Historic Pensacola Magazine Summer 2024

Page 8

Historic Pensacola



Preschoolers dive into a world of imagination with art and story time at the Pensacola Museum of Art

UWF Historic Trust extends its mission with DeFuniak Landmarks 17

Pensacola Children’s Museum exhibit invites kids to explore healthcare hands-on


Historic Pensacola Magazine

The Magazine of the UWF Historic Trust



Dr. Martha D. Saunders

Vice President, University Advancement

Howard J. Reddy

Historic Trust

Claire Stewart

Robert Overton Jr.

Wendi Davis

Executive Editor

Brittany Sherwood ’14

Managing Editor

Zachary Farrington ’14

Design Direction

Jennifer Peck ’08


Carly Richards

Photo Direction & Photography

Brian Butler

Conlan Taylor ’23

Joe Vinson ’23

Writers & Editors

Samantha Jeffries

Allison Morgan

Kay Tappan ’05

Stephanie Yancey ’96


Web historicpensacola.org

Email historictrust@uwf.edu

Phone 850.595.5985

Mail UWF Historic Trust, 120 Church St., Pensacola, FL 32502


Online uwf.edu/give

Historic Pensacola Magazine is published annually by the UWF Historic Trust and Institutional Communications. The purpose of the Historic Pensacola Magazine is to showcase Northwest Florida’s rich history and community activities.

“LOST PENSACOLA” showcases an exhibition featuring posters and artifacts that explore the city's lost and forgotten architecture.












17 13 21
this issue


The Executive Director

I am Rob Overton, executive director of the UWF Historic Trust and I am proud to welcome you to the inaugural issue of Historic Pensacola Magazine. No matter who you are or what your relationship is with Pensacola, we think you will find something interesting, thought-provoking or inspiring in the pages of this publication.

If you are a visitor to the area, we look forward to showing off the rich and layered history that Northwest Florida has to offer. If you are a Pensacola native, we hope this publication serves as a resource for you, providing new and fascinating information about the community you already know and love.

As an organization, we have been committed to collecting, preserving, interpreting and sharing the history of Northwest Florida since our inception. We hope this magazine gives you insight into the historic and modern-day inhabitants of Pensacola and illustrates why we love our special corner of the world so much.

Enjoy the magazine!



As the board chair of the UWF Historic Trust, I am passionate about creating experiences and enhancements to our city based on our captivating history and the people who came before us. This inaugural issue delves into the fascinating stories behind our modern-day lives in Northwest Florida.

In this issue, you will learn about some of Pensacola’s lost landmarks through Joe Vinson’s “Lost Pensacola” exhibit. You will also discover why a petrified cat is on view in the Pensacola Museum of History.

Within these pages, you’ll also find captivating narratives of individuals who tirelessly contribute to preserving Pensacola’s heritage, from local historians and teachers to dedicated supporters. Through their tireless efforts, we ensure that our history is interpreted and shared for generations to come.

We invite you to embark on this exciting journey with us as we explore the history of our beloved city. Together, we can continue to share the stories etched in Pensacola’s past, ensuring they shape a vibrant future for our community.

Recent news from the UWF Historic Trust


The UWF Historic Trust’s iconic Dorr House, a yellow Greek Revival that faces Seville Square, has recently undergone major renovations to preserve its architectural integrity while updating its infrastructure. Ross Pristera, a historic preservationist at the Historic Trust, applied for the state preservation grant to support the threepart renovation process and was awarded $45,000. The renovations consist of repairs to the building, preserving the windows and doors, painting the house, replacing shutters, adding wallpaper and cleaning the interior.

Letter from the Board Chair


Ten thousand square feet of mosaic tiles, created by internationally renowned ImpactPlan Art Productions, covered UWF Museum Plaza in historic downtown Pensacola during FooFoo Fest. The “Magic Carpet” was created with 48,000 translucent rectangles of different colors stitched together with wire filament. The eyecatching piece allowed visitors to experience Pensacola’s culture, art, music, performances and more.


At a city council meeting last fall, UWF Historic Trust addressed safety concerns for pedestrians in downtown Pensacola. The Historic Trust wants to upgrade a block of Zaragoza Street to make it safer for visitors who walk among the various museums. This $100,000 plan consists of narrowing the road in some places and installing a speed table to slow down traffic on the street.


