. The Civil Rights era was dominant here in the capital city. The Florida Black Heritage Trail celebrates the accomplishments, and the many sacrifices of the black community. The guide not only gives an overview of the history in Florida, but highlights important sites through out our state.
Here in Leon County are several important sites. Bethel Missinary Baptist Church, whose pastor, Rev. C.K. Steele was one of our major civil rights activiste. The Carnegie Libray: Carrie Meet/James Eaton, Sr. FAMU campus. The library was completed in 1907, and is the oldest building on campus. It houses historical papers and artifacts. Florida State Archives, Gray Bldg. Lots of site research, along with web-based access is available. First Presbyterian Church: Began in 1832, the only Tallahassee church still standing from territorial days. The north gallery was set aside for slaves who were allowed to be members, but isolated in seating. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical Universty. Began in 1887 as the Florida State Normal College for Colored Students. It is the oldest historically black public university in Florida. Fred Douglas Lee Statue, at the corner of Macomb and Georgia Streets. He was the first black policeman assigned to a regular beat. The statue was erected in 2004. Frenchtown Historic Community: In 1831, plantations, churches, homesteads, schools, businesses and residences filled this area. After the Civil War, many freed slaves moved into the area. See also the page labeled Historic Districts. Gibbs Cottage was built in 1894 and was moved to South Adams Street. It was originally the home of Thomas Van Renssalaer Gibbs, who was a member of the Florida Legislature. Greenwood Cemetery established in 1937 to negate the effects of segregation. The City of Tallahassee assumed ownership and responsbility of the cemetery in 1987. Integration Statue, at the dead end of Woodward Street, headed south. The statue recognizes three of the first African American students to graduate from FSU. Jakes-Patterson Monument, FAMU campus highlights the two students involved in desegragating the buses in Tallahassee. John G. Riley House represents the black neighborhood that once existed in Tallahassee. John Riley was an educator and civic leader. He was principal of the Lincoln Academy. His home was built in the 1890s, and today is the home of the Riley Center/Museum. Knott House was built by free black builder George Proctor. Union headquarters were set up in the house. The President's Emancipation Proclamation was read from the steps of the house. The McKinney House, build in 1945, Mrs. McKinney was the second female African American to serve as an assistant principal in the Leon County Schools. Museum of Florida History, Gray Bldg. Several exhibits highlight the accomplishments of African Americans. Old City Cemetery, was our first public cemetery and served as the burial place for blacks and whites as early as 1829. Historic Capital Museum and Florida Legislative Research Center has exhibits examining the struggle for civil rights. Old Lincoln High School was organized as Lincoln Academy in 1869. The first building burned and a new structure was built at Copeland and Park Ave..In 1926 the wooden structure on Brevard St. was replaced by a brick building. It was closed in 1967, and today the building is a community center. Rosa Parks Marker and C.K.Steele Statue: Both of these were placed at the bus plaza. The city bus terminal bears Rev. Steeles name. St. James CME Church was constructed in 1899 by members leaving the Trinty Church to form a separate organization known as the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. It is the oldest known church building for blacks still standing, and is now used for office purposes. Tallahassee Museum features several structures of historical significance related to black heritage. The Tookes Hotel was a modified personal home of Mrs. D. Tookes. She founded the Bond Street School for African Amnerican children in the 1930s. She re-did her home to provide a place for African American travelers who could not stay in white hotels during segregation. Union Bank Bldg. It was chartered in 1833, and was a planter's bank. It was built in 1841 and has housed a variety of business and cultural interest. One of which was the National Freedman's Bank for newly emancipated slaves during Reconstruction. It is now an extension of the SE Regional Black History Archives and Museum of Florida A & M University.
Visit Tallahassee, our capital city tourist agency, has an excellent informative brochure entitled LIFT EV'RY VOICE. It gives an overview of African American Heritage, including landmarks and legacies. You can secure a copy from the Tourist Bureau across from City Hall.
TRACING OUR ROOTS is a guide to North Florida's African American Heritage Trail Map. It is an excellent, concise map along with explanations of what you will see and experience along the trail. It is divided into two segements: Central and West Florida and Central and East FLorida. It gives a brief introduction, and includes information about touring the Riley House. You can obtain a copy at the Riley House.
