Saturday, April 20, 2013

Florida's First Confederate Monument - Your Help is Needed!!

Walton County Confederate Monumnet
A major effort is underway to restore Florida's first Confederate monument and help is needed to fund the repairs!

Located on the grounds of the Walton County Courthouse in DeFuniak Springs, the monument has paid tribute to Walton County's Confederate dead since 1871. It is carved from Alabama marble and originally was topped by an urn with a hand pointing to Heaven. The urn and hand are no longer there, but will be replaced with a new carving made from Georgia marble.

Monument in the 1960s
Florida State Archives, Florida Memory Collection
The total cost of the restoration is $3,500 and the Walton County Heritage Association has committed itself to the project and has contracted for the work.  The members need your help!

This is a rare opportunity to save an original Confederate monument.  In fact, it is an extremely rare opportunity to save Florida's very first Confederate monument.

When the Walton County's citizens erected the monument in 1871, just six years after the end of the War Between the States, they became the first residents of Florida to honor the state's fallen with a tangible memorial. The county seat of Walton County was then at Eucheeanna, about three miles southeast of DeFuniak Springs. It was relocated to DeFuniak Springs when the city became Walton County's third county seat.

The original courthouse at Eucheeanna, a community that was severely raided by Union troops on their way to the Battle of Marianna in 1864, no longer stands.

Walton County Confederate Monument
The monument, however, survives and is quite unique.  Not only was it Florida's first Confederate monument, having been erected during the darkest days of Reconstruction when carpetbaggers and scalawags controlled the state, it also has stood in front of two different courthouses in two different towns.

Please join me in supporting the effort to restore the Walton County Confederate Monument. Every dollar is welcome and whether you can donate $1 or $1,000, the good people of the Walton County Heritage Association will appreciate your help.

You can donate at the Walton County Heritage Museum (old L&N train depot) in DeFuniak Springs on Tuesday-Saturday afternoons from 1-4 p.m., or you can mail your donations to:

Walton County Heritage Association
1140 Circle Drive
DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435

Donate online at: (scroll down to the bottom of the page).