Secretary of State Ken Detzner today announced Historic Apalachicola Main Street as the Florida Main Street Program of the Month for February 2013. The selection for this award is based on the Apalachicola program’s involvement and active participation in the Florida Main Street Program.
“I am proud to recognize Historic Apalachicola as a Main Street program of the month for the organization’s commitment to historic preservation and economic development,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “Apalachicola’s success in the Main Street Program demonstrates how communities can generate great economic opportunities by promoting heritage tourism.”
Apalachicola is a small city located on northeast Florida’s gulf coast with a population of approximately 2,200. Recognized when President James Monroe appointed the first port collector in 1822, Apalachicola has long been a center for commerce, creativity and independent thinkers. The city was incorporated in 1831 and has evolved from a port city to a lumber town to a seafood center and now a heritage tourism destination.
Originally known as a trading post called Cottonton, Apalachicola was once the third busiest port in the Gulf of Mexico. The port brought wealth and a diverse population, building the foundation for a great city. The original blueprints for Apalachicola were modeled after Philadelphia and the resemblance is still there today. In 1831, the town received its current name in tribute to the Apalachicola Tribe. In the early 20th century, the sponge trade was a major industry in the town. Apalachicola, to this day, is deeply invested in Apalachicola Bay. A variety of seafood workers, including oyster harvesters and shrimpers, still reside in Apalachicola.
Apalachicola is a unique Florida town that has a feel of “Old Florida,” as a small coastal community. Although a rural area, its history has influenced Apalachicola’s rich culture. Being exposed to many world influences has shaped Apalachicola. Remnants of its colorful and diverse past remain very visible today through its many historic homes and buildings. There are more than 900 historic homes, buildings and sites in the city’s historic district.
Since its designation as a Main Street community in August 2011, Apalachicola has had 78 construction and rehabilitation projects totaling $1.43 million. Nine businesses have opened, creating 21 new jobs in the downtown area. Volunteers have donated 965 hours of their time to meetings and events.
To learn more about Historic Apalachicola Main Street, contact Paulette Moss at 850.272.5234.