Tallahassee

  • Leon County
  • Year Founded: 1825
  • Founded by: John Lee Williams and Dr. William Simmons
  • Previously known as: Anhaica (Apalachee Indian capital), Mission San Luis de Talimali (Iniahica), Tallahassa Taloofa

History

Tallahassee’s roots began at the center of the Apalachee Indian culture. Anhaica, the principle Apalachee village was located atop a hill to the southeast of the present-day capitol. During 1539, Spanish Explorer De Soto camped at this location before traveling westward in search of gold. In 1656, Mission San Luis was founded near the Apalchee village of Iniahica by Franciscan friars from St. Augustine. From 1633 to 1702, Spanish Missions flourished in north Florida. In 1702, the British in the Carolinas began a series of invasions from 1702-04 and attacked the Spanish Missions and destroyed the Apalachee Indian culture. Afterwards, this area of Florida was left largely uninhabited. Creek and Seminole Indians from Alabama and Georgia resettled the area. The Seminoles founded a new village in the area and named it Tallahassa – meaning land of the old fields or abandoned town. In 1823, the Territorial Council of the new US Territory of Florida decided a new meeting location was needed between the two territorial capitals: St. Augustine in East Florida and Pensacola in West Florida. Tallahassee was officially selected by the Territorial Council in 1824.

