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News for Calhoun and Liberty County, FL
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Archive for the ‘Calhoun’

A look back at Blountstown High School

by Lisa Grice The original part of the building pictured above, identified as Blountstown High School, was constructed in 1904, and was a T-shaped frame building with four rooms. The front room and the steeple were added around four years later. This picture, from 1908, commemorates that addition. This school was located across the street […]

The John W. Callahan: 1907-1923

by Norman Krentzel The John W. Callahan , pictured above, was named for the owner of the Callahan Line. She was built in Apalachicola in 1907 using parts taken from an earlier vessel known as the Gertrude. She was 153 feet long by 34.6 feet wide. Captain Poley McDaniel, one of the last of the […]

The W.C. Bradley at Neal’s Landing in 1910

Pictured above is an old postcard featuring a photo of the W.C. Bradley as it passes Neal’s Landing in Calhoun County. The picture is thought to have been taken around 1910. The sternwheeler was commissioned in 1898 and worked the rivers until she sank at Aspalaga in 1919. The Bradley had cabins and a dining […]

Taking a spin in “The Chicken Killer”

Albert Cayson, father of retired Blountstown postmaster Gerald “Bug” Cayson, is pictured above back in 1905 when he went for spin with Dr. Elmore (at the wheel) in a car that quickly earned the dubious nickname of “The Chicken Killer.” Cayson said his father was about 25 years old when the photo was taken. At […]

Miss Chaffa returns to her family home

by Norman Krentzel Miss Chaffa returned to Ocheesee to reclaim her father’s property in 1895. After hiring an attorney, Francis C. Carter, she accomplished the task, recovering 2,700 acres, and refurbished the Gregory House built by Jason Gregory. “She made the surrounding lands and the house a place of beauty,” said Mrs. Sam Gay of […]

“Miss Chaffa” – An Extraordinary Woman

By Norman Krentzel Miss Chaffa returned to Ocheesee to reclaim her father’s property in 1895. After hiring an attorney, Francis C. Carter, she accomplished the task, recovering 2,700 acres, and refurbished the Gregory House. “She made the surrounding lands and the house a place of beauty,” said Mrs. Sam Gay of Altha in an interview […]

The late T. Drew Branch recounts his one and only steamboat adventure

by Joe and Monica Cook, from “River Song: A Journey Down the Chattahoochee and Apalachicola Rivers” Sumatra, Florida, sits on the east bank of the Apalachicola in the Apalachicola National Forest. It is a tiny community once kept busy by railroads, steamboats, and the production of lumber and turpentine. There we met T. Drew Branch, […]

Ocheesee Landing was once a busy place

by Norman Krentzel “If the water’s knee-deep with no snags, we can land,” the riverboat captains would yell at those on shore. And it was true ‑ the riverboats seldom drafted more than 18 inches of water, many of them less. The Apalachicola River was a mighty trade route through the Panhandle of Florida that […]

Engine #444 was the last steam locomotive on the M&B Railroad

Steam locomotive Number 444 was built in 1911 at the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia for the Brinson railroad. It was subsequently owned by Savannah & Albany Railroad Company. It operated as late as 1947 as a “stand-by” locomotive after the first M&B diesel locomotives had arrived. Engine #444 was the last of seven steam […]

Railroad had a vital role in Blountstown’s growth

Written in 1949 by Wallace Finlay Blountstown Railroad Company—Incorporated in June, 1908, the Marianna & Blountstown Railroad Company rolled its first train into this little town in September 1909. People came in from Calhoun’s swamps and pine barrens, from the Jackson County line all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, which at that time […]