Florida Historical Markers Programs - Marker: Franklin

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Location:U.S. Hwy 98
County: Franklin
City: Carrabelle
Description: With the approach of World War II, amphibious warfare training centers were hurriedly built. Camp Carrabelle opened in September 1941. Construction began in July 1942 and the camp was renamed in honor of Colonel Gordon Johnston (1874-1934), a highly decorated Army officer and veteran of multiple wars. The 165,000-acre camp served as an Amphibious Training Center and Armed Service Forces Training Center for soldiers from all branches of the military during the war. Once referred to as the “Alcatraz of the Army” by columnist Walter Winchell, the camp housed around 10,000 troops at any one time and rotated between 24,000 and 30,000 from 1941 to 1946. Nearby islands and beaches, particularly Dog Island and St. George Island, were used as landing points for amphibious exercises. Florida's sandy beaches, swamps, and jungle-like forests allowed the military to simulate the conditions of landings in the European and Pacific theatres. Camp Gordon Johnston provided some of the toughest military training in the world and was the Army's major amphibious training center. The camp was responsible for training nearly 250,000 men and women before it closed in June of 1946.
Sponsors: The Camp Gordon Johnston Association
Location:West Corner of 6th St and Avenue E
County: Franklin
City: Apalachicola
Description: This classical Greek Revival style house served as the residence of Dr. Alvan Wentworth Chapman, physician, scientist, and eminent botanist, whose research and writings on the flora of the South received international recognition. Born in 1809 in Massachusetts, Dr. Chapman came to Florida in 1835, and by 1847 had settled in Apalachicola. He built this house in 1847, and lived here almost continuously until his death in 1899. Active in the community, Dr. Chapman served as county judge, mayor, and collector of customs. Among the many plants named in his honor is the Chapman Rhododendron, so named by noted Harvard professor Asa Gray. Dr. Chapman was also associated with the Smithsonian, furnishing that institution’s first specimens of butterfly chrysalises of this locality. His first herbarium is located at the New York Botanical Garden; his second, including his original manuscript, “Flora of the Southern United States,” is at the Biltmore Estate near Ashville, North Carolina. Dr. Chapman died here and was buried in nearby Chestnut Cemetery. Dramatically altered during the 20th century, the house underwent a complete restoration, completed in 2012, and now appears as it did during Dr. Chapman’s residency.
Sponsors: Dr. Helen E. A. Tudor, Walter B. Melvin, A.I.A. and the Florida Department of State
Location:96 Fifth Street
County: Franklin
City: Apalachicola
Description: Constructed ca. 1845, the Hanserd-Fry House is one of Apalachicola's finest examples of Palladian Greek Revival style architecture. The well-preserved house features a symmetrical porch with Tuscan classical columns typical of the Greek Revival style, floor to ceiling windows, and a central hall, four-room plan. The building’s earliest known owner was Joseph Hanserd, who owned the house as early as 1866. Kate W. Ayers acquired the house from Hanserd in 1872. Captain Heber Fry, a riverboat captain on the Apalachicola River, bought the house in 1880. During the twentieth century, Dr. August E. Conter, a physician revered by the town's residents, lived in the house for several decades. The non-profit Historic Apalachicola Foundation, Inc. purchased the house in 1995. In an award-winning restoration recognized by the Florida Trust for Preservation in 2008, the organization returned the house to its original appearance, removing a later front porch and rear additions. From 2006 to 2016, the Hanserd-Fry House served as the Apalachicola Museum of Art.
Sponsors: June and Richard Dosik, Michaelin and David Watts or Bring Me a Book Franklin, Historical Apalachicola Foundation, Marie and Willoughby Marshall
Location: Along U.S. 98 by the Old Camp Gordon Johnston
County: Franklin
City: Carrabelle
Description: In June 1942 the U.S. War Department selected a 155,000 acre section of coastal Franklin County to be used as an amphibious warfare training center. Originally called Camp Carabelle, the base was renamed in January 1943 to honor the memory of Colonel Gordon Johnston, who had died in 1934. The3rd Engineer Amphibian Brigade arrived for training on September 10, 1942. One of the largest army facilities in Florida during World War II, the base was known by troops stationed there as "Hell-by-the-Sea" because of its crude living conditions and dangerous training programs. The 4th, 28th an 38th Infantry Divisions also received training at the base. Its mission was changed September, 1943 to train personnel to operate small harbor craft and amphibious vehicles. In 1944, German and Italian prisoners of war were interned at the camp. The end of World War II in August 1945 made Camp Gordon Johnston obsolete, and it was decommissioned in 1946. By 1948 the property had been transferred to private ownership and most of the buildings and structures demolished or removed. Today, the former officers' family quarters that remain standing in the vicinity of Parker Street are being used as housing in the Lanark Village Retirement Community.
