August 2014 News And Events
Florida Heritage Travel is the companion monthly e-zine of FLORIDA BACKROADS TRAVEL.
HAVANA, FLORIDA: OLD SHADE TOBACCO TOWN IS NOW AN ANTIQUE MECCA
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/30349
The name of Havana evokes images of Cuba or perhaps a vibrant ethnic neighborhood in Miami. But there is a little Florida town of Havana way up in north Florida, 14 miles northwest of Tallahassee, that has its own claim to fame.
The railroad first came to this town in 1902, and it made the farming and shipping of tobacco very profitable. The town was incorporated in 1906, and the settlers chose Havana as the town name because the major crop in the area was shade tobacco, used as wrappers for fine cigars.
This area of north Florida and adjacent south Georgia was one of only two places in America ideal for growing shade tobacco; the other was the Connecticut river valley in Massachusetts and Connecticut. By the decade after World War Two, these two areas produced 95% of the country's shade tobacco.
By the 1960s, however, the shade tobacco markets had moved to Central America and other places. Havana, Florida was economically devastated. It's lonely streets baked in the hot Florida sun.
Things began to turn around for the town in 1983 when an antique dealer moved his shop from Tallahassee to Havana. He also leased shop space downtown to other antique dealers. Other antique shops and art galleries followed, and soon the small town became a magnet that drew antique and art lovers from Tallahasse and other areas in the southeast. It's a classic heartwarming tale of a town reinventing itself and rising from the ashes.
"PlantersExchange" by Tim Ross - Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PlantersExchange.JPG
Havana also has many beautiful old homes and gardens that go back to the town's earliest days. Some of them are on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Planters Exchange shown in the photo above. Havana is a great place to visit on a day trip or for for a long weekend.
RESTAURANT OF THE MONTH
Joanie's Gourmet Market and Fabulous Cafe
Joanie's is now closed. Mike and Abbey's is now there
102 W. 8th Ave. at NW 2nd St. (across from Planter’s Exchange)
Havana, Florida 32333
FLORIDA BACKROADS TRAVEL UPDATES
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August is hot and humid in Florida. This is the time of year we'd like to be up north with the snowbirds. At least restaurants are not as crowded. Air conditioners at home, office, restaurants and cars are cranking away all the time.
HERE ARE SOME INTERESTING FLORIDA EVENTS FOR
FLORIDA WINERIES. Check the Florida winery nearest you. Many of them have wonderful weekend events that include music and wine tastings. Our site has information on 18 wineries scattered across the state. We plan to add even more when we have time to visit them.
FLORIDA TOURIST ATTRACTIONS. We have an extensive list of Florida Tourist Attractions. Some of them are well known; other are a wonderful step back into Old Florida.
FLORIDA FESTIVALS. There are several outside events this time of year. Among these are outdoor art festivals and folk and bluegrass music festivals.
Almost anything you decide to do in Florida can be enhanced by spending some quality time at a great beach, and best beaches in Florida will guide you in the right direction.
FLORIDA MUSEUMS. Many Florida art and historical museums have scheduled events. Click on the links to find out what is going on.
FLORIDA THEATER. This is an active time for plays and musical events in our many Florida theaters.. Check the links to find out what might be interesting to you.
FLORIDA AUTHORS. Any time is a good time to read a book by a Florida author. Our most visited author page is now that of Randy Wayne White, the creator of adventurous marine biologist Doc Ford, followed closely by Tim Dorsey and his lovable hero, serial killer Serge Storms.
Here is a useful link that will tell you what is going on this month virtually everywhere in Florida.
FLORIDA FESTIVALS AND OTHER EVENTS FOR AUGUST 2014
Information on the towns and places hosting these events, or near them, including lodging, can be found at Florida Towns. We have also added a new page to the website called "Florida End of Road Towns" to help you plan a trip to those kinky places you always find at the end of the highway.
A few events are cancelled on very short notice. I do my best to ensure that our
information is correct and current, but I recommend you call before leaving for the event to make sure it's still on.
Thanks for subscribing to Florida Heritage Travel. We will see you next month with more updates and event information.