Baker Block Museum Winter 2020 Newsletter

Page 1

Baker Block Museum Newsletter Experience. Discover. Connect. Winter 2020

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Director’s Notes and President’s Message, page 2 Wall of Honor, page 3 Heritage Day, page 4 3rd Saturday: Book Signing, page 6 Black History Month, page 7 New pavilion, page 8 New Museum accession, page 10 Calendar of events, page 15 Spring Arts Festival, page 18

CONTACT Phone: 850-537-5714 Mail: P.O. Box186 Baker, FL 32531 Email: Location: Corner of State Road 4 and Highway 189 in Baker

Visitors enjoy gospel music under the Museum’s new pavilion at the 15th Annual Baker Heritage Day in November.

Newest Museum structure becomes a reality A long-planned dream became a reality in October with the construction of the Museum’s outdoor covered pavilion in the Heritage Park. Fundraising began in earnest with the March 2018 fundraising event in the Park. At the end of the day, the Museum was $2,000 closer to it’s $10,000 goal.

During the next 15 months, with assistance from the Rotary Club of Crestview and generous individual donations, the Museum reached its goal. Construction began in October and was finished in time for festival bands to become the first to perform under the pavilion.

2 Director’s Notes

President’s Message

We are grateful for the community support that made the building of our new pavilion possible. It was finished in time for our 15th annual Heritage Day and plans are to use it during the coming year for a variety of community and museum 3rd Saturday events. Our sincere thanks to the many individual donors, those who worked to raise funds, the Rotary Club of Crestview and crews from Okaloosa County Parks and Recreation. We could not have done it without each and everyone’s help. We will kick off the new year with blacksmith classes beginning on our 3rd Saturday event in January and continue through March. Billy Hay, from Traditions Workshop will conduct the Introduction to Blacksmithing class. Visit the Baker Block Museum facebook page or call 850-974-1548 to learn more about this class.

Happy New Year! We are all looking forward to an exciting year in 2020. We will kick off the new year with our annual meeting on Saturday, Jan. 18. This will be an opportunity to review the previous year and share our plans and goals for the upcoming year. Everyone is invited to attend. We are accepting nominations for this year’s Wall of Honor. This is a way to recognize individuals who live, lived or worked in Okaloosa County and made a positive impact on the community. Nominations are not limited to family members. You may nominate a neighbor, a fellow church member or a favorite teacher. Anyone who has made a difference in the life and history of Okaloosa County is an eligible candidate. More information and nomination forms are available on our website. Nominations are due by April 30. The induction ceremony will be held May 16.

Tracy Curenton

Ann Spann

The Baker Block Museum is a 501-3(c) non-profit organization of the North Okaloosa Historical Association, Inc., and is managed by its Board of Directors. The Museum newsletter is published by the North Okaloosa Historical Society, Inc., and is an authorized publication for distribution to Museum members and visitors. Contents of the newsletter is copyrighted, all rights reserved. Items to be considered for the newsletter may be submitted to the Museum at P.O. Box 186, Baker, FL 32531 or emailed to Deadline for submission is March 15, June 15, Sept. 15 and Dec. 15 for consideration in the next quarterly issue. Articles received after the deadline will be considered for future use. All submissions will be edited for accuracy, clarity, brevity and conformance with newsletter guidelines.


Family Heritage Wall of Honor Induction Ceremony Saturday, May 16 2 p.m. The Wall of Honor program is designed to honor Okaloosa County individuals for their positive effect on their community and their contributions to the history, formation and continued well-being of Okaloosa County. Single nominations are $30; dual or family nominations are $50. Fees are used to fund the program and recognize those honored. See the entry form and sample biography on pages 8-9 for more details.


Heritage Day Highlights

Above: Close to 50 vendors and demonstrators and an estimated 3,000 visitors attended the Baker Heritage Day Festival Nov. 2. Below: A first for the festival, Gulf Coast Native sheep greeted festival visitors. Now considered a rare breed, it’s native to the United States. Sheep don’t usually walk on a leash, but Scarlett, the mama below, broke her leg as a lamb and was raised on the family porch and became more of a pet than livestock. Both Scarlett and Charlotte, her daughter, were a huge hit with festival goers.