Sponsors: florida heritage landmarksponsored by the camp gordon johnston associationand florida department of statesandra b. mortham, secretary of state
Location:U.S. 98 between 6th & 8th Sts.
County: Franklin
City: Apalachicola
Description: Chestnut Street Cemetery dates prior to 1831. Interred are some of Apalachicola's founders and molders of her colorful history. Also buried here are many soldiers of the Confederacy and victims of yellow fever and shipwrecks. Seven of the Confederate veterans served with Pickett at Gettysburg in the gallant Florida Brigade. World famed botanist, Dr. Alvin Wentworth Chapman, of Apalachicola died in 1899, and is interred here beside the grave of his wife.
Sponsors: The Apalachicola Historical Society in Cooperation with Department of State, Bureau of Historic Preservation
Location:The Gorrie Grave, 6th Ave between Ave D and C
County: Franklin
City: Apalachicola
Description: Dr. John Gorrie (1803-1855) was an early pioneer in the invention of the artificial manufacture of ice, refrigeration, and air conditioning. He was granted the first U.S. patent for mechanical refrigeration on May 6, 1851 (U.S. Patent # 8080). Dr. Gorrie moved to Apalachicola in 1833 after the completion of his education at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Western District of New York in Fairfield, New York. Motivated by a severe yellow fever epidemic in the summer of 1841, Dr. Gorrie and his predecessors felt the fever was caused by heat, humidity and decaying vegetation. He sought to effect a cure by introducing an element of cold in the form of refrigeration. Dr. Gorrie noted, “Nature would terminate the fevers by the changing of seasons.” In May 1844, he constructed the refrigeration that received the patent. This mechanism produced ice in quantities but leakage and irregular performance impaired its operation. At various times he served as a physician of the Marine Hospital Service, Postmaster, President of the Apalachicola Branch Bank of Pensacola, Mayor, Secretary of the Masonic Lodge, and founding vestryman of Trinity Episcopal Church. Dr. Gorrie was honored by the State of Florida with a statue of him placed in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol.
Location: 4th St. Apalachicola
County: Franklin
City: Apalachicola
Description: The Franklin Guards, a company of Infantry organized in Apalachicola in 1884 by J.H. Coombs and Fred Betterfield, erected the first building in the city to be used solely as an armory in 1898. Made of simulated brick, it was located at the corner of High Street and Center Avenue. On May 25, 1900, fire destroyed it and much of the downtown. On July 3, 1900, a committee was formed to build a new armory. The facility was designed by Frank and Thomas Lockwood of Columbus, Georgia and constructed by John H. Hecker. It was completed in 1901 at a cost of $12,000. The replacement armory features real brick walls and a gable roof with a gable parapet. Solid massing of the walls, slit windows, and a corner tower that resembles a medieval watchtower make this an imposing military structure. Fort Coombs is a unique example of “fortress architecture” in Florida, and has served as the military and social nexus of Apalachicola for more than a century. Units stationed here have been mobilized for service in World Wars I and II, the Gulf War and the War with Iraq. Bronze plaques located on the exterior front wall memorialize the names of generations of Apalachicola and Franklin County citizens who have served their State and Nation.
Location: Fort Gadsden State Historic Site
County: Franklin
City: Liberty
Description: Built in 1814 by Lieutenant Colonel Edward Nichols, His Majesty's marines, as a rallying point to encourage the Seminole Indians to ally themselves with England against the United States in the War of 1812. Abandoned after 1814, it was occupied by a band of free Negroes, and was known by 1816 as "The Negro Fort." Its location in Spanish Florida did not deter Major General Andrew Jackson from ordering its elimination as a threat to American commerce on the Apalachicola River. On July 27, 1816, Lieutenant Colonel Duncan L. Clinch, with U.S. forces and 150 Creek Indians, fired on the fort and destroyed it with a "hot shot" cannon ball which exploded in the powder magazine killing all but 30 of 300 occupants. In 1818 General Jackson directed Lieutenant James Gadsden to build "Fort Gadsden" here, in spite of Spanish protests. Confederate troops occupied the fort until July, 1863, when malaria forced its abandonment.
Sponsors: Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials
Location:U.S. 98 and Avenue C at Courthouse.