Little Known Facts

  • 1200-1500 AD “ Apalachee Indians inhabit the region. A settlement was formed in the area of Myers Park. The village in this area was named Iniahica, and became the principal village of the Apalachees. The village was close to waterways which could be used to travel south by canoe to the Gulf of Mexico, in the vicinity of the St. Marks River area.
  • 1513 “ Spanish Explorer Juan Ponce de Leon discovers and names La Florida.
  • 1528 “ Spanish Explorer Panfilo de Narvaez arrived in the area of St. Marks with a party of 300 men and 40+ horses. With information obtained from Indians living in the Tampa Bay region, Narvaez sought gold in the village of Apalachen, believed to be somewhere south of present-day Tallahassee. Gold was never found and Narvaez’s force retreated to St. Marks. The force was decimated by Indian attacks and sickness. The force built crude rafts in an attempt to sail to Mexico. Most were lost at sea and only a few persons survived, including Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, whose chronicle of the Narvaez’s ill-fated expedition survived. Eight years later, only four survivors were located in Mexico.
  • 1539 “ Spanish Explorer Hernando De Soto, the Governor of Cuba, spends the winter months in an encampment east of the present-day Capitol Building, where Anhaica was located. The site later became the homestead of Governor William Pope DuVal and later was the home of Capt. Patrick Houston, and would become known as Houston’s Hill. Archeologist B. Calvin Jones re-discovered the site in 1987.
  • 1565 “ St. Augustine was settled by the Spanish. St. Augustine remains the oldest settlement in America.
  • 1607 “ The British settle Jamestown, VA and begin a southern expansion. Eventually, the British will control the American colonies including the Carolinas.
  • 1633 “ Spanish Friars Pedro Munoz and Francisco Martinez launched a formal effort to establish Missions in the Apalachee Province. A main goal of the missions was to collect food for and provide a labor force for the settlement at St. Augustine.
  • 1639 “ A Spanish Mission Escambi was founded near the intersection of present-day Interstate-10 and Old Bainbridge Road.
  • 1656 “ Spanish authorities founded Mission San Luis de Talimali on one of the highest hilltops in the area, near the village of Iniahica. San Luis became the only settlement west of St. Augustine to have a significant European populous. The Apalachee Indians relocated from Anhaica to Mission San Luis.
  • 1670 “ The British, migrating south from Jamestown into the Carolinas, begin to encroach on the Spanish-held Florida territory, sparking decades of conflict.
  • 1672 “ The Spanish begin building a stone fort to protect St. Augustine – Castillo de San Marcos.
  • 1675 – A third Spanish Mission was constructed in the Tallahassee area “ Purification de la Tama – in area a half-mile southeast of the Florida Capitol, on a hilltop known as Houston’s Hill – where the Apalachee village of Anhaica was once located. By 1675, thirteen Spanish missions were present in the Apalachee region.
  • 1679 “ A fort was built in Saint Marks, FL becoming San Marcos de Apalachee
  • 1702-1704“ The Queen Anne’s War broke out between the British and French; Spain, being a French ally, was targeted by British forces. British forces in the American colonies attacked Spanish Florida settlements. St. Augustine was sacked and burned by British General Moore’s army from the Carolinas, but the fort was never taken. The British attacked virtually all of the Spanish Missions in north Florida.
  • 1704 “ Mission San Luis inhabitants scuttled the town and burned it to the ground two days before English forces arrived.
  • 1705 “ After the Apalachees were annihilated, Seminole and Creek Indians began creating Fowl Town villages along the Georgia border.
  • 1718 “ Spanish military begin building a new fort at St. Marks.
  • 1750 “ Spain begins a stone fort at St. Marks.
  • 1763 “ Losing the Seven Years War, Spain cedes the Florida territory to the British in the Treaty of Paris. In exchange, Spain received control of Cuba.
  • 1767 “ A British map shows the Lower Creek settlement of Tallahassa Taloofa near the present-day location of the Northwood and Tallahassee Malls. The founder was Indian chief Tonaby, a member of the Creek Nation, which later became known as the Seminoles. Tonaby remains loyal to Spain as the American Revolution breaks out in 1776.
  • 1764-69 “ Ft. Saint Marks is garrisoned by British troops.
  • 1778 “ Tonaby procures a Spanish flag and displays it in the town of Tallahassa. A British recruiting agent visited the town and demanded the Spanish flag be hauled down and replaced with a British Union Jack. Tonaby refused. After relations with the British improved, a band of Indians from Apalachee traveled to St. Augustine to fend off an attack by American forces.
  • 1780s “ At the conclusion of the American Revolution, the fort at St. Marks returned to Spanish control.
  • 1800s – Settlers from Georgia, Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Virginia began moving to Florida.
