West Florida History Center

West Florida History Center

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My grandfather, John B. Vaughn, was 37 years old when he took his seat as Escambia County’s newly elected delegate to the Florida House of Representatives. He took his seat of the first time when the legislature convened on February 5, 1889 for a special session called by Governor Francis P. Fleming. The record indicates that he lived at a community called Saltmarsh. Does anyone know where Saltmarsh was located? On May 31, 1889, he co-sponsored bill to incorporate the Town of Bluff Springs, and served on the initial Board of Aldermen. Was Saltmarsh the original name of what became Bluff Springs?
One of the really satisfying things related to what I do, writing historically based fiction, is getting to share some of the things I learn or just stumble upon, with others. Researching history isn’t a chore for me … I love it. I had a chance to pass along some of those bits of knowledge to a group of history teachers at an “in service day” that was sponsored by the Charlotte County Library. Thank you library administrators Tracy Herman and Chris Grabowsky for setting up this event.

For the past several years, I’ve been working on a four book historical novel series that tells Florida’s tale as it journeys into the 20th century. It will be titled, “Clayton’s Chronicles,” and will begin at the battle of King’s Mountain in South Carolina (a surprising, but appropriate place to begin a Florida story) and end in the 1950s when modern Florida started to evolve.

This museum and library process provides me with tractor trailer loads of information that screams for exposure. Plenty of this research fits into my novels … the truth is, there is way too much to include, novels the length of War and Peace are too difficult to sell to publishers. (Not necessarily readers) Many of these stories beg to be told. What I’ve done is to gather these interest grabbers into time period packages and present them at historical societies, libraries, civic clubs, book clubs, community centers, and schools. And, of course, at book stores.

Providing little historical tidbits that folks aren’t familiar with pleases these audiences! Facts like the story of how Florida’s Civil War debt was paid off and what a fishing trip had to do with it, intrigues people. Who invented the concept of air conditioning and why … the fact that the entrance to one of today’s most prestigious and “swanky” beach communities was once a squalid cattle port … the most important single vehicle used in the amphibious landings in the Pacific in WWII was originally designed as a rescue device … and one of the critical reasons Edison picked the place he decided to winter in Florida had to do with what he could grow there … all those facts and many, many more like them, fascinate folks.

Q. and A. after the presentation. I love the interchange.
The conversations with my audiences are great vehicles to learn what potential readers prefer and, maybe more important, what they don’t like! It’s interesting to form bonds with these folks and to observe how much sincere interest they have in what I’m doing.

Sharing is a wonderful thing … try it some time … I believe you’ll like it.

History of West Florida and the Florida Panhandle and promoting the collections of the University Archives and West Florida History Center, John C.

Pace Library, University of West Florida, Pensacola The University Archives and West Florida History Center holds 1.5 million research records including newspapers (1821-present), rare books, letters and manuscripts, photographs, audiotapes, maps, and other information resources for use in history, genealogy, environmental, and other types of research on the West Florida region.

Operating as usual

05/21/2021

We were saddened this week to learn of the passing of a major supporter of the University, Hal Marcus. Here we share one of our favorite pictures of the Marcuses at a scholarship celebration lunch in April 2010 with two of our favorite alumni (yes, they spent hours researching here in the Archives those years) Siska Williams and Kendra Kennedy.

We were saddened this week to learn of the passing of a major supporter of the University, Hal Marcus. Here we share one of our favorite pictures of the Marcuses at a scholarship celebration lunch in April 2010 with two of our favorite alumni (yes, they spent hours researching here in the Archives those years) Siska Williams and Kendra Kennedy.

05/18/2021

John Frost's 'Pictorial Life of Jackson' published in 1847 contains numerous woodcut illustrations made for the popular book, many of them fictitious with artist's license. We sort of like this one -- "Retreat of the British from Pensacola on the approach of Jackson" It only exists in the artist's imagination ... but now, in 2021, the folks on the right look like they are wearing their COVID masks.

John Frost's 'Pictorial Life of Jackson' published in 1847 contains numerous woodcut illustrations made for the popular book, many of them fictitious with artist's license. We sort of like this one -- "Retreat of the British from Pensacola on the approach of Jackson" It only exists in the artist's imagination ... but now, in 2021, the folks on the right look like they are wearing their COVID masks.

Photos from West Florida History Center's post 04/14/2021

Google is promoting "Gutenberg" day in honor of the famous printer of Mainz, Germany. So we will also share a page from our collection printed on that press and with its type, a leaf from the 1460 Catholicon, third book printed on the press.