County: Franklin
City: Apalachicola
Description: Named for Benjamin Franklin, the county was created in 1832 .Apalachicola, the county seat, which dates back to the times of the Creek Indians, was an important center for cotton trade. The county is noted for agriculture, timber, livestock and sea foods. Franklin County men of note include: Joseph White, territorial delegate to Congress; McQueen McIntosh, fiery secessionist; Dr. John Gorrie, inventor of artificial refrigeration; Alvin Wentworth Chapman, botanist; and Cosam Emir Bartlett, editor.
Location:75 5th St.
County: Franklin
City: Apalachicola
Description: First United Methodist Church of Apalachicola was established in 1839 when Reverend Peter Haskew was appointed to serve the St. Joseph and Apalachicola Mission of The Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The original sanctuary, built and dedicated around 1846, was destroyed in 1900 by a fire that devastated the city, burning approximately 70 buildings. The present structure, erected in 1901 on the same site, has been in continual use since that time. The Gothic and Renaissance Revival style was typical of Protestant church architecture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The sanctuary is constructed of locally harvested black cypress ceiling with yellow pine tongue-and-groove walls and floors. The church building has consistently been included in the annual tour of historical homes held each spring, drawing several hundred people each day, many of whom return later for a leisurely appreciation of the town. The church congregation participates in the annual Florida Seafood Festival, and the structure is used for meetings by Philaco Woman’s Club of Apalachicola, the Girl Scouts and other civic organizations.
Location:Addie Rd. Fort Gadsden State Park
County: Franklin
City: South of Sumatra
Description: Francis the Prophet, whose Indian name was Hillis Hadjo, was an important Creek chief who was forced to leave his home in the Alabama Territory at the end of the Creek War of 1813-14. He established a new town on the Wakulla River several miles above Ft. St. Marks. In 1818, Gen. Andrew Jackson led an army into Spanish Florida to campaign against the restive Seminoles. With the army was a young Georgia militia private named Duncan McKrimmon. While Jackson's forces were at recently constructed Ft. Gadsden in the spring of 1818, McKrimmon went fishing, lost his way, and after several days was captured by Indians from Francis' Town. Duncan McKrimmon was taken to that village where he was stripped and bound to await execution. The younger of Francis' two daughters, a girl of about fifteen named Malee (Anglicized to "Milly"), begged Private McKrimmon's captors to spare his life. This they agreed to do. Instead of being shot, the youth was sold to the Spanish at Ft. St. Marks, who then released him. Not long afterwards, Francis the Prophet was detained by U.S. forces and on April 8, 1818, was hanged at the order of General Jackson. A few months later, Francis' family surrendered themselves along with a number of other Seminoles. They remained at Ft. Gadsden for several weeks awaiting removal to a reservation in the West. Duncan McKrimmon traveled to Ft. Gadsden and out of gratitude offered to marry Milly, but she refused his proposal. Milly went to live in Indian Territory on Arkansas River where she married and had a number of children. In 1842, Lt. Col. E.A. Hitchcock found Milly living there widowed and in poverty. He initiated action which led to the granting in 1844 by Congress of a pension of $96.00 a year and a Congressional medal to Milly. Delays occurred and when the pension was finally activated in 1848, Milly was on her deathbed. There is no evidence that the medal recommended to honor Milly for saving the life of Duncan McKrimmon was ever cast.
Sponsors: Sponsored by department of natural resources in cooperation with department of state
Location:On Ave. F at Market Street.
County: Franklin
City: Apalachicola
Description: During the 1830's, when the cotton port of Apalachicola was rapidly expanding, David G. Raney built a rather plain, Federal style house at this site. Around 1850, a two-story portico and other features of the then popular Greek Revival architectural style were added to that structure. Raney, a native of Virginia, was a prosperous merchant who was prominent in many of the town's civic affairs. His eight children grew up in this home. A son, George Pettus Raney (born in 1845), served in the Confederate Army and then returned to Apalachicola to practice law until his election to the Florida Legislature in 1868. Later, George P. Raney served two Florida governors as Attorney General before becoming first a justice of the Florida Supreme Court and then its Chief Justice, a position he resigned in 1894. He practiced law until his death in 1911. Legend related that ladies of Apalachicola met in the Raney House at the beginning of the Civil War to sew a battle flag for local Confederate troops. Legend also says that Franklin County troops were mustered out of service at the Raney House when the war ended. The Raney House in listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sponsors: sponsored by the apalachicola historic board in cooperation with department of state
Location:6th Ave. at Ave. D on church grounds.
