History of the Carrabelle History Museum

The Carrabelle History Museum is a project of the local non-profit organization, Carrabelle CARES.  It started as an idea of the Carrabelle Waterfront Partnership found in their document, "Charting the Course for the Carrabelle Waterfront: A Vision Plan". It is sponsored by the Carrabelle History Society and the City of Carrabelle with support from the Franklin County Tourist Development Council with a community partnership from the Franklin County Public Library.  It opened in April of 2009.  It is staffed by volunteers and funded through donations, memberships and grants.

The museum is located in the Old Carrabelle City Hall built in 1933 by local mason Marvin Justiss during the Depression as a work program to employ locals. An anchor historical building in the heart of our historical downtown. The museum has 4 rooms to display its collections, a workroom/office for the volunteers to process the incoming artifacts and a nice long hallway for special seasonal displays.

Old Carrabelle City Hall, the Marvin N. Justiss Building

Our Building

The building is the Old Carrabelle City Hall, the Marvin N. Justiss Building.  The City conducted its business here for 75 years. It was named in honor of the local brick mason who created each block and brick with hand-crafted local materials.  It was built in 1933 during the Depression as a work program to employ locals.

The structure is a two story brick vernacular style of that period.  Mr. Justiss is often called the "Father of Carrabelle" since he built over 119 businesses and homes throughout the 1930's when the town was rebuilt at its current location after being ravaged by storms and fires.  We are gradually rehabilitating the building with the help of the City and the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources.

The building has undergone extensive restorations thanks to Museum Director, Tamara Allen. She has written $250,000 in historical preservation grants from the state of Florida for the City of Carrabelle. The building restoration is nearing completion and the museum plans to expand into the newly refinished upstairs exhibit area in 2020.

Carrabelle Historical Society

The Carrabelle Historical Society was founded in 2006 by patrons of the Carrabelle Branch of the Franklin County Public Library who were interested in the history of our town.  We began a collection of oral histories, genealogy information and yearbooks from Carrabelle High School. The annual membership dues for the Carrabelle Historical Society are $15 individuals and $25 for families.  Members of the Carrabelle Historical Society are considered Friends of the Carrabelle History Museum.