For Immediate Release
Friday, April 29, 2022
Contact: Mallory Morgan
Secretary Lee Encourages Floridians to Celebrate National Historic Preservation Month 2022
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee encourages Floridians to celebrate National Historic Preservation Month during the month of May with statewide events and programs. National Historic Preservation Month recognizes the importance of preserving historic resources and their significance to local communities. As part of this year’s “Caring for Historic Cemeteries” theme, the Division of Historical Resources (DHR) is partnering with the Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) to encourage Floridians to help locate and document historic cemeteries across the state. The goal of this initiative is to gather and maintain the most comprehensive information about historic cemeteries in Florida.
“This year during Historic Preservation Month, we encourage all Floridians to learn more about cemetery preservation activities in their local communities and to join the statewide effort to help record the locations of Florida’s historic cemeteries,” said Secretary Lee. Through our partnership with the Florida Public Archaeology Network, and with the help of local citizens, we hope to document historic cemeteries and other resources to better inform local planning efforts and encourage avoidance of historic cemeteries in future development, lessening the chance of inadvertent discoveries.”
Currently, more than 237,000 cultural and historical sites are recorded in the Florida Master Site File, but only about 1,700 are cemeteries. Conservative estimates indicate that there are 5,000 to 7,000 historic cemeteries in the state that are over 50 years of age. This means that approximately three-quarters of the historic cemeteries in Florida have not been recorded. Floridians can visit FPAN.us/hci to access the online form and submit cemetery locations. Any information citizens can provide will be useful in these efforts. Submissions may remain anonymous if they do not want to be identified or contacted. Youth are encouraged to work with older family members on this project, as some cemetery locations may only be known through the memories of our elders.
"The Florida Public Archaeology Network is excited to partner with the Division of Historical Resources and the people of Florida to ensure our historic cemeteries are recorded," said Dr Della Scott-Ireton, FPAN Associate Director. "These sites are important places of memory, commemoration, and honor for the Floridians who came before us. Documenting their existence and location will help to ensure historic cemeteries are protected long into the future. We hope everyone will help!"
National Historic Preservation Month is a campaign led by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. DHR is utilizing this platform as an opportunity to showcase ways in which the division works year-round to promote and protect Florida’s historic places, including cemeteries. Historic preservation improves our quality of life and contributes to our understanding of each other and the diverse heritage of our state. Preservation of historic sites and properties also benefits Florida’s economy, drawing locals and visitors to support their favorite local venues and historic places.
A calendar of events and programs taking place during Historic Preservation Month is available on the DHR Historic Preservation Month webpage: flheritage.com/preservationmonth.
For more information about National Historic Preservation Month or about the National Trust for Historic Preservation, visit: https://savingplaces.org/.
About the Division of Historical Resources
The Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources (DHR) is responsible for preserving and promoting Florida’s historical and archaeological resources. The Division Director’s office oversees a grants-in-aid program to help preserve and maintain Florida’s historic buildings and archaeological sites, and coordinates outreach programs such as State Historic Markers. DHR directs historic preservation efforts throughout Florida in cooperation with state and federal agencies, local governments, private organizations, and individuals. The Division director serves as the State Historic Preservation Officer, acting as the liaison with the national historic preservation program conducted by the National Park Service. The Division is comprised of three Bureaus, archaeological research, historic preservation, and historical museums. For more information, visit: flheritage.com.