03/04/2021

SAVE THE DATE: Join us (online!) from Noon until 1:00 pm on Monday, March 15th for An Hour with Archives: Pensacola's First Female Astronaut. 🌙

Our university archivist, Dean DeBolt, will discuss how Pensacola made history with a unique local celebrity.

Our presentation will be held in Google Meet: meet.google.com/mdg-gygd-rrs

SAVE THE DATE: Join us (online!) from Noon until 1:00 pm on Monday, March 15th for An Hour with Archives: Pensacola's First Female Astronaut. 🌙

Our university archivist, Dean DeBolt, will discuss how Pensacola made history with a unique local celebrity.

Our presentation will be held in Google Meet: meet.google.com/mdg-gygd-rrs

03/04/2021

I had not thought about these terms before!

I had not thought about these terms before!

Photos from West Florida History Center's post 03/03/2021

Women's History Month continues ... today we salute Eleanor Roosevelt. She came to Pensacola on Sunday, February 1, 1942 and was rushed (police escort) to the San Carlos Hotel just minutes before her live radio broadcast on WCOA. While here for several days, she visited Washington High School, Fort San Carlos, Fort Barrancas and Santa Rosa Island. It was actually her second visit to Pensacola -- she first visited August 20, 1941 as a guest of Lt. and Mrs. Earl R. Miller in Warrington, Florida. Miller was an aide to FDR when he was Governor of New York.

03/01/2021

Pensacola's First Lady of Florida

It seems appropriate to begin Women's History Month noting that Pensacola was home to First Lady of Florida Rachel Jackson, the wife of Florida's First Governor Andrew Jackson. She actually arrived in Pensacola while it was still a Spanish possession on June 28, 1821 along with her son Andrew Jackson, Jr., niece Narcissa Hays, and nephew Stockley Donelson Hays. Pensacola had a population of around 720, and she wrote letters home praising the sea breeze, plentiful fruits, but dismayed at the Spanish lack of strict observance of the Sabbath. She returned to Nashville, with General Jackson, leaving Pensacola on October 8, 1821. (Painting by Ralph E. W. Earl, 1823)

Pensacola's First Lady of Florida

It seems appropriate to begin Women's History Month noting that Pensacola was home to First Lady of Florida Rachel Jackson, the wife of Florida's First Governor Andrew Jackson. She actually arrived in Pensacola while it was still a Spanish possession on June 28, 1821 along with her son Andrew Jackson, Jr., niece Narcissa Hays, and nephew Stockley Donelson Hays. Pensacola had a population of around 720, and she wrote letters home praising the sea breeze, plentiful fruits, but dismayed at the Spanish lack of strict observance of the Sabbath. She returned to Nashville, with General Jackson, leaving Pensacola on October 8, 1821. (Painting by Ralph E. W. Earl, 1823)

02/24/2021

SAVING PENSACOLA'S BLACK HISTORY ONE PAGE AT A TIME

English intern Michalah Dunson is in Archives this semester and she is helping us to digitize The Pensacola Voice, a major long-running newspaper covering the Pensacola Black community. After workflow of editing, combining, and OCR, these issues will join University Archives and West Florida History Center's digital newspaper collection which has the largest accumulation of Pensacola Black newspapers in existence. Our website for these and other digital materials is: uwf.digital.flvc.org

SAVING PENSACOLA'S BLACK HISTORY ONE PAGE AT A TIME

English intern Michalah Dunson is in Archives this semester and she is helping us to digitize The Pensacola Voice, a major long-running newspaper covering the Pensacola Black community. After workflow of editing, combining, and OCR, these issues will join University Archives and West Florida History Center's digital newspaper collection which has the largest accumulation of Pensacola Black newspapers in existence. Our website for these and other digital materials is: uwf.digital.flvc.org

Photos from West Florida History Center's post 02/22/2021

Congratulations to Mike Simmons on his new book on the history of the Pensacola Police Department. He used our collections in Archives as well as books and newspapers of the John C. Pace Library!

An Hour with Archives : Valentines Edition 2021 02/17/2021

An Hour with Archives : Valentines Edition 2021

Missed the Hour with Archives: Valentine's Event last week?

