Self-Guided Tours of Tallahassee

The Next Adventure Awaits! What stories will you find when you hold #HistoryinyourHands?

Even though it has been a challenge to find things to do outside, as many activities have been put on hold due to the pandemic, we are encouraging our citizens to embark upon a socially distanced walking tour of some distinctive areas throughout the County.

You will not only get the physical benefit of walking but the mental benefit of learning about the rich history of this area. Tours include historical residences, or sites where a famous event took place or widely known people lived.

Take a look at our current recommended tour to view Leon County landmarks!


Way Markers Thumbnail

Historical Way Markers

Overview: 66 historical landmarks.

Fast Fact:
Tallahassee has 15 unique museums to visit. For art enthusiasts, Tallahassee is home to 24 galleries with all varieties of art.
The Tallahassee Automobile Museum is home to Abraham Lincoln’s horse-drawn hearse, as well as the Batmobiles from from "Batman Forever" and "Batman Returns".

Highlights:

  • Old Fort Braden School,the most important educational facility in western Leon County for many years. Built to consolidate the area's many one-room school houses.
  • The Historic Capitol building, a Greek revival structure with a copper dome and a bas relief panel depicting the old state seal of Florida.
  • Chaires Historic District, by the turn of the 20th century Chaires was a commercial hub with a cotton gin and packinghouse, public schools, stores and churches. Today, Chaires retains much of its turn-of-the-century character.

We encourage all participants to upload photos to social media with the hashtag #HistoryinyourHands


Further Exploring our County

Omega Lamplighters

Overview: Historical African American Sites.

Fast Fact:
The Omega Lamplighters began in 2008 in Tallahassee, and is a mentorship group for young men in ninth grade through12th grade that teaches them leadership, academics, maturity, and perseverance.

Highlights:

  • John G. Riley Center, the only African-American historic house in downtown Tallahassee and among the last original remnants of Smokey Hollow.
  • The Carnegie Library at FAMU, is the oldest brick building on the FAMU campus and the first Carnegie Library to be built on a black land-grant college campus.
  • Union Bank, the oldest surviving financial building in Florida.

Frenchtown

Overview:The oldest community in Tallahassee where blacks settled after the Emancipation in Florida.

Fast Fact:
The Red Bird Club and Cafe DeLuxe in Frenchtown provided a wealth of musical talent for the area. Nat Adderley and brother Cannonball Adderley were known to have played here in their younger days. From 1940—1945, Ray Charles lived in Frenchtown.

Highlights:

  • Soul Voices #1 Frenchtown Had it All Historical Way Marker, the only African-American historic house in downtown Tallahassee and among the last original remnants of Smokey Hollow.
  • Red Bird Café, the Red Bird Café on Macomb Street was a thriving hub for music in the early 20th century, especially booming from the 1920s through the 1950s.
  • The Capitol Theater

Canopy Roads & Country Lanes

Overview: Get in the car to enjoy this driving guide of scenic Leon County.

Fast Fact:
The canopy roads that we experience as we drive through town are now protected by law. They came into existence from the old Indian trails which then became market roads that plantation owners lined with live oaks.

Highlights:

  • Myers Park, William P. DuVal, Florida’s first territorial governor, became one of the earliest U.S. property owners in Myers Park when he purchased a large tract of land in 1827. DuVal’s house was located where the tennis courts of Myers Park now stand.
  • The Quail Trail, the abundance of bob white a quail made this area a popular winter hunting retreat, for wealthy Northerners. For the most part, the hunting estates are self-contained with little evidence of their existence visible from the road. Today, thousands of acres of Leon County land remain in these estates.
  • The Cotton Trail, there was a time when cotton in Leon County was king of the cotton produced in Florida. Most residents worked the land, by 1860 making the county Florida's leader in cotton, corn, sugarcane, sweet potatoes and other crops.

Historical Sites

Overview:The History of Leon County, Florida is a varied. Including the Apalachee, the Seminole Indians, the British, Spanish, colonial Americans, and enslaved persons.

Fast Fact:
On March 3, 1845, Florida joined the Union as the 27th state and Leon County became the capital county of Florida.

Highlights:

  • Jackson Bluff Dam, in 1927 the Jackson Bluff Dam was constructed on the Ochlockonee River to produce hydroelectric power. The waters held back by the dam form Lake Talquin.
  • Caroline Brevard Elementary School, was built to accommodate Tallahassee's rapid growth after World War I. Caroline M. Brevard, the granddaughter of Florida’s Territorial Governor Richard Keith Call and Judge Theodore W. Brevard, the namesake of Brevard County. Caroline M. Brevard graduated from Columbia University, wrote a textbook on Florida history, and taught at the Florida State College for Women and Leon High School.
  • The Grove, also known as the Call-Collins House, The Grove was built sometime around 1840. For more information visit: The Grove Museum

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