Florida Historical Markers Programs - Marker: Gadsden





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Gadsden

UNITED STATES ARSENAL (1832-1861)
Location:Corner of E. Washington and Maple
County: Gadsden
City: Chattahoochee
Description: One-half mile to the north are the remains of the United States Arsenal erected by the United States Army Ordnance under an Act of Congress passed in 1832. The arsenal proper consisted of various buildings erected so that their exterior walls formed a quadrangle of four square acres. All the brick were made in the vicinity and construction was begun in 1834. It served as an arsenal of deposit prior to the Civil War, when it was seized by the Confederacy and used as a Camp of Instruction. Following the Civil War the Federal Government gave it to the Freedman Bureau in 1866. The buildings were given to the State of Florida in 1869 for use as a prison. It was placed in service as a mental institution in 1876.
Sponsors: Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials in Cooperation with Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc.
ROCKY COMFORT PLANTATION
Location:SR 65B and 267
County: Gadsden
City: Wetumpka
Description: Near this site stood Rocky Comfort, the plantation home of Bryan Croom, a native of North Carolina who settled in Gadsden County in 1826 with his family and slaves. Croom cultivated cotton and prospered to such an extent that he became on the largest landholders in middle Florida. In addition to his holdings in Gadsden, Croom owned Goodwood Plantation near Tallahassee. He was the brother of Hardy Bryan Croom, discoverer of the Florida Torreya tree.
THE QUINCY STATE BANK
Location:Washington St. at N. Adams St. on wall of Bank.
County: Gadsden
City: Quincy
Description: Pioneer commercial banking house in Gadsden County, E.P. Dismukes, President, opened 20 August 1889, under State Charter No. 1, issued twelve days earlier under the Act creating a State Banking System; original capital, $60,000. Became strong institution under Mark W. ("Pat") Munroe, President 1892-1940. Deposits one million dollars, 1919; doors never closed during Bank Crisis 1933; resources fourteen millions, 1964. Present building constructed and occupied 1961, under James J. Love, Chairman of Board.
Sponsors: Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials in Cooperation with the Quincy State Bank
SITE OF FIRST GADSDEN COUNTY COURTHOUSE
Location:U. S. 90 at Camilla St. on grounds of Talquin Elec
County: Gadsden
City: Quincy
Description: This antebellum home is related in style to the early Louisiana plantation houses of the lower Mississippi Valley. Designed to cope with the heat and dampness of the climate, its main living quarters were on the second floor. It rests on land once owned by Robert Forbes, first Gadsden County sheriff, whose house served as a county courthouse in the early 1820's. Later in the nineteenth century, the property passed into the hands of Hector and William Bruce, grandnephews of Forbes. In 1956, it was purchased by the Quincy Garden Club, and in 1972 was acquired by Talquin Electric Cooperative, Inc. who undertook complete restoration.
Sponsors: Talquin Electric Cooperative, Inc. in Cooperation with Department of State
SITE OF ELLICOTT'S OBSERVATORY
Location:At intersection of Pearl and High Streets
County: Gadsden
City: Chattahoochee
Description: At the end of the American Revolutionary War in 1783, Florida was returned to Spain after twenty years of British control. Controversy soon arose over the exact location of the boundary between Spanish Florida and the state of Georgia. In 1795, Spain and the United States signed the Treaty of San Lorenzo, an agreement fixing the boundary in question at the thirty-first parallel and providing a survey to be made to determine the exact location of that line. In May, 1796, President George Washington appointed Andrew Ellicott, a mathematician and experienced surveyor, as the American Commissioner for the survey. After much delay, work got underway in June, 1798. A party of Spanish and American surveyors carrying with them a large accumulation of apparatus required for making astronomical and land measurements began the task of determining the exact boundary line. By August, 1799, the group had reached the Chattahoochee River. On August 23, they selected a site near the mouth of the Flint Rivr as a campsite. Near this marker, an observatory was set up. Here Ellicott made his calculations until difficutly arose with Indians residing in the area. On September 18, 1799, ellicott abandoned the camp and departed for East Florida to complete the survey.
Sponsors: Sponsored by gadsden county historical commission in cooperation with department of state
JOSHUA DAVIS HOUSE
Location:on the grounds of the Joshua Davis House.
