Thank You to Our Friends at the Riley House!

The African-American photo identification event, held yesterday at the State Archives, was a great success. Several folks from the community helped us identify images of African-American life in Tallahassee from the 1950s and 1960s. Special thanks to Althemese Barnes and the John G. Riley House and Museum for helping to organize this important event!

Over one hundred images were identified. For example, we learned that future NFL star and Chicago Bears legend Willie “The Wisp” Galimore (far right) appears in this photo along with three still unidentified Florida A&M football players.

Willie "The Wisp" Galimore and three unidentified Florida A&M football players, Tallahassee, 1953

Willie “The Wisp” Galimore and three unidentified Florida A&M football players, Tallahassee, 1953

… And this photograph of Griffin Junior High School beauty queens, including Althemese Barnes (passenger seat), Founding Executive Director at the John G. Riley House & Museum.

Griffin Junior High School beauty queens: Pauline Houzell, Yvonne Cofield, and Ida Holloman (back row), Edwina Martin (driver), and Althemese Barnes (passenger seat), Tallahassee, 1957

Griffin Junior High School beauty queens: Pauline Houzell, Yvonne Cofield, and Ida Holloman (back row), Edwina Martin (driver), and Althemese Barnes (passenger seat), Tallahassee, 1957

Special Events at the John G. Riley Museum

In about 1890, John Gilmore Riley (1857-1954) built a family home near the Smokey Hollow neighborhood in Tallahassee. That structure, preserved and rehabilitated beginning in the 1970s through the hard work of several community organizations, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and home to the John G. Riley Museum.

John G. Riley, Tallahassee, ca. 1890

John G. Riley, Tallahassee, ca. 1890

Riley served as an educator for nearly 50 years, and as a leader in the African American community throughout his entire life. He took his first teaching job in Wakulla County in 1877 and later became principal of Lincoln Academy.

John G. Riley and Lincoln Academy students, Tallahassee, ca. 1900

John G. Riley and Lincoln Academy students, Tallahassee, ca. 1900

This week, the John G. Riley Museum opens a new visitor center to the public. Special events throughout the week (September 24 – September 28) celebrate the life and legacy of John G. Riley and the history of the Smokey Hollow community.