Let me begin by saying that Miss Lillian is very much alive. Several weeks ago she had a stroke and is still in rehabilitation in Tallahassee. Everywhere I go, people are hopefully asking about her progress. We miss her and wish her well. It is her absence from day-to-day life in Carrabelle that prompts me to write this.
Mrs. Lillian Smith has been a vital part of the Carrabelle community for over 80 years. She is one of the founding members of the Carrabelle Historical Society in 2004. She convinced the city commission to allow the Old City Hall building to be used for the Carrabelle History Museum in 2005. She has continued to be involved on a weekly basis with the growing of the museum to this day.
She is a most energetic, hardworking and persistent woman. She serves as a docent at the museum every Saturday afternoon, conducts original research and assists in getting information from various local and national sources. Her memory for names and dates is amazing. She has received awards for her commitment to keeping the history of our community and the seafood industry alive. She was invited by the State of Florida folklorist to speak at the Florida Folk Festival in 2010 and she staffed a display for the museum for the whole weekend.
When families have illness or death, she is the first person there with food. Every week she holds church services for the residents of the local nursing home. She organized a monthly dinner for all of the widows in town, often driving several to the event. She is also recognized by the whole town as a great baker. Her brownies are famous. She bakes several pans a day and blesses local families and businesses with them. She is an inspiration to us all and a role model for generations who follow her.
We miss her terribly since she had her stroke. She has left a vacuum in the community we are hard-pressed to fill. We are holding her spot to sit at the museum every Saturday afternoon until she returns.
If you would like to send Miss Lillian encouragement, her address is Seven Hills Rehabilitation Center, 3333 Capital Medical Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32308. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 850-524-1153.
Tamara B. Allen is director of the Carrabelle History Museum