Left: Festival attendees learn about Florida wildlife at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission displays. Above: Weaver Melissa Bolen answers questions from a young festival visitor about weaving and the loom she uses. Below: A little bit of everything is available throughout the Heritage park grounds for people attending the festival.


Book signing

October event celebrated the history of Laurel Hill Authors on hand to sign new book in Museum’s history series

At the Baker Block Museum

October’s 3rd Saturday event marked the publication of the fifth book in the Museum’s history series. The book signing drew more than 25 people who purchased 39 books that day. A History of Laurel Hill is available for $20 in the Museum’s Baker Mercantile Authors Tracy Curenton, left, and Mark Curenton sign a copy of their book, A History of Laurel store. Hill, for Brian Rucker.

Members of the Eucheeanna Chapterof the Daughters of the American Colonists, Kay Dean Hamm, Nancy Welhart, Mary Ellen Shugart and Margaret Nichols, presented Director Ann Spann with two books for the Museum library. Donated are A Conquering Spirit by Gregory A. Waselkov, and Courthouse Research by Christine Rose.


Celebrating Black History Month

Caroline Allen

Okaloosa County lifetime educator, historian, community leader, Hall of Fame inductee

Caroline Allen and her husband, Samuel, moved from Texas to Baker to teach at Drew School in 1949. In 1954, she transferred to Carver-Hill High School when Drew was closed. When schools were desegregated in Florida, Carver-Hill was closed and the students moved to the new Crestview High School in 1968. Caroline moved with them where she became head of the business department. She retired in 1979 after 30 years of teaching. Not slowing down after retiring, Caroline continued her community involvement. She was active in the Democratic Women, Friends of the Library, Crestview Chamber of Commerce, the Born: 1925, Belton, Texas Arts Council, NAACP, Eglin Air Force Base African Married: Samuel A. Allen, American Committee, the Board of Crestview Area 1946, Texas Development Corporation, and the Okaloosa County Library Focus Group, just to name a few. Education: Caroline was also the driving force behind the Undergraduate: Houstonestablishment of the Carver-Hill Museum and the Tollotson College, 1946 Carver-Hill Memorial and Historical Society and Graduate: University of West served as president of the board of directors. Florida Through her efforts, she successfully obtained Okaloosa educator for 30 a grant from the State of Florida to build a new building for the museum. years In 2001 Caroline’s community service was Retired: 1979 recognized when she was inducted into the Died: 2005, Texas Okaloosa County Women’s Hall of Fame. From left: Velma Conyers, James R.L. Conyers, Ed Hill, Sam Hayes, George Stakley, Evelyn Kelley


The pavilion goes up

Left: The Museum reached its $10,000 pavilion goal during the summer, thanks to generous donations from the community. Above and below: Because the Museum and park are part of Okaloosa County’s Parks Division, the county provided inmate manpower to build the pavilion in early October, beginning with planting the poles and tying them together. Top right: By the second week of work, the crew was putting on the roof, just in time for the annual Baker Heritage Day Festival the first week of November.


Left: During the 2019 Baker Heritage Day Festival, musical groups performed from a temporary pallet stage for the last time. A permanent stage is planned to be built in 2020. Lights, stage lighting and fans are also planned as part of continued construction. Andy Lollie and the Southern Grass was the first group to perform under the pavilion (left).


Introduction to Blacksmithing Classes by

Jan. 18, Feb. 15, March 21 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Heritage Park Instruction includes safety, best practices, hammer control, physics of moving metal, making nails and a hook to take home. Equipment will be provided. Cotton/natural fiber clothing, long pants, sturdy shoes/boots required. Long-sleeve shirt recommended. To register, call 850-974-1548.

