Friday, May 20, 2011

Whoa, its been a long time!

So, it is now 2011 and the last blog was from 2009.The merger between the Pensacola Historical Society and West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc. is complete. It has been one year of merged organizations. Let's just say the blog was forgotten as the two organizations shifted into one. But, not any longer. A lot has happened since the last blog, but we will not dwell on that. Let's look to what is going to happen. Coming up on Friday, June 3, Spanish re-enactor Hector Diaz will present the FREE lecture, Spain, Pensacola and the American Revolution, at 6 p.m. in Old Christ Church in Historic Pensacola Village. Following the lecture there will be a BBQ Supper with the Soldiers at the Historic Barkley House and Gardens. This lawn supper is $12 per person and begins at 7:15 p.m. Reservations required for the supper by calling 850.595.5985 x 102 or emailing Wendi at Saturday, June 4 is Historic Pensacola Village's annual Open House. Join us for free tours of the Dorr, Lear-Rocheblave, and Lavalle Houses, a re-enactment of the Battle of Pensacola, and many more events. FREE from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Midnight Murder and Mayhem Tour

We have a new addition to our Haunted House Walking and Trolley Tours: the Halloween Murder and Mayhem Midnight Tour!

Come hear stories never told before on our all new Murder and Mayhem Tour. Hear the horrible stories of Intendencia Street and find out why it is the most haunted street in Pensacola. Stories so dark that flashlights are required.

And what a way to kick off a new tour than offering it at midnight on Halloween. This tour is available at 11:45 and 12:00 on Halloween and is limited to the first 50 participants. Call 595.1559 for your chance to come along. Only $20/per person.

Murder and Mayhem Midnight Tour

October 31, Halloween

11:45 and 12 midnight

$20/per participant

adults only

flashlights required

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

19th Annual Haunted House Walking and Trolley Tours

Well, it is that time of year again--time to start looking for ghostly costumes and ghoulish garb. Especially for the 19th Annual Haunted House Walking and Trolley Tours.

We have three great weekends of tours planned. Come along on one of our three walking tours--North, South, or Adults Only Redlight Tours. Listen for the ghosts of the Barkley House--you just may hear the ghostly party. Watch out for the zoot suit man on the Redlight Tour--he always comes out to visit during tour time.

Or take the trolley to the haunted happenings of North Hill. Travel around North Hill and hear the haunted stories of Pensacola's old neighborhoods.

To help in your ghost huntings, rent a ghost meter for only $5.00 per tour. See if the ghosts really are as close as we claim.

October 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, and 31st, 2009
Walking Tours: 6:00, 6:30, 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:30 pm
Walking Tickets: $10.00/adults and $5.00/children 12 and under
Trolley Tours: 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 pm
Trolley Tours: $16.00/adults and $8.00/children 12 and under
Call 850.595.1559 for tickets or more information

Prepaid reservations at 850.595.5985. DISCOVER, VISA, and MASTERCARD accepted.
No refunds as this is a fundraiser for the Pensacola Historical Society, a division of West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Haunted Pensacola

It's time for a haunting.

It's time for the Touriffic Summer Ghost Tours. The Pensacola Historical Society is giving the summer another chance. This will be the second year we have offered summer tours. Last year was a blast. Nothing like feeling a cold chill as the spirits pay a visit on a hot, humid Pensacola night.

There are two tours to choose from: Adults only Redlight Tour and family friendly Seville Tour. Both tours last an hour. The Redlight Tour follows along Palafox Street while the Seville Tour walks around the Seville Square and Historic Districts. The Redlight Tour is adults only due to its bars and brothels theme not because it is more frightening.

There are ghosts aplenty on either tour.

These are slightly different from our fall Haunted House Walking and Trolley Tours. During the summer the guides do not wear costumes for the most logical reason--its too hot! Also, in the summer we prefer to sell walk up tickets instead of the prepaid reservations. Once again its weather related. Storms are much more common on summer nights. Finally, the last difference between the summer and fall tours is the tours themselves. In the fall we offer walking and trolley tours, but in the summer it is strictly walking.
Come see if Thomas Moristo pays a visit to the tour. You never know who might make an appearance.

Don't forget to rent a ghost meter for your tour for only $5.00/per tour.

Tours are May 22 and 23, June 26 and 27, July24 and 25, and August 21 and 22, 2009. The tours run at 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:30.

