Historical Societies

The Old County Courthouse of Wakulla

Wakulla’s original courthouse was destroyed by an arsonist in 1892. The current 3-story wooden vernacular-style building was designed by G.W. Tully, and was completed in 1894. It is thought to be one of only two remaining wood-framed courthouses to still be used in Florida. After World War II the current courthouse was completed and the Old County Courthouse, which served as the county’ s home of justice for 55 years, was set upon wooden rollers and moved 500 feet to the south. From 1976 to December 1995 it was the home of the Wakulla County Public Library. It currently houses the Wakulla County Chamber of Commerce, and is included in the National Register of Historic Places.

 

The Port of Magnolia Cemetery

In 1825, a father, Theophelus Hamlin, and his four sons, John, George, Weld and Nathaniel Hamlin, moved from Augusta, Maine, to the Apalachee Bay area, a few miles from St. Marks, establishing the port of Magnolia.  Here, in this small boom-town, Florida cotton was traded for New England iron goods. The village had a U.S. Customs’ House, four warehouses, a post office, and a bank.  By 1838 Magnolia was abandoned – an absolute ghost town. Though there are seasonal tours to allow visitation to the area, all that remains of this once thriving community, is a small cemetery where Weld Hamlin, the youngest son, is buried.  His marker reads: “The Oldest Tombstone in Wakulla County,”

 

The Old Shadeville School

Numerous African-American landmarks can be seen throughout the state of Florida, and a few can be found in Wakulla County. One such historic site is the Old Shadeville School. Established as a grade school in 1909 by Andrew J. Hargrett, Willie Gavin, Joe Hinton, and Joseph Gavin, the location became Shadeville High School in 1930. It would continue to serve Wakulla’s African-American student population until desegregation in 1967-68. It is currently the oldest educationalsite still in use by the Wakulla County School Board, having nurtured the minds of the county’s youth for over 100 years.

 

HERITAGE 

 

Wakulla County Historical Society

Formed in October 1991 as a non-profit corporation, the Wakulla County Historical Society’s purpose is to collect, interpret, preserve, and exhibit the heritage of Wakulla County and surrounding areas. Through their educational programs, collections, interpretive displays and research they reflect the events that have shaped of county residents and their generations.