2018 Florida Road Trip Part 8

30 Jan

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites



This morning I was at the National Museum of Naval Aviation there in Pensacola when the doors opened. I had been to this museum on previous trips, but knew they rotated their aircraft from time to time, and I wanted to see what they had on display at this time.  With 150+ beautifully restored aircraft dating from the early 1900s, I knew it was going to take me a while to do the whole museum.  I am constantly amazed at how this museum can get such a large number of aircraft in the space available, and the place not look crowded.  In most cases there is room between the aircraft to allow for good photos.  I would place this museum with some of the top “Must See” aviation museums in the country.



Just a short distance east of the Naval Museum, I visited the Pensacola Lighthouse & Museum located adjacent to Pensacola Bay.  This lighthouse was built in 1858 to replace the 1825 lighthouse, to give better navigation aid to ships within Pensacola Bay and outside Santa Rosa Island.  The museum displays artifacts of the history of the lighthouses that have served in this location dating from 1823 (See Wikipedia for many more interesting lighthouse details).



Now I headed another few miles east to visit Fort Barrancas located in the Gulf Islands National Seashore. This fort was built by the Spanish in 1839 directly across Pensacola Bay from Fort Pickens, on Santa Rosa Island, to protect the bay from water attack.  The fort is now part of the 860 acre Fort Barrancas Historical District, which is now actually located within the Pensacola Naval Air Station (See Wikipedia for many interesting details about the history of Fort Barrancas),



Next I headed northeast on I-110 & I-10 to visit the West Florida Railroad Museum located in Milton. This small museum is situated on the original 1882 Pensacola & Atlantic Railroad passenger depot site, that provided  L & N Railroad service to the area until 1973.  In addition to railroad memorabilia inside the depot, the museum has a restored  bridge tenders house, a section shed with motor car, and several restored pieces of rolling stock outside.



As I was heading toward my next museum, I saw a Historical Marker in the small town of Bagdad, and stopped to see what it was all about.  The marker informed me that in late 1864, during the Civil War, Union forces attacked the Confederate forces in the town of Bagdad, in what was later called the “Skirmish on the Blackwater.”  This activity took place in and around the Bagdad area, with the Union forces ultimately occupying the town and the Thompson House, shown in the photo below.



I continued northeast on I-10 & SR-4 to visit the Baker Block Museum located in the city of Baker. This museum turned out to be sort of a small indoor artifact and exhibit building next to a historic village, outside,  related to the history of early Florida panhandle living.  The village consists of a restored late 1800s post office, log cabin, corn crib, grist mill, blacksmith shop, and outhouse.



—-To Be Continued—–




Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.




One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

3 Responses to “2018 Florida Road Trip Part 8”

  1. divoran09 February 1, 2019 at 5:13 pm #



  2. GP Cox January 30, 2019 at 6:41 am #

    A lot of history stored in our state, of which many have no idea. They’re just here for the sun.


    • Onisha Ellis February 1, 2019 at 11:11 am #

      I am learning a lot about Florida from his posts. I feel some day trips coming on.


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