About the Division

History of the Florida Division of Historical Resources

  • 1935: The Florida Legislature establishes the Florida Park Service as part of the Florida Board of Forestry. The early focus on the Park Service was acquiring properties in order to commemorate past events.
  • 1937: The Florida Legislature grants St. Johns County and its cities and subdivisions the power of eminent domain to protect the historical resources of St. Augustine.
  • 1949: The Florida Legislature passes the "The Collins Bill" (having been promoted by Senator LeRoy Collins). This bill provided for a new, independent state parks agency called the Board of Parks and Historic Memorials; provided for all historic monuments, memorials and similar sites then administered by various autonomous commissions to be consolidated under the new Board of Parks and Historic Memorials; and provided for the perpetual preservation of historic sites and memorials of statewide significance and interpretation of their history of the people.
  • 1959: The first of the State's historic preservation boards in established in St. Augustine.
  • 1963: The Florida Legislature creates the position of State Archaeologist. The first State Archaeologist is appointed in 1965.
  • 1965: The Florida Legislature passes the Antiquities Act of 1965, establishing a Board of Antiquities to be overseen by an Antiquities Commission.
  • 1966: The United States Congress passes the Historic Preservation Act of 1966.
  • 1967: The Florida Legislature establishes the Florida Board of Archives and History, replacing the Board of Antiquities. This new Board included the Bureau of Archives and Records Management, Bureau of Historic Sites and Properties, Bureau of Historical Museums, and Bureau of Publications.
  • 1967: Florida appoints its first State Historic Preservation Officer.
  • 1969: The Florida Legislature creates the Florida Division of Archives, History and Records Management, assigned to the Florida Department of State, to replace the Board of Archives and History.
  • 1978: The State Library and State Archives are split off from the Division of Archives, History and Records Management resulting in two new Divisions; the State Library and the Division of Historical Resources.
  • 2001: The Florida Historical Commission (FHC) was established by the Florida Legislature (Chapter 267.0612, Florida Statutes) to enhance public participation and involvement in the preservation and protection of the state's historic and archaeological sites and properties.

Portions of this timeline are drawn from: Walter S. Marder, Vernal to Autumnal: The Halcyon Days of Historic Preservation in the Sunshine State, Master's Thesis, Florida State University, 2009.

State Historic Preservation Officers:
Senator Robert "Bob" Williams, 1967–1980
L. Ross Morrell, 1980–1983
A. Randall Kelly, 1983–1986
George Percy, 1986–1999
Jan Snyder Mathews, 1999–2003
Frederick P. Gaske, 2004–2009
Scott M. Stroh, 2009–2011
Robert F. Bendus, 2011–present

State Archaeologists:
L. Ross Morrell, 1965–1987
James J. Miller, 1987–2003
David Dickel, 2003–2005
Ryan J. Wheeler, 2006–2011
Mary Glowacki, 2011–present

State Underwater Archaeologists:
Carl Clausen, 1964–1972
W. A. "Sonny" Cockrell, 1972–1983
Roger Smith, 1987–present

State Folklorists:
Ormond Loomis, 1979–1996
George Percy, 1996–2000
Tina Bucuvalas, 2000–2009
Bob Stone, 2009–2010
Blaine Waide, 2010–2013
Amanda Hardeman, 2013–present