History Research Library and Archives
In 2014, the Florida Chautauqua Association opened the Wallace Bruce History Research Library. The Library is located at our headquarters, 1290 Circle Drive, DeFuniak Springs, FL. This library is open to the public and free to use for research of the history of DeFuniak Springs, Lakeside Hospital and the Florida Chautauqua. We house information on local history and families associated with it.
To schedule use of our library resources, contact us through our email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call our office at 850-892-7613.
We house many items in our collection, including the String Bass of W. L. Carrico, who held the orchestra from 1904-1909. The instrument was donated to us by Mr Carrico's Grandchildren. This instrument has been restored to playable condition by a local artist Mr John Lohr, shown below with the instrument.
We welcome information on the history of Lakeside Hospital, the Florida Chautauqua, DeFuniak Springs, or local families. If you have photos, information, or items you would allow us to copy, or would like to donate to the archives, contact our History Department our History Department Director email@example.com.
Our Research library is named after Wallace Bruce, one of the founders of the Florida Chautauqua, and our longest president. Mr Bruce was well known throughout the Chautauqua movement, and from his first contact with representatives from DeFuniak to discuss the Florida Chautauqua supported the venture. Mr Bruce came to DeFuniak in 1885 during the first assembly and fell in love with our community. He built a home here in 1885 known as Dream Cottage and would live here for the months surrounding the Florida Chautauqua Assembly. He formed a group of investors or bought out the old stockholders for the Florida Chautauqua in 1888, becoming President of the Assocation at that time. He took a break from being president of the Assocation from 1889-1893 while serving as the Consul General in Edinburgh Scotland. While there Mr Bruce would erect the statue of President Lincoln at the cemetary in Edinburgh in honor of the Scottish soldiers who fought for the Union during the American Civil War. Mr Bruce would serve the Florida Chautauqua until his death in 1914. Mr Bruce and family are buried at Magnolia Cemetary located here in DeFuniak Springs.