Noah’s Ark in Palatka (Ennis Davis, AICP)

The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation is the state’s nonprofit dedicated to protecting Florida’s extraordinary heritage and history. Founded in 1978, the Florida Trust has collaborated to save irreplaceable Florida treasures like the Historic Florida Capitol and is a statewide partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

In the Florida Trust’s 11 to Save Grant Fund’s initial cycle, the Putnam County Historical Society and Okahumpka Community Club were awarded $5,000 and $2,500 respectively.

Through their award, Putnam County Historical Society is undertaking an effort to restore the steamboat Noah’s Ark. Built in 1930, it represents an era when Putnam County was still the maritime hub of the South, one of the main cypress suppliers in the country and a great tourist attraction. Funds will be used to purchase all the ship’s logs, other historical documentation and artifacts.

“This extensive collection will be used for educational and research purposes as well as contribute information for the application for placement of the vessel on the National Register of Historic Places,” said Robbi Correa, the project’s designated contact. “We are grateful for this award from the Florida Trust to help us take steps to demonstrably share history all along the St. Johns River from Sanford to Jacksonville.”

Okahumpka Rosenwald School (Okahumpka Community Club)

Completed in 1930, the Okahumpka Rosenwald School is one of the few surviving structures remaining in nearly original form built through the Rosenwald Fund. With their newly awarded grant funding, Okahumpka Community Club aims to create educational and historical displays and programming for the restored historic school, in order to raise community awareness about the school’s historic significance.

“The Okahumpka Community Club, and the Okahumpka Community, are truly blessed and appreciative of the support that the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation has and continues to give to the small, underfunded and disappearing community of Okahumpka, Florida,” said Chip D’Amico, at-large board member and fundraising chairman of the Okahumpka Community Club. “This grant will help us set up part of our interpretive and historical displays inside the Okahumpka Rosenwald School once renovation is complete.”

The Florida Trust hope this focus will inspire others to give to the Fund, so awards can be granted to additional historic places in the future.

“We are delighted to tangibly help these important 11 to Save cultural resources,” said Jenny Wolfe, board president of the Florida Trust. “Thanks to the generosity of preservationists around the state we were able to directly assist nonprofits through the Fund for the first time. We are looking forward to offering a larger grant next year, so we welcome any support from people who wish to help save an 11 to Save location.”

Those who are interested in joining Florida Trust’s 11 to Save initiative and supporting their mission to promote the preservation and the inclusive sharing of the diverse architectural, historical and archaeological heritage of Florida can visit or on Twitter @FloridaTrustHP.