  • 1800 “ Ft. Saint Marks, occupied by Spanish forces, was attacked by a force of Muskogee Indians led by British-backed William Augustus Bowles. After weeks of siege, the Spanish forces surrendered. The fort was held by Bowles for one month before Spanish warships arrived and retook the fort without firing a shot.
  • 1818 “ The First Seminole Indian war broke out. General Andrew Jackson invaded the Spanish Territory and fought several battles in the Apalachee region. During a march through the area to attack the village of Mikasuki, Jackson’s army camped in an area in the vicinity of present-day West Tharpe Street, outside of the then-town of Tallahassa Taloofa. Jackson’s forces found Tallahassa abandoned. Jackson’s army, joined by reinforcements from Georgia, attacked Chief Kinhega at the village of Mikasuki. After the battle, Kinhega lay dead and Jackson’s forced turned south and retook the Spanish fort at Saint Marks.
  • 1819 “ Spanish-controlled Florida was ceded to the United States to relieve Spain of $5 million in debt as a result of the First Seminole War. General Jackson continues to rule Florida as the Military Governor of Florida. Jackson resigned this post in November, 1823 and was replaced by William Pope DuVal, who became the first Territorial Governor of Florida. General Jackson’s name is apparent on local features such as Lake Jackson and the Jackson Bluff Road, which once led to the banks of the Ochlocknee River to a high bluff where Jackson’s army crossed the river.
  • 1823 “ The Territorial Council appoints two persons; one from St. Augustine and another from Pensacola, to each travel towards the center of the state to find a suitable location for a new Capitol. John Lee Williams and Dr. William Simmons travel to St. Marks. After arriving and inspecting the land near the old village of Tallahassa, this site is selected as the new location for Florida’s capital.
  • 1824 “ Leon County was created from portions of Escambia County and named in honor of Florida’s discoverer – Juan Ponce de Leon. Judge Jonathan Robinson and Sherrod McCall, Esq. arrive with their slaves to begin construction of three temporary structures for the Council. The Territorial Council holds it first meeting at the newly-constructed log cabin capitol on the hill next to the Cascade.
  • 1822 – The Territory of Florida is created by an act of Congress.
  • 1824 “ Judge Augustus Brevroot Woodward arrives from Detroit, MI. Woodward designed the plan to rebuild Detroit after it was burned to the ground in 1805 (Woodward’s Detroit plan was later abandoned). Governor DuVal submits three plans for the layout of the quarter-square-mile town of Tallahassee to the Territorial Council. The adopted plan was modeled after the plan of Philadelphia, having one large central square with four smaller squares at the four corners of the main square. The central square later became the Capitol Center. The current-day City Hall is located on Wayne Square. Many of the initial roads in Tallahassee are names for Federal politicians, Florida politicians, and Officers who served during the First Seminole War.
  • 1824 “ On March 4, 1824, Tallahassee is formally declared as the site of the Territorial capital. On May 24, the US Congress passed an Act setting aside a quarter-section of land for the capital and three more quarter-sections in reserve. The Legislature approved the suggested name of “Tallahassee,” submitted by Octavia Walton, 14-year-old daughter of former acting West Florigovernor George Walton.da
  • 1824 “ The Seminole Indians of Tallahassa and Mikisuki (Miccosukee) were ordered to relocate to a reservation established in Central Florida; most peaceably relocate to Central Florida.
  • 1824 “ Governor DuVal relocates to Tallahassee. After living in temporary structures near the Capitol, DuVal purchased a quarter-township of land (160 acres) southeast of the Capitol. This is present-day Myers Park and Cascades Park, including the area of the old Apalachee village of Iniahica and De Soto’s encampment site.
  • 1824 “ John McIver arrived by wagon with family from Fayetteville, NC become the first settler to reach Tallahassee. The McIver party consisted of two white males, two white females, two white children, and one Mulatto man. William Wyatt arrives and constructs the first hotel – The Planters.
  • 1825 “ General Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de La Fayette, French hero of the American Revolution, is granted an entire township of land (36 square miles) in tribute to his service. LaFayette was wounded at the Battle of Brandywine in South Carolina and fought in many other engagements. After the American Revolution, LaFayette returned to France and fought in the French Revolution. Many local features in Tallahassee bare LaFayette’s name including LaFayette Street, LaFayette Community Center, Lake LaFayette, LaFayette Heritage Trail, and the LaFayette Park neighborhood. French peasants from the Normandy region were recruited to live and cultivate LaFayette’s land. After their efforts failed, some of the Normans relocated west to Louisiana. The few that remained in Tallahassee were rumored to have begun the Frenchtown neighborhood in Tallahassee, to the west and northwest of the Capitol. LaFayette never visited Tallahassee.
