ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Historic Sites of Apalachicola, Florida
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Historic Sites of Apalachicola, Florida
Apalachicola, Florida
Fishing boats line the docks in Apalachicola,
Florida. The charming and historic city has owed its
existence to Apalachicola Bay since its earliest days.
Apalachicola, Florida
The city's historic waterfront
looks out over Apalachicola
Bay and the mouth of the
Apalachicola River.
Orman House
Now a Florida historic state
park, the Orman House was
brought by sailing ship and
assembled in Florida in 1838.
Raney House
A beautiful antebellum home,
the Raney House looks out
over Market Street and is now
a museum.
Apalachicola, Florida - Historic Sites & Points of Interest
Florida's Historic City on the Bay
Cape St. George Lighthouse
Carefully restored after it was
demolished by a hurricane,
the lighthouse can now be
climbed by energetic visitors.
Copyright 2012 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Latest Update: July 20, 2012
Apalachicola is one of the most historic cities
in Florida. Located where the Apalachicola
River meets Apalachicola Bay, the city is a
noted destination for eco- and heritage

Even before the modern city was founded,
the area surrounding Apalachicola was an
important vortex of history. The bays, rivers
and islands were the haunts of William
Augustus Bowles, the famed adventurer and
pirate who tried to establish an empire
among the Florida Indians during the late

In 1814, British troops used Prospect Bluff,
about 30 miles upriver from Apalachicola, as
a base for operations against the United
States during the War of 1812. They built a
fort they called British Post there. When the
war ended and the British left, they left the fort
in the hands of their former Native American
and black allies. American officials began
calling it the "Negro Fort" and sent U.S.
forces to destroy it in 1816, killing 270 of its
occupants and sparking an international
incident. The site later became known as
Fort Gadsden and is preserved as a historic
site today.

A customs office was opened at the present
site of Apalachicola in 1821 and the town
was incorporated as West Point in 1827. The
name was changed to Apalachicola in 1831.
It almost instantly became the third busiest
port on the Gulf Coast.

Apalachicola River is the outlet for a
major expanse of Florida, Alabama and
Georgia and Apalachicola was the natural
export point for tens of thousands of bales of
cotton bound for factories in Europe or New
England. It thrived as a bustling port city
where paddlewheel steamboats transferred
shipments of cotton, turpentine and lumber
to ocean-going vessels.

Its social status grew with its commercial
success and Apalachicola attracted such
19th century luminaries as Dr. John Gorrie,
inventor of a mechanical refrigeration unit
that also made ice, and
Dr. Alvin Wentworth
Chapman, world-renowned botanist and
writer. Both are buried in the city and Gorrie is
the focus of the
John Gorrie Museum State
Park on 6th Street.

The decades before the War Between the
States also saw the early development of the
famed Apalachicola oyster industry, which
continues to thrive today. Confederate troops
occupied the city for one year, but it was
evacuated by them in 1862 and was left
"between the lines" until the end of the war.

Apalachicola continues to thrive today as a
center for tourism and fishing. It boasts
numerous historic homes and structures
and the adjacent bay and islands are among
the most beautiful on the Gulf Coast. From
quaint restaurants offering world famous
Apalachicola oysters, shrimp and other
seafood to beautiful inns, the city is a
remarkable destination. Its Seafood Festival
is the oldest coastal celebration in Florida.
John Gorrie Museum
The museum pays tribute to
Dr. John Gorrie, the Floridian
who was the first to invent an
artificial ice and refrigeration
To learn more about the historic sites and
points of interest in Apalachicola, please
follow the links below.
Please click here to
visit the city's official tourism site.
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Historic Cities of
Northwest Florida