Pensacola Museum of Art hosted the third annual Youth Arts Day, a free community event that gives children the opportunity to experience visual and performing arts through various activities. Local performances included the Pensacola Opera, Pensacola Children’s Chorus, Pensacola Little Theatre and Pensacola Symphony Orchestra. Families also participated in art activities, scavenger hunts and the Youth Art Focus exhibition.

UWF HISTORIC TRUST | 2024 4 Community News and Notes


During the annual FooFoo Fest, UWF Historic Trust took visitors on a trolley tour through Pensacola’s history. The tour included stops at each Pensacola Outdoor Project “POP:Murals” downtown with narration from history actors. Visitors enjoyed refreshments from local chefs and mixologists that paired with the theme of each mural along their tour.


The UWF Historic Trust and ParsCo Construction are working together to restore the Historic Sinclair gas station, located at 500 West Jackson Street in downtown Pensacola. The building, listed as the Motor Inn Number 2, has been officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The restoration will preserve some of the building’s original Spanish architecture, such as its plaster and window accents.


In early November, “makers” gathered at Museum Plaza to show what they’ve made and share what they’ve learned. Maker Faire is a venue for curious people, from engineers and artists to scientists and crafters, to share their hobbies, experiments and projects with the community.

courtesy of Pensacola News Journal/pnj.com
AMIR MICHAEL FOOLADI, president/ CEO of ParsCo Construction, talks about restoring the historic Sinclair gas station.


The annual Festival of Trees lit up the Museum of Commerce in Historic Pensacola Village. Local designers decorated the wreaths and trees featured in the holiday display. The festive greenery was available for purchase to benefit WSRE.


For more than 30 years, UWF Historic Trust has offered special and spooky Halloween programming, including a haunted walking tour. The 2023 tour, “Talking to the Dead: The Victorian Seance,” included material from the Pensacola Museum of History’s “Death and Mourning: The Finery of Loss” exhibit. The Arcadia Homestead in Milton featured a “Spirits of the Simpson” guided tour of the historic Simpson House.


In September 2023, the UWF Historic Trust opened their sites for free admission to visitors for the annual open house event. The day was highlighted by food trucks, local vendors, special programming, living history reenactors and hundreds of visitors enjoying the sites.




70th Anniversary Permanent Collection Exhibition

June 7 - September 29, 2024

“Cubed 2024” Through December 2024


“Death and Mourning: The Finery of Loss” Through August 2024

“A Port in Peril: Maritime Medicine in Pensacola” Through September 2024


In November 2023, site work to build a canopy over the historic lumber train at the Museum of Industry began. This canopy will protect the largest collection items at the Historic Trust, a 1904 Baldwin 2-4-2-T saddle tank engine, a T.R. Miller logging flatcar, and a 1921 L&N wooden cupola caboose.

Community News and Notes
Jules Chéret. “Folies-Bergère/La Loïe Fuller,” lithograph, 1893



If the heart of Pensacola is its downtown, a big part of what makes it beat is the Pensacola Museum of Art.

The first notable work of art at the PMA on South Jefferson Street is the Spanish Revival Style building itself. Originally constructed in 1906 as the City of Pensacola’s first permanent jail, the space was transformed into a community art center in 1954. Since that time, the historic building has served as the backdrop and permanent home for arts and culture exploration. Today, the PMA is part of the University of West Florida Historic Trust and is the central art institution serving Pensacola and the greater Northwest Florida community.

While the museum and its carefully cultivated exhibits are acclaimed by locals and visitors alike, less is widely known about the PMA’s permanent collection of contemporary art works from the 19th century to the present. Guided by the museum’s Permanent Collection Committee of community members, art scholars and experts, the collection’s almost 700 holdings continue to grow, allowing the museum to tell a more complete story of the history of art.

The permanent collection boasts pieces from celebrated artists including Andy Warhol, Salvador Dalí, Henri de ToulouseLautrec, Alfred Stieglitz, Walker Evans, Alexander Calder, Louise Nevelson, Vivian Maier, Pablo Picasso and Norman Rockwell. The creative works in the collection represent a variety of media and aesthetic expressions such as paintings, photographs, textiles, printmaking, and drawing. The museum also maintains a special collection of decorative European and American glass and African art.

