Florida Historical Markers Programs - Marker: Washington

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Location:State Park Rd, Falling Waters State Park parking lot,
County: Washington
City: Chipley
Description: Side 1: Park development started in 1963 on this hill, which has an elevation of 322 feet and a limestone base. A stream flowing from the hill plunges over a cliff and disappears through an underground channel. Some sinks and caverns are near the falls, which powered an early grist mill. A pioneer era whisky distillery was nearby. Indians and others mined the area for colorfully pigmented rocks used in making paints and dyes. The area was the scene of early oil-drilling efforts, as well as the site of a one-room school and a large horticultural nursery. Side 2: Local Advisory Council (Members during Initial Development Era) E.W. Carswell, Ralph C. Carter, Mrs. Jane Horne, W.M. Nelson, Hubert A. Prescott, Mrs. Ola Robertson, W.C. Snaidman Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials Robert S. Baynard, E.W. Carswell, Dr. James T. Cook, Dr. Kathryn Abbey Hanna, N. Earl Jones, John D. Pennekamp John Fite Robertson, Mrs. G.T. Smith, Jr. Local Legislative Delegation State Sen. Dempsey J. Barron - State Rep. Ralph C. Carter Director, State Board of Parks N.E. "Bill" Miller
Sponsors: Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials
Location:U. S. 90 at West Blvd. in front of Agriculture Cen
County: Washington
City: Chipley
Description: Kudzu, brought to this country from Asia as an ornamental, was developed near here in the early part of the Twentieth Century and given to the world as a soil-saving, high-protein forage plant by Mr. and Mrs. C.E. Pleas. The fast-growing, deep-rooted leguminous vine has been widely grown in the United States as a drought-resisting, erosion-controlling plant that compares with alfalfa in pasture and hay-making values.
Sponsors: Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials in Cooperation with Washington County Historical Commission
Location:On C.R. 279, 3.6 miles southeast of C.R. 79, South
County: Washington
City: Vernon
Description: Early settlers, attracted by the fertile Coosada (later Holmes) Old Fields, established a log schoolhouse Methodist mission near here soon after Spain ceded Florida to the United Stated in 1820. The first Methodist ministerial assignment between the Apalachicola River and Pensacola was made to the Holmes Valley Mission. During the early history of Washington County, court terms were held here or in the home of a nearby settler. A church was erected here in 1857.
Sponsors: In Cooperation with Rural Areas Development Council of Washington County
Location:Park at Rochelle Ave. and Main St.
County: Washington
City: Vernon
Description: In the 1820s, settlers arrived in the area around present-day Vernon. One of the earliest was Stephen J. Roche who built a trading post on Holmes Creek and called it “Roche’s Bluff.” The town of Vernon developed near the trading post. On December 9, 1825, Washington County became the third county in west Florida. In 1851, Vernon was named as the first permanent county seat of Washington County. Located at the intersection of a military road and Holmes Creek, Vernon became a natural crossroads for travelers and commerce between Tallahassee and Pensacola. Stagecoaches and small steamships transported passengers, mail, and merchandise through Vernon. When a railroad was built across the northern part of the county, Vernon lost its prominence as a center of business and government. In 1927, the county seat was moved to Chipley. Vernon played a significant role in the history of northwest Florida and, today, remains an important link in the network of towns that serve the citizens of the area.