Historic Melrose, Inc.


A brief history of Melrose:

Two years after Florida became a U.S. Territory (1821), surveyors described the area of Melrose as "an uninhabited wilderness, except (for) a few Indian villages." Their survey led to the historic Bellamy Road through our lakes region, linking St. Augustine and Tallahassee.

Still, the area remained isolated until 1877 when Melrose was platted and plans laid for a canal that would make it a waterport. The canal opened in 1881 and steamboats (the F.S. Lewis was the first) then began hauling passengers and freight across the lakes between Melrose Bay and the railroad in Waldo.

The newly accessible Melrose attracted not only settlers but winter visitors from the North, many of whom built fine homes. The local economy went from cotton farms to orange groves, hotels, and hospitality.

Melrose's "golden age", during the 1890's when many of its historic homes were built, largely ended about the turn of the century.

 




Historic Melrose, Inc. was organized in 1988 to preserve and rehabilitate area structures of historical and architectural significance.

HMI, with the aid of its membership and the community, sought and received a grant from the Florida Department of State to prepare a proposal to include Melrose on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1990, the Melrose Historic District, which includes some 72 sites, was placed on the National Register.

 



In addition to their work in getting Melrose listed on the National Register of Historical Places,
HMI has many other accomplishments, including:

  • Publishing the Melrose Architectural and Historical Survey by Murray D. Laurie
  • Maintaining Melrose Museum of photographic history
  • Co-sponsoring dedication of Melrose state historical marker on SR 26
  • Helping to prepare the Melrose tour guide
  • Producing an oral history videotape, "The Magic of Melrose"
  • Producing historical displays and donating historical materials to the Melrose Public Library
  • Conducting fall and spring activity meetings, and an annual meeting each winter
  • Providing community activities, including tours of local historic sites, displays of antiques and collectibles, and Melrose memorabilia
  • Acquisition of the Melrose Heritage Park

 




Historic Melrose, Inc.
Box 704
Melrose, FL 32666

 

If You Love Melrose, Join Us




 

Historic Melrose, Inc.

 

Mission Statement

 

 

Mission: To provide community support for the promotion and preservation of our cultural and historical heritage.

Objectives:

  • To promote our cultural and historic heritage.
  • To provide support for the preservation of our historical and cultural assets.
  • To provide input for Federal, State, and County level activities affecting our community.

Strategies:
  • To promote our cultural and historic heritage.
  • To acquire a site for the development of a Heritage Park which will serve as a History Center and Town Square - Accomplished
  • To provide input for Federal, State, and County level actions on historic sites.
  • To establish and maintain a museum and archives.
  • To provide exhibitions, public programs, performances, education programs, speaker's bureau and publications for interpreting the rich heritage, history and culture of Melrose, Florida and its environs.
  • To provide support for the preservation of our historical and cultural assets.
  • To collect and preserve materials (including photos, postcards, articles, and artifacts) which describe and illuminate our past.
  • To write articles, give talks and speeches, and publish brochures, booklets, and books on local history and culture.
  • To conduct classes for the community on various aspects of historic preservation and adaptive re-use.
  • To provide input for Federal, State, and County level activities affecting our community.
  • To stay abreast of all developments affecting our community
  • To make Federal, State, and local level authorities aware of local conditions and communitysentiment.