Friday, March 10, 2017

Historic Apalachicola #3

Continuing with our tour of historic Apalachicola Florida… Not all the historic sites in the area are homes!

This is the US Post Office in Apalachicola.  It was originally built in the Mediterranean Style as a Customs House in 1923.  This is one of the few structures in town with a basement and it has a tunnel that encompasses the interior of the building.

The Apalachicola Post Office was established here in 1829.  In the early 1920s the post office was located on the first floor of the Masonic Hall.  The Masonic Hall still distinguished with the title “POST OFFICE” stamped in the concrete of the sidewalk in front of the structure.

There were several federal agencies that had offices in Apalachicola at this time: the post office, the customs office, the weather service, and the inspector of steamships.  In 1914 Congress passed a bill authorizing the construction of a single building to house all of these agencies under one roof in Apalachicola.  At this time, the first floor of the building houses the post office, while the second floor contains offices…although all other Federal agencies have phased out of operation or have moved to new locations. 

OK… This is not an historic property or structure per se.  But this is the home of the Apalachicola Maritime Museum and it is all about maritime history.  The Museum is a non-profit organization that was founded to preserve the maritime history of Apalachicola.  A work still in progress, it will ultimately occupy 2 locations, serve as a maritime museum, an active sailing center, offer boat building and restoration programs.  It also provides educational programs and as well as stewardship of ecosystems in the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, Flint River System and the Apalachicola Bay and the Gulf Coastal regions which rely upon river outflows.

The Apalachicola Maritime Museum has 2 locations.  This location has been open since late 2007.  The second location is at the start of the Apalachicola River in the city of Chattahoochee Florida and is set to open soon.  Much planning and construction continues as they strive to make the Museum a world class attraction.

The Museum’s educational programs focus on all aspects of maritime experience.  Excursions to pristine barrier islands, kayak rentals, estuary cruises, wooden boat building school, sail training...they have something for everyone.  Nine different cruise/tour options are available including sailing trips on a 58 foot ketch.  Another major project has involved the restoration of the 87 foot paddlewheel riverboat “Jean Marie”.  This boat was formerly owned by Debbie Reynolds.  The goat is to provide cruises up the Apalachicola River.  I was unable to ascertain the status of this project via the internet but delays have reoccurred. 

For more about the Apalachicola Maritime Museum, go to

This is the Chapman House.  In the mid-1800s it was the home of internationally known botanist, Alvin W. Chapman.  Chapman was a physician, scientist and botanist.  He wrote a well-respected manuscript entitled the “Flora of the Southern United States”.  The original document is at the Biltmore estate in Asheville North Carolina. 

Dr. Chapman built this house in 1847 and he lived in it until his death in 1899.  During his many years in Apalachicola he served as county judge, mayor and collector of customs taxes.  He was also associated with the Smithsonian Institution.

That terrific looking Live Oak tree blocks a clear view of the beautiful Trinity Episcopal Church.  The rectory can be seen next door.  This Greek-Revival style church was shipped in sections on a schooner from White Plains New York.  It was assembled with wooden pegs in 1838.  Both Dr. John Gorrie (early air conditioning design) and Dr. Alvin Chapman were among the church’s early members.


·       The Trinity Episcopal Church is the second oldest church in the state of Florida.  It has held continuous services since its inception.

·       The church is believed to be one of the first pre- fabricated buildings in Florida.

·       The original organ is still on premises having been moved to the “slave balcony” in the rear of the church when the new organ was installed. 

I don’t know anything about this house… Laurie took this photo. It is a large, old home. What we do know is that this Live Oak Tree with its huge trunk and outreaching limbs is a beautiful creation of nature!

While this particular tree is impressive, there are many examples in the South that surpass this one in size.  The Angel Oak near Charleston South Carolina is 65 feet tall, has a girth diameter of 28 feet and its crown covers an area of 17,000 square feet.  One limb on the Angel Oak is 89 feet long…

Not every home in Apalachicola can be famous!  I have no idea regarding the age or history of this classic looking home… To the best of my knowledge, as attractive as it is, it isn’t included on the brochure entitled “Apalachicola – Historic Walking Tour”.  However, I’m willing to bet that it is included in Apalachicola’s expansive historic district as listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

That’s it for now… Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Those big old Live Oaks can be really impressive

  2. Absolutely fascinating, Dave! Love all your photos and details in this post, and even the tree is quite amazing. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. nice pics !
    and Im really impressed with these trees are amazing abd beauty !
    hugs !