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Main Street Marianna Designated Florida Main Street Program of the Month

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Florida Department of State
Dawn K. Roberts
Secretary of State

For Immediate Release
September 01, 2010

Joan Jefferson

Main Street Marianna Designated Florida Main Street Program of the Month

Interim Secretary of State Dawn K. Roberts announced today that Main Street Marianna has been designated the Florida Main Street Program of the Month for September 2010. Selection for this award is based on a record of active participation in the Florida Main Street Program.

"The successful longevity and impact of Main Street Marianna reinforces the importance of downtown revitalization," said Secretary Roberts. "It is a testament to a promising future for local communities. We are proud to make this designation."

The history of Marianna began when it was founded by Robert Beveridge in 1827 on 80 acres of land he had purchased. The town boomed when two banks opened, one of which was the first building in Florida to be used specifically for banking.

Marianna recently had their second annual Marianna Day Parade, which was a kick-off for the re-enactment of the Battle of Marianna. After Brigadier General Alexander Asboth was informed Federal prisoners were held at Marianna, he led 700 men from Pensacola to Marianna to battle on September 27, 1864. A historic marker currently identifies the battle site near the county courthouse.

Today, Marianna is the county seat for Jackson County (the only county in the state to border two other states) and has a population of 6,000 people. Tourists and locals enjoy the area for its natural resources, which include Florida State Caverns; the crystal clear Chipola River; Blue Springs, which is 69 degrees year-round; and Merritts Pond, a popular fishing spot.

Since its designation as a Florida Main Street Community in 1992, Marianna's downtown has experienced an exciting rebirth with 224 construction and rehabilitation projects, worth a total value of over $39 million, 108 businesses have opened and 293 new jobs have been created. In addition, volunteers have donated over 9,700 hours of their time to meetings and events.

Main Street Marianna recently re-opened the "In Memory Of/Honor Of" brick sales for the space around the downtown clock. There are 130 bricks available to be engraved. This program provides an opportunity for civic clubs to honor past presidents of their organizations, parents to honor their children, and families to honor their loved ones.

Florida Main Street is a technical assistance program of the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State. The Bureau conducts statewide programs aimed at identifying, evaluating, and preserving Florida's historical resources. Main Street, with its emphasis on preservation, is an effective strategy for achieving these goals in Florida's historic retail districts. Since 1985, the Bureau has offered manager training, consultant team visits, design and other technical assistance, as well as the benefit of experience gained by other Florida Main Street programs.

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