  • 1825 “ The town of Tallahassee was subdivide into 322 lots and sold; $45,000 was raised. Many of the purchasers were land speculators who later resold the lots for a large profit.
  • 1825 “ The Fourth Legislative Council officially created the City Council of the City of Tallahassee.
  • 1825 “ Tallahassee’s first newspaper, the Florida Intelligencer began publication under the proprietorship of Ambrose Crane.
  • 1826 “ In January, the first-ever City election was held. Dr. Charles Haire became the first Intendant (Mayor). Intendant Haire led the five-person City Council.
  • 1826 “ Construction began on the first permanent Capitol. Years of lawsuits and funding problems delayed the completion. The work was not complete until 1845.
  • 1827 “ Jefferson County created from the eastern portions of Leon County.
  • 1827 “ Only 3 roads led from Tallahassee: one to St. Augustine (St. Augustine Road), one to Pensacola (Pensacola Street), and one to St. Marks. Francis Eppes, grandson of President Thomas Jefferson, moves to Leon County. Eppes later moved into Tallahassee in 1835 and was elected Mayor in 1841.
  • 1830s “ Southern Plantations area created in the Red Hills region. King Cotton takes root as the predominant agricultural crop. Dueling was occasionally used to settle disputes. In one famous duel, Prince Achille Murat dueled with Judge David B. Macomb; Murat’s little finger was half shot-off.
  • 1831 “ The Tallahassee Railroad was chartered as the Leon Railway Company, becoming the first-chartered railroad in Florida. The company was re-chartered twice more, with the final charter issued in 1834 as the Tallahassee Railroad Company.
  • 1832 “ A horse track is opened in Tallahassee, near present-day Seventh Avenue & North Monroe Street. The last race was held in 1843.
  • 1832 “ The first Leon County Courthouse is constructed on the north side of 200th StreetStreet (current-day Park Avenue)
  • 1835 “ The Tallahassee Railroad Company began construction on the tracks south to St. Marks, a 20-mile distance, which was completed in 1836. The Tallahassee-St. Marks railroad consisted of flat metal tracks on which the cars were pulled by teams of mules. The principal use was to transport cotton to ships waiting at St. Marks, and to bring lumber and other supplied into Tallahassee on the return trip. The fare was $0.75 per bale of cotton and $1.50 for passengers. The tracks were abandoned in 1983; the Tallahassee-St. Marks line was credited as being the oldest continuously-operated line in Florida.
  • 1835 “ Breaking the Treaty of 1832, the Federal Government forces the Seminoles in Central Florida to relocate to reservations in the Oklahoma Territory, beginning the Trail of Tears. The Second Seminole War breaks out. Fear of an Indian attack prompts the City to clear a 200′ wide area on the northern edge of town. This area became known as the 200-foot-street and was later renamed to McCarty Street. In the early 1900s, the street was renamed again and is present-day Park Avenue. Tallahassee becomes a staging area for thousands of troops traveling south to St. Marks – to travel by boat to engage the Indians in Central & South Florida.
  • 1838 “ The Mexican-American war broke out and 50 Tallahasseans joined the fight. Several died of disease and only one, William Gilliland, was killed in action.
  • 1837-38 “ French naturalist Comte Francis de Castelnau visited Tallahassee and created sketches of the town. Castelnau’s sketches show one of the first City water wells and the first train depot.
  • 1838 “ First Presbyterian Church is built.
  • 1840 “ Incorporation of the City of Tallahassee
  • 1841 “ Tallahassee Police Department is founded. TPD is the 3rd-oldest police department in the United States (Philadelphia and Boston are 1st and 2nd, respectively). A leading driver of the creation of the police department was Intendant (Mayor) Francis Eppes, grandson of President Thomas Jefferson. Eppes Street and Eppes Hall on the FSU campus are named in honor of Mayor Eppes. Eppes was later a driving force in the creation of present-day Florida State University.
  • 1841 “ A widespread Yellow Fever epidemic struck, resulting in the death of approximately 10% of the population, an estimated 160 persons died. Governor DuVal contracted the illness, but recovered. The victims were buried in the newly-created City Cemetery, which today is known and the Old City Cemetery.
  • 1842 “ The effects of the 1837 depression – The Panic of 1837 – finally arrived in Tallahassee. Many prominent plantation owners and businesses went bankrupt.
  • 1843 “ Wakulla County is created out of Leon County.
  • 1843 “ A massive fire burned much of the business district of the city. The Capitol building was one of the few surviving structures along Monroe Street. Approximately 90 buildings were burned to the ground. No loss of life was reported, and the source of the blaze was never determined. Many fire-prevention regulations were enacted as a result of the fire.
