Upcoming Events & Exhibits

Special Exhibit: Remembering Carrabelle High School

July 1 to July 31, 2021 

&

Carrabelle High School Reunion Reception

Saturday, July 31, 2:00 - 4:00 pm

The Carrabelle History Museum will present a grand opening celebration for their special exhibit, “Remembering Carrabelle High School”. The opening of this special exhibit was postponed from its original date last year due to COVID protocols. The grand opening celebration will start Thursday, July 1 at 10:00 am and will run until Saturday, July 31 at 5:00 pm.

The month-long exhibit will culminate with a special Carrabelle High School Reunion Reception at the Carrabelle History Museum on Saturday, July 31 from 2:00-4:00 pm. Guests will have a chance to share nostalgic stories of historic CHS. Alumni can video their favorite legends, tales and yarns. The original, old Carrabelle school bell, which has been beautifully restored, will be installed by volunteers of the Carrabelle History Museum. Light refreshments will be served.

The Carrabelle High School exhibit highlights high school sports trophies across the decades, starting from the 1930s, including football and girls’ basketball. Vintage cheerleader outfits, letter sweaters, stadium cushions, band jackets and cafeteria trays show the transition from Carrabelle Mullets to Green Devils and finally the Panthers. High school yearbooks, school team and activity photos, and school portraits are featured as well.

Carrabelle History Museum is located at 106 SE Avenue B, in historic downtown Carrabelle, FL. The museum and the exhibit are open Wednesday from 12-5 pm, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 am-5 pm and Sunday from 12-5 pm. There is no charge for admission but donations are warmly welcomed. For more information, contact the museum at 850-697-2141 or carrabellehistorymuseum@gmail.com. Funded in part by the Franklin County Tourist Development Council.

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PAST EVENTS & EXHIBITS


 

Avenue B: The Place to Be

Natural, Cultural, and Historical Expo 

at the Carrabelle Riverfront Festival

Saturday, June 12, 10 am - 6 pm

In front of the Carrabelle History Museum

The Carrabelle History Museum is excited to again be hosting a fun, historical, cultural and natural resources expo on Avenue B as part of the 30th Annual Carrabelle Riverfront Festival. This fun, educational expo will be held on Saturday, June 12, 2021, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm in Carrabelle, FL on the street in front of the Carrabelle History Museum. Admission is free and open to the public.

The expo on “Avenue B: the Place to See” allows guest to experience the rich culture, natural resources and local history of the region.  The Avenue B Experience will feature educational activities, exciting displays, natural resource specialists, exhibits about our local history, and live land and marine animals. These exhibitors showcase the wonderful resources that make our area unique. In addition, this year on Avenue B there will be live music from Frank Lindamood, R. P. Allen and the Hwy 98 band.

Visitors will have the opportunity to get up and personal with some local wild animal ambassadors like Moonlight, the Great Horned Owl and Black Beauty, an Argentine Boa Constrictor.  From 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Jerry Walls, a professional naturalist, will have his Amazing Animals at the festival on Avenue B. A wide variety of animals will showcased including a living dinosaur named Stormy (a small alligator); Black Beauty, a big black and white Argentine boa constrictor; a red corn snake; a Leopard Tortoise from Africa; Red-footed Tortoise from South America; a large Florida Pine Snake; an increasingly rare diamondback terrapin; and a blotched King Snake, which is completely unique to this area. This chance to see an alligator up-close safely will be a unique experience for many. This will be a fun, educational, interactive exhibit for children and adults. In addition to having the many live education ambassadors on exhibit, periodically (every 20 minutes or so), Jerry Walls will have one of the animals out for an opportunity for guests to safely touch and feel them. Only from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm so families should make plans to be there!

While on Avenue B guests can also learn, up close and personal, about the area’s diverse marine life. See shark jaws, coral, and marine biology specimens and hear information about the Apalachicola Bay System Initiative from FSU Coastal and Marine Lab. Children and adults can also touch live sea creatures in the touch tanks from Gulf Specimen Marine Lab.

Natural resource specialist will be on hand to share information about the Living Shoreline initiative by Franklin 98, Master Gardener program from the Wakulla County Extension Office,  and St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Refuge experts will discuss the Refuge and all it offers including the historic St. Marks Lighthouse, Monarch butterflies, alligators, the Milkweed Nursery, and the refuge trails. The Wakulla County Extension Office will discuss native plants and the Master Gardener program that they offer in Wakulla and Franklin Counties.

Special Exhibit: Honoring Our Military

Extended!

Open Wed 12-5 pm, Thur, Fri & Sat 10 am - 5 pm and Sun 12-5 pm

Military Appreciation Display

The Carrabelle History Museum is extending a special display that pays tribute to several local men who served, some of whom also sacrificed, in our country’s armed forces. Originally developed for Carrabelle’s Museum Day, held on May 1st, the Military Tribute Exhibit has been so meaningful to the Carrabelle History Museum, to the community and especially to these men's families that the museum has decided, with permission of the families, to keep the exhibit in place through the end of the May. May was designated as National Military Appreciation Month by Congress in 1999 so it is especially fitting.

