CHIPLEY – The Washington County Historical Society has received the first installment of a $50,000 grant from the Florida State Department of Historic Resources to help fund the Historic Highway 90/Old Spanish Trail Corridor.
The Historical Society, along with Washington County Tourism Development Council (TDC) finalized a master plan for the project in 2015 after a study identified key historical and ecological points of interest along the Chipley and Caryville segments of the corridor.
From 34 significant historical sites identified, 20 were selected as critical resources to help improve the heritage tourism experience for visitors driving U.S. 90. The project, which is anticipated to be completed in 2022, includes placing “National Park Service style” interpretive panels at those 20 identified sites.
The grant will ultimately fund all of Phase I of the implementation of signs and markers, as well as a portion of those placed in Phase II.
Totaling $12,500, the first installment will be used exclusively to pay for historical markers in Phase I. These signs will provide information on historical events and locations in Washington County along Highway 90 beginning near the Jackson County line where the town of Aycock once existed to Eastern Washington County and ending on the Western side at Caryville.
The Historical Society points to local historian Dale Cox, who is assisting with the project through grant writing and submissions, as having played a major role in helping the project move past conception and into reality.
“We are invigorated by this additional opportunity to share the history of Washington County with not only our community, but with visitors passing through,” said Museum Director Dorothy Odom. “We are indebted to Historian Dale Cox for his guidance and assistance with this project.”
The Washington County Historical Society Museum is located at 685 7th Street in downtown Chipley and is open from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. every Friday.