Jules Chéret’s “Folies-Bergère/La Loïe Fuller” 1893 lithograph joined the PMA’s

Vivian Maier. “Self-Portrait,” silver gelatin print, 1961

Pablo Picasso. “Les Saltimbanques,” lithograph, 1958

permanent collection in 2018. Chéret rose to prominence in the late 19th century for his exuberant, colorful advertisements for Parisian cabarets and music halls such as the Moulin Rouge and the Folies Bergère. His posters often depicted women, called Chérettes, whose seductive, ebullient charm represented Paris as an escapist paradise. “Folies-Bergère/La Loïe Fuller” portrays Loïe Fuller, an American dancer best known for incorporating billowing silk costumes and dramatic colored lighting into her hypnotic modern dances.

PMA director Nicholas Croghan said Chéret masterfully emphasizes these aspects of Fuller’s craft to symbolize the decadence of the era and the excitement of her performances.

“Typically, that type of poster would be lining the fringe streets of Paris to advertise current shows,” he said. “They weren’t meant to be permanent artworks. That’s one of the reasons they became sought after as collectibles. Most were damaged or destroyed and no longer exist. So to get a piece like that in our permanent collection, and in the condition of ‘Folies-Bergère/ La Loïe Fuller,’ was like discovering an exceptional treasure.”

A limited number of works from the permanent collection are featured in the museum at any given time with conserva-

tion concerns as the driving force behind the manner and frequency with which they are displayed.

“Different materials have different levels of environmental sensitivity,” Croghan said. “Mediums such as photography or textiles are highly reactive to fluctuations in temperature, light exposure and humidity. Objects like glass and stone are not as prone to degradation from UV, pollution, or other environmental impacts. We follow scientific, museum guidelines and keep very precise storage and exhibit records for each piece.”

Croghan said the artists, subjects and mediums in the collection represent a wide range of ethnic, demographic and cultural backgrounds as diverse as the City of Five Flags herself.

“Our guiding principle is that this collection belongs to the people of Pensacola. It's their resource and legacy. The PMA is the steward charged with taking care of it and making sure it survives for generations to come. Our mission is to share these important works of art with all who live in and visit our city”



Pensacola’s rich history and past structures are being remembered through vintage-style poster display

Step into the Bowden Building and you’ll take a step back in time through Lost Pensacola, a display of nine poster designs about forgotten Pensacola landmarks and buildings shown in their prime.

Joe Vinson, a graphic designer and the associate director of digital media strategy in UWF’s Office of Institutional Communications, who has a penchant for Pensacola

history and vintage design, combined both interests to develop the passion project which served as his master’s degree in Public History capstone project.

“Each year, in our house, we had a vintage travel calendar, sometimes Works Progress Administration-style and travel posters from post-war Europe,” Vinson said. “I thought it would be cool to recreate these styles for Pensacola buildings.”

To begin the project, Vinson researched prominent Pensacola buildings that were destroyed. He tracked down as much information as he could find about these buildings, including many photos and descriptions found in the Historic Trust collections.

“If there was a newspaper article that gave me measurements of the building, such as 145 feet in this direction, 105 in that

Lost Pensacola
THE 24X32” SERIGRAPH of the San Carlos Hotel includes three screen-printed inks and authentic Art Deco typography.

SAMPLE OF FOUR POSTERS on page 11 from top to bottom: 1.) The namesake of Casino Beach, this building (which never allowed gambling) stood from 1931-1972. 2.) Sarah Bernhardt was one of the final performers at the Pensacola Opera House (1883-1920) on the east side of Plaza Ferdinand. 3.) “Pride of Pensacola” locomotive #1355 now marks the West Garden Street spot of the Frisco passenger depot (1929-1966). 4.) Mollie McCoy’s bordello on Fred Levin Way (ca. 1893-1966) was later the Waterfront Rescue Mission’s headquarters.

direction, it kind of gave me an idea of the building’s size,” Vinson said.

He imported the information he uncovered, including the measurements and photos of each building, into the 3D modeling program SketchUp. This allowed him to develop a mockup and create original perspectives of each building. When there was little information to be found, Vinson said he would do his best to recreate a scale model for the building.

“I was trying to be as accurate as possible to what the building looked like, knowing where the outline of the building was,” Vinson said.

Each model was then rendered onto a poster with a historical description and photos. Some of the historical subjects include the San Carlos Hotel, The Towers at Cordova Park, Mollie McCoy’s bordello, Abe’s 506 Club and the John Sunday House. Vinson’s favorite was the Pensacola Opera House, which stood from 1883 to 1920. Many famous people of the day, including African American speaker Booker T. Washington, spoke or performed at the theater.

“It was such a beautiful building,” Vinson said. “And Sarah Bernhardt, the renowned French stage actress, performed there during her final American tour. It also gave me a chance to do an Art Nouveau poster in Alphonse Mucha’s style.”

After Vinson completed the posters, he partnered with Jessie Cragg, curator of exhibits, to have the posters on display as an exhibit at Voices of Pensacola last year. The wealth of resources in the Historic Trust’s collections created an abundance of opportunity for the project. Cragg discovered historical artifacts to go with the posters and landmarks.

“The places Joe chose to represent in his posters fell in line nicely with our collection,” Cragg said. “We have a fair amount of material from the San Carlos Hotel, for

example. I was also able to borrow a few archaeological artifacts from the UWF Archaeology Institute that represented other areas Joe showed in his work, such as the red-light district.”

While the posters are no longer on display at Voices of Pensacola, the UWF Historic Trust purchased a full set of the completed posters, and they are now on permanent display in the administration office entry hall in the Bowden Building.

“We received wonderful feedback from the display,” Cragg said. “There were frequent calls asking if the posters were available to view, and we hosted an opening reception and talk which was well attended. We were also able to have a few of his items for sale in our museum store, and they were selling quite well which helped boost interest in the exhibit.”

Joe started his career at the Appleyard Agency in Pensacola, where he led marketing campaigns in print, video and interactive media for more than a decade. He credits agency founder and local historian John Appleyard for piquing his interest in history, especially Pensacola history.

“John had a very infectious way of talking about Pensacola history, and I got interested in a way that I hadn’t been before,” Vinson said.

Despite completing the capstone project and turning in the assignment before earning his master’s degree, Vinson would like to continue exploring lost landmarks in the region. He hopes to expand the project and reach into northern parts of the county as well as Santa Rosa County. The impact made through “Lost Pensacola” is not “lost” on Vinson.

“I hope people get a sense of the importance of historic preservation, and I hope it makes them want to learn more about the buildings and the time period that the posters depict,” Vinson said.

“I hope people get a sense of the importance of historic preservation, and I hope it makes them want to learn more about the buildings and the time period that the posters depict.”
—Joe Vinson, graphic designer, associate director of digital media strategy, UWF Office of Institutional Communications



On a Saturday morning in March, young children sit in a circle on primary-colored cushions in a corner of the Pensacola Museum of Art. They listen raptly as Stevie Thomas, West Florida Public Libraries youth services coordinator, reads “It’s Me!” by Eric Drachman. The group is surrounded by the current exhibition: bejeweled crowns and coronation gowns in bright satin as part of the Fiesta Pensacola 75th Anniversary Retrospective. The day’s theme is costumes.

Preschool Art and Story Time is a joint initiative with the West Florida Public Libraries to provide engaging educational opportunities for preschoolers and their parents once a month.

“You don’t see a lot of intersection between museums and libraries, and it seems

like a really unique and fun idea,” Thomas said. “Visual literacy is just as important as every other kind.”

During each session, Thomas reads selections from a few books related to the day’s theme and encourages movement and participation. Afterward, art educators Caitlin Rhea and Madison Murphy lead participants in a related art activity.

“Preschool Art and Story Time is a great opportunity for young children to explore the art museum while learning about various topics and delving into their imaginations,” said Rhea, who serves as the Museum’s curator of education and public programs. “As an added benefit, kids can practice their fine motor skills and dexterity, along with other important developmental skills through the art activities we create together.”

THE PENSACOLA MUSEUM OF ART offers a variety of programming for area youth.

PMA Education Classes
“Preschool Art and Story Time is a great opportunity for young children to explore the art museum while learning about various topics and delving into their imaginations.”
—Caitlin Rhea, PMA Art Educator

Themes often coincide with museum exhibitions or important holidays and cultural events. Because 2024 is the year of the dragon, Lunar New Year was featured as a recent theme. During the Pensacola Maker Faire, the focus was on STEAM.

“It’s more intimate, so I can do different types of stories with them that I cannot normally do when I have a crowd of 50,” Thomas said. “I can do more storytelling and one-on-one interaction.”

Between reading the two books, Thomas passes out wooden sticks, and the group sings “tap your sticks, one, two, three.” At one little girl’s request, they sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”

When Thomas concludes the second reading of the day, “Dress-Up Day” by Blanca Gomez, the children each select a scarf from a box that Thomas proffers. They sing a song about popcorn and throw the scarves in the

The PMA classroom is stocked with a broad range of art supplies.

air at the mention of the word “pop.” “We always do two or three books,” Thomas said. “Usually I have scarves and bring instruments for them to play with. We’ll do songs or stretches, so it’s a program. It’s about the books but it’s not.”

Murphy points out two crowns on display in acrylic boxes before leading the group to the art studio, where she instructs them on how to make crowns from paper plates.

“We try to use materials that people have access to at home, so they can recreate the activity if they want,” Murphy said. “I love that it’s a free program, so it’s accessible to anyone who wants to do it.”

Enna, 6, sits at a classroom table with a friend, concentrating as she creates a tiedyed inspired pattern on her paper plate while her mother, Rachel Hendrix, looks on.

“I like how they have the reading and theme together with the art,” Hendrix said.

Art instruction often includes activities that can be recreated at home.

Throughout the room, parents and adult chaperones sit beside their youngsters, industriously carrying out their children’s requests, making cuts here or passing the gem stones and glue.

Murphy said she enjoys watching the kids and their adults collaborate and communicate. “Sometimes adults will do their own project next to their kids.”

At another table, Shannon Carter helps her daughter, Alannah, 4, make cuts on her plate to create a crown effect. Meanwhile her husband, Zachary, mills about the exhibit cradling their infant daughter.

This is the first time the Carters have attended. “Alannah loves art and we’d heard a lot about this,” said Shannon Carter. “We figured we’d check it out for a nice Saturday with the whole family. We’ll be back for sure.”

Celebrate Pensacola’s successes by honoring its past through the


Created in 2019 by UWF Historic Trust board members, Pensacola Outdoor Project, or POP:Murals, is a community effort to display historically significant photographic murals throughout downtown Pensacola for residents and visitors of all ages to learn about the illustrious history of our great city. The ultimate goal of this project is to create a historic mural trail which acts as a new cultural tourism attraction in downtown Pensacola.

To see all of the murals and learn about the history of the project, visit HistoricPensacola.org/POPMurals



Historic Trust extends its mission with DeFuniak Landmarks

Awalk along historic Circle Drive in DeFuniak Springs is a walk back in time. Charming Victorian-era homes replete with turrets and gingerbread trim share the street with St. Agatha’s Episcopal, a Carpenter Gothic church, while the train depot recalls the height of the Chautauqua era. All of these structures bear witness to DeFuniak’s rich history, which will now be preserved and shared by the UWF Historic Trust.

The University of West Florida Historic Trust recently partnered with F. Diane Pickett, local author and founder of DeFuniak Landmarks, a nonprofit foundation established to preserve and protect the architectural integrity of homes within the historic districts of DeFuniak Springs.

DIANE PICKETT stands on the front porch of her historic home in DeFuniak Springs.

THE LOGO for DeFuniak Landmarks is inspired by the color and shape of Lake DeFuniak and the facade of the historic house.

Currently, DeFuniak Springs has very few codes or building laws to protect historic buildings. By educating citizens and lawmakers, the Historic Trust aims to raise the importance of preservation in the area, extending its important work into Walton County.

“I am passionate about DeFuniak Springs and the cultural significance of our beloved community,” Pickett said. “With rapid development, I don’t want to see the architectural integrity of our historic buildings fall to the wayside and our unique identity lost to time. I hope this partnership can provide education and resources that make our city leadership take notice and make historic preservation a priority in this community. By partnering with the UWF Historic Trust, I hope to see the legacy of DeFuniak shared with many generations to come.”

Under Pickett’s guidance, Landmarks has grown and flourished in the DeFuniak Springs area. Now, as the Trust takes over the reins, it hopes to improve the architectural preservation throughout the town and

highlight its connection to local history. The Trust will also be providing programming and education opportunities over the next year in the DeFuniak area.

Two endowments will be established through the donation of Pickett’s historic, Victorian-era house and two lots on Circle Drive in addition to other assets. The first endowment will establish the F. Diane Pickett 676 Circle Drive Endowment Fund which will fund the preservation and maintenance of historic homes in DeFuniak Springs. The second endowment, the F. Diane Pickett Historic Landmarks Endowment Fund or Pickett Fund, will be used to educate the public through presentations and programs in order to provide an understanding of the historic and cultural significance of homes and public buildings in DeFuniak Springs in the early 1900s.

Through engaging educational programs, hands-on workshops and community partnerships, DeFuniak Landmarks will empower individuals of all ages to become stewards of their local history. The UWF

DIANE’S LATEST BOOK “The Tea Wasn’t Always Sweet” is now available for purchase on Amazon. Proceeds from the sales of the book support the UWF Historic Trust.

Historic Trust will offer interactive walking tours and in-depth lectures by renowned historians. The community will have the opportunity to participate in workshops about traditional building techniques, restoration methods and historic preservation best practices. This endowment will also be used for archaeological studies, research and grants and loans.

“By preserving the architectural heritage of DeFuniak Springs, we safeguard not only the physical structures themselves, but also the memories, traditions and values that they embody,” said Rob Overton, UWF Historic Trust executive director. “We create a stronger sense of place, foster community pride and lay the foundation for a more sustainable future.”

Development Spotlight
UWF STAFF meet with Diane Pickett to discuss the new partnership.



Pensacola Museum of History boasts surprising stories behind some eye-opening collection pieces

THE MUSEUM has a 3D printed version and the actual cat. Both are on display, the 3D cat is placed ‘in the wall’ like it would have been found while the real one is carefully stored.

You don’t have to wait for Halloween for visions of ghosts, a coffin and a cat. At the Pensacola Museum of History, peculiar Pensacola pieces from places past are on display and turning heads.

Some of the items date back to more than 100 years ago. For over a century, a house in Pensacola held a sad secret. During construction in the 1830s, a cat be-

came trapped in the walls. Unable to free itself, the cat was not found until demolition in 1946.

The ‘petrified cat’ has delighted and disturbed visitors throughout the years. The cat is actually desiccated, or dehydrated. It spent years on display in a glass case, causing irreversible damage. This cat is a 3D printed replica made from laser scans, but the real cat is still in the museum.

Modern preservation techniques ensure its story remains alive.

And if the ghosts of cats past weren’t eccentric enough, meet Mr. Mac and his ghosts. Robert “Bert” MacIntire, who lived from 1878 to 1965, and his wife Roberta, who lived from 1891 to 1953, were local mediums who were well known for their ability to channel spirits. They practiced what is known as automatic writing,

Peculiar Pensacola

where Bert allowed spirits to produce drawings through him. Mr. Mac, as he was known, often recorded his conversations with spirits.

In the early 1920s, spirits supposedly directed Mr. Mac to manufacture “AntiPhymin,” a cure-all medicine. MacIntire’s version was a mixture of turpentine, pine oil, kerosene, white gas, hartshorn and camphor. By 1930, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture sued him and ordered him to cease selling the mixture due to its hazardous side effects. All of Mr. Mac’s diaries are part of the UWF Historic Trust Collection.

An intriguing story of an iron coffin still isn’t dead. The iron coffin on display at the museum was discovered three times over 30 years on Santa Rosa Island. It has many wondering if it was the same coffin each time. The Pensacola News Journal investigated, uncovering decades worth of stories about the thrice-found casket buried in the sand.

In 1908, R.H. Horlick and his band of treasure hunters discovered a coffin on the beach. Filled with excitement, the men pried open the lid only to have their “feverish joy and fond hopes turned to chagrin and disappointment.” Instead of finding gold coins and jewels, inside was

the preserved body of a military officer. Dismayed, the men reburied the casket and moved on.

In 1915, George Duncan, his Uncle Dallas, and cousin Finley witnessed a chilling scene while staying on Santa Rosa Island. In the dark of night, they saw a tall ship drop anchor just offshore. Men in a small boat brought a heavy object to the beach and buried it before departing. When daylight broke, Dallas, George and Finley explored the area. They discovered a coffin with a uniformed red-haired corpse inside. The three men quickly reburied it, and the tale became family legend.

In 1938, a group of boys “on the eter nal search for pirate treasure” stumbled across this casket half-buried on the beach. Their hopes for dubloons were quickly dashed when the find revealed an empty coffin. Instead of leaving it behind, the boys hauled it aboard their boat and brought it to Pensacola.