We've placed it on the libraries' Youtube channel so you learn more about all the V-day cards in our archives special collections. ❤

Please enjoy: https://youtu.be/YrjFcSKkR14

An Hour with Archives : Valentines Edition 2021 On Monday, February 8th, 2021, the University of West Florida Libraries presented our monthly series An Hour with Archives: Valentines Day Edition. Our Unive...

02/17/2021

It's a little late but the folks at the National Archives shared this. And it's true for us with our 2,000 shelves of West Florida historical records and photographs!

It's a little late but the folks at the National Archives shared this. And it's true for us with our 2,000 shelves of West Florida historical records and photographs!

02/10/2021

Some of the early and interesting Valentines in our collection were shown during my talk this week, so I'll share some of them here over the next few days. Today, this is a Raphael Tuck (London) Valentine fan, circa 1880. It folds out to 12 in. wide.

Some of the early and interesting Valentines in our collection were shown during my talk this week, so I'll share some of them here over the next few days. Today, this is a Raphael Tuck (London) Valentine fan, circa 1880. It folds out to 12 in. wide.

01/28/2021

Save the date, Argos! ❤️

Save the date, Argos! ❤️


01/12/2021

University of West Florida Student Life, 2002

Probably a rough video done to provide 'cuts' for campus publicity; shows campus buildings, student life, signage, posters, etc.; file date 6/18/2002 but some banners are from Christmas period 2001-2002

Photos from West Florida History Center's post 01/07/2021

RESEARCH TIDBIT ... Before stamps were issued in 1847, when you mailed a letter, the recipient had to pay the postage. Postmasters were required to publish a list in the local newspaper of the names of individuals for whom they had mail. It was a notification to come to the post office and pay for the item(s) waiting for you.
These lists can be very helpful in identifying who was living locally. Here is an example from the Pensacola Gazette of November 9, 1826 showing the alphabetical list through Desiderio Quina.

The letter (attached image, not a West Florida cover) would be marked with the amount due, a 25 meaning twenty-five cents.

12/18/2020

We will be closed from December 19 through January 5. We wish all of our users, readers, and fans a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. You may still send queries to [email protected] and we will respond if able or after we return next year!

12/17/2020

We are saddened to learn of the passing of former Congressman Earl Hutto. Our library and archives will be forever grateful at his kindness in donating his Congressional records and papers to us; they have been helpful to hundreds of students and researchers on various topics and issues important to the history of West Florida in the late 1970s through the 1990s.

12/04/2020

Christmas has come to our exhibit case; showcasing 19th and early 20th century Christmas postcards along with the Christmas duckies (they're usually down here gathered near the Christmas tree -- but they demanded equal BILLing this year. And that just quacked me up! Merry Christmas!

12/03/2020

We're celebrating the first week of December with selections from the L & N Railroad Magazine from December 1928 and December 1929. This poster from December 1928 tells the importance of safety. I would note that when I went to high school, there was a railroad between me and the school and several times I went between the cars to get across the tracks!


12/02/2020

Dean Explains the Archives and West Florida History Center

A quick tour of the University Archives and West Florida History Center and showcase of some of our collection items.

12/02/2020

We're going to share this first week of December some of the Christmas highlights from one of the 'least used' but most important items in our collection..the L & N Railroad Magazine. It covered the entire Louisville and Nashville line with stories about employees, cities, railroad offices, obituaries, and other details.

11/12/2020

The recent announcement that Coke is eliminating TaB is remembered when the Pensacola Coca-Cola Bottling Company began to promote the new Tab in early 1965.

11/10/2020

Don't miss our last Hour with Archives event of 2020...Mayflower Miracles and the Year of Two Thanksgivings.

Join University Archivist, Dean DeBolt, virtually on Monday, November 16th at Noon.

Our University Archives and West Florida History Center has one of the largest research collections in existence on West Florida, its history, development, and people from the earliest settlement to the present, covering aspects of the region.

Our event will be held online through Google Meet:
meet.google.com/bem-qvfw-vax

10/06/2020

We note with sorry the death of Eddie Van Halen. He performed his first concert of the 1995 World Tour at the Pensacola Civic Center on May 11, 1995.

[Photo of November 10, 2007 at The Van Halen Tour, Montreal; photo by Anirudh Kou under Wikimedia Commons;

10/06/2020

There are days when given the vast research value of our archives and library collections that I see a lot of comparison between these two images -- the square building on the raised hill.

