Posts Tagged ‘Chipley’

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Well this is it, the last part of US 90 in the Panhandle. We’ll be going through Washington County, Jackson County and Gadsden County Counties. It’s a toss-up, but this is probably my favorite section of US 90.

We left off in Bonifay last time, so let’s start there. Going east, the landscape is pretty much the same as the last 30 miles or so. Trees, and a building here and there. There’s a bridge over Holmes Creek, too. In a few minutes you’ll be in Chipley, the county seat of Washington County.

There are 3 NRHPs in town, a small historic district and two buildings. But there are a plethora of listings from AGFHA. Easily enough to comprise a large historic district. I like the county courthouse, it’s one of those solid imposing ones. You can find out more about the area at the historical museum, when it’s open. It’s also a nice spot to leave your car and walk around downtown to see many of the old buildings.

Chipley is about halfway between Tallahassee and Pensacola, so it’s a good place to stay when you’re exploring this part of the state. My first excursion through the west end of the Panhandle in 2008 started here. Nice and reasonably priced hotels near I- 10, Waffle House if you want to eat inexpensive, Wal-Mart to get supplies and gas, you could do worse. (see Google map) (see Google map)

  • Calleway Building (S. 5th St. and S. Railroad Ave) (AGFHA)
  • Farrior Drug Store (S. 6th St. and S. Railroad Ave) (AGFHA)
  • Old Florida Bank Building (105 S. 5th St.) (AGFHA)
  • Porter Building (1368 North Railroad Avenue) (AGFHA)
  • J.R. McAferty House (100 Church Ave.) (AGFHA)
  • Chipley City Hall (672 Fifth Street) (NRHP)
  • Chipley Presbyterian Church (658 5th Street) (AGFHA)
  • Judge J.J. Jones Residence (644 5th St.) (AGFHA)
  • Woman’s Club of Chipley (607 Fifth Street) (NRHP)

Just south of I-10 is one of my favorite state parks. In fact, three of my favorites are near this stretch of US 90. All of them are unusual, with sights you don’t expect in Florida. Two of them are National Natural Landmarks. Falling Waters isn’t one of them, but it does have the tallest waterfall in the state. It might be the only waterfall in the state. It’s about 100 feet high. Mind you, it starts just above ground level and goes into a deep sinkhole. The source is a creek, too, and if it’s not rained in a while, there’s no waterfall. Contact the park to check out conditions. There’s more to the park than the waterfall, just so you know; walking paths and a picnic area and suchlike. (see Google map)

Further south are a few interesting spots. I like Moss Hill Church, a 100+ year old wooden church. And oh, the Possum monument in Wausau. Yee-ha. (see Google map)

If you’re coming from the north, you might pass the Welcome Center in Campbellton on US 231. I’m not sure why it’s there. Maybe because it’s a main road to get to Panama City? If you’re toodling along US 90, it’s rather out of the way. I’d like to see it, just out of curiosity. It’s the only welcome center left in Florida that’s not on an interstate. Well, there’s the one in the capitol building in Tallahassee. But I hardly count that, since it’s not close to the state line. (see Google map)

  • Welcome Center (5865 U.S. 231)

Cottondale is next on US 90, but I’ve only ever passed through. Nothing of outstanding historical significance there, that I know of.

Which can’t be said of the county seat of Jackson County, Marianna. It’s chockful of history. Also has the best historic district in the state. And we’ll explore that in the next post. See you on the road!

Route length: 35 miles

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The old Chipley City Hall is in downtown Chipley (no surprise), in the Panhandle. The Mediterranean Revival hall was built in 1924, and has also served as a public library. It now functions as the county Visitors Information Center and area Chamber of Commerce. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and included in “A Guide to Florida’s Historic Architecture”. See more photos here.

I have a fondness for Chipley. After moving back down to live with Mom in early ’06, I took my first Panhandle roadtrip in October. It was a few weeks early, but I considered it my birthday treat. I got my digital camera for Christmas, and the next year I took my next Panhandle trip, this time a few days after my birthday. I started it in Chipley. It’s a four hour drive from Ocala to Chipley, so I left at 4 AM on a Saturday to get there early. Saw the sunrise as I got to the I-10 exit for Chipley. Thanks to Google, I was discombobulated, but I found my way to the historic stuff I wanted to see, then worked my way back east.

In March 2008, I left work early the Thursday before Easter so I could spend the night in Chipley. It’s about halfway between Tallahassee and Pensacola, so it was a great starting point to amble my way through the hills and woods along U.S. 90 through the Easter weekend. I didn’t go back for my birthday that year, since that’s when Mom wasn’t feeling good and she was subsequently diagnosed with cancer.

The following year I didn’t do much roadtripping at all, since I wanted to spend as much time with Mom while she was still with us. She passed in early 2010, and by November I was ready for another Panhandle roadtrip. I took a couple of days off work and made it an extra long weekend. I of course went through Chipley.

Last year, of course, was the unemployment, and by November I didn’t feel like going anywhere. Now that I’m gainful again, I’m looking forward to making Panhandle birthdays a regular tradition. And I’m sure I”ll go through or stay in Chipley during the journey.

Well, that’s it, round one done. I’ve done a “Where is Florida” for every county. Guess it’s time for round two.

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