Florida Historical Marker Program

Marker Text Writing Tips

To limit revision of your suggested marker text, consider the following tips:

  • Marker text should answer the question "What's so special that deserves recognition?"

  • Provide the most relevant, interesting information you can.

  • Use the resource description and statement of significance as the basis of the proposed marker text.

  • Make sure the proposed marker text gives context to the resource.

  • Make sure text follows a logical, chronological sequence.

  • Avoid using long words. Marker text is limited to 1,235 characters in length, including letters, numbers, spaces and punctuation.

Marker Text Examples

The following are examples of approved marker text organized by resource type.

Building (e.g., commercial, educational, religious, residential)

  • ORMOND FIRE HOUSE

    The Ormond Fire House, the only Works Progress Administration (WPA) structure in Ormond Beach, was built in 1937. The eclectically-designed two-story building features elements of Mission and Spanish Colonial Revival style architecture and is constructed of brick with a coquina veneer. It was designed by Alan J. MacDonough whose WPA projects include the Holly Hill City Hall and the Daytona Beach Bandshell and Armory. McDonough also designed the Peabody Auditorium and the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, where the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) was founded. Construction of the Ormond Fire House began in 1935 using 52 local workers. It was used continuously as a firehouse and police station until 2006. The building was also used as a polling station, City Court, and a hurricane shelter. A wooden Civil Defense aircraft warning tower stood behind the building during World War II, as well as a city water tower from 1947-1971. The Ormond Fire House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a City of Ormond Beach Historic Landmark.

  • LEON HIGH SCHOOL

    The first Leon Academy opened in 1827, three years after Tallahassee's founding, and operated until the mid-1840s. In 1869, the Leon County Board of Public Instruction established separate schools for blacks and whites. In 1871, the county opened the Leon Academy as a public school for whites. The school was constructed for $7,000 in 1885 on Tennessee Street between Duval and Bronough Streets. On March 27, 1927, the Leon County Board of Public Instruction purchased 31.7 acres of the McDougal Pasture for $22,000. The next year the community approved the issuance of bonds to build a new high school, but a constitutional amendment change invalidated the vote. Following efforts by Mode L. Stone, Tallahassee's supervising principal of public schools, a 1935 bond referendum and a loan from the Emergency Administration of Public Works allowed construction to begin in 1936. Tampa architect M. Leo Elliott designed the school's Mediterranean Revival/Italian Renaissance style building with its low pitched hipped roofs covered by barrel tiles and wide eaves featuring decorative rafter tails. The school had 50 classrooms, a cafeteria, kitchen, library, and an auditorium. The new Leon High School was dedicated on May 28, 1937.

  • CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD

    The Church of the Good Shepherd (known as "The Chapel") was established in 1882 by the Right Reverend Henry Benjamin Whipple, the first Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of Minnesota, who wintered in Maitland because of poor health. Bishop Whipple envisioned his church as "...a place where the poorest man on earth may find here his Saviour's home." The property for the church was donated by Mr. C.H. Hall in 1875. The church's congregation formally began in 1879, when its members met in the parlor of Bishop Whipple's house across the street from the present church. The church was designed by architect Charles C. Haight of New York City, and was constructed in 1883 by builder James A. McGuire. The timber frame building is an excellent example of the Carpenter Gothic style, and has a rectangular nave, a belfry with a tall pyramidal roof, and unusual triangular battens in its board and batten exterior. The church's original 1884 stained glass windows were designed by Charles Booth in the Aesthetic Style, and are exceptional examples of this rare type of design in stained glass. The Church of the Good Shepherd was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.

