We keep going by the Blanche at least once a week and, generally, you might not be able to see the progress that they are making. When you look through the windows you see almost all the way through from front to back and side to side it has been demolished, so to speak, all the way through. It looks like even the upper floors have been taken down to the studs all the way through as well. We saw one truck loading down with 2×4 outside the gates so it looks like they will be framing in the rooms now. It is very exciting to see the progress and hope they get all of the outside work on the roof and windows done before the rainy season starts.
The main website for the company posts every so often to tell us the progress but it would be great if they can post more often. That may be just me, of course, and I realize that they are really busy and pictures of studded empty space may not really be all that exciting.
As far as my research I am up to October 1911. As I go along and record the information I am also researching the biographies of each of the hotel managers. That requires looking on other websites, gather more information, hope that there are more old newspapers online that are searchable. That is the big stumbling block in that there are not a lot of north Florida newspapers from that long ago that were copied onto to microfilm and then moved over online so that it is searchable for us researchers. As it stands now I will have to make a trip to the Jacksonville library a couple of times and down to the University of Florida library to fill out some of the research. As I go along I have been keeping notes on specific people and events to research. There is nothing I can do about those newspapers that have been destroyed over the years through disasters and just plain neglect. I mean the Suwannee County newspaper office have burned down a couple of times over the years. It is such a waste.
I will be offering the PDF files of the newspapers I have been copying off of microfilm (1902 to 1970) as I get done with them for other researchers. The donations from these, we hope, will go towards our advertising budget for the book as well as the publishing costs so that we can give copies to the local library, the renovation company to perhaps add to the reading room at the Blanche (That is if they put one back in) and the historical society here in Columbia County. It will take a while for these microfilms to get converted over to digital, if ever. And genealogists will find them very helpful with finding obituaries, birth announcements, and following people’s activities through the years such as names of school children when the graduate from year to year, awards that they have won, and the clubs and parties that people have attended. Of course, there is some information about crimes, court cases, and other items from the era that would help them in their research.
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