The Carrabelle History Museum is a project of the local non-profit organization, Carrabelle CARES. It is sponsored by the Carrabelle History Society and the City of Carrabelle with support from the Franklin County Tourist Development Council with a community partnership from the Franklin County Public Library. The Mission of the Carrabelle History Museum is to preserve the history and culture of Carrabelle as a record of where we have been, how we got here and to serve as an inspiration for the future.
Opened in April 2009, residents of the Carrabelle community generously shared their pictures, genealogy, memories, household and work items to build the historical collection. The museum is located in the Old Carrabelle City Hall, the Marvin N. Justiss Building. An anchor historical building in the heart of the historical downtown. The City conducted its business in the building for 75 years. It was named in honor of the local brick mason who created each block and brick with hand-crafted local materials. It was built in 1933 as project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The structure is a two story brick vernacular style of that period. Mr. Justiss is often called the "Father of Carrabelle" since he built over 119 businesses and homes throughout the 1930's when the town was rebuilt at its current location after being ravaged by storms and fires. It has been restored by the museum with the help of the City and the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources.
The Carrabelle History Museum is staffed by volunteers and funded through donations, memberships and grants. There are four exhibit rooms, a large entry hall for special displays, and a workroom/office for the volunteers to process the incoming artifacts. "Carrabelle's First People", is a permanent exhibit featuring artifacts and interpretive materials exploring the indigenous inhabitants who lived along the northwest gulf coast thousands of years ago. The Apalachee tribes were a prehistoric people who had many villages along the shore of St. George Sound and all the local rivers. Their Council House and Temple Mound was located in the Tallahassee area near Lake Jackson. It is estimated that over 40,000 Apalachee people lived between the Apalachicola and Aucilla Rivers. Archaeologists have found evidence of villages, middens (garbage piles) and burial grounds within the city limits of Carrabelle and several others in the area. Carrabelle is thought to have been an important trade port during that time and as it was after the Civil War because of its natural deep water port at the confluence of three rivers.
page information credit: Carrabelle History Museum
photos from the sources listed above, as well as publicly posted online sites with thanks to the contributors