Forgotten Coast Community Calendar

EVENT FULL: Birth of Carrabelle: History Program

We reached the maximum capacity of this program. We can no longer accept new reservations. We are going to do our best to live stream this program on Facebook as well so that additional people can participate.
Guests are also welcome to visit the Carrabelle History Museum and see the exhibit and learn about the founding of Carrabelle. Private tours can also be arranged by reservation on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays from 3-5 pm. Call the museum at 850-697-2141. Donation requested.


The Carrabelle History Museum invites you to a fascinating history program entitled, “The Birth of Carrabelle”. Learn about the Founding Fathers of Carrabelle including Oliver Hudson Kelley. Hear from the man himself about what life was like in Carrabelle around the late 1800s. This program will be held Saturday, February 27, 2021, at 10 am-12 pm in the upstairs room at C-Quarters Marina, 501 St. James Ave (Hwy 98), Carrabelle, FL. Due to COVID precautions, seating is limited. There is no charge but RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.

A community known as “Rio Carrabella” was formed in 1877 when Oliver Hudson Kelley set up a tent on the east side of the river in Carrabelle, moved in his wife and daughters then declared himself the mayor. He began immediately to organize the community. Kelley plus 18 other local residents signed a petition to incorporate Carrabelle and sent it to the county. The incorporation of Carrabelle was approved and officially recorded on Christmas Eve in 1881 by Franklin County, so on that date Carrabelle officially became a town with its present name.

Oliver Hudson Kelley was an entrepreneur and developer from Minnesota who came to Franklin County in 1870s. He found St. James Island ripe with potential for development, with its virgin forest, natural deep water river and easy access to the Gulf through East Pass between Dog Island and St. George Island. He had money and land was cheap.

The other founding fathers were a diverse group. Several were Yankees with money, mostly experienced lumbermen who were acquainted with Kelley. Three of the town founders were black men who were emancipated slaves from Wakulla County. The founders were father-son duos, brothers, cousins, friends, former slaves and slave owners. Come hear their stories!

The History Speaker Series programs are popular and due to COVID precautions, seating will be limited. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED BY EMAILING CARRABELLEHISTORYMUSEUM@GMAIL.COM. Seats will be spaced to allow for social distancing. Attendees are asked to follow all health guidelines to help keep themselves safe including social distancing and sanitizing hands frequently. Hand sanitizer will be available. Masks are required. For more information, contact 850-697-2141 or Funded in part by the Franklin County Tourist Development Council.

(Please note: This event has been rescheduled from Jan 30 to Feb 27 due to COVID concerns.)

Date and and Time : February 27, 2021 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (ET)
Location : C-Quarters Marina, 501 St. James Ave, Carrabelle, FL
Category: community event
Contact : Carrabelle History Museum
Contact email :
Sponsor : Carrabelle Hisory Museum
Last Modified : February 12, 2021
Community Event from Carrabelle Cares
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