Florida Historical Markers Programs - Marker: Jackson





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Jackson

THE WEST END COMMUNITY
Location:Intersection of Borden Street and Highway 90/ Lafayette Street
County: Jackson
City: Marianna
Description: As early as 1825, African Americans settled in the Jackson County area. After 1865, interconnected communities developed their own infrastructure including cemeteries, schools, and churches. From these communities, a large population came together on a 563 acre parcel, later named West End, near downtown Marianna. It was bordered by Borden Street, Lafayette Street, Pennsylvania Avenue, and South Street. Home styles included shotgun, block types, and brick ranch. Over the years, the West End community grew from hundreds to over a thousand. Farming and sharecropping were originally the main sources of income, but later residents also held teaching and governmental jobs. A renaissance period in the late 19th and early 20th centuries brought the construction of new schools and churches, coupled with thriving, minority-owned businesses. Historic institutions in the West End were St. James A.M.E. Church, St. Luke Baptist Church, Gilmore Academy, and Jackson County Training School. Involvement in city government remained important and five city mayors hailed from West End between the 1980s and 2016. The community's maxim evolved from the Akan word, Sankofa, meaning "learn from our past, going into the future."
Sponsors: Saint James AME Church, Castoria S. Borders Family, Johney Baker, Sr. and Carrie Ephraim Baker Family, Maggie Pender Atwater Family, Evelyn P. and Chalmers Wilson Jr. Family, C. Wilson III, The Chipola Historical Trust, The City of Marianna
BATTLE OF MARIANNA
Location:U.S.90(E. Lafayette) & S.R.167(S. Jefferson) at Co
County: Jackson
City: Marianna
Description: On September 27, 1864, Gen Asboth's force of 700 Federal calvary from Pensacola arrived in the Marianna area to forage and secure Negro recruits. Confederate forces of a few hundred home guardsmen barricaded the streets of Marianna and withstood the first assault but Confederate casualties were 26, Federal about 55. Marianna was spared, but St. Luke's Church, situated in the middle of the battle, was burned.
GENERAL ANDREW JACKSON IN FLORIDA - 1818
Location:Florida Caverns State Park, near boat/canoe launch
County: Jackson
City: Marianna
Description: American desire for the acquisition of Florida grew after 1800 as U.S. frontiers expanded. Border incidents provided motivation for General Andrew Jackson's 1818 expedition against Florida's Seminole Indians. Jackson's army destroyed Indian stronghold in the Apalachee Region. On May 11, 1818, during a 12 day march from Fort Gadsden on the lower Apalachicola River to the Escambia River, Jackson crossed the Chipola River's Natural Bridge near here. Pensacola surrendered to Jackson later that month. This foray into Spanish territory created serious repercussions at home and abroad but paved the way for U.S. acquisition of Florida from Spain.
Sponsors: sponsored by the florida state society, united states daughters of 1812, through the courtesy of mrs. esther a. poppell, colonel william carroll lee chapter, in cooperation with the departmetn of state
GILMORE ACADEMY
Location:2871 Orange St.
County: Jackson
City: Marianna
Description: In 1922, Robert T. Gilmore (1879-1948), born in Monticello, founded Gilmore Academy, one of Jackson County’s first African-American high schools. Trustees of Marianna’s African-American community purchased this three-acre site in 1907 and raised $2,500 of the $4,500 needed to qualify for a Rosenwald Fund grant to build a two-story, limestone, six-teacher school. Created by philanthropist Julius Rosenwald (1862-1932) and educator Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), the fund financed the building of 5,395 schools between 1912 and 1932 to address the dismal state of education for southern blacks. After graduating its first class in 1931, the Academy was renamed Jackson County Training School (J.C.T.S.) As enrollment grew, grades 1-6 moved to the nearby Baptist Academy. In 1952, 85 years after the Colored School Society petitioned the state to build a school for newly freed slaves, the County built an elementary school on South Street. A high school was built on the same site in 1956, and Gilmore Academy closed. In 1970, 16 years after desegregation, J.C.T.S. became Marianna Middle School. Although the schools were separate and unequal, principals, faculty and staff helped thousands of students become productive citizens.
Sponsors: BY THE GILMORE ACADEMY-JACKSON COUNTY TRAINING SCHOOL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION, INC. AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
JACKSON COUNTY
Location:U.S. 90, on Courthouse grounds.
County: Jackson
City: Marianna
Description: On August 12, 1822, the year after the United States received possession of the Floridas, an Act of the Territorial Legislative Council divided West Florida into two counties - Jackson and Escambia. At that time, Jackson County included all territory between the Choctawhatchee and Suwannee Rivers, and area which now encompasses land in seventeen North Florida Counties. Jackson County is named in honor of Andrew Jackson, Governor of the Territories of East and West Florida. The county seat is Marianna, incorporated November 5, 1828.
Sponsors: Jackson County Historical Commission in Cooperation with Department of State
SAINT LUKE BAPTIST CHURCH
Location:4476 Jackson St.
County: Jackson
City: Marianna
Description: This African-American church was founded under a brush arbor on the banks of the Chipola River in August, 1867 under the leadership of Rev. Samuel Brown. Shortly after organizing, one of the members who owned a blacksmith shop allowed his shop to be used as the first permanent home of the Saint Luke Baptist Church. In 1890, Rev. William King and congregation selected the present site and a wooden structure was erected. The years that followed were glorious years for the members of Saint Luke and the surrounding area. The church was used for religious and educational purposes. In 1921, under the leadership of Rev. King David Britt (1882 – 1959), the present brick structure was erected. The church was completed under the leadership of Rev. L. C. Herring, Rev. L. B. Brown, and Rev. Dr. A. H. Parker (1907 – 1995). The design of the building follows the Gothic Revival Style with its pointed, arch leaded stained glass windows and towers on either side of the central nave. The church is located on one of the highest points in central Marianna. Even though the building was vacated by the congregation in 1984, it continues to be a main focal point in Marianna.
Sponsors: THE SAINT LUKE BAPTIST CHURCH AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
SYLVANIA PLANTATION
Location:on C.R.164, 4.2 miles E. of its intersection with
County: Jackson
City: Marianna
Description: Near this site stood "Sylvania", the plantation home of John Milton, Florida's Civil War governor, who settled in Jackson County in 1845. Milton's holdings consisted of 2,600 acres, a manor house, a school and family chapel, barns, blacksmith shop, and quarters for 50 slaves. Chief crops were cotton and corn. Here Gov. Milton, exhausted by his labors for the Confederate cause, took his life at the end of the war.
WHEN THE LIGHTS CAME ON
Location:5282 Peanut Rd.
County: Jackson
City: Graceville
Description: On May 30, 1936 President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) signed into law the Rural Electrification Act which, 19 months later, would allow for the formation of West Florida Electric Cooperative (WFEC) and supply electricity for several hundred rural Graceville area residents. This federal act created the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which provided low interest loans to rural groups desiring to form their own electric cooperatives. On December 10, 1937, over 700 rural residents around Graceville joined together and formed WFEC. They borrowed $194,000 from REA to finance construction of the initial lines, related equipment and office facility. The first office was located in Marianna in 1938. In 1939 the office was moved from Marianna to Graceville and electricity came to these rural residents during that year. WFEC purchased this property in 1946 where the building now stands. Construction began on the building in 1948, and WFEC opened for business here in 1949. Over the years WFEC has expanded this building to its present configuration. This structure is a symbol of progress and a testament to those determined rural residents who, through electricity, helped bring this area into the modern age of the 20th century and provided a better quality of life for many.
Sponsors: THE WEST FLORIDA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE