A Brief History of State Ownership
On March 1, 1985, former Governor LeRoy Collins and his wife Mary Call Darby Collins conveyed in fee simple to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the State of Florida 10.33 acres of land located in Tallahassee, Leon County, including the Call/Collins House, commonly known as "The Grove." The conveyance expressly imposed several restrictions on the property specifically articulating its use as a museum of Florida history honoring and memorializing Richard Keith Call, Florida's last Territorial Governor, other Territorial governors of Florida, and those who have preserved, maintained and restored The Grove to its present condition.
In 1997 the Florida Legislature enacted Florida Statute 267.075 codifying the use of The Grove as a house museum of history emphasizing the lives and accomplishments of the Richard Keith Call, and LeRoy Collins, Florida's 33rd Governor. Additionally, section 267.075(4)(a), Fla. Stat. requires the Department of State's Division of Historical Resources to maintain the structure, style, character, and landscaping of The Grove, its grounds and private cemetery consistent with the character and design of The Grove at the time the state takes physical possession of the Grove from Mary Call Darby Collins.
Pursuant to a subsequent lease agreement, the state took physical possession of The Grove upon the death of Mrs. Collins on November 29, 2009.
Accordingly, The Grove's association with the growth of political society in the period before the Civil War gives the structure historical importance. It is the best example of a neo-classical residence surviving in Tallahassee and probably in Florida. The house has continuously remained in the hands of various descendants of Governor Call and has twice served as the Governor's Mansion. Because of its early date of construction, its historical association, its substantial size, its structural fabric and its remarkable architectural integrity, The Grove is one of Florida's most significant buildings. This fact has been recognized since 1972, when The Grove was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.