Antique T-handle Bunghole Auger The Museum’s newest accession is a T-handle bunghole auger used to bore holes in wine or whiskey barrels. Holes were used to fill the barrels with anything that needed aging, then plugged with a bung or wooden plug. When the contents were ready to be enjoyed, the bungs were removed to allow the contents to drain from the barrel. The auger is on display in the Museum’s moonshine exhibit, appropriately leaning against an empty moonshine barrel. Donated by Mike Bush

Baker Arts Festival


Saturday, April 18, 2020 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Vendor Application $40 per 10’ x 10’ space $50 per 10’ x 10’ space with electricity Limit of 2 spaces per vendor • Spaces are assigned by the date the application is received. • Exhibitors must furnish tables, chairs, tents, covers and any other items required for their displays. • Exhibitors must be set up and in place by 8:30 a.m. and stay until 3 p.m. the day of the event. Name: ______________________________________________ Phone: ________________ Address: ___________________________________________________________________ City: __________________________________ State: ___________ Zip:_______________ Email: _____________________________________________________________________ Description of art or craft: ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Do you require electricity?



Children attending the event with parents must be under adult supervision at all times. Complete the form and return it no later than April 1 to: Baker Block Museum PO Box 186 Baker, FL 32531 For more information, please call the Baker Block Museum at 850-537-5714 or email at Sponsored by the North Okaloosa Historical Association, Inc. Baker Block Museum • 1307B Georgia Ave • Baker, Florida • 850-537-5715 •


Family Heritage

Wall of Honor Nomination Form Eligibility: Individual(s) who lived or worked in Okaloosa County Living or nominated posthumously Signature endorsement of at least one family member and one friend/acquaintance Full Name of Nominee(s): _______________________________________________________________ Town/Location: _____________________________________________________________

Nominator Name: ___________________________________________________________________ Address: _________________________________________________________________ Phone: ___________________________________________________________________ Email: ____________________________________________________________________ Requirements: Brief one-page maximum biography or story highlighting the positive contribution to, or enhancements of, the community, family life or traditions in Okaloosa County. 5x7 photo of nominee, black and white or color Donation of $30 per individual or $50 for a couple (e.g., Mr. & Mrs.) Check or money order payable to “Baker Block Museum” Donations are used to recognize nominees and to fund the program. Nominator or inductee to attend induction ceremony Submit in person or via email no later than April 30 at 3 p.m. Email: Mail: Baker Block Museum Family Heritage Wall of Honor P.O. Box 186 Baker, FL 32531


Family Heritage Wall of Honor Sample Biography

Full Name of Nominee(s): Mayme Tyner, 3/15/1906 - 11/05/ 2002, Laurel Hill, Florida Mayme Tyner was one of four children born to Mack and Effie Campbell Tyner, Laurel Hill, Florida. She was a life-long resident of Okaloosa County, living on the land of her forefather, Daniel Campbell. After passing the Florida Education written exam, Mayme began teaching school at age 14. Later she returned to school herself, finishing high school and college at Florida State University (then Florida State College for Women), finally receiving a master’s degree in education. Recalling her early childhood, Mayme talked about attending the annual four-month school which usually began the first Monday following the 4th of July. Prior to 1900, the school in the Laurel Hill area was a tworoom shack with an enrollment of 70 students and two teachers. The teacher usually lived with local families who had a spare room. Of her years teaching in the Okaloosa County school system she said, “It has been the rewarding experience of my life to attend the class reunions of my former students and to have them tell me of the effect I have had on their lives.” She added that all she ever wanted to do was to help build a better community. Mayme was also a rancher and was a registered real estate broker for some 20 years. The epitaph on her grave stone reads as follows: “I wait for green mornings to come again, my heart warm with friends I have made, students I have taught, and a daughter I have loved.”

____________________________________ __________________________________ _________________ Written by mailing address phone (

) I plan to be present at the induction ceremony; email ___________________________________________


Why become a member of the North Okaloosa Historical Association? Besides supporting the preservation of the history of Okaloosa County, membership in the NOHA has its benefits: »» »» »» »» »»

Membership card Quarterly newsletter 10% discount off books and calendars published by the NOHA Email notification of special events Invitation to the annual meeting in January

Lifetime members receive all of the above, PLUS: »» 20% discount off books and calendars published by the NOHA »» Recognition in the annual report »» 10% off nomination for any Family Heritage Wall of Honor submission

North Okaloosa Historical Association Board of Directors President — Tracy Curenton Vice President — Phyllis Enzor Secretary — Connie Dukes Treasurer — Sharry Rushtin Other members • • • • •

