Historic Resource Survey 2019-2020

December 27, 2019 - In 2018, Nassau County submitted a Small Matching grant application to the Florida Division of Historical Resources to complete a Historic Resource Survey for the County. The County received the grant award in July 2019. The project began in Fall 2019 and will be completed by June 30, 2020.

The first goal of the survey project is to update existing Florida Master Site File forms. The Florida Master Site File is the state of Florida’s official inventory of historic and cultural resources. It does not have a regulatory component; it is simply a record of historic sites. Nassau County has many listings already on the Master Site File, that describe a range of historic and cultural resources. Archaeological sites, homes, commercial buildings, churches, barns, chicken houses, syrup sheds, bridges, railroad beds, and cemeteries are just an example of the diversity of historic resources already included on the Master Site File. However, many of these site file listings are thirty or forty years old. It is not known whether many of these sites still exist and an update will help determine what is still in existance.

The second portion of the survey project will be to survey areas for new additions to the Florida Master Site File. Areas of unincorporated Nassau County should be included, in addition to possible sites in the incorporated cities of Callahan and Hilliard. Sites for possible survey and inclusion are included but not limited to: underrepresented history sites, cultural landscapes, sites related to agriculture and transportation, and mid-century resources and sites related to early and mid-century tourism. Properties built in 1970 or earlier will be reviewed for the project, as the threshold for historic properties is 50 years.

The last part of the project will recommend preservation strategies for the County. These strategies will be utilized to inform planning efforts throughout Nassau County. The County does not currently have a historic preservation program. A baseline survey updating our historic resource information will help in bringing the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code up to date and inform future steps in preservation planning.

The County has contracted with Environmental Services Inc./Terracon to complete the survey work. Representatives from ESI/Terracon will be in the field in Nassau County completing field work over the next few months, including documentation of sites. This involves their team members photographing a site and recording information about the site, such as construction and architectural details. Information is shared with the State Division of Historical Resources. Requests for information require approval of the Division of Historical Resources and are granted only to researchers, local government, and others with a qualified reason for obtaining the information. All work is completed from the right-of-way and does not involve going on private property.

General information from the survey will be shared with local historic societies and museums. Education and outreach programs around the survey information will be conducted to generate interest and support for preservation projects in Nassau County.

For more information call (904) 530-6300 or email planninginfo@nassaucountyfl.com.