County: Gadsden
City: Mt. Pleasant
Description: In the 1820's, settlers from Georgia, South Carolina and other states came to the new United States Territory of Florida in search of land to homestead. One such frontiersman was Thomas Dawsey, who by 1824 was residing in the Gadsden County area. In 1827 Dawsey purchased the 160 acres upon which this house stands from the United States Public Land Office, a common practice for homesteaders. Another pioneer in the region was Joshua Davis, who brought his family from Laurens County, South Carolina to a farm two miles west of Quincy ca. 1828. He soon moved to the North Mosquito Creek community located about a mile northeast of this site. Between 1830 and 1849, Joshua Davis acquired the Dawsey property and moved with his wife and five children into what would be their permanent home. By 1830, a road had been built through this area from Quincy to the Apalachicola River crossing at Chattahoochee. Stage-coaches carrying mail and passengers through this fertile and well-populated farming region traveled over what was known as "the upper road." Some evidence suggests the Joshua Davis House served as a stage-coach stop and perhaps as a horse-changing station. This house was the focal point of a cotton, tobacco, and corn plantation which by 1859 consisted of 1440 acres of land on which Joshua Davis had as many as 33 slaves, 6 horses, and 135 cattle. A map of 1857 designated this general locality as "Davis." After the death of Joshua Davis in 1859 and of his wife Esther in 1876, the house was occupied by their grand-daughter Esther and her husband Lieut. Mortimer B. Bates, C.S.A. This house has been used as a frontier home, tenant house, and storage facility. It was originally built as a one room, 18' by 27' dressed timber structure with a front porch and a heating-cooking fireplace at the west end. Early alterations included a rear porch, attic sleeping loft, and east room. Joshua Davis enclosed the rear porch into shed rooms opening onto a breezeway, refurbished the interior and exterior with hand-beaded siding, and is thought to have added a separated kitchen in the rear. The additions include several architectural elements not commonly found in Florida. This house, which was still the property of descendants of Joshua Davis at the time of its restoration in 1974, is included on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sponsors: Sponsored by David A. Avant, jr. and George Davis Avant in cooperation with department of state
THE QUINCY ACADEMY
Location:North Adams and King Streets
County: Gadsden
City: Quincy
Description: The Quincy Academy was incorporated in 1832 and was probably established as early as 1830. Private educational institutions were common in newly settled frontier areas. Education was provided at reasonable rates by the"Male Academy" and the "Female Institute." The original school building (located northeast of this site) burned in 1849, and in 1850, plans were made for the construction of a new academy. The Classic Revival building was soon completed and, with a brief interruption during the Civil War, continued to serve the educational needs of the Quincy community until 1912. During the next several decades, the old Quincy Academy building was utilized as a temporary courthouse, library, church meetinghouse, child-care center, and kindergarten. In 1931, the Quincy Woman's Club Library began to serve the public from quarters in the Academy. During the 1950's, the building was restored and renovated. In 1974, this structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, a fitting tribute to its long service to cultural needs of the Quincy community.
Sponsors: sponsored by the quincy woman's club in cooperation with the department of state
OLD WASHINGTON LODGE No. 2 - QUINCY'S WOMAN'S CLUB
Location:King Street and Calhoun Street intersection
County: Gadsden
City: Quincy
Description: Settlers in the new U.S. territory of Florida (created in 1821) who were members of the Masonic order soon established lodges in their new communities. Washington Lodge No. 2, Free and Accepted Masons, created in 1828 was among the first Florida lodges. A Masonic building constructed in 1832 served the lodge as well as the community as a meeting place until it was destroyed by a storm in 1851. Construction of a new brick building began the next year and was completed by 1854. It was erected by Charles Waller, a Gadsden County builder-designer who constructed several other brick buildings in the Quincy area. For over half a century, the Washington Lodge hall was the scene of community activities. Although the appearance of the building has been changed by alterations including the addition of an exterior coat of stucco, it retains much of its original character. In 1922, the Masons acquired new quarters and the old lodge building became the property of the Quincy Woman's Club. Under its auspices, the Old Washington Lodge has continued to serve the cultural needs of Quincy. In 1975, the structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Sponsors: sponsored by the quincy woman's club in cooperation with department of state
OLD PHILADELPHIA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Location:Approx 4 miles North of Quincy on CR-272
County: Gadsden
City: Quincy
Description: Presbyterians came to this area from Georgia and the Carolinas as early as 1822. These worshippers built Philadelphia, a log meeting house, in 1828. It was served by itinerant ministers until 1832, when the Reverend Leander Kerr arrived. The log structure was replaced in 1859 by the present building, Gadsden County's oldest remaining meeting house. Philadelphia served until 1912 as a house of worship, a place of education, and a center of community life. Many Presbyterian churches in Florida and southern Georgia trace their origins to Philadelphia.
Sponsors: sponsored by old philadelphia endowment association in cooperation with department of state
GADSDEN COUNTY
Location:Jefferson Street, between N. Adams and N. Madison St. on Courthouse lawn.
