You may be aware that the noble sabal palmetto is Florida’s state tree, but did you know you can eat it? And we’re not just talking about a survival tactic. From Wakulla and Apalachicola in the north to LaBelle and Immokalee in the south, Floridians all over the state have made a tradition out of preparing the hearts of these trees as a tasty dish called swamp cabbage.
Read the full blog here: floridamemory.com/blog/2014/08/01/mmmmm-swamp-cabbage
Every old house, every river, and every bend in the road in Florida has a story. Some are easy to learn about, others not so much. Understanding the history of a place becomes even more complicated when the place itself changes rapidly over a short period of time. The history of Camp Roosevelt south of Ocala is a case in point. In the space of a single decade, it served as an educational center for at least three separate federal programs, headquarters for workers building the Cross-Florida Barge Canal, and emergency housing for returning World War II veterans and their families.
Read the full blog here: floridamemory.com/blog/2014/07/30/camp-roosevelt
If you’ve ever made it from St. Petersburg to Tampa in less than an hour, count yourself lucky. It wasn’t always so easy. Prior to 1924, the only way to get between those two points was to drive all the way around the north shore of Old Tampa Bay via Oldsmar. All that changed, however, with the opening of the original Gandy Bridge.
No, there’s no typo in the title of today’s blog. For several decades, northern Florida was home to thousands of acres of tung trees. Tung nuts, the fruit of these trees, contain an oil that could be used in paints, varnishes, inks, and even some medicines. The tree was imported from China, where it had been grown commercially for centuries. After a period of trial and error, Florida growers were able to cultivate the trees and produce thousands of tons of tung nuts per year.
Visitors to Tallahassee’s recently renovated Cascades Park frequently cross a very important Florida boundary, now marked with an impressive new monument. It’s Florida’s own prime meridian, the initial point in the grid on which virtually all land surveying in the Sunshine State is based.
This collection contains letters between Albert Chalker and his sweetheart, Martha Ann Bardin, written while Chalker was serving in the Confederate Army.
Florida was one of the first states to create highway welcome centers, which have now become almost standard across the nation. The establishment of the Dixie Highway routed travelers as far north as Michigan into the state of Florida via a little town called Yulee. Leaders of the growing Florida tourism industry saw this as an excellent opportunity to educate out-of-towners on the many sites and attractions the state had to offer.
Read out full blog here: floridamemory.com/blog/2014/07/28/welcome-to-florida
This collection consists of applications for admission to the Florida Old Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Home, including a small amount of supporting documentation attesting to the veracity of the applicant’s claim. Applications provide information about each applicant’s current residence and medical condition as well as their Civil War service, including such information as unit, dates served, and wounds incurred/cause of disability. The records were maintained by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), Florida Division, which played a key role in the operation of the home in its last years.
During St. Augustine’s civil rights crisis, Dan Warren, state attorney for Florida’s Seventh Judicial Circuit, stated, “As a southerner, I cannot permit the Klan to become my voice because I am silent.” Learn more about civil rights activism in Florida at an exhibit opening this fall at the Museum of Florida History. #FLCivilRights
Even in its most picture-perfect settings, the Florida coastline harbors many secrets about the past. At Higgs Beach in Key West, for example, visitors enjoy the sparkling blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico only yards away from one of the most unique cemeteries in the United States.