  • 1845 “ Florida admitted to the Union, becoming the 27th state. Tallahassee continues as the Capital City of the now State of Florida. The citizens of Tallahassee presented Governor Moseley with a flag containing the motto “Let us Alone”. The motto was controversial, and the flag was never officially adopted. The first Florida Constitution of 1845 stated “we leave that people to settle their own affairs their own way.” The motto, “Laissez Nous Faire” was used in early Tallahassee and appeared in the Floridian newspaper’s banner.
  • 1849 “ To compete with railroads, the concept of wooden plank roads took root. Patrick Houston built a plant road from his property, Houston’s Hill, located in present-day Woodland Hills subdivision (Myers Park). The Old Plank Road was generally located along present-day Country Club Drive. Another plank road was built in eastern Leon County, from Old Saint Augustine Road south to the town of Newport on the St. Marks River. The road was completed in 1852. The course of this wooden plank road remains today as Old Plank Road.
  • 1849 “ The City Council passed an ordinance creating a “Free School for the City of Tallahassee.”
  • 1850 “ By 1850, 81 large plantations were present in Leon County and owned by planters with well-known surnames such as Betton, Call, Eppes, Bradford, Bannerman, Chaires, Croom, and Bloxham. The plantations had names such as Live Oak, Orchard Pond, Bellevue, Southwood, Goodwood, Chemonie, Oaklawn, and The Grove. Leon County produced one-third of all cotton grown in Florida. Slaves outnumbered whites by a nearly 3-to-1 margin. Only 46 free persons of color were reported to live in Leon County on the 1850 US Census; one-third of these lived in Tallahassee.
  • 1851 “ The West Florida Seminary, precursor to Florida State University, was founded. Mayor Francis Eppes was a driving force in the founding of the school. A city street and a building on the FSU campus are named in honor of Mayor Eppes.
  • 1851 “ A large hurricane struck the Gulf Coast south of Tallahassee. The storm damaged many buildings in Tallahassee, including tearing the roof off the Florida Capitol. The City Market House was destroyed. Trees had their leaves stripped and many trees were felled.
  • 1855 “ At age 112, Antonio Proctor, a free black man, died. Proctor witnessed battles of the French & Indian War as a slave of British forces. He later witnessed the American Revolution, and came to live in St. Augustine as a slave. After the American Revolution, he served as an interpreter for the American forces in the Second Seminole War. Gaining freedom, he relocated to Tallahassee. His son, George Proctor, became one of Tallahassee’s prominent homebuilders. Atypical for the time period, the newspaper printed a lengthy obituary when Proctor died.
  • 1855 “ The Academy Building was constructed on Gallows Hill, location of present-day Westcott Hall on the Florida State University campus.
  • 1856 “ Work began to replace the original flat-tracks of the Tallahassee-St. Marks with modern “T” tracks for steam locomotives. Work also began to extend the rail line eastward from Tallahassee to Lake LaFayette. This work extended the rail tracks through the Cascade (present-day Cascades Park), forever destroying the original water feature. The work was completed on Independence Day, 1857 and a large celebration was held at Chaires’ station.
  • 1859 “ Tallahassee receives it Telegraph service, beginning the era of rapid long-distance communication.
  • 1861 “ Ms. Catherine (Gray) Murat fires cannon from the steps of the Florida Capitol, signaling Florida’s secession from the Union and marking the beginning of the end of Tallahassee’s plantation era. Florida becomes the fourth state to leave the Union.
  • 1861-65 “ A fort was constructed in Tallahassee during the war. Fort Houston, named for its builder – Patrick Houston – was located in present-day Myers Park on Old Fort Drive.
  • 1861-65 “ The Civil War ensues. The fort at St. Marks is garrisoned by Confederates and renamed Ft. Ward. Fort Ward was never captured. Several regiments were raised from the Middle Florida areas; these regiments fought in many prominent Civil War battles. Col. David Lang commanded the 5th Florida in the Battle of Gettysburg, on Gen. Pickett’s flank during Pickett’s ill-fated charge. Lang later became the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Leon County.
  • 1865 “ Battle of Natural Bridge occurs in southern Leon County. The Confederate defenders, coming from Tallahassee, Mariana, and Ft. Ward (Fort St. Marks), blocked Union General Newton’s invasion force. Patrick Houston’s artillery battery from Fort Houston in Tallahassee moved south to Natrual Bridge and participated in the battle. Houston went on to serve as a Leon County Commission and later was the Senate President of the Florida Senate in 1887. Tallahassee survived the Civil War as the only southern capital east of the Mississippi River not captured by the Union. Casualties of the Natural Bridge battles are buried in the Old City Cemetery.