FLORIDA SPANISH COLONIAL HERITAGE TRAIL;
The 1500s were Florida's time. The first Thanksgiving took place in northeast Florida. The Pocahontas story actually happened in Florida with a Spanish explorer and a Native American Tocobaga princess. Ponce de Leon came here looking for gold, not the Fountain of Youth. He landed in 1513. Other explorers trying to establish settlements were Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon in 1526, Panfilo de Narvaez in 1528, Hernando de Soto in 1539, Fray Luis Cancer in 1549, and Tristan de Luna y Arellano in 1559. Two French settlement attempts by Jean Ribaul in 1562, and Rene Goulain de Laudonniere in 1564. In 1565 Pedro Menendez de Aviles established St. Augustine. This brought about rapid military expansion with forts being built all along the eastern coast. By the end of the 16th century missions were established throughout north Florida. St. Augustine had about 3,000 Spanish soldies and colonists at this time. However, as many as 30,000 Native Americans lived in communities within the Mission provinces. Two factors (disease and slaving) doomed this system with its total demise by 1706. British aggression from the north continued to plaque the communities. The War of Jenkins Ear in 1740, coupled with the Seven Years War in 1756 -1763 hastened Spain's surrender of Florida to British control. General Andrew Jackson led military forces into Spanish Florida, which ultimately brought about Spain's relinquishing all Florida territory to the United States in exchange for a cancellation of debts in 1821. Citrus trees were first introduced here in 1565. Today we produce almost three-quarters of our nation's oranges and grapefruits.
Florida had been claimed by the Spainsh for 288 years!! As of 2012, Florida will have spent only 191 years as an American territory and state. Relevant sites denoting our Spanish Heritage in our area include the DeSoto Winter Encampment. Today the site is the B. Calvin Jones Center for Archaeology. It was originally the location of Anhaica, the main village of the Apalachee. Hernando de Soto (1500-1542) landed near Tampa Bay with nine ships. 724 people were on board, including two women, craftsmen, servants, cavalry and infantry. There were 220 horses, dogs, pigs, food, and lots of weapons and tools. The brochure entitled THE FLORIDA DE SOTO TRAIL has the map detailing his trip from Tampa Bay area into our area, where he overwintered. In early spring of 1540, he broke camp and headed into Georgia, and finally reached Mexico three years later. de Soto died of fever in 1542 in Arkansas. To find more information on the Florida de Sotos trail, go to www.floridadesototrail.com
FLORIDA'S CIVIL WAR HERITAGE TRAIL; The American Civil War was our country's bloodiest conflict. Over 3 million American's fought in it, and more than 2 percent of our population died in it. (600,00 men) Our state experienced a lot of military activity. We supplied some 15,000 men to the Confederate armies. Florida was a significant source of supplies for the Confederacy, beef, pork, fish, sugar, molasses, and salt being provided to the troops. It is estimated that 5,000 Floridians died, with many thousands wounded. This guide book take a close look at our state's role in the war by looking closely at its historic sites and museums. You are invited to visit these sites and museums that reflect the Civil War experience in Florida. The Bellevue (Murat House) , now located at the Tallahassee Museum was built in 1840. It was home to Catherine and Achille Murat who were ardent supporters of the Confederacy.
The Brokaw-McDougall House, constructed in 1856, whose owner served as the captain of a local militia unit, the Leon Cavalry. Florida Historic Capitol held the Florida Secession Convention. It was Florida's Civil War capitol. The Strozier Library on the FSU campus contains a variety of manuscript material from the Civil War period. Fort Houstoun, also known as the Old Fort. the earthen fortification is the only remnant of a number of earthworks constructed to protect Florida's captial during the war. It was constructed in 1864 on plantation property belonging to Edward Houstoun.
FLORIDA CUBAN HERITAGE TRAIL is published with both English and Spanish written documentation. Cuban Americans have played a role in the development of our state since the days of the Spanish exploration. They have influenced arts, politics, and intellectual thought. Cuba's first attempt to achieve independence from Spain was during the Ten Years' War in Cuba (1868-1878). As a result, refugees came to Florida, many settling in Key West. Cigar manufacturers and workers came. Because of the readers, or lectores, employed at each factory, the cigar workers were very well informed, and helped educating others. The readers read from newspapers, magazines, brochures, novels, etc. Our country declared war on Spain after our ship the USS Maine was blown up in Havana Harbor in 1898. During the 50's, the struggle involved General Batista, and then Fidel Castro. Again, thousands of Cubans fled to Florida. Here in FLorida, Mission San Luis shares part of the heritage. Most of the supplies during the active Spanish missionary period, came from Havana through the port of St. Marks. San Marcos de Apalache Historic Site was used during the Spanish colonial period to stock missions in our area with supplies and personnel.
