Friday, April 7, 2017

Southward Bound…

We finally departed from the Apalachicola Florida area on our way south to visit old friends in Clearwater.  However, I did take the opportunity to make a couple photo stops along the way so I could document a few more sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places…

This is the old Sopchoppy combination (passenger/freight) railroad depot in Sopchoppy Florida.  Depending on the source of information, the depot was either built in 1891 or 1893 by the Carrabelle, Tallahassee and Georgia Railroad.  That railroad was acquired by the Georgia, Florida and Alabama Railroad in 1906.  The town of Sopchoppy restored the depot in 2010.  That big sign is asking for financial support for the Depot Museum and Welcome Center…


·       Sopchoppy is located on the edge of the Apalachicola National Forest in Wakulla County Florida.  As per one source, the name "Sopchoppy" is derived from the Creek Indian word "Sokhe", which means twisted, and "Chapke" which means long.  The combination of the words means "long twisted stream", a name which can easily be applied to the river that borders the town on the west and north sides.

·       A second source states that the town's name is a corruption of "Lockchoppe", derived from the Muskogee lokchapi (lokcha (acorn)/api (stem), which was the old name of the nearby river.  In any case, Sopchoppy is an unusual name!

In 1895, a man named W.C. Tully founded a town about 6 miles from Sopchoppy called Panacea.  Panacea was named for the supposed curative powers of the small mineral springs located in the area.   Tully built a post office and several cottages, and then a hotel.   The nearest railroad depot was at Sopchoppy.  Those mineral springs at Panacea had plenty of visitors that had to get from the depot to the mineral springs.  In 1901, local entrepreneurs completed this mule-drawn tram line to carry visitors between the 2 towns.  The tram was crude and often jumped its tracks, but it remained in service for many years until it was replaced by taxi service. 

For more on the Sopchoppy Depot Museum, you can go to

This is the Old Sopchoppy High School Gymnasium in Sopchoppy Florida.  The gymnasium was built ca. 1939 as a depression era Works Progress Administration project under Franklin Roosevelt.  From the negative description that I read on-line, the structure has apparently been stabilized since it was first listed on the Register…

Note the Mission style parapet on the front elevation.  Its the same design at the rear of the building.  The most distinctive features of the building are its native limestone construction.  The limestone walls are load bearing and not just a veneered surface.  Each of the rocks was quarried from a Wakulla County limestone quarry and hand carved by local stone masons.

The earliest recorded use of local limestone as a building material in Wakulla County was the 1739 construction of a stone fortification by the Spanish at San Marco de Apalache at the confluence of the St. Marks and Wakulla Rivers.  The stone was cut from deposits located near the fort. Limestone walls also remain from a Civil War hospital at the same site. 

The Old Perry Mediterranean revival style Florida Post Office was built in 1935.  This was the only federal building erected in Taylor County by the Public Works Administration during the Depression.

In Florida, by June 1938 the WPA had completed 137 projects that included forty-two schools, twenty-seven water works, and six sewer systems.  In another Florida tally through June 1940 the WPA had constructed 6,206 miles of highways and streets, built 245 new schools, improved 278 others, put up 601 public buildings, improved another 208, had constructed 1,237 bridges and viaducts, 6,272 culverts, 146 parks, 191 playgrounds and athletic fields, and built 24,533 sanitary privies/outhouses.

Originally this was the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Perry Florida.  It was built in 1917.  It was designed by the prolific church architect George W. Kramer.  He designed 2,217 churches! 

The church is now called the First United Methodist Church of Perry.  Reflecting a national movement toward child education, the Methodist denomination was at the forefront of the Sunday school movement.  Sunday school rooms were positioned adjacent to the main sanctuary.  The sanctuaries were often in the auditorium form with curved pews.  Sliding or folding door would open and close between the Sunday school rooms and the sanctuary.  This enabled children and adults to participate in the same opening and closing of the worship service.  During the service itself the children would receive instruction adjusted to their age group. 

There will be one more historic stop before we arrived in Clearwater Florida.  Click on any of the photos to enlarge them...

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 


  1. We're thinking of spending some time there this winter.

  2. Beautiful buildings, Dave, and I enjoyed reading about the train! Your posts are always fascinating and enjoyable. Lovely photos, too. Thank you so much for sharing.