  • 1868 “ The new Florida Constitution was ratified. Influenced by Northerners who relocated to Florida after the end of the Civil War, the new “Carpetbagger Constitution” extended the franchise to former slaves. Upon gaining the right to vote, the elections of 1869 marked the first time former slaves were able to participate in politics. “Radical” Republicans gained control of politics and the Democrat stranglehold on southern political power was broken.
  • 1869 “ The first black candidates registered for election to the City Council. All were defeated and the City Council remained an all-white body politic. The Freedm’s School, named the Lincoln Academy, opens. The school was destroyed by fire; the cause was never found. Lincoln Academy was rebuilt and has been located in several places. The school remained an all-black school until Desegregation. The school relocated in 1974 and is current-day Lincoln High School.
  • 1870 “ Bethel Missionary Baptist Church was founded. The Church would be led by many prominent black leaders and would play a pivotal role in 1950s and 1960s Desegregation.
  • 1871 “ Black candidates Jonathan C. Gibbs, Jonas W. Toer, and Everett C. Jones were elected to the City Council, marking the first time African Americans were elected to City Office. In addition, William G. Stewart and Henry Sutton were elected as City Clerk and City Marshall, respectively. During Reconstruction, blacks gained a majority on the City Council, at one point holding 7 of the 9 seats.
  • 1879 “ The Leon County Courthouse in Tallahassee was destroyed by fire.
  • 1887 “ Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) is established.
  • 1886 “ A new Florida Constitution created by Democrats who regained a majority in the Legislature was adopted by Florida voters. The 1885 Constitution enacted poll taxes and segregated the school system. More regulations followed, marking the beginning of the Jim Crow era and Segregation. These changes were successful in disenfranchising blacks.
  • 1891 “ City Councilmen Alfred Cobb’s 2-year term in office expires. He leaves office becoming the last black official elected to office in Leon County during Reconstruction. Leon County would not see another black candidate elected to public office for another 80 years.
  • 1892 “ The cornerstone was laid for the new Federal Building at the corner of McCarty Street (Park Avenue) and Adams Street (across from the Leon Hotel). The building would be first used as a courthouse, then a post office, and later City Hall. City Hall vacated this site in 1964 and moved into the Martin Building. The 1892 Federal Building was torn down in 1964. The present-day Doubletree Hotel is located on this site.
  • 1899 “ President McKinley visits Tallahassee.
  • 1895 “ A telephone company was organized. By 1904, there was a printed telephone directory, complete with advertisements for local merchants. Phone No. 1 was issued to T. B. Byrd, a local grocer.
  • 1896 “ The City Market House was constructed on Wayne Square, at the intersection of Jefferson & Adams Streets. City Hall resided in this location until it was moved to the Old Federal Building in the 1930s.
  • 1902 “ The City issues bonds and builds the first Electric Plant, which operated until it was destroyed by fire in 1919.
  • 1908 “ The City of Tallahassee purchases the Water Works on Gadsden Street from a private entity.
  • 1911 “ The first city street paved was Gaines Street, from the railroad depot to east to Duval and St. Augustine Streets. Former Secretary of State Robert A. Gray indicated Gaines Street was paved to make the journey from the train station to the Capitol easier for visiting dignitaries.
  • 1916 “The first motorized fire truck was purchased. Brick paving was installed along Monroe and Adams Streets from Park Avenue south to the 1911-paving of Gaines Street.
  • 1919 “ Due to financial troubles of the recent purchase of the Electric Plant, street paving, and other municipal expenses, the City Charter was amended to change the form of government from Mayor-Commission to the Council-Manager form of government. From 1920 – present, Tallahassee has been governed by a City Commission which appoints a City Manager as its chief executive.
  • 1920 “A new power plant was built.”
  • 1924 “A Centennial Celebration was held in observance of the 100th anniversary of the City of Tallahassee. By an Act of Congress, a representative of the President of the United States – the Honorable John Hayes Hammond – was dispatched to Tallahassee. Mr. Hammond remained in Tallahassee for four days.
  • 1925 “ The Leon Hotel, built in 1883 and located at the intersection of North Adams Street and Park Avenue, was destroyed by a fire. On the site of the old hotel, a new Federal Building was constructed. The post office relocated to the New Federal Building in the 1930s. This federal building is the current-day Federal Bankruptcy Court.
  • 1927 “City Attorney Fredrick Towle Myers died. Former Mayor-Commissioner Guyte P. McCord was appointed as his replacement. Myers Park in Tallahassee is named in his memory. McCord Park, along Thomasville Road (north of Betton Road), is named in honor of Guyte McCord.