FLORIDA WOMEN'S HERITAGE TRAIL; Many of the sites listed in this guide are in the National Register of Historic Places. This is an official list of historically significant properties , and the list is maintained by the National Park Service. Here in Tallahassee, sites such as Bellevue at the Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science are on the list. Bellevue is the former home of Catherine Gray Murat (1803-1867), great grand-niece of George Washington, widow of Achille Murat, Prince of Naples and nephew of Napoleon Bonapart. She bought the house and 520 acres of land in 1854. Built between 1838 and 1841, the house is an example of southern architecture, using construction practices passed from generation to generation. High ceilings, central hallway, and wide porches are basic for a hot, humid climate. She was an active supporter of the Confederate cause, and once fired a cannon from the Capitol steps, announcing Florida's secession from the Union. In 1967, the house was moved to the museum. Catherine Murat is buried in the St. John's Episcopal Cemetery in Tallahassee.
The State Library of Florida at the Gray Building on Bronough Street had the first archivist for the State of Florida. Dorothy Dodd (1902-1994) was largely responsible for beginning the Florida Collection. The Knott House was built about 1843 as a wedding gift for Catherine Gamble and Thomas Hagner. Catherine was the sister of Major Robert Gamble, builder of the 1845 Gamble House near Bradenton, and South Florida's only surviving plantation house. In 1865, Union Brigadier General Edward M. McCook established his headquarters in the Knott House. It was from this house, that he issued President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. In the early 20th century the house was occupied by three Supreme Court justices and their families in succession. Louella Knott (1871-1965) and her family acquired the home in 1928. All the furnishings in the house date from the Knott family. The Maclay State Gardens was once part of a 3,760 acre hunting estate owned by Alfred Maclay, a New York financier. He and his wife designed gardens for the property, including a Camellia Walk, Walled garden, and Secret garden. After Mr. Maclay's death in 1944 ,Louise Maclay opened her 28 acre ornamental garden to the public and in 1953 donated 307 acres to the state. The Museum of Florida History, located in the Gray Bldg., houses the First Ladies' Gown Collections that commemorate the wives of the state's governors and includes several inaugural gowns. It also hosts an annual quilt show and maintains archival records of the Florida Quilt Heritage Documentation Project.
This guide includes brief outlines of over 100 women significant in Florida's history. These stories begin with early native Indians and Spanish pioneers, and continue through the end of the 20th century. Their impact is felt today in our state.
FLORIDA JEWISH TRAIL;
MOSAIC is a pioneer history gathering project of the Florida Jewish experience. It began in 1984 as a local history project in Broward County. It gradually expanded to cover the entire state. Research, collection of photos and documents, finding artifacts, and historic materials were contributed by families. An exhibit was mounted and traveled not only Florida, but around the country. Many items from the collection have been utilized in preparing the guidebook. The collection is currently housed in the R.A. Gray Bldg., on the 1st floor as part of the Florida State Archives. Other sites mentioned in Leon County include the Jewish Cemetery--Oakland Cemetery-- located on Bronough St., It opened in 1942. Earlier Jewish burials were either at the Old City Cemetery or in other cities. By the 1970's , the Jewish community had outgrown Oakland, and the community had to purchase sections in other locations. The Ruby Diamond Collection of manuscripts, phots, and printed materials dates back to 1886. Many of these papers relate to her father who was a businessman and chairman of the Leon County Board of County Commissioners through the 1890's. These priceless items are stored in the Robert Manning Strozier Library, FSU. Temple Israel is the oldest Jewish congregation founded in 1937. The holy ark contains the Torah scroll, which belonged to R. Williams, who arrived in this area in 1865. The Sabbath candlesticks and other artifacts in use belonged to Ruby Diamond. The cornerstone bears the Masoic emblem, indicating a long friendship between the two groups. Go to www.talgov.com /parks and recreation, and look for the listing of Governor's Park. There is an interesting blog about the house at the park, that also includes the information that the owner donated the land the Temple was built on. The Alfred Wahnish Tobacco Warehouse and Cigar factory which was located on the corner of St. Francis and Macomb St. Alfred Wahnish was from Morocco and settled here in the 1880's. He was a shade tobacco grower and owned a 3,600 acre plantation. His Tobacco Warehouse gradually expanded to three buildings. South of the warehouse two buildings were constructed in 1908 and 1925. There is also an interesting article in this guidebook on the Williams and Diamond families who arrived here in the early 1850's. Robert Williams bought a store, became a cotton planter, and quite active in area affairs. He installed the first street lights in Tallahassee. They had five daughter, Henrietta, the last born, married Julius Diamond. He had arrived from Prussia , making it here in 1870. He was chairman of the Leon County Board of County Commissioners for ten years, ending in 1899. They had two childre, Sydney, born in 1883, and Ruby, born in 1886. Ruby was a symbolic link for the Jews of Tallahassee She lived here all her life, and earned a B.A. degree in chemistry from the Florida Female College (now FSU). Through out her life she made many contributions to the university. The performing arts auditorium/building is named after her: The Ruby Diamond Auditorium.
