Tallahassee, Florida: The Old Fields with a New Face

Tallahassee, Florida: The Old Fields with a New Face

Tallahassee Florida has a unique distinction of its location in the panhandle. The geography has been an advantage throughout its history, enabling it to serve as a gateway for both the State of Florida and entrance into the other states. Tallahassee’s claim to fame is not just as the State Capital, but on their focus on higher education. It is the center for colleges, universities and scholastic endeavors. This is always blended with their intense love of their sports teams. As a center for college and university life, Tallahassee has some of the fiercest sports event competitions in the country. Football is one of the top games in Tallahasse, and very game is attended by overwhelming crowds with football scoreboards lit to join the excitement.

The original lands of Tallahassee were inhabited by a few of the Native American tribes. The Muskegean and Creek (later named Seminole) traveled widely through the Tallahassee area. The city’s name is thought to be a Muskegean word that translates into old fields. This may have related to the fact that the area had already been cleared when they arrived.

As with many areas in Florida, the Spanish had great influence over the settlements. Hernando de Soto is thought to have used the Tallahassee lands for transport of supplies to some of the other Spanish settlements. It is also the first location in the United States to have celebrated Christmas.

The expansion of the Spanish throughout the mission settlements in Florida made a sudden halt during the American Revolution. As part of a gift, the celebrated hero of the war, Marquis de Lafayette, was given a part of what is now Tallahassee, thereby beginning a new chapter for the town.

Tallahassee had its dark side in history as well. It played an integral part in the slave trade of the time, but was notably one of the few cities not actually involved in a Union capture during the Civil War days. It had made considerable profit in the cotton and tobacco industries, but that was another avenue that would make a direct shift in fate. The post war era did favor Tallahassee as it began a concentrated effort on the construction of educational facilities. The new industries of the area became cattle, lumber, citrus and the attraction of people from all over the world – for the wonderful weather. This was the beginning of the tourism trade of today.

The educational endeavors branched to include the appreciation of the natural beauty of the area. Tallahassee had one of the first research areas that worked with natural preserves for the study of the effect of the fires on the ecology. World War II brought many new industries and interests into the area and while there were discussions about changing the State Capital to Orlando, it never came to fruition.

As the city grew, the main concerns for expansion centered around two topics: the legislative and the educational needs. The area is highly influenced with not only the original Spanish and French, but with a multicultural attitude that often comes hand in hand with elevated educational levels.

Today’s Tallahassee is a veritable selection of diverse cultures. These can be seen by the choices in cuisine, restaurants, festivals and celebrations. The historic areas of Tallahassee are revitalized and the community enjoys an excellence in tourism as people arrive from all over the globe to bask in the climate. The array of sports games is almost unending, as the colleges and universities contribute some of the best players in the leagues. Alumni arrive from all over the globe for the football games and if do attend, you will see lively football scoreboards and stadiums filled with raving fans.


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