  • 1927 “ A dam was constructed on the Ochlockonee River, creating Lake Talquin.
  • 1929 “ The city’s first municipal airport opens. The airfield is names Dale Mabry Field, in honor of Army Capt. Dale Mabry, native Tallahassean and son of Florida Supreme Court Justice Milton Mabry. Capt. Mabry was a veteran of World War I and was killed in the crash of the Army dirigible Roma at Langley Field, Virginia in 1922. Mabry Street in Tallahassee, which was located on the site of the original airfield, is named in memory of Capt. Mabry.
  • 1930 “ Firefighter Lewin R. Spear is killed in the line of duty fighting a blaze at the Seaboard Air Line railroad depot warehouses.
  • 1936 “Concrete street markers were placed at most intersections. These were the first street signs used in the Capital City.
  • 1937 “ Throughout the Depression, the State of Florida had difficulty in paying its bills, including its utility bill. During the Depression Era, the City of Tallahassee often went unpaid for providing utilities to State office buildings.
  • 1938 “Eastern Airlines, owned by Eddie Rickenbacker – the famed World War I fighter ace, began passenger air service at Dale Mabry Field.
  • 1939 “Murals by artist Eduard Buk Ulreich were completed in the interior of the Federal Courthouse on Adams Street.
  • 1940 “ The US Army Air Corps converted the municipal airport into Dale Mabry Army Airfield. Throughout World War II, Dale Mabry Field was utilized as a training facility for Army pilots and as a coastal patrol field for the Third Air Force which guarded Florida’s Gulf coast from enemy submarine activity.
  • 1942 – A German artillery piece, captured during World War I and placed on the lawn of the Capitol, was turned in as part of the scrap metal drives supporting the war effort. Also collected were cooking oils & fats, and paper. A Victory Garden campaign began, encouraging citizens to grow their own food during the war. War Bond drives began. Civil Defense (CD) forces were organized and Mayor Yancey was the local CD chairman.
  • 1944 “ A captured two-man Japanese submarine recovered from a beach nearby Pearl Harbor was displayed in the city as part of the War Bonds drive. Two near-riots occurred in Frenchtown between black soldiers from Dale Mabry Field and Camp Gordon Johnston (in Carrabelle) and white Military Police. After military and civilian police restored order, General Holcombe, the commander of Camp Gordon Johnston, temporarily barred soldiers from traveling to Tallahassee.
  • 1947 “Florida State College for Women (FSCW) is converted from an all-female college to a co-educational college, becoming Florida State University.
  • 1952 “ Sam O. Purdom power plant was constructed by the City of Tallahassee at St. Marks
  • 1957 “ King Solomon Dupont, grandson of a slave, announced his candidacy for City Commission, become the first black candidate for City office since 1888.
  • 1956 “ The Tallahassee Bus Boycott of the municipal transit system begins the desegregation movement in Tallahassee. The movement was led by Rev. Charles Kenzie (C.K.) Steele.
  • 1961 “ The new Tallahassee Regional Airport opens at its current location on Capital Circle Southwest. The old location of the airport, along present-day Municipal Way, is subdivided and sold to various private and governmental entities.
  • 1963 “ Florida State University desegregates and accepts the enrollment of black students.
  • 1966 – Tallahassee Community College is built.
  • 1971 “ James R. Ford, descendant of William Henry Ford who served in the Florida House from 1877-79, was elected as a City Commissioner. Commissioner Ford becomes the first black elected official since Reconstruction.
  • 1971 “ Arvah Hopkins power plant was constructed on Geddie Road.
  • 1977 “ Construction of the new Capitol begins.
  • 1972 “Joan Heggen elected as a City Commissioner, becoming the first woman elected to the City Commission.
  • 1972 “James R. Ford appointed as Mayor-Commissioner, becoming the first black mayor. Mayor-Commissioner Ford is credited with becoming the first black mayor of a southern capital city.
  • 1974 “ Dan Kleman is appointed as City Manager, replacing retiring City Manager Arvah B. Hopkins.
  • 1976 “ Football coach Bobby Bowden is hired by Florida State University.
  • 1982 “ Al Lawson is elected to the Florida House, becoming the first black candidate from Leon County to be elected to State office since 1887.
  • 1986 “Dorothy Inman-Johnson is elected to the City Commission, become the first and only black female to be elected to City office.
  • 1997 “ Scott Maddox is elected as the first directly-elected Leadership Mayor under the Mayor-Commissioner form of government “ the form of government used by the City of Tallahassee since 1920. Until this time, the post of Mayor was rotated annually, at the time of Reorganization.
  • 1997 “Anita Favors appointed as City Manager, becoming the first woman and first black Chief Executive of the city.
  • 2000 “ The U.S. Presidential election dispute between Vice President Al Gore and Governor George W. Bush was litigated in Tallahassee courts.