HISTORIC GOLF COURSES; The Division of Historical Resources has recently developed a program to promote our oldest golf courses. Golf has contributed to the Sunshine State's economy since the early 1900's. During the 1880's a number of early golf courses were associated with the railroad and hotel development of Florida. This historic trail will identify and highlight our historic golf courses through the Division's website. The website includes a brief history, pictures, and information for each historic golf course. To learn more about this particular Trail, contact Scott Edward, 850-245-6333, or @ [email protected]
FLORIDA WORLD WAR II HERITAGE TRAIL; Florida's memorial to participants of World War II is a unique, multifaceted memorial. The Department of State and the Museum of Florida History created an exhibit entitled "Florida Remembers World WarII". The exhibit documents our response to the war, including patriotic activities and the establishment of military training bases thoughout Florida. In addition, the Department of State developed an all inclusive web site that high lights military installations, veteran's organizations, historic sites, museums, libraries, etc., made accessible with technology and the Internet. Go to: www.floridawwii.com There is also a World War II educational curriculum supplement available on compact disks for American History teachers. A permanent stone monument enrichs the exterior of the Gray Building. It was dedicated on Veterans Day, 2004. The centerpiece of the monument is a replica of Florida's pillar in the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. There are 67 markers, also. One for each of our counties, which contain messages composed by the counties. At least sixteen million Americans served in uniform. 248,000 were Floridains. Thousands of other Floridians contributed to the war effort, by building roads, working in manufacturing plants, building and running military training installations, and operating vital businesses that helped preserve the freedoms we enjoy. More than 500,000 World War II veterans are residents of our state.
There was a great migration of military personnel to Florida, with more than 170 installations established or enlarged. WWII mobilized the nation's population. Our population grew more than 46 % during the 1940s. Our strategic location made Florida vital for national defense. We sent planes and ships to help protect the sea lanes in the water surrounding us. Camp Blanding, near Starke, became one of the biggest training bases in the southeast. Camp Gordon Johnston at Carrabelle was the Army's major amphibious training center. Air Force bases included the Dale Mabry Field in Tallahassee. Airplane wrecks still dot the peninsula and its coastline, left over from the extensive training in Florida. Over 248,000 Floridians volunteered or were drafted into the military. This number includes more than 50,000 African Americans.