Tickets are $10/adults and $5/children 12 and under. Tickets on sale at the Pensacola Historical Museum, 115 East Zaragosa Street, downtown Pensacola.

For more information, call 850.433.1559 or see our website

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pensacola History by way of the Cow

So, many of you may be asking why I want to keep the cow in my office. Well, let me introduce Elsie the Cow. Elsie was donated to the Pensacola Historical Society by a concerned citizen who did not want to see that part of history go to the dump. So, I rescued Elsie from a horrible fate. I told Jacki, our Collections Curator, that we needed this cow. I begged her. Elsie is a part of history. She will make a wonderful addition to an exhibit I'm planning on dairy farms in Pensacola.

Elsie was the spokescow for the Borden Company beginning in the 1930s. Elsie the Borden Cow was a well known celebrity, along with her husband Elmer the Bull and their cow children. At one time, our Elsie had a voicebox activated by a footpad and must have held a tray. Now, she just watches over researchers in our Research Library. That explains who she is, but not why we have her.

The Pensacola Historical Society's mission simply put is to preserve and promote Pensacola's history. The everyday is also a part of history. Elsie typifies a time when fresh milk was delivered by dairy farms. She is part of our collective past.

The Pensacola Historical Society's collections have been built by similar donations. Beginning in the late 1950's, concerned citizens began donating items to the Society. Now, our collections total in the hundred thousands--all because people did not want to see the history of our city thrown away. Our Elsie came from an employee of the old Borden Dairy here in Pensacola. He also donated a uniform shirt, belt buckle, postcards, and placemats.

We are still accepting donations . Diaries, photographs, scrapbooks, and toasters all tell a part of our city's history. The next time you are cleaning out your attic or storage unit, consider donating items to the Pensacola Historical Society. Pensacolians in the future will appreciate the efforts we make today to preserve our past.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Us and Them No More

The Pensacola Historical Society is now a division of West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc. To most people that does not mean anything, because most people assumed that we already were one organization. We are all in one area--the museums are right across the street from each other and our research libraries are right next door to each other, except for the architects in-between.

To explain, West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc. other than just having a very large name is a direct support organization of the University of West Florida. WFHP, Inc. operates Historic Pensacola Village, T. T Wentworth, Jr. State History Museum, and Arcadia Mill.
The Pensacola Historical Society operates the Pensacola Historical Museum and the Resource Center.

We had been working independently for the same goals, but now the strengths of both organizations have united into one big happy family. We are now better able to promote and preserve Pensacola's vast history. We have 450 years of history to protect, and a staff of three was not going to get that much history preserved before the next 450 years rolls around. Now with a larger staff and an unlimited supply of college students, we can protect and preserve whatever history throws our way.

It is no longer us and them; now, it is Us.
The Pensacola Historical Society, division of West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc. I get to keep the cow in my office, but that is for another time.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Dreaming of Longleaf Pine

The new changing exhibit in the Pensacola Historical Museum is Pine Woods to Port City. The exhibit is a collaboration between the Pensacola Historical Society and the Alger-Sullivan Historical Society in Century, Florida. This exhibit was funded by an International Paper Foundation Grant. The exhibit highlights the lumber industry that flourished in Northwest Florida. Longleaf Pine forests blanketed Northwest Florida and South Alabama. Artifacts on display include log dog, double ox yoke, peavey and log drag of the Alger-Sullivan Historical Society.

That said, at first I was not excited about the prospect of this exhibit. I didn't feel the muse, and then a strange thing happened. I began to dream about Longleaf Pine trees. I began to worry that the pesky pine trees that were in my yard, forever dropping pine needles--which are now totally gone due to Ivan and Dennis--were Longleaf Pines. (an aside, mine weren't Longleaf) Who knew a Longleaf Pine could live for centuries and reach up to 80 feet high? That means, a Longleaf could possibly still be alive that witnessed the landing of Tristan de Luna in 1559. But of course that is only if it survived the lumber industry's aggression during the 1880's - 1920's. The forests were so abundant that early lumbermen did not even consider what would happen when the trees disappeared. Some later lumber companies did, but often it was too late for them to reap the benefits of reforestation. Today there are Longleaf Pine reserves scattered around the state.

The exhibt runs until July 3, 2009.