West Gadsden Historical Society

Dedicated to saving the History of Gadsden County Florida

P.O. Drawer D
Greensboro, Florida 32330
Telephone Number: 850-442-6434
E-mail: GadsdenHistory.org@gmail.com

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The Grayson Johnson Family - Winners of the SeaWorld Vacation Package

Mrs. Lassie Williams - Winner of the Quilt.

September 23, 2018
The Turpentine Industry
in North Florida

 Please plan to join us Sunday afternoon at 3:00 for an afternoon with Barbara Clark with the Florida Public Archaeology Network North Central Region for a presentation on the Turpentine Industry in North Florida at the Patricia Fletcher Vice Meeting Facility, Greensboro Depot Railroad Museum Complex, 115 Duffle Avenue, in Greensboro. According to Barbara, the turpentine industry began in North Carolina in the mid-1800s. The industry gradually moved south to new stands of trees and by the late 1800s, they made their way into Florida’s pine forests. The turpentine industry helped to shape a fascinating time in Florida’s history and has had a lasting effect on our environment and our culture. Please plan to join us to learn more! Don’t forget to bring your turpentine industry items to share in show and tell!.

Annual Open House July 2018

West Gadsden Historical Society celebrated our 14th Annual Open House, July 4, 2018, from 9 to 3, at the Dezell House, 328 W. 8th Street, and the Greensboro Depot Railroad Museum, 115 Duffle Ave., in Greensboro.  Coastal Seafood served seafood at the Dezell House from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and our famous bake sale offered up those desserts we await all year.

WGHS revealed our newest exhibit – “Medical Practitioners of Gadsden County”.

Settlers began moving to Gadsden County in the 1820’s. Frontier life was difficult. The South as a whole was underserved by trained medical professionals. Local healers, and everyday people used whatever resources and means were available to address the medical needs of their families. The preparation of herbal remedies for the treatment of common ailments was part of their daily routine. As physicians began moving to Gadsden County, they typically manufactured their own medicines made from an array of herbal and chemical components, in addition to foods and staples such as wine and milk.

Gadsden County grew, and by 1900 several physicians and pharmacist had relocated to our small towns – Havana, Quincy, Greensboro, River Junction/Chattahoochee. “Medical Practitioners of Gadsden County” will showcase, Physicians, Pharmacies, their medical supplies and other members of medicine who were active in Gadsden County prior to 1965. Those honored include Dr. Barnes, Drs. Massey, Drs. Sapp, Drs. Griffin, Dr. Wilhoit, Dr. Reddick, Dr. Levy, Dr. Stevens, Dr. Thompson, Dr. Gardner and many more.  A special recognition of Dr. Pat Woodward, Gadsden County’s first pediatrician, will also be included. Dr. Pat is an active member of WGHS and his impact on our county’s children cannot go unmentioned. Our hope is to generate interest and expand our exhibit over the next year. The exhibit is housed within the children’s room of the Dezell House, 328 W. 8th Street in Greensboro.​

May 20, 2018

Emancipation Day Celebration

Emancipation was proclaimed in Tallahassee on May 20, 1865, 11 days after the end of the Civil War and two years after the proclamation was first issued by President Abraham Lincoln, January 1, 1863.
The WGHS celebration centered on the history of Gadsden County during this time period. We conducted an open discussion on the emancipation of slaves in Florida and enjoyed a stew made from vegetables brought from Africa that now have become a staple in southern cuisine.
The S. B. Gunn family was be our honored guest during the celebration.  Mr. Gunn began a legacy in 1957, of hosting an Emancipation Day Celebration on his property in the Sawdust Community.

January, 2018

Fowltown - Neamathla, Tutalosi Talofa & The First Battle of the Seminole Wars

The West Gadsden Historical Society met Sunday, January 28, at 3:00 p.m. in the Patricia Fletcher Vice Meeting Facility at the Greensboro Depot Railroad Museum complex, 115 Duffle Ave., Greensboro.  Dale Cox reviewed the recently released book, Fowltown - Neamathla, Tutalosi Talofa & The First Battle of the Seminole Wars. Dale who was joined by Rachel Conrad in writing and publishing this historical account. The battle of Fowltown took place in the swamps of Southwest Georgia on November 21-23, 1817. It was the first engagement of the Seminole Wars.  The bloodshed that took place in this Lower Creek village ignited a forty year war. Many lost their lives during the four decade Seminole Wars and forced thousands West from their homes and lands to reservations in the Oklahoma lands.

DECEMBER 2, 2017

West Gadsden Historical Society held our annual chicken pilau, December 2, at the Greensboro Depot Railroad Museum Complex, 115 Duffle Ave., Greensboro, FL. Again this year, we hosted a silent auction of antiques and collectables.  Items included tickets to Sea World and Sea World Water Park, and unique and one of a kind art items.

SUNDAY MAY 21, 2017
For all of us that joined Dale Cox, Sunday. May 21, we truly enjoyed our afternoon. Dale spoke on the history and events that lead to the First Seminole War of 1817-1818. Further, he discussed its impact on Gadsden County and the Apalachicola River.

