For Immediate Release
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Contact: Sarah Revell
Secretary Detzner Announces the Designation of Three Resources on the National Register of Historic Places
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced today that the Duette School in Parrish, the St. Cloud Depot in St. Cloud and the Wahnish Cigar Factory and Tobacco Warehouse in Tallahassee have been listed on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.
“These listings on the National Register of Historic Places demonstrate the significance of the state’s historic local institutions,” said Secretary Detzner. “The Duette School, St. Cloud Depot and Wahnish Cigar Factory each provide a window into their community’s history.”
The Duette School, located in Manatee County, served a vital function as the sole public primary school for the small rural communities of Duette, Albritton and Bunker Hill from 1930 to 2016. From its construction through 1966, the school was a two-teacher elementary and middle school teaching first through eighth grades. As the turpentine industry declined and the Great Depression set in, the consolidated school enabled the community to maintain public education in the area. The school also served as a community center, hosting numerous social events and gatherings, including the Mr. and Mrs. Duette contests, May Day programs, school musicals and dinners, Christmas plays and graduations. In 1967, the school began serving as a one-teacher school for grades 1-4. When it officially closed in 2016, it was the last public school of its kind in the state of Florida. Current plans are to transform the school into a dedicated community center for meetings and events.
St. Cloud Depot
The St. Cloud Depot, located in Osceola County, served as a passenger station for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad from 1918 until the railroad was abandoned in 1943. Although automobile travel grew exponentially by the 1920s, the railroad still served a vital function carrying supplies and people during the Florida Land Boom of the 1920s. The proximity to the railroad was essential to both the founding and growth of St. Cloud. Following the depot’s closure in 1943, the depot was acquired by the VFW Post #3227 who repurposed the building as a clubhouse and continue to use it to this day. The St. Cloud Main Street program assisted in the identification of this historic building and the preparation of the National Register nomination.
Wahnish Cigar Factory and Tobacco Warehouse
The Wahnish Cigar Factory and Tobacco Warehouse, located in Leon County, was the largest cigar factory operating in Tallahassee when it was built in 1907 in response to the 20th century shade tobacco boom that swept the region from 1900 to 1908. Less than a year after it was built, the factory played a prominent role locally during the Bank Panic of 1907 and the collapse of shade tobacco prices in 1908. Factory owner Alfred Wahnish was a key figure in the creation of the Leon County Tobacco Growers Association, which was formed in 1908 to help local tobacco growers withstand the difficult economic conditions. As the owner of the largest tobacco warehouse in town, Wahnish led an effort by local tobacco growers to pack and store their tobacco in hopes of holding out for better prices. The combination factory and warehouse is the last remaining building of its kind still standing in Tallahassee. It is also one of the very few surviving tobacco buildings in the region constructed during the shade tobacco boom.
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About The National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is a list maintained by the National Park Service which includes historical or archaeological properties including buildings, structures, sites, objects, and districts, that are considered worthy of preservation because of their local, statewide and/or national significance. Nominations for properties in Florida are submitted to the National Park Service through the Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources. Florida has over 1,700 listings on the National Register, including 295 historic districts and 175 archaeological sites. There are more than 50,000 sites contributing to the National Register in Florida. For more information, visit flheritage.com/preservation/national-register. For more information about the National Register of Historic Places program administered by the National Park Service, visit nps.gov/nr.
About the Florida Department of State’s Bureau of Historic Preservation
The Bureau of Historic Preservation (BHP) conducts historic preservation programs aimed at identifying, evaluating, preserving and interpreting the historic and cultural resources of the state. The Bureau manages the Florida Main Street Program, and under federal and state laws, oversees the National Register of Historic Places program for Florida, maintains an inventory of the state's historical resources in the Florida Master Site File, assists applicants in federal tax benefit and local government ad valorem tax relief programs for historic buildings, and reviews the impact that development projects may have on significant historic resources. For more information, visit flheritage.com/preservation.