County: Franklin
City: Apalachicola
Description: This original structure of white pine had previously been cut into sections in New York and floated by sailing vessel down the Atlantic Coast and around the Florida keys before it was erected on this site. This parish was first organized in 1836 by The Reverend Fitch W. Taylor, Diocese of Maryland, but on February 11, 1837, it was incorporated by the Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida. Vestrymen at the time of the church's incorporation were Colin Mitchel, John Gorrie, E. Wood, George S. Middlebrook, Hiram Nourse, William G. Porter, C.E. Bartlett, Ludlum S. Chittenden, and George Field. Membership rolls include the names of some of Florida's pioneer settlers-Orman, Raney, Grady, Whiteside, Oven Branch, and many others.
Sponsors: Apalachicola Historical Society in Cooperation with Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials
Location:Park at Water St. between Ave. D and E
County: Franklin
City: Apalachicola
Description: Side 1: History records the first shipment of cotton to leave this Port, arrived New York, 1822. Beginning 1836, forty-three, three- storied brick, Cotton Warehouses and Brokerages lined Apalachicola's waterfront. Their granite-columned facades caused Apalachicola to be known as "The City of Granite Fronts." Cotton receipts were over 55,000 bales per year. By 1840, 130,000 bales of cotton annually left this Port. Foreign and coastwise shipments amounted to between $6,000,000.00 and $8,000,000.00 yearly. Corresponding amounts of merchandise were received for transportation into the interior. Apalachicola was the third largest Cotton Port in the United States. Side 2: The Apalachicola Board of Trade, 1860, in a resounding memorial to Congress, stated: "We are the great depot of the State. We do more business than each and every portion of the State put together. This year we have done $14,000,000.00 worth of business." In that year $13,000.00 was refused for a Water Street lot. Between 1828 and 1928 two hundred and four "Sidewheelers" and "Sternwheelers", Queens of the River, plied this waterway. Long Live The Apalachicola!
Sponsors: Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials in Cooperation with the City of Apalachicola
Location: St. George Island State Park, off of C.R. 300, sou
County: Franklin
City: Eastpoint
Description: During a storm in 1799, the schooner Fox ran aground off the eastern end of St. George Island. On board was William Augustus Bowles, a British citizen and self-styled leader of the Creek-Cherokee nation. Bowles was returning to Florida having escaped after five years as a Spanish prisoner. Bringing gunpowder and bullets, he hoped to re-establish his prominence among the Creeks, drive the Spanish out of Florida, and create an independent Muskogee state under British protection. The Creeks were the most organized of the southern Indians and still controlled much of their territory. Because of Florida's strategic location, the U.S., Spain, Britain, and France were all interested in Bowles' actions. With supplies salvaged from the shipwreck, Bowles paddled up the Apalachicola River to reunite with his Creek family and begin rallying native support. The ship captain and crew camped on the island until rescuers returned them to Jamaica. Bowles and his Creek, Seminole, black, and white followers captured the Spanish fort at St. Marks in 1800 and held it for over a month. Losing control of its only fortification between St. Augustine and Pensacola was an embarrassment to Spain and a sign of its fragile hold on Florida. Britain's peace with France and Spain through the Treaty of Amiens, 1802, removed any hope of British support for Bowles' schemes. Bowles lived among the Creeks until his recapture in 1803, and died in a Cuban prison. Although Bowles' dreams were not realized, he plagued the Spanish for almost two decades, preventing them from maintaining complete military control of Florida.
Sponsors: in memory of historian and professor j. lietch wright, jr.sponsored by the florida historical societyin cooperation with the florida department of state
Location:Carrabelle Beach & Dog Island
County: Franklin
City: Carrabelle
Description: In late 1943, Carrabelle Beach and Dog Island, while they were a part of Camp Gordon Johnston, were used by the U.S. Army 4th Infantry Division to train for the Normandy Invasion on D-Day, June 6th, 1944. The Amphibious Training Center had been officially closed, but it was reopened and staffed for the purpose of training for this important mission. Although the troops had trained for over three years, the amphibious training conducted on this site was the last step before shipping out to England for the invasion. On D-Day, the first amphibian infantry assault teams to arrive on French soil were from the 4th Infantry Division at Utah Beach. On June 6, 2000, the Camp Gordon Johnston Association extracted a small amount of soil from this site and delivered it to the National 4th Infantry Division Association to be placed in the Association’s monument in Arlington, VA. The U.S. Department of Defense’s World War II Commemoration Committee in 1995 named the Camp Gordon Johnston Association an official “Commemorative Community.”