Agriculture was one of our major contributions. There was such a shortage of workers to harvest crops, that the U.S. Dep't. of Agriculture allowed temporary importation of 75,000 Bahamians and Jamaicans to work in the fields. Restrictions on travel, and a black out was enacted in 1942 to prevent Allied ships from being silhouetted against the coastline. By 1943, more than 300,000 Floridians had volunteered for civilian defense activities. Lots more helped the Red Cross, the U.S.O., and served on draft and rationing boards. To help finance the war, our national government sold war bonds and stamps. Floridians purchased more than $145 million by 1943. Conserving strategic war materials was mandatory. Drives to collect rubber, scrap metals, rags, paper and grease. People planted "victory gardens", and there were meatless days to help stretch the nation's food resources. Rationing boards were established in counties to regulate the sale of 90% of civilian commodities. Ration books were issued. Rubber was the first item to be rationed, followed by gasoline. Food rationing had a huge impact on folks. Sugar, coffee, meats, butter, canned goods, dried peas and beans, and other products were subject to rationing. Other products like shoes and clothing were also rationed. Civilian yachtsmen formed coastal patrol organizations. Others volunteered to help the Coast Guard patrol the thousands of miles of unprotected beaches. In early 1942 German submarines opened an offensive against the undefended Allied shipping lanes along the East Coast of Florida. Before we got control of the situation, 400 ships had been sunk, and thousands of lives lost. Dozens of ships were torpedoed off Florida's Atlantic Coast, and others in the Gulf of Mexico. Even an American blimp was shot down by a German submarine off the Florida. Pages 61-63 in the Heritage Guide describe this situation, and there is an excellent map showing the locations of the ships torpedoed. As the war ended, thousands of veterans returned home. Wartime plants and/or shipyards closed. Most military bases closed, some remained operational. Our tourist industry expanded, and many veterans who had trained here, returned here to live. Florida gradually grew into the most populous state in the southeast. We look back with pride on the efforts and sacrifices made during the war. This guide pays tribute to those who faced the challenges and helped us succeed.
Sites in Leon County, noted in the Heritage Trail guide include the Claude Pepper Library, FSU. The library houses Congressman Pepper's papers, photos, recordings that document his 60 year career in public life. Also, at FSU is the World War II Institute, an outgrowth of the Universities History Department. It's purpose is to preserve the memories and artifacts of the people who served in the war. The largest and most significant collection is that of newscaster Tom Brokaw. He was the author of The Greatest Generation and An Album of Memories. He donated his collection to the institutie. Access is available by appointment. 850-644-9033. Florida's Medal of Honor Wall is contained within the new State Capitol Building. The State of Florida recognizes and honors those who are credited with extreme braavery and gallantry. The seven World War II Medal of Honor recipients are highlighted in this collection. French World War II Monument is located near the American Legion Post in Lake Ella. It is a road marker from the "Liberty Way" road in France. The people of France gifted Florida in gratitude for America's role in liberating France from Nazi rule. Dale Mabry Field became a U.S. Army base in 1941. It started as a 530 acre project, and grew to 1720 acres with 133 buildings during the course of the war. Training for flight included American, Chinese, and French cadets. Students used a gunnery base at Alligator Point, and a bombing range at Sopchoppy on the Gulf for training. It was placed on inactive status in 1945, and today is the home of Tallahassee Community College. There is a Florida Historical Marker at the edge of the old runway. Leon County WWII Memorial at the Courthouse. A bronze piece titled "Poppies" honors service members from WWII. It is a life sized statue showing a veteran paying tribute to his fallen comrades. Florida State Archives, located in the Gray BLdg. This collection contains one of the most comprehensive collections of Floridiana. There are over 60,000 items in the collections. Museum of Florida History, Gray Bldg. It collects, preserves and exhibits evidence of past and present cultures in FLorida. The permanent exhibit, "Florida Remembers World War II' highlights Floridians participation during these years. Florida World War II Veterans Memorial. A 36 ton, granite pillar, carved from the same quarry, and an exact replica of the Florida monument that stands as part of the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C>
During WWII close to 378,000 German and Italian prisoners were sent to prisoner of war (POW) camps in the U.S. Florida with its military bases, warm climate and lots of agriculture and lumbering activity was an ideal location for such camps. About 10,000 German prisoners were incarcerated here. Camp Blanding and Camp Gordon Johnston were the major camps to house prisoners. Enlisted personnel worked in a variety of positions inside and outside the camp. Noncomissioned officers performed supervisory functions. Because the German officers and noncommissioned officers were responsible for maintaining discipline inside the compound, there were often confrontations between Nazis, U-boat crews or the Africa Corps.
An interesting brochure accompanies the exhibit "Florida Remembers World War II". It's title is Keep te Home Fires Burning: Florida's World War II Experience by David J. Coles. It is an interesting article detailing our involvement with the war, and its far reaching after-effects. Look for it at the Museum of Florida History.
There are other guides to our heritage that are available for the asking. One of the newer ones, 1733 Spanish Galleon Trail, contains what are called "windows to the past" by denoting some of shipwrecks off the Keys. Boating, scuba diving enthusiaists would enjoy this one. To secure any or all of these guides, visit www.flheritage.com or go to the Division of Historical Resources, located on the fourth floor of the Gray Blda.