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 one-room 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.
The Park also contains the Otahite Post Office and General Store, moved to the park from its original location, a small, now lost, community along the Blackwater River in the Blackwater State Forest. Cutting and rafting timber was the principal industry. The Otahite Post Office opened May 20, 1880, and closed May 31, 1914.
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.
The park also contains 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.
The Heritage Park is home to the Museum’s annual 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.
The Pavilion is available for rental. Space rents for $100 for half a day and $200 for a full day. A reservation fee and clean-up fee are also required. See the rental agreement form for more information.