Historic Trust staff regularly rotate the collection off display to protect the lon gevity of the items as sitting out under lights for too long will cause irreversible damage. Most of these items, with the ex ception of the Medium Diaries, will be on display until early 2025.

BELOW: All of Mr. Mac’s diaries are part of the UWF Historic Trust Collection.

One of the most peculiar items in the Historic Trust collection is a petrified cat.

THE IRON COFFIN on display at the museum was discovered three times over 30 years on Santa Rosa Island.


Pensacola Children’s Museum exhibit brings young minds and hands to healthcare

The healthcare team at the Escambia County Medical Society Foundation Kid’s Clinic is abuzz with activity and ready to handle any emergency. What these mini-medical professionals lack in height, age and experience, they make up for in enthusiasm. Thanks to the interactive Kid’s Clinic exhibit at the Pensacola Children’s Museum, it all comes with a healthy dose of fun.

As children enter the exhibit, they are greeted by a bright and engaging space with interactive medical stations. Visitors are invited to put on white lab coats and select dolls to serve as patients. A colorful wall features hospital and emergency room facades and a child-sized ambulance is parked out front. Kids can load their patients in the back and use flashing lights and sirens to safely navigate the roads.

A CHILD takes care of “patient” dolls at the Pensacola Children’s Museum.

The next stop for many is the large CT scanner, while others go to the examination areas where they treat their patients with equipment and supplies found on the medical trolley. Throughout the exhibit are displays, puzzles and games about medical professions, the human body and items commonly found in healthcare settings.

“The Pensacola Children’s Museum specializes in spaces where children grow big ideas while learning through play,” said Ross Pristera, historic preservationist for the UWF Historic Trust. “The many interactives in the Kid’s Clinic exhibit allow children to become more comfortable around medical sights and sounds they might encounter in the real world.”

Seven-year-old Emmerson had a hard time narrowing down a single favorite thing in the exhibit. After first identifying the sink and table in the exam room area as her favorites, she reconsidered. “I like the microscopes,” she said. ”I looked in one once at my grandpa’s, but I didn’t really see much.”

Emmerson visited the Kid’s Clinic with her two-year-old sister Morgan and parents Cody and Katlynn Kopple. The family always makes a visit to the Pensacola Children’s Museum a must when they are vacationing in Pensacola.

“The museum’s exhibits expose kids to new interests at an early age,” Cody Kopple said. “I feel like it’s easier for them to learn and gain new insights if they are also having fun.”

Funding the permanent exhibit was a community effort, with nearly $100,000 provided by various local medical groups. Major donors included Escambia County Medical Society Foundation, which helped solicit donations and contributions, as well as Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart, Pensacola Pediatrics and Touchstone Medical Imaging.

“I am thrilled to see our organization’s commitment to fostering a positive healthcare experience for children come to life through this exhibit at the Pensacola Children’s Museum,” said Ellen W. McKnight, M.D., Escambia County Medical Society Foundation President. “By making medical appointments and the healthcare process more approachable and engaging, we hope to spark curiosity and interest in young minds, potentially igniting a lifelong passion for healthcare careers.”

The Pensacola Children's Museum offers two floors of hands-on learning fun geared for ages 10 and under. Other permanent exhibits include the “Discovery Gallery” featuring pint-sized historic houses; “Land and Sea: Wonders of the Gulf Coast” which lets kids explore the connection between animals, nature and humans; the “Publix Supermarket Interactive Exhibit” where children can shop for groceries or stock the shelves; and “Colonial Classroom” that invites visitors to explore what school was like over 100 years ago.

Historic Trust Site Feature
A YOUNG BOY puts his “patient” through an MRI machine.


Whether we connect with our supporters at Historic Trust celebrations or exhibits, these happenings provide an opportunity to show our appreciation of your continued support. Don’t miss out on upcoming events and exhibits. Visit historicpensacola.org for more information.

UWF President Martha D. Saunders joined Vice President for Advancement, Howard Reddy and Historic Trust Executive Director, Rob Overton to celebrate 98 years of WCOA on Real News with Rick Outzen.