If you have never been present at one of Dale’s programs, you have truly missed out.  His insight, historical knowledge and humor insure your raptured attention. WGHS appreciates Dale’s enthusiasm and interest in Northwest Florida history.

The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. Diversity was celebrated at West Gadsden Historical Society’s (WGHS) 1st Annual Black History Art and Essay Contest Award Ceremony and Reception Sunday, March 19th. More than 50 people gathered at the Patricia Fletcher Vice Meeting Room of the Historic Greensboro Railroad Depot Museum complex to honor Gadsden County students who participated in the contest. These very talented students displayed their artwork and shared their essays with the audience.

The mission of the West Gadsden Historical Society is to preserve the history of Gadsden County. Our continuous hope is to bring our community together to honor all people who called Gadsden County home. We all have history. Some of that history is good, some bad. Remembering the work and fortitude of those who made us great and celebrating our diversity insures that the historical impact of our Gadsden County ancestors is not lessened or forgotten. We hope next year’s contest will draw an even larger number of participants.

The winners included: 6th - 8th grade, Essay - 1st prize Ya’Mya Roberts, 2nd prize Jessica William; Art - 1st prize Amira Frye, 2nd prize Tyler Watson. 9th - 12th grade, essay - 1st prize LaToya Hannah, 2nd prize Josiah Porter; Art - 1st prize Frenisha Dixon, 2nd prize Alajza Kennon. All students who participated received Certificates, prizes, ribbons and annual memberships to WGHS.

If you missed this wonderful program and opportunity to celebrate these wonderful children, please make sure that you participate next year! Only we who love Gadsden County can pass our history on to our future generations.  These children deserve your involvement and support.

Annual Open House July 4, 2015
The West Gadsden Historical Society celebrated its 11th Annual OPEN HOUSE on July 4 from at the historic Dezell House and the Historic Greensboro Depot Museum. Various historical displays were on exhibit including a new exhibit of Greensboro High School Trophies over the past 60 years and our new acquisition of the McLane Gun Barrell.

National Train Day May 9, 2015
This was a wonderful event and we can't wait for Big Bend Model Railroad Association to come back to visit us again!  Thank you to all those who worked hard, made cakes and worked in the kid's play area.  Once again our event was a success!

24th Annual Tallahassee Model Railroad Show and Sale
WGHS Saturday, June 27, 9 am to 4 pm at the North Florida Fairgrounds in Tallahassee. The 24th Annual Tallahassee Model Railroad Show and Sale is sponsored by the BBMRA and is certain to be an outstanding event.  Model train layouts from large “G” scale to the tiny “Z” scale will be on display, along with experts on hand to answer your model train design, layout, equipment and construction questions.  A variety of vendors will be on-site offering various model railroad items.  WGHS will be represented by several of our members.  Our booth will provide information on the Greensboro Railroad Depot Museum, as well as offer for sale our T-Shirts, notecards, and books. Admission: Adults & Children 13 and over $6, Scouts in Uniform as well as Children 12 and under are free. Be sure to get on board and join us at this wonderful and fun event!

Saturday November 14, 2015

Annual Meeting 

We had a successful annual meeting and raised funds to help to cover our expenses associated with ownership and operation of two museums. This was the old-time cooked in a wash pot type of Pilau we all remember fondly from years past. Thanks to Scott Clark and Lamar Clark for cooking, once again this year!  We also enjoyed a silent auction, and entertainment by George Johnson and his family. We debuted our new CD - A Collection of Old Railroad Songs and Local Memories of the ANRR.  Get your copy TODAY!

Saturday November 8, 2014
Annual Meeting 
Funds were raised to help to cover increased expenses associated with ownership and operation of two museums. This was the old-time cooked in a wash pot type of Pilau we all remember fondly from years past. Thanks to Scott Clark and Lamar Clark for cooking!  We also enjoyed the opening of the "Midge Askew Loan of the W. H. "Billy" Howell, Jr. Collection" This vast collection of wonderful railroad artifacts was lovingly collected by Mr. Howell, sparked by an interest stemming from his father, W. H. Howell, Sr., who worked for the Apalachicola Northern Railroad from 1916-1968.

​Sunday, September 28, 2014
Gadsden County’s Mule Trader to be Remembered 
September 28, 2014, we remembered the life of Ford Larkin, who was a cattleman, tobacco farmer, and devoted church worker.  Best of all, Ford was known throughout Gadsden County and the adjoining tobacco growing areas as well as throughout the South as a mule trader.  This was a profession he had began in his early adult years and interrupted to serve in WWII under General Patton as a tank commander.  Ford's talent was that of being able to find a matched pair of mules sight unseen describing over the telephone what he was looking for. 

Ford and his wife, Ernestine, lived for about 30 years on their Seldom Rest Farm in the Juniper community of western Gadsden County.  Upon retirement, they sold the farm and moved back to Quincy to their
“honeymoon” house where they had lived for several years after their marriage in 1947. 

Hendrix leading the "Winning Mule" owned by Ford at Mule Day - Calvary, Ga. (Late 1980's)

Past Events