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The Jeanette and Charles Henderson Heritage Park

The Jeanette and Charles Henderson Heritage Park is located on the grounds of the Baker Block Museum and named for two North Okaloosa Historical Association, Inc., founders who where dedicated to making the Museum a reality. 

The centerpieces of the Park feature an 1860's one-room log cabin and an 1880's dog-trot style log cabin with porches and a covered walkway connecting the two.

 

The main cabin, built by William Flavis Helms, was donated by Danny Hall of Pace, Florida, a descendant of the Helmes and Hutto families.

 

The dog-trot cabin was donated to the Museum by Niceville resident Lillian Van Houten. Both cabins are original and were moved to the park from surrounding communities.

 

The cabins are furnished with period items that demonstrate what Florida pioneer life was like.

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The Park also contains the 1900 Otahite Post Office and General Store, moved to the park from its original location, a lost community in the Blackwater State Forest.

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A 1940s tool house from the Laurel Hill Jackson Veneer Mill sits next to the post office. The mill operated from 1948 to 1989.

Other pioneering buildings include a chicken house once belonging to area resident Mable Jean Morrison, a log corn crib from the Snowden family and log blacksmith shop that belonged to the Wilkinson family.

 

These buildings are used for exhibit space and educational programs during living history and special events.

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The newest addition to the park is a 30-foot by 40-foot covered pavilion. This was made possible through generous donations and a fundraising campaign. The pavilion is used throughout the year for special Museum events.

 

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The Heritage Park is home to the Museum’s annual Baker Arts Festival in the spring and the Baker Heritage Day Festival held on the 3rd Saturday in November. The park comes alive with artists, crafters and living history demonstrators during these events.