Florida Historical Markers Programs - Marker: Jefferson
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- THE TOWN OF MONTICELLO
Location:U. S. 19, on grounds of Post Office.
Description: Jefferson County became Territorial Florida's 13th county in January, 1827. In December of that year, the town of Monticello, named in honor of Thomas Jefferson's famous Virginia home, was laid out and lots began to be sold. During the 1830s and 1840s, Monticello developed into the social, governmental, and economic center of Jefferson County. Post- Civil War fires destroyed most of the early commercial buildings, but a number of dwellings erected during those years survive. After the Civil War, economic adversity delayed further construction in Monticello until the 1880s. Most downtown commercial buildings date from the last quarter of the 19th century. The Monticello Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, contains over forty buildings dating from the 19th century. These structures reflect the typical development of a North Florida town of the period. Unlike other Florida towns of the same era, 19th century Monticello remains largely intact. The town provides fine examples of Greek Revival, Classic Revival, and Stick style architecture.
Sponsors: sponsored by the jefferson county historical association in cooperation with department of state
- JEFFERSON COUNTY SESQUICENTENNIAL
Location:U. S. 19 & U. S. 90 on Courthouse lawn.
Description: When Florida's Territorial Legislative Council established Jefferson County in January, 1827, settlers from the seaboard states already had begun to develop cotton plantations in this area. In December, 1827, the county seat received the name Monticello in honor of Thomas Jefferson's famous Virginia home. Jefferson County provided many of territorial Florida's most prominent leaders, including representatives to Congress and the Legislative Council, territorial judges, and the state's first elected governor, William D. Moseley. Jefferson County citizens were instrumental in establishing the Democratic party in Florida and in attaining statehood in 1845. As southerners who advocated states' rights and opposed the abolition of slavery, they took leading roles in Florida's 1861 secession from the Union and in the military service of the Confederacy. For decades after the Civil War, Jefferson County reflected north Florida's economic changes and problems, attaining prominence in agriculture and related light industries. In more recent times, the county has continued its significant participation in Florida's development in the political and agricultural arenas.
Sponsors: sponsored by jefferson county historical association in cooperation with department of state
Location:U.S. 19 between St. Joe and Morris Rd.
Description: This excellent example of a "Carpenter Classic" style farmhouse was probably built c. 1836 for Burwell McBride shortly after he moved to Jefferson County from South Carolina. He was the grandfather of Margaret McBride who married Asa May, a wealthy cotton planter. Asa and his wife received the house and land from Margaret's father in 1848. May was one of the wealthiest planters in North Florida, at one time owning more than 3,000 acres of land in Jefferson County alone. Rosewood was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.
Sponsors: Florida Department of State
- LAMONT COMMUNITY
Location:Lot east of post office
Description: Lamont began existence in 1848 when a U.S. post office was established at Beasley’s Store, which also served as a horse changing station on the stagecoach line between Tallahassee and St. Augustine. After the Civil War, the small settlement that had grown up in the area was known locally by the unusual name of “Lick Skillet” and as McCane’s Store. By the time its name was officially changed to Lamont in 1885, the town had grown to 180 residents, with two general stores, two grist mills and three churches. The community thrived briefly after the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad built a line through the town in 1926. The town’s residents worked in sawmills and turpentine stills, grew pecans and processed watermelon seeds for planting. With the onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s, the town’s industries failed and many residents were forced to move away. Today Lamont’s past is reflected by a former post office, built c. 1910, and several historic churches and houses.
Sponsors: THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
- HOWARD ACADEMY ELEMENTARY AND JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL (LATER HOWARD ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL) SECOND STREET
Location:1145 2nd Street
Description: This historic marker recognizes Howard Academy Elementary/Junior High School, which eventually became Howard Academy High School. In 1957, the first phase of Howard Academy Elementary and Junior High School was constructed on Second Street. The school operated as an elementary and junior high school until 1961, when the facility was expanded to accommodate Black students in Grades 1-12. The establishment of this school resulted the closure of many of the two-and three-room schools in rural areas. In addition, children had better and safer accommodations, including a spacious library, work areas for specialty classes, such as home economics and choral music, facilities that were not always available at the school on Chestnut Street. The new school also had a gymnasium and football field. The combining of grades did not impact the school’s administration since Eddie L. Simpkins and George W. Pittman continued in their roles as principal and assistant principal, respectively. When the district implemented its desegregation plan in the 1970-71 academic year, the Howard Academy High School site became the district’s only middle school—Howard Middle School.
Sponsors: JEFFERSON COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT THE JEFFERSON COUNTY RETIRED EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
- HOWARD ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL-CHESNUT STREET
Location:Mamie Scott Dr. Near Cypress St.
Description: Howard Academy High School’s Building 1 opened on Chestnut Street in 1936 with one structure containing several classrooms. In 1940, a similar, second building was constructed and financed by the county, parents and The Julius Rosenwald Fund. Rosenwald, President of Sears, Roebuck and Co., donated funds to build thousands of schools, shops, and teachers’ homes in the South. With the construction of Building 2, Building 1 was used as the elementary and junior high school and Building 2 served as the senior high school. Howard Academy was the first official high school for African-American students in the county. This was true until a combination elementary and junior high school was built on Second Street in 1957. The Chestnut Street location served grades 9-12 students until 1961 when the elementary/junior high school on Second Street was expanded for students in all 12 grades. After 1961 the Chestnut Street Buildings were not used for several years. However when schools were integrated in the early 1970’s, the Chestnut site again served elementary students until the elementary school could be built. Currently, Building 2 is leased to the Boys and Girls Club; Building 1 is a storage space for the school district.
Sponsors: SPONSORED BY THE JEFFERSON COUNTY THE JEFFERSON COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
- ELIZABETH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Location:Grooverville Rd. near Rains Rd
Description: The Elizabeth School, a three-room, vernacular shingle-clad building , was a school for black students on Groover Road in 1938 and was funded by parents and the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Miles Edward Groover (1887- 1966) and his wife, Daisy Black Groover (1889-1984) donated two acres of land to the Jefferson Co. Board of Public Instruction, now the Jefferson Co. Public School District. Groover, who began teaching public school in 1902, is listed in the 1915 Florida Education Directory as principal at a monthly salary of $20. The Groover’s daughter, Doris Groover Herring (1918-2006), also taught at the school. Daisy’s sister, Mamie Black Scott (1892-1970), was district supervisor of Negro Schools and later Supervisor of Negro Education (1927-1962). Her salary was provided by the Anna T. Jeanes Foundation. (Anna T. Jeanes had set aside one million dollars to fund a program for fostering education in small, African-American rural schools.) Three teachers staffed the school, one as both principal and teacher. The school once educated students in 12 grades, but when student transportation began in 1949, grades included only 1-6 and continued until it closed in 1964.
Sponsors: SPONSORED BY THE JEFFERSON COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE