Historical Pictures of the Blanche Researching Through History Stories About The Blanche

Gearing Up for Interviews

We hope to begin interviewing people the 1st or 2nd week in March. We have a generic release form that we need each of our interviewees to sign and agree to be videoed. I have a very nice DSLR camera and tripod and a scanner/printer that we will be setting up in one of the meeting rooms at the Columbia County Library. We picked up the application for the meeting room last week and have to fill it out this week and turn it in. Hopefully, by then we will have received back confirmation from some of the people we hope to interview and will get some new pictures to share. So far, all we have been able to find is the one on the wall at the Historical Museum and those in the Florida Digital History website sponsored by the University of Florida. Did you know that the University of Florida started in Lake City? That’s right until some University Education Consolidation Act stated that there can only be so many state universities in each region and Gainesville won that contract.

We picked up a couple of books from the library to read as well.

Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel

Which is a fiction book written by a Lake City Florida native Linda Bennett Pennell. She has since moved to Texas and has written two other historical fiction books. We emailed her some questions about the book and she was nice enough to respond with some names of people we should interview. She used most of what she experienced herself and the stories her mother-in-law told her about the Blanche. She was always told the Al Capone, Johnny Cash and other celebrities stayed there on their way down south. We really need to find those old ledger books!

And the Florida’s Ghostly Legends and Haunted Folklore: Volume 2: North Florida and St. Augustine published by Pineapple Press and written by Greg Jenkins in 2005 in which Chapter 4 is devoted the the Haunted Hotel Blanche. Don’t know about haunted but we will have to look in the old newspapers for any references for people passing away in one of the rooms at the Blanche.

We found, “History of Columbia County, Florida” published in 1981 and written by Edward F. Keuchel at the Florida Gateway College (Formerly known at Lake City Community College) which was referenced by the original application.

Old Florida Memories:A Photo Retrospective of Greater Columbia County, Florida. published by the Lake City Reporter is also available at the Florida Gateway College. Some very nice pictures in that book.

There are a couple of other books listed but they are way before the time we are looking at one of them is only available at the Taylor County Library. So, I don’t think I will be driving 50 miles out of my way for that one. We will post more information about setting up interviews later. In the meantime, I have joined the group, “You know you’re from Lake City when…”, to see what kind of information I can gather and possibly get more interviewees. :->