  • THE RYCKMAN HOUSE

    One of the first homes in Melbourne Beach, the Ryckman House was built in 1890 for Jacob Fox by Captain Rufus W. Beaujean. Both men were original investors in the Melbourne Beach Company, later named the Melbourne Beach Improvement Company. The Ryckman House was built of native pine and cypress that was brought to Melbourne Beach on the vessel Frost Line. The two-story house originally had no electricity, and water came from the Improvement Company's free-flowing artesian well. Jacob Fox and his family spent several seasons living here, enjoying the Atlantic, hunting, fishing, and socializing with the town's few residents. Garrett E. Ryckman, a vintner from Brockton, N.Y., and a major shareholder in the original Melbourne Beach Company, acquired the house in 1908. The Ryckmans and their son Lawrence came to Melbourne Beach in 1908, followed by their daughter Ruth in 1910, after her graduation from Vassar College. Ruth Ryckman was an active member of the Melbourne Beach community, volunteering her services as a private nurse to the town for many years. She bequeathed the Ryckman House to the Town of Melbourne Beach upon her death in 1979 at the age of 89.

District (e.g., military, industrial, architectural)

  • DEL-IDA PARK HISTORIC DISTRICT

    Recorded in 1923, Del-Ida Park was one of Delray Beach's earliest planned neighborhoods. Del-Ida Park's unusual diagonal arrangement of streets, triangular lots, and public parks are unique when contrasted with the grid pattern layout of the remainder of the city. This imaginative street layout was designed to create a sense of space and maintain a park-like atmosphere. Architectural styles throughout the neighborhood reflect the popular culture of South Florida and the land boom and bust that occurred during the initial development of the 1920s through to the 1940s. Although dominated by the Mediterranean and Mission Revival styles, Minimal Traditional and Frame Vernacular styles are also prevalent and provide a predominantly one-story, low-scale streetscape. Additional development of the 1950s and 1960s provide prime examples of the Ranch and Contemporary styles typical of South Florida. Del-Ida Park lies between NE 4th and 8th Streets with North Swinton Avenue to the west and the Florida East Coast Railroad to the east. The City of Delray Beach locally designated the Del-Ida Park Historic District in 1988.

Site (e.g. archaeological, historic, cemetery, battlefield)

  • THE MOUNT ROYAL SITE

    Mount Royal has been a favored location for people to live for thousands of years. Archaeological sites include a Native American burial mound, earthworks, village area, and evidence of a British plantation, as well as the remains of a Spanish mission occupied by the Timucus Indians. British naturalist William Bartram visited Mount Royal in 1765-1766, and again in 1774. His description of the large mound, fields, earthen causeways and an artificial pond was published in 1791 and is one of the earliest accounts of an Indian mound in North America. Bartram's plan of the mound was later published in 1848 by newly formed Smithsonian Institution. Archaeologist Clarence B. Moore excavated the mounds in 1893 and 1894. Moore found human burials with hammered and embossed sheet copper ornaments, polished stone tools, pearl and shell beads, and decorated ceramic vessels. The copper ornaments are similar to those found at Mississippian sites in Georgia, Alabama and Oklahoma and date between 1000 and 1500 A.D. Archaeologist B. Calvin Jones' salvage excavations at the village site in 1983 and in 1994–1995, revealed evidence of six structures. These buildings contained Spanish artifacts and were probably part of the Mission of San Antonio de Anacape (1587-1675).

  • ARCADIA MILL

    The Arcadia Mill site was the first and largest water-powered industrial complex in antebellum Florida. Arcadia Mill originated in 1817 as part of a Spanish land grant of approximately 680 acres. The site's ironstone outcropping, a desirable mill seat, a sufficient source of water, and an abundant stand of virgin pine made it well-suited to the timber industry. Between 1828 and 1855, the Arcadia industrial complex developed into a multi-faceted operation that included a railroad, two water-powered sawmills, a bucket factory, shingle mill, textile mill, and an experimental silk cocoonery. In addition to its industrial facilities, the surrounding Arcadia community was an ethnically diverse settlement, populated by enslaved African-American laborers, Anglo-American workers, and an elite management class. In the late 1980s, efforts made by the Santa Rosa Historical Society and the University of West Florida helped to save a portion of the Arcadia Mill site from modern development. Through ongoing archaeological and historical research, many aspects of the site have been investigated including its dam, first sawmill, textile mill, and the residential areas of the Arcadia settlement.