Mike Bush Judy Cadenhead Stephanie Holcombe Debra Nestor Vacant

Museum Executive Director — Ann Spann Bookkeeper — Ken Behring


North Okaloosa Historical Association Membership Form

Membership in the North Okaloosa Historical Association is open to anyone interested in preserving and documenting the history of Okaloosa County and its pioneering families. NOHA serves as the governing body for the Baker Block Museum. Member benefits include the quarterly newsletter, e-mail notification of special events, discounts in the Baker Mercantile store and an invitation to the annual meeting in January. Name: _____________________________________________________________________ Address: ___________________________________________________________________ City: __________________________ State and Zip Code: __________________________ Phone: ________________________ Email: _____________________________________

Type of membership (check one) q Individual $25 per year



$50 per year



$15 per year




____ I would like to volunteer at the Baker Block Museum ____ I have items I would like to donate to the Baker Block Museum ____ I have photographs that I will allow to be scanned for the Museum’s collection

Return this form with your contribution made payable to: North Okaloosa Historical Association Membership P.O. Box 186 Baker, FL 32531

The North Okaloosa Historical Association is a 501(c)(3) organization. Membership and any donations are tax deductible.


Create a Legacy Make a legacy gift to the Baker Block Museum How would you like to be remembered?

Legacy gifts are one of the most significant demonstrations of commitment to the community an individual can make. A legacy gift, deferred gift, or planned gift is one you decide upon now and that provides for your favorite nonprofit program later. You can leave a wonderful legacy to the Baker Block Museum by including the North Okaloosa Historical Association, Inc., in your estate planning. There are many tax advantages when you make a planned gift. We encourage you to consult with your attorney or financial planner for your specific circumstance. Bequests While there are a number of ways to build a legacy contribution, a charitable bequest is one of the easiest and most popular ways to leave a lasting impact on the Museum. You may designate our organization as the beneficiary of your assets by will, trust, or other instrument. Simply specify an amount, a percentage of your estate, or what remains of your estate to the North Okaloosa Historical Association, Inc., after you have provided for your children or other beneficiaries.

For more information on legacy gifts, contact the Baker Block Museum at 850-537-5714. The North Okaloosa Historical Association, Inc., is a non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization. Donations are tax deductible.


Calendar of Events January






1 2 3 4


1 2 3 4 5 6 7

5 6 7 8 9 10 11

2 3 4 5 6 7 8

8 9 10 11 12 13 14

12 13 14 15 16 17 18

9 10 11 12 13 14 15

15 16

19 20 21 22 23 24 25

16 17 18 19 20 21 22

22 23 24 25 26 27 27

26 27 28

23 24 25 26 27 28 29

29 30 31


29 30 31

Black History Month

New Year’s Day

18 3rd Saturday: Florida Artist Blacksmith Association classes, 10 a.m.3 p.m. • Museum open from 10 a.m-3:30 p.m.


17 18 19 20 21

8 Daylight Savings Time begins

Super Bowl Sunday 17 St. Patrick’s Day

14 Valentine’s Day 19 Spring Equinox 15 3rd Saturday: Florida Artist Blacksmith Association classes, 10 a.m.3 p.m.

• North Okaloosa Historical Association, Inc., annual meeting, 2 p.m.

• Museum open from 10 a.m-3:30 p.m.

20 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – federal holiday

17 President’s Day – federal holiday 20 North Okaloosa Historical Association Board meeting, 6 p.m. 25 Mardi Gras

Laurel Hill Arts & Heritage Festival Saturday, April 25 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. 8115 Fourth Street in the Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church yard Live local music, cottage foods, crafters, artists, historical and cultural displays

19 North Okaloosa Historical Association Board meeting, 6 p.m. 21 3rd Saturday: Florida Artist Blacksmith Association classes, 10 a.m.3 p.m. • Museum open from 10 a.m-3:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 18, 2020 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Heritage Park

at the corner of Highways 4 and 189 in Baker 850-537-5714 for more information

Experience Discover Connect

1307 Georgia Avenue, Baker

Baker Arts Festival