Historical Sites

Name: Florida State University
Location: 600 West College Avenue, Tallahassee, Florida, 32306
Historical Significance: Major state university

Name: Camp Gordon Johnston World War II Museum
Location: 1001 Gray Avenue, Carrabelle, FL 32322
Historical Significance: Training site for WW2 D-Day landings in Normandy, France

Name: Pebble Hill Plantation
Location: Thomasville, GA 31799
Historical Significance: Antebellum plantation

Name: Florida A & M University
Location: 1700 Lee Hall Dr., Tallahassee, Florida 32307
Historical Significance: Major state university / HBCU

Name: Florida Museum of Natural History
Location: RA Gray Building / Downtown, 500 S. Bronough St., Tallahassee, FL 32399
Historical Significance: State archives and museum of Florida history

Name: Mission San Luis de Talimali
Location: 2100 West Tennessee St., Tallahassee, FL 32304
Historical Significance: Site of 1600s Spanish Mission

Name: Hernando DeSoto Encampment Site
Location: 1022 De Soto Park Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32301
Historical Significance: Site of De Soto’s 1539 encampment – the 1st Chirstmas held America

Name: Fort Gadsden Historic State Park
Location: Apalachicola National Forrest, Brickyard Rd, Eastpoint, FL 32328
Historical Significance: Site of Seminole Wars fort

Name: Knott House
Location: 301 E. Park Ave.Tallahassee, FL 32301
Historical Significance: Home of William Valentine Knott; Florida State Auditor and State Treasurer

Name: John G. Riley Museum of African American History and Culture
Location: 419 E. Jefferson St., Tallahassee, FL 32301
Historical Significance:

Name: 148 Old Fort Rd., St. Marks, FL 32355
Location: Fort San Marcos de Apalachee
Historical Significance: Site of old Spanish Fort

Name: 7000 Pisgah Church Road, Tallahassee, FL 32309
Location: Pisgah Church
Historical Significance: Built in 1858, one of Florida’s oldest Methodist churches

Name: 3540 Thomasville Rd, Tallahassee, FL 32309 (entrance to park is on Maclay Road)
Location: Alfred B. Maclay State Gardens (f/k/a Killearn Gardens)
Historical Significance: State gardens / State park

Name: 3600 Indian Mounds Rd., Tallahassee, FL 32303
Location: Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park
Historical Significance: Native American burial grounds

Name: 3945 Museum Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32310
Location: Tallahassee Museum (f/k/a Junior Museum)
Historical Significance: Early Florida exhibits including the Catherine Murat House

Name: St. Marks Federal Wildlife Preserve, St. Marks, FL
Location: St. Marks Lighthouse
Historical Significance: Historic coastal lighthouse on the Gulf of Mexico

Name: St. Marks / Wakulla Co., FL
Location: Wakulla Springs State Park
Historical Significance: Spring-fed river with pristine, clear water

Name: 4500 Sunray Rd., Tallahassee, FL 32309
Location: Letchworth-Love Mounds State Park
Historical Significance: Native American burial grounds

Name: 7502 Natural Bridge Rd, Woodville, Florida 32305
Location: Natural Bridge Civil War Battlefield
Historical Significance: Site of March, 1865 skirmish to defend the capital city

Name: 400 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301
Location: Current State Capitol Building
Historical Significance: Florida Capitol

Name: Florida Historic Capitol Museum
Location: 400 South Monroe Street
Historical Significance: Historic State Capitol Building (1845 – 1978), restored to its 1902 appearance

Name: intersection of Park Avenue & Monroe Street
Location: Park Avenue Chain of Parks
Historical Significance: site of many City festivals & gatherings

Name: Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Park Avenue
Location: Old City Cemetery
Historical Significance: Tallahassee’s first public cemetery

Name: 211 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301
Location: St. Johns Episcopal Church
Historical Significance: Rebuilt in 1879 after a fire.

Name: 219 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, FL 32301
Location: Union Bank
Historical Significance: Built in 1841, it is Florida’s oldest surviving bank building

Name: Downtown, 102 N. Adams Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301
Location: First Presbyterian Church
Historical Significance:

Name: 100 North Duval Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301
Location: The Columns
Historical Significance: Antebellum home of Gov. Richard Keith Call

Name: 1600 Miccosukee Rd., Tallahassee, FL 32308
Location: Goodwood Plantation
Historical Significance: Antebellum plantation house & grounds

Name: Tallahassee Regional Airport, 3300 Capital Circle Southwest, Tallahassee, FL 32310
Location: City of Tallahassee Aviation Museum
Historical Significance: Historic images of Tallahassee’s aviation history