The exhibit honors five men from Carrabelle who served in the military representing World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Featured are:

Willie F. Grice  - WWI

Walter J. Mallett - WWII

Dr. George Sands - WWII

Claude L. Stokes - Korean

Robert "Cliff" Millender - Vietnam

The Carrabelle History Museum extends a heartfelt thank you to the families of these men for sharing their stories with us and entrusting us with the care of some cherished items which are on display. Tamara Allen, Director of the Carrabelle History Museum, said “I’ve heard from several family members and have even had the privilege to show the exhibit privately to some. The reception this display has gotten from them and from our community as a whole has been heartfelt and positive.” A big thank you as well to Lisa Keith-Lucas and Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum for their assistance in making this happen.

Carrabelle History Museum is located at 106 SE Avenue B, in historic downtown Carrabelle, FL. The museum and the exhibit are open Wednesday from 12-5 pm, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 am-5 pm and Sunday from 12-5 pm. There is no charge for admission but donations are warmly welcomed. For more information, contact the museum at 850-697-2141 or carrabellehistorymuseum@gmail.com. Funded in part by the Franklin County Tourist Development Council.

 

 

Duke Energy

Special Exhibit: Founding of Carrabelle

Christmas Eve will mark the 139th anniversary of the official creation of the Town of Carrabelle. The incorporation of Carrabelle was officially recorded on Christmas Eve in 1881 by Franklin County.

In honor of this historic date, the Carrabelle History Museum announces the opening of a new exhibit documenting this important event. This special exhibit will open Wednesday, December 9 at 12 pm. The exhibit and museum are open every Wednesday and Sunday from 12-5 pm and every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 am-5 pm (except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day). There is no charge for admission but donations are gladly accepted to help defray costs.

The community of “Rio Carrabella” was formed in 1877 when Oliver Hudson Kelley set up a tent on the east side of the river in Carrabelle, moved in his wife and 5 daughters then declared himself the mayor. He began immediately to organize the community. Nineteen (19) local residents who were registered Franklin County voters signed an incorporation petition and sent it to the county. This petition established the legal city boundaries and government structure. Carrabelle was incorporated the day before Christmas 1881 so on that date, Carrabelle officially became a town with its present name. This special exhibit will focus on introducing the Articles of Incorporation and five of the original Founding Fathers, including Oliver Hudson Kelley.

Carrabelle History Museum is located at 106 SE Avenue B, in historic downtown Carrabelle, FL. For more information, contact the museum at 850-697-2141 or carrabellehistorymuseum@gmail.com. Funded in part by the Franklin County Tourist Development Council.

Gulf Terminal and Navigation Company's dock in Carrabelle, circa 1895, Credit: Florida Memory

 



FAMILIES OF SURVIVORS BOND,  7 DECADES AFTER A GULF COAST SHIP WRECK

by Joan Matey

An unusual and memorable gathering took place in the fishing town of Carrabelle Florida this past Saturday.( September 3, 2011) A group of people all bonded by a shared family tragedy, and all having a bit of an obsession with the same old boat, came to the grand opening of the S.S.TARPON exhibit at the Carrabelle History Museum. Gathered were the descendants of the crew of the steam ship Tarpon, which sank less than

10 miles off the coast of Panama City in 1937 due to a severe storm, too much cargo and a proud, and overly determined captain.

Many were the grandchildren of survivors, some the relatives of the Second Mate who perished trying to save the 81 year old Captain. Almost all of the families reported having a photo of the ship somewhere in their homes. They were very excited to finally meet others with last names they were so familiar with. The Mattairs, McKnights, Smiths and Russells (and related families)) were able to share stories of the horrible ordeal, with details that their grandparents had told them so many times. Discussions included who was clinging to the hatch cover or the mast, plus comments on operations before the wreck.... like how much faster the roustabouts would work, when the captain was watching. The museum staff was able to get some positive identification on photos they were unsure of, and extra tidbits to add to the exploration of this fascinating, certainly film-worthy story.

The SS TARPON had a long career. She was part of Henry Plant's transportation empire in the late 1880s and part of Flagler's fleet at the turn of the century. The vessel was sold to a panhandle firm in 1902. TARPON served the northern gulf coast until its demise in 1937, carrying freight and passengers 'til 1930, and from then on, mainly hauling freight. The steam powered ship cruised weekly from Mobile to Carrabelle. Older folks referred to her as Carrabelle's Queen Mary. "This was a very significant era in the history of Franklin County and the Gulf Coast," said museum director, Tamara Allen.

To keep your curiosity high, I won't tell you the entire story in this article. The Carrabelle History Museum hopes that everyone will come to our friendly little town, check out our special exhibit, have a great seafood dinner and take a walk on our beach! (Remember we depend on you visitors to keep our wonderful restaurants going during the off -season.) "The Last Voyage of the S.S. TARPON" will be displayed through Thanksgiving weekend. The Carrabelle History Museum is open on Fridays and Saturdays or by appointment. Call (850) 524-1153.

(The Carrabelle History Museum is at 106 Avenue B Carrabelle FL 32322 [Behind the BP Station on Hwy 98]
Joan Matey is former manager of the 1843 Knott House in Tallahassee and is currently curator at the
Crooked River Lighthouse and the Carrabelle History Museum.) 

P.S Attention Divers: The remains of the wrecked vessel can be located via the State Underwater Archaeological Preserve. 

 

Tarpon Exhbit