County: Gadsden
City: Quincy
Description: Gadsden, Florida's fifth county, was formed in 1823. It once ran from Georgia to the Gulf of Mexico, from the Suwannee River to the Apalachicola River. Quincy, the county seat, was incorporated in 1828. Previously known as Middle Florida, the new county was named for Capt. James Gadsden, Army Engineer and later diplomat, who campaigned in this area under Andrew Jackson in 1818. Capt. Gadsden designed and built the fort on the Apalachicola River which bears his name, and in 1853 was responsible for the Gadsden Purchase which completed the boundaries of the continental United States. Indian Wars troubled this frontier area until 1840. Before the Civil War the county was noted for cotton, sugar cane, and tobacco. Later farmers also produced rice, wine grapes, livestock, and timber. By 1890 shade-grown Cuban tobacco had become the major industry, with production from field to finished cigar. Such famous brands as White Owl and King Edward were made here. Other important industries include the mining of fuller's earth and the growing to tomatoes. Gadsden County has also provided Governors, Supreme Court Chief Justices, and numerous other high state officials.
Sponsors: sponsored by gadsden county historical commission in cooperation with department of state
THE WHITE HOUSE / PLEASANTS WOODSON WHITE
Location:on W. King St. at Madison St.(S.R. 65)
County: Gadsden
City: Quincy
Description: Side 1: This house was constructed during the early 1840's for Joseph Leonard Smallwood. At that time, it was a one and one-half story structure. In 1849, Pleasants Woodson White married Smallwood's niece, Emily, and purchased the property. He had the house enlarged in 1856; it was remodeled in the Classical Revival style at the same time. The house is an excellent example of the style. Its matching porticos supported by Doric columns give it a dignified balance. The Whites were an active Quincy family. P.W. White served the Confederacy as Chief Commissary Officer for Florida and was politically active after the Civil War. Emily White organized and served as president of the Ladies Aid Society during the war, nursing and providing necessities to wounded soldiers. She was also involved in Methodist Church activities. The house, which was the White family home until 1921, has since served as the parsonage of Centenary Methodist Church. The White House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 16, 1973. Side 2: White was born in Georgia in 1820, the son of a Methodist minister who soon moved his family to Quincy. Young White studied at Emory and began practicing law in Quincy in 1848. He was commissioned a major in the Confederate Army in 1861 and, as Chief Commissary Officer for Florida, commanded the important depot at Quincy. In 1863, despite his attempts at secrecy, White's difficulties in supplying beef cattle to the army became known. The shortages thus revealed influenced the military campaign of 1864. White became active in politics after the war and served as Judge of the Second Judicial Circuit, 1869-79. He also served as Commissioner of Lands and Immigration from 1881 to 1885, a period of railroad expansion in which his office was deeply involved. He became an attorney for the Florida Coast Line Canal and transport Company, which controlled vast acreage near Miami. White became an ardent booster of the South Florida climate and divided his last years between his citrus groves in Lemon city and his civic and business interests in Quincy. He died in 1919.
Sponsors: sponsored by centenary united methodist church in cooperation with department of state
DR. MALCOLM NICHOLSON HOME
Location:on SR 12, 7.4 miles Northwest of SR 65 between Qui
County: Gadsden
City: Quincy
Description: Located just north of this point is the Dr. Malcolm Nicholson Plantation Home. Built in the 1820's, it is one of the oldest remaining structures in Gadsden County. It is a one-story Gulf coast Cottage, with end-gables and a built-in porch. It rests on brick piers and has a "dog-trot" floor plan in which a covered passage joins two parts of the house. Nicholson was born in the Carolinas in 1790. He moved to Georgia and then to North Florida where, like many frontier practitioners he combined his activities as a physician and planter. He was one of the commissioners who chose Quincy as the county seat of Gadsden County, and a member of the group which selected the site for the Capitol in Tallahassee. Dr. Nicholson was appointed by the citizens of Gadsden County in 1836 to petition the President of the United States for protection against Creek and Seminole raids on the Florida frontier. He was a stockholder in the Union Bank and served that institution as an appraiser. Dr. Nicholson died in 1840 and is buried in the Nicholson Family Cemetery near here.
Sponsors: sponsored by dr. malcolm nicholson descendents in cooperation with department of state
ST. PAULS EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Location:10 West King Street
County: Gadsden
City: Quincy
Description: The earliest Episcopal Services were performed in Quincy in 1834 and Jackson Kemper was the first bishop to visit in 1838. St. Paul's Parish was organized and the first Vestry was elected in the same year. In 1839, the parish joined the Diocese of Florida and was incorporated by act of the Florida Territorial Legislature on February 28, 1839. The first church was erected on this site in 1839 and was consecrated on February 21, 1841, by James H. Otey, Bishop of Tennessee. The present structure is the second church building. It was erected in 1892, enlarged in 1914, remodeled in 1928, and enlarged again with a cloister and parish hall in 1951. The St. Paul's Episcopal Church is the oldest church in continuous use in the City of Quincy.
