By using this site, you agree to its use of cookies as provided in our policy.

Historic Gorrie Square - Apalachicola, Florida, USA.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member veritas vita
N 29° 43.500 W 084° 59.122
16R E 694860 N 3290012
Quick Description: Historic Gorrie Square - Named in Honour of Dr John Gorrie, inventor of refrigeration. One of six Squares in the Historic District of the City of Apalachicola at the heart of Florida's forgotten Coast.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 1/7/2018 11:49:51 PM
Waymark Code: WMXFYT
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member the federation
Views: 4

Long Description:
Gorrie Square is one of the original city squares in Apalachicola. Located at the intersection of 6th Street and Avenue D the square was never developed as a typical city square – the local streets have always run directly through the center of the square.

Trinity Episcopal Church was built in 1838 facing the square. In 1900 local favorite son, Dr. John Gorrie, the inventor of the mechanical means for producing ice, was honored by the dedication of a monument to his achievement by the Southern Ice Exchange. The white bronze monument was located in the northern corner on what would become known as Gorrie Square.

In 1906 the steel water tower for Apalachicola’s first water system was erected at the center of Gorrie Square since it is one of the highest points in town. After supplying water to the town for 79 years, this tower collapsed during a hurricane in 1985.

In 1956 ground was broken on the southern corner of the square for a museum to John Gorrie. In addition Dr. Gorrie’s remains were transferred from Magnolia Cemetery to the eastern corner of the square. In November 1957, a grand opening and dedication of the Gorrie Museum was held during the Harbor Days festivities. Ironically the one thing the new museum did not have was an air conditioning system. This was not remedied until a year later when a donated air conditioning unit was installed in the building.

The final addition to Gorrie Square was the Apalachicola Municipal Library, which was constructed in 1963."

"Early Development Patterns Focused on Neighborhoods,
Apalachicola’s layout was organized in the 1830s by the Apalachicola Land Company. The original plan, patterned after the City of Philadelphia, featured a one-mile square grid with a large central square and smaller squares surrounding it. Each of the town’s squares were originally designed to serve as neighborhood communal areas - open and available for public use.

Apalachicola’s Squares are Key to the City’s Historic District
All six of Apalachicola’s historic squares (City, Chapman, Gorrie, Franklin, Madison and Washington) fall within the Apalachicola Historic District which contains a remarkable number of structures built during the town’s most prosperous times in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The major portion of the Historic District is residential with single-family dwellings predominating.

Generally, the residential area is oriented north-south along Fifth and Sixth Streets and has the highest concentration of pre-1860 buildings. The area west of Sixth Street along Bay Avenue and Avenues B, C, D and E, developed around the turn of the century. Several churches and public and parochial school buildings can be found here. Much of the commercial area along Market and Commerce Streets dates from the early decades of the twentieth century. The riverfront once featured dozens of three story brick warehouses, used as storage warehouses during the early 1800s to support the bustling river commerce trade.

Squares were Part of the Original Plan
Apalachicolas’s Historic squares are identified as Washington Square, Gorrie Square, Chapman Square, Franklin Square, Madison Square and City Square. Four of the squares are arrayed in a square around the center. The central square - Washington Square - is the largest, covering a four block area. City Square is Apalachicola’s sixth square, and it is uniquely set off from the organized plan of the other five.

Historically, buildings were oriented toward these squares on all sides, but over time, this feature of the city’s design was lost. Currently, only Trinity Episcopal Church at Gorrie Square upholds this part of the city’s original plan.

Although development patterns have altered the original design and use of the City’s squares, much of the integrity of these squares remain. It has been the expressed intent of City leaders, historic planners and preservation enthusiasts to preserve the squares as much as is possible.

Gorrie Square
Gorrie Square is one of the original six city squares in Apalachicola. The original name for the square was City Square as identified on the 1834 Apalachicola Land Company Map. The square name was changed in the early 1900s- to honor Dr. John Gorrie, the Apalachicola physician (1803-1855) who was an early pioneer in the invention of the artificial manufacture of ice, refrigeration, and air conditioning. Dr. Gorrie was granted the first U.S. Patent for mechanical refrigeration in 1851.

In 1906 a steel water tower for Apalachicola’s first water system was erected at the center of the square. The tower served the water needs of the City for 79 years until it collapsed during a hurricane in 1985.

Trinity Episcopal Church is one of several notable landmarks on Gorrie Square. In 1838, the white pine church building was cut to measure and assembled in sections in White Plains, New York and then traveled by schooner to Apalachicola where it was reassembled and completed in 1840. During the Civil War, the church served as a sanctuary to the citizens who remained in the city - the elderly, the wives and children of Confederate soldiers.

In 1899, Dr. Gorrie was honored for his invention of the ice machine with a monument to his achievement. The monument is located in the northern corner of the square.

In 1956 ground was broken on the southern corner of the square for a museum to Dr. Gorrie. The museum was completed and dedicated in 1957. It is presumed that is also when Dr. Gorrie’s remains were transferred from Magnolia Cemetery to Gorrie Square. His grave can be found in the eastern quadrant of the square - directly across 6th Street from the museum.

Today, the John Gorrie Museum State Park Museum, located at 46 6th Street, contains a replica of Dr. Gorrie’s ice machine and exhibits about the community."

Text Sources: (visit link) ** (visit link) ** (visit link)
Marker Number: 0

Date: Unknown

County: Franklin

Marker Type: Plaque

Sponsored or placed by: Visit Florida

Website: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
In your log, please say if you learned something new, and if you took any extra time to explore the area once you stopped at the historic marker waymark.

Please post a photo at the marker location.
Search for... Google Map
Google Maps
Bing Maps Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest Florida Historical Markers
Nearest Geocaches
Nearest Benchmarks
Nearest Hotels
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
Saxo-fun visited Historic Gorrie Square - Apalachicola, Florida, USA. 4/7/2018 Saxo-fun visited it
veritas vita visited Historic Gorrie Square - Apalachicola, Florida, USA. 1/15/2018 veritas vita visited it

View all visits/logs