09/30/2020

Why Research Deserves a Second Look

We find sometimes that something in our collection or research deserves a second look, a reexamination that corrects or adds to the story. We have a set of letters that all say "West Point" but it turns out they actually mean "West Point, Georgia." The picture with this post is an example, too. At first glance, this Milton Gazette from Florida, convinces you that the printer forgot what state he was in...until you realize that this older issue is simply missing the edge that finished the title as GA[ZETTE}!

08/18/2020

Happy 100th Anniversary of the Ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. Tennessee was the last to ratify on August 18, 1920, making the 3/4 state approval. Ironically Florida could have been first since its legislature was still in session when the amendment passed the House and Senate. On March 15, 1915, the National Women Suffrage Association president, Anna Howard Shaw, spoke at the Pensacola Opera House to boost suffrage efforts in Pensacola and Florida as efforts to get the Amendment passed in Florida multiplied in the years following the first World War.

08/05/2020

We're sorry to learn of the death of writer, and columnist for the New York Post and Esquire among many others, Pete Hamill. He wrote a fictionalized biography of his days at Ellyson Field in 1952-1954 in the novel, Loving Women, which also incorporates a return visit to Pensacola in 1987. His novel is a good account of segregation in Pensacola and the South prior to the 1954 Supreme Court decision.


07/31/2020

Congratulations, Argos!

Advice to 2020 Graduating Class from the old archivist!

07/28/2020

UWF Libraries

"While Archives protects history, our staff wants to protect you ... and us. Wear masks please!" - Dean DeBolt, University Archivist at Pace Library #ShieldUpArgos

07/22/2020

As they talk about going outside during this pandemic, we are reminded about beautiful Scenic Highway. This photograph comes from our postcard collection and unfortunately came to us having been pried from another stuck photograph. No date given, but perhaps one of our readers can date the car!

07/21/2020

Archivist Dean DeBolt recently spoke to the UWF Leisure Learning community on 'Pensacola's Black History You Never Knew' sharing two vignettes of Pensacola history. One of them was the career of Don Shirley, who grew up in Pensacola, in St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church and attended schools including Washington High School. He first performed with the Boston Pops in 1945 and went on to a national fame as a pianist, performing on radio and television including extensive concert tours. The movie, the Green Book, is based loosely on his life. He was one of the last tenants of the Carnegie Hall Towers, and we share a photo of him and his apartment.

07/21/2020

West Florida History Center

07/20/2020

Did you know that the University Archives and West Florida History Center has the largest holdings of Black newspapers in Pensacola? While we do have gaps, we have digitized what we have found and are busy working on the Pensacola Voice. Issues online can be found at uwf.digital.flvc.org and
click on "Newspapers"

07/14/2020

Remembering Charlie Daniels, at the Pensacola Interstate Fair in 2000 and his interview with Troy Moon, October 19, 2000.

Videos (show all)

University of West Florida Student Life, 2002
Dean Explains the Archives and West Florida History Center
Congratulations, Argos!
Christmas Wishes from University of West Florida Library
Galvez Era Holdings in West Florida History Center
The Peeps Visit the Archives
A Woman's Place Is In The Archives
Halloween 2017 Exhibit

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Telephone

Address


John C. Pace Library, University Of West Florida
Pensacola, FL
32514

Opening Hours

Monday 08:00 - 16:30
Tuesday 08:00 - 16:30
Wednesday 08:00 - 16:30
Thursday 08:00 - 16:30
Friday 08:00 - 16:30
Other History Museums in Pensacola (show all)
Florida Public Archaeology Network - Northwest Region Florida Public Archaeology Network - Northwest Region
207 E Main St
Pensacola, 32502

The Northwest Region includes Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun and Gulf counties in Florida.

T. T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum T. T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum
120 Church St
Pensacola, 32502

Quina House Museum Quina House Museum
204 S. Alcaniz St.
Pensacola, 32502

Dating back to 1810, the Quina House Museum is Pensacola's oldest building still in its original location. Visit the museum free of charge to learn more!

Museum of Industry Museum of Industry
Pensacola

Historic Pensacola's Museum of Commerce Historic Pensacola's Museum of Commerce
120 Church St
Pensacola, 32502

Pensacola Historic Preservation Society Pensacola Historic Preservation Society
204 S Alcaniz St
Pensacola, 32501

The Pensacola Historical Society is a non-profit organization established to restore, preserve, and maintain historical buildings and artifacts. PHPS owns and maintains the Quina House Museum in the Downtown Pensacola Historical District.

African American Heritage Society African American Heritage Society
200 Church St
Pensacola, 32502