Sponsors: St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Cooperation with the Florida Department of State
DEZELL HOUSE
Location:328 E. 8th St.
County: Gadsden
City: Greensboro
Description: The Dezell House was built in 1912 by James A. and Margaret Leila “Maggie” Shepard Dezell. This house, with its Prairie Style architecture and Arts and Crafts features, was their family home for 46 years. James A. Dezell (1867-1937) was born in Chicago, moving from southwestern Missouri to Gadsden County in 1886. James and “Maggie,” a Gadsden County native, married on September 13, 1893. Between 1894 and 1903 they had three sons and two daughters. James and his father, Samuel A. Dezell, were builders. They constructed the Samuel Dezell family house in Mt. Pleasant in 1886. James A. Dezell was the first mayor of the Town of Greensboro, serving several terms following the first organizational meeting on August 13, 1908. The most distinctive aspects of this house’s construction are its closeness to the ground rather than sitting on piers, fine craftsmanship, and windows set in dormers that crown the roofline on each main roof slope and provide light for a skylight in the entry hall. Dezell was evidently very confident in materials and techniques he chose for the house. The Dezell House was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2006, showing his confidence was well placed.
Sponsors: THE WEST GADSDEN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, INC., THE CAPITAL CITY BANK GROUP FOUNDATION,AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
SOLDIERS CEMETERY
Location:344 E. Jefferson St.
County: Gadsden
City: Quincy
Description: Gadsden County and the town of Quincy served the war effort of the Confederate States of America in many ways. Quincy served as a crossroads and a military center of activity through the four years of conflict. As a military center and commissary, everything from socks to beef were provided the units. In times of emergency hospitals were established in public buildings, churches and private homes. The needs of the sick, wounded and dying were tended by the Ladies Aid Society which in April 1868 became the Ladies Confederate Memorial Association. Soldiers Cemetery was established early in the war years for a final resting place for those who had no family here or were too far from home to be returned to their loved ones. The Ladies Memorial Association worked hard to preserve the memory of the Southern Soldier even though most of the markers and names of those buried here were lost. For years, in the springtime, the association held Confederate Memorial Day ceremonies at this site. Mrs. John Lawrence, President of the association from 1892-1900, raised $1,200 to erect the first iron fence around this “Soldiers Cemetery.”
Sponsors: THE SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
PAT MUNROE HOUSE
Location:204 East Jefferson Street
County: Gadsden
City: Quincy
Description: Mark Welch, "Mr. Pat Munroe" built the Pat Munroe House for his first wife, Edith Adelaide Walker, in 1893. The couple had 10 children before her death in 1896. Mr. Pat later married Mary Frances Gray in 1912. Eight children were born from this union. Mr. Pat was the son of William Munroe, an immigrant from Inverness, Scotland. Serving for 50 years as president of the Quincy State Bank, Mr. Pat was reguarded as a prominent and respected businessman. His family occupied the house until 1972, after which John Welch Bates , a grandson of Mr. Pat, purchased the home from the estate of Mary C. Munroe. The home was then donated to the City of Quincy. The Quincy Garden Club has leased the home since that time. The Pat Munroe House is built of heart of pine in an unadorned Victorian style. Notable features of the house include stained glass windows, sculptured mantels, and plaster ceiling medallions. The basic structure of the house has not changed since 1893. The grounds, however, have gone from a farm-like atmosphere with chickens , a cow and vegetable garden , to a well landscaped area with camillias, azealeas and other plants of interest.
Sponsors: The City of Quincy and The Fl. Dept .of State
OLD GRETNA SCHOOL HOUSE
Location:722 Church St.
County: Gadsden
City: Quincy
Description: In the late 1800’s the railroad pushed further west into Gadsden County. A settlement was established in Gretna in 1897 by the Humphrey Company. After Gretna was platted as a town in 1905 there was a desire to have a school in the town limits. One of the men who settled the area was W. P. Humphrey. In 1908, he along with his wife Sarah M. Humphrey and J.W. Mahaffey and his wife Addie Mahaffey deeded the land for the school to the Board of Public Instruction for $100. R.A. Gray, who later became Florida’s longest serving Secretary of State, was a principal here from 1910-1911. The building served as a school until 1935. Since the old school was closed, many students and teachers relate experiences and stories in loving memory of their lives at the Gretna School in times of long ago. The school has since been used as a health clinic, town hall, community center, and for church related activities. It has been a part of the history of Gretna from the beginning. Many lives have been touched by this building and we the trustees of the W.P. Humphrey Club, A. Walter Watson, Jr., W.A. Johnson, and Sterling L. Watson are honored to preserve for future generations this monument of our past
Sponsors: W.P. Humphrey Club and the Florida Department of State