Washington County has many historical sites throughout the county and thanks to grants from the Department of Historical Resources (DHR) and Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), the Tourist Development Council (TDC) has begun the task of story mapping those sites.
TDC Director Heather Lopez says the project began as a joint effort between Gadsden, Jackson, Washington, Holmes and Walton Counties as a Historic Highway 90 Corridor Plan in 2015.
“Each county applied for the grant from DEO for their portion of Highway 90,” Lopez said. “The goal was for each county to accomplish what their part of the plan included then as a whole work together to promote the corridor. Our goal is to get travelers off of Interstate 10 and onto the scenic road that goes through the downtowns and encourage folks to shop local.”
Seeing the beautiful architecture and the rich history is an added bonus according to Lopez.
With that goal in mind the TDC has begun placing interpretive panels throughout the county that highlights not only historically designated sites but also the Old Spanish Trail.
Phase II of the story mapping project will be to design the interactive map on the TDC website which is expected to be live in June 2023. On the map will be GPS coordinates to the sites as well as an expanded history of each. Phase III of the project will include a printed map of the sites should the grant be awarded from DHR.
Washington County is rich in its nearly 200 years of history and with the help of local historian Dale Cox, that history is coming to life. That history includes the Battle of Vernon, Davy Crockett in Washington County, the real Atticus Finch, the Ghost of the Lime Sink and the buried alive Mary Nepper.
There are currently 31 panels to be placed. Nine are currently in place including the Haunted History Highway at the Old City Hall, the steamboat Bloomer raid at Caryville City Hall and the Aycock Tragedy at the Washington County Historical Society Museum.
For more information, visit the TDC website at www.visitwcfla.com.
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