Florida Main Street
Program of the Month
March 2007 Community of the Month
Main Street Milton
Throughout the year the Florida Main Street program awards points to communities for completing certain tasks such as turning in their quarterly reports and annual reports, and attending the quarterly meetings and annual meeting. At the end of the year we tally up the score and see which communities have the most points. The communities with the highest points this year were given technical books of their choice from our library. In 2006, the community with the most points was Main Street Milton! Milton will be the first community to be featured on our website at www.flheritage.com. Each month a new community will be added to the website. Visitors to the website can browse through photos and stories of our best Florida Main Street communities. The communities with the most points will be selected for the featured community of the month.
Main Street Milton was designated a Florida Main Street community in 2000 and is one of our smaller communities with only a population of over 8,000 in the city. Situated along the Blackwater River, Milton's Riverwalk is part of the program area and offers a unique opportunity to shop in its downtown and then stroll along the Riverwalk. The name Milton comes from "Mill Town" since there were several sawmills located along the river. In 1842, Santa Rosa County was created and Milton became the county seat. Santa Rosa County and Milton are located in the western part of the Florida panhandle and has not been subjected to large scale development. It remains a picturesque town with plenty of Southern charm.
In 1913, the Milton Auditorium opened, presenting moving pictures and vaudeville entertainment. In 1921, it was renamed Imogene Theatre after the owner's daughter. The Imogene suffered the way many other vaudeville theaters have with the loss of attendance due to multiplex theatres and was closed for several years. In 1985, it was bought by the Santa Rosa Historical Society and rehabilitated. It is now used as a performing arts venue and is the cornerstone of the downtown.
Main Street Milton recently submitted a Five Year Plan to Florida Main Street and its local commissioners. In this plan they outlined the goals for each of the four committees as well as plans on how to accomplish those goals. Some of these plans are small such as developing a quarterly system of reports to give to the City and County as opposed to one large year end report. The largest project that they have ahead of them is the rehabilitation and reuse of the Santa Rosa Historic Courthouse. The courthouse project will include working with developers to determine uses for the Old Jail, located next the courthouse. These government buildings are large anchors in downtown Milton and their future use is fundamental to the vitality of the downtown.
Milton has won several Secretary of State Florida Main Street Awards including the 2006 Honor Award for Outstanding Local Florida Main Street Program Supporter- Vernon Compton; 2006 Honor Award for Outstanding Private-Public Partnership- Hurricane Ivan tree give away; 2006 Merit Award for Outstanding Sign/Display Project- Kim MacCarthy, the Copper Possum; 2006 Merit Award for Outstanding Image Campaign or Promotional Materials- Program Promotional Materials.
such as the Main Street Nights held May through October; Milton Mardi Gras parade; Scratch Ankle Festival and the Riverwalk Farmers Market.
Congratulations to Main Street Milton for all of their hard work over the last year! To learn more about Main Street Milton visit their website at www.mainstreetmilton.org or call Wanda Enfinger at 850.255.5951.