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A Capitol Chronicle


For all our trivia buffs out there … Did you know that three log cabins served as Florida’s first Capitol?

Florida was settled by the Spanish, the French and the British over the course of three centuries before becoming part of the United States 1819.  Once it became a U.S. territory, legislators transferred government from St. Augustine to Pensacola for alternating sessions.

Travel was hazardous and took upward of 20 days between the cities, according to the Florida Department of State’s website.

In 1824, legislators chose Tallahassee as the capital, in part because it was the midway point between the territory’s two main cities.  Three log cabins in Tallahassee served as the state’s first Capitol.

In 1826, a two-story masonry structure was built.  It was razed and a new brick structure was completed in 1845, as Florida became a state.

That building formed the core of the Old Capitol, which received a cupola in 1891, two new wings and a dome in 1902 and later additions in 1923, 1936 and 1947.

Florida state government moved to the current 22-story Capitol building in 1977.  At the time, some advocated demolishing the Old Capitol, but the landmark still stands adjacent to its replacement.  It was restored and reopened to the public in 1982.


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