Monday, December 10, 2012

Tallahassee, Day 2: Orman House, John Gorrie Museum, and St. George Island State Parks

State Parks visited: 60

Our second day in Tallahassee was a busy one!  We opted to drive south and visit a few parks in the Apalachicola area.  The first stop was The Orman House.  This home was built in 1838 by a businessman, Thomas Orman.  He led the area in cotton exports, among other ventures, and Apalachicola became the busiest port in the region because of him. 
Once we walked in, Ranger Beth came out to say hello.  She offered to show us around the house and answer questions, so of course we said yes. 

I really enjoyed our tour of the Orman House.  It was especially interesting learning about the family that owned it, how the house had been passed through several generations, and then how it fell into disrepair.  In fact, there used to be a horse that lived in the yard, and the last owners ran it as a bed and breakfast. 
On the property outside the house is a replica of the Three Soldiers Detail, dedicated to veterans of the Vietnam War.  If you visit the Orman House, please, take the time to visit the statue as well.
Once we left the Orman House, we drove a few blocks away to see the John Gorrie Museum.  I managed to take exactly 4 pictures of the outside before I dropped and broke our camera...which makes it the third or fourth time I've done that.  Ahem. 
Now, why should there be a museum dedicated to John Gorrie?  Well, let me ask you this:  Where are you from?  I am a Floridian, and our summers are hot and sticky.  Imagine working outside in the heat of summer, and then coming inside to an air conditioned room and drinking an ice cold beverage.  Totally refreshing, right?  You have John Gorrie to thank for that.  He was the father of modern refrigeration, and I personally think he should have a museum, national holiday, and maybe even a planet named after him.
My iPhone came to the rescue, and I was able to take pictures on our walk through the museum.  It's a really small building, and it's actually only partly dedicated to Dr. Gorrie.  The rest of it shows the history of Apalachicola, from cotton plantations to oystering.  The center of it all is a recreation of the first ice machine.  Dr. Gorrie worked on this machine as a way of cooling down patients afflicted with malaria and yellow fever.
Olivia loved playing with this ship's wheel, because the picture moved along with the wheel's movements.  Some other photos (please pardon the quality):
You might think those two parks were quite enough activity for one day, but we weren't ready to end the fun right then.  Nope, we actually drove over to St. George Island and paid a visit to the Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park.  Got all that?! 
I'm going to go ahead and apologize here because I lost some pictures in the shuffle between camera and iPhone.  So, I don't have the usual photos I usually post of the park entry sign!  Enjoy this picnic pavilion instead.
In fact, we enjoyed the picnic pavilion ourselves when we got there.  It wasn't crowded, and it provided a great place for our lunch.  Afterward we headed down to the water for a little relaxation. 
Our trip to this particular beach was only a few days after Tropical Storm Debby moved through North Florida.  It was quickly evident that the area was still feeling the effects of the storm.  See it?
There was a sign at the ranger station saying there was a lot of seaweed because of the storm,!  This line of seaweed, called a wrack line or beach wrack, had gotten a lot of complaints from some park guests, if you can believe it.  I mean, come on!  It's a natural thing, deal with it.  These park rangers have enough to deal with.
Of course, that being said, I was not a fan of the large dark masses moving through the water.  It creeped me out, and Olivia too, so we decided to spend our beach time doing other things.
Hunting for wildlife:
And building 'mommy and me' sand turtles:
The little bit of sightseeing we did showed us the highest dunes I think I've ever seen, and a walkway to nowhere:
Our visit to St. George Island was brief.  On the way out we drove through the campground, and then stopped by the ranger station to buy a patch.  It was a quiet end to a busy day, just what we needed before packing up and leaving for home the next day...after one more park, of course.



  1. Planet Gorrie, I love it!! Thanks for the look at St George. We'll be there in April. Hope the walkway goes to somewhere by then. Love your "passport books. Wish I had gotten one when we first started staying in the parks. I'd have lots of stamps by now but I have never seen the books.