  • HICKORY HILL CEMETERY OF WELAUNEE PLANTATION

    Hickory Hill Cemetery is the main burial ground for African-American families that lived and worked on Welaunee Plantation. Welaunee was established by Udo Fleischmann, a banker and sportsman and member of the Fleischmann baking goods manufacturing family from New York, and his wife Jeanne Kerr Fleischmann, who donated land for the cemetery. The Fleischmanns began leasing and purchasing former antebellum cotton plantation land in Leon County during the first two decades of the 20th century. Tenant farming was common in Leon County for more than half a century, but had collapsed by 1950 when many tenant farmers began to leave as land was sold or used for quail hunting. Hickory Hill Cemetery reflects the ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs, and settlement patterns of the black community of Welaunee Plantation, and includes grave markers dating from 1919 to 1947. For instance, Mason jars may sometimes be found at the graves of members of the Masonic Order. Other folk practices include graves marked with pieces of iron, a wagon axle, or a simple glass container. Hand-fashioned markers can be found on the western side of the cemetery.

Structure (e.g., bridge, railroad)

  • JEWFISH CREEK BRIDGE

    A swing span bridge once crossed Jewfish Creek just beyond this location. Early in the construction of Henry Flagler's Overseas Railway from the Mainland to Key West, Jewfish Creek was identified as a critical site along the route. In 1905, beginning at the Miami Terminal Docks, a supply line running south transported supplies from Biscayne Bay to Jewfish Creek. To complete the dredge and fill needed to build the railway between Homestead and the Keys, a pair of excavators started from Homestead and moved southwest towards Jewfish Creek, while another pair from Key Largo moved toward them in the opposite direction. By December 9, 1906, tracks from Homestead to Jewfish Creek were completed. The steel deck girder swing span bridge was assembled at the Miami Terminal Docks and was completed in December 1906. The bridge was shipped down the railway for installation at Jewfish Creek, and by early February 1907, it was fully operational. Several railway-related buildings were located at Jewfish Creek, including an agent's house, telegraph station, and laborers' houses. The swing bridge was replaced by a bascule bridge in 1944, which was replaced by the current bridge in 2008.

  • THE "LURAVILLE LOCOMOTIVE"

    Its specific identity lost to time and the Suwannee River, the Luraville Locomotive is one of the nation's oldest "iron horse" steam locomotives. Most likely built between 1850 and 1855, the oft-modified 10-ton, wood-burning American 4-4-0 steam locomotive played a role in Florida's early logging history. At one time the engine may have sported a cowcatcher and perhaps was used to pull passenger cars. It became a tram engine c.1890 and was used to haul logs for the Bache Brothers Lumber Company to its sawmill near Luraville, Suwannee County. The locomotive's working career ended sometime around 1900 when the engine sank to the bottom of the Suwannee River while being loaded onto a barge at or near the Live Oak & Gulf Railroad's Suwannee River terminus at Peek. In 1979, a team headed by Luraville resident James Lancaster hoisted the remains of the locomotive and two sets of iron wheels from the river bottom. The locomotive was subsequently purchased and presented to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for safekeeping and preservation. The partially restored engine now rests in front of a load of bald-cypress logs, a fitting monument to an important era in Florida's history.

Object (e.g., monument, statute, work of art)

  • MARION COUNTY CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL MARKER

    On May 1, 1908, the John J. Dickison Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) dedicated this monument to honor the Confederate dead. To erect the monument, the UDC collected $1,500 from its members, schoolchildren (donating pennies), and the general public. The namesake of the UDC chapter, Captain J. J. Dickison, was a Marion County resident who served as a captain in the Second Florida Cavalry during the Civil War. Confederate monuments such as this were erected throughout the South after the war. The granite-tiered monument was fabricated by the McNeel Marble Works of Marietta, Georgia, a nationally-recognized manufacturer of marble stonework and large funerary art and memorials in the early twentieth century. It stands 23 feet high and is topped by a carved marble Confederate soldier locally referred to as "Johnny Reb." Moved several times during its history due to expansions of the Marion County Courthouse, the monument found a permanent home at this location in 2010.