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Quincy, Florida and Homes Hidden Among History

Quincy, Florida is rich in history. Don’t fool yourself that Highway 90 is all that there is to this quaint southern town. Every front porch tells a story, every native octogenarian could write a book on the Quincy of yesteryear. Many a Coca-Cola was shared on these porches it is certain, as this is what made Quincy, Florida famous!

Located just 20 miles from Tallahassee, FL, via Highway 90 West, Quincy lies in the rolling hills of North Florida Quincy is the county seat for Gadsden County. Part of the woodlands run along the banks of the Ocholocknee river, Little River, and the greater Gadsden County, FL area borders reaches the shores of Lake Seminole and Lake Talquin State Park. Quincy is heavily dependent upon agriculture, farming tomatoes, tobacco, mushrooms, soybeans and other crops for its employment base. Quincy investors were largely responsible for the development of its local Coca-Cola company into a world wide conglomerate.

John Smith who migrated from Virginia put Gadsden county on the map when he ventured south and brought Virginia  and Cuban tobacco seeds to Quincy,which eventually blended and named the “Florida Wrapper.” Gadsden county became very prosperous, and a few folks still carry the names of their once wealthy relatives.

During the Civil War, the European markets were no longer available and very little tobacco was grown until Colonel Henry DuVal, President of the Florida Central and Peninsula Railroad began doing business with New York leaf dealers and manufacturers. Much of Gadsden county land was bought for growing tobacco and this continued until 1970 when tobacco companies came under fire and demand diminished. The last crop of shade grown cigar wrapper tobacco was grown in 1977. That’s two years before I was born!

Mr. Pat Munroe, a banker, father of 18 children from two wives, and W.C. Bradley were among the stockholders of three of the banks that released 500,000 shares of new Coca-Cola common stock. They urged widows and farmers to invest for $40 each and several did. Eventually that stock split, and made as many as 67 accounted for investors  and Gadsden county residents rich. To give you an idea of the stock’s value, a single share of Coca-Cola stock bought in 1919 for $40 would be worth $6.4 million today, if all dividends had been reinvested.

Florida’s Antebellum style homes and Florida cracker houses were a huge influence on home design back in the pre and post civil war days. Front porches overlooking one’s property were the gathering places for friends, family for doing business and for quiet enjoyment. There were few back porches, life seemed to be open, comfortable and welcoming.

After an open house event at Magnolia Forest in Quincy yesterday, I took a ride through the back roads, near the downtown Quincy area to photograph some of the beautiful front porches and scenery of these homes. If only they could talk,…


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