More than 1,100 visitors attended Youth Arts Day in February to celebrate the arts community in Pensacola. Performers from the Pensacola Opera, Pensacola Children’s Chorus, Pensacola Little Theatre and Pensacola Symphony Orchestra performed at the event. Visitors also enjoyed hands-on art activities and a scavenger hunt.

The Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival celebrated its 51st year in Pensacola with thousands of visitors to downtown Pensacola. The festival is spread out through the Historic Trust site including Seville Square, Fountain Park and Museum Plaza.

On September 10, 2023, the UWF Historic Trust held its annual Open House event, opening all museums and sites for visitors to enjoy for free. The day was also highlighted with food trucks, local vendors, special programming, living history reenactors and thousands of visitors enjoying the site

Pensacola Museum

Art welcomed record crowds to its seventh annual Spooktacular event last year. This low sensory Halloween party welcomed visitors of all ages and abilities but is tailored specifically to children on the Autism spectrum.

The of
23 2024 | HISTORIC PENSACOLA MAGAZINE Historic Trust Events

Bootleg Ball 2024

Supporters of the UWF Historic Trust and Pensacola Museum of Art attended the Bootleg Ball: Jazz Joint party in January. Inspired by the jazz clubs of the 1920s, guests dressed in their snazziest attire and enjoyed jazz-inspired food, drinks and decor while supporting the nonprofit organization.

Join us for Bootleg Ball 2025


The UWF Historic Trust is thrilled to host another Bootleg Ball gala in support of the Historic Trust and Pensacola Museum of Art. 2025 will be our first 1950s themed event: Mad Martini Mixer.

Ladies, get your cinched-waist dresses and fascinators ready. Men, get out your porkpie hats and Cuban collared shirts. It's time to enter the world of the 1950s.

Grab your martini glass and come mingle with us–it will be a ball!

Tickets go on sale Fall 2024. Visit historicpensacola.org/bootlegball to learn more.

“With the presence of UWF downtown, everyone has the opportunity to learn about the past and its value.”

For Teri Levin, art and history are the heart of Pensacola, and Pensacola is a city that truly has it all.



Board Member, Pensacola Museum of Art and Historic Pensacola

Philanthropy Director and Brokerage Owner, Levin Rinke Realty

“When people come to Pensacola, they want what this city holds: history, quaintness, the opera, the symphony, the Pensacola Museum of Art,” Levin said. “We are the heartbeat of Northwest Florida.”

Levin has been a longtime board member of both the Pensacola Museum of Art and Historic Pensacola, driven by her desire to support art and downtown. Her son, Evan Levin, is a well known artist whose early projects included the painted pelicans that enliven downtown and the mural on the Jefferson Street parking garage. Aware of a vibrant younger generation of artists, Teri Levin became involved with the Pensacola Museum of Art with the goal of reimagining its image and bringing in fresh ideas and new artists.

One of Teri and Evan Levin’s many endeavors is Vinyl Music Hall, a venue boasting live music and entertainment downtown since 2009. Located on the first floor of the historic Masonic Lodge, the Levins were careful to maintain the building’s historic architectural integrity during renovations. “Music is art. Now we have something for everyone. It’s just wonderful to see the entire city come together with different forms of art,” Teri Levin said.

Equally important to Teri Levin is preserving and sharing Pensacola’s history.

“The history of Pensacola is so rich and diverse. With the presence of UWF downtown, everyone has the opportunity to learn about the past and its value. Learning about the history of Pensacola allows all of us to understand, honor and value our city and its future.”

Supporter Profile
TERI LEVIN sits in front of the POP:Mural at Vinyl Music Hall’s B Side outdoor venue in downtown Pensacola.

UWF Historic Trust

The UWF Historic Trust welcomes members to enjoy our museum complex in downtown Pensacola with our new unified membership program. Members receive free admission to Arcadia Mill Archaeological Site and Homestead, Historic Pensacola Village, the Pensacola Museum of Art, the Pensacola Children’s Museum, and the Pensacola

Museum of History; discounts on museum store purchases in all of our stores and invitations and communications tailored to their area of focus inside the Trust.

With 29 historic sites and museums across two counties, the UWF Historic Trust provides endless experiences and programming for our members.

Member Join today! Historic Pensacola Magazine
120 Church St. Pensacola, FL 32502 historicpensacola.com
HistoricPensacola.org Learn more and complete a membership form by visiting NONPROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE PAID PENSACOLA, FL PERMIT NO. 789

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