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BAGDAD VILLAGE HISTORIC DISTRICT

NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES    -    SANTA ROSA COUNTY, FL 

Historic Bagdad Village Museum 

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Historic Bagdad Village Museum

This 1874 structure formerly functioned as the New Providence Missionary Baptist Church, built by enslaved and newly freed members.  The church was located in the Woodville community where it also served as a school for African-American children in the early years.

The building is made of heart pine and is believed to be the oldest African-American church in existence in Santa Rosa County.  It was built during an important era in the history of African-American religion in Florida when African-American communities were beginning to establish themselves and function independently. 

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(Above)  Three story-panels are hung from the ceiling of the Museum depicting the history of Bagdad along a timeline.

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(Above)  The collection of preserved documents and artifacts in the Bagdad Village Museum tells the story of the Bagdad Lumber Mill and the daily lives of those who lived in the village.

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(Above)  Deacon Solomon Green III shares his ties to the Bagdad Lumber Mill where his grandfather, Solomon Green Sr., worked as a block setter.

In 1987, the congregation of New Providence Missionary Baptist Church replaced their church with a new building, donating the original historic structure to the Bagdad Village Preservation Association.

The building was moved to its present location on the corner of Bushnell and Church Street where it now serves as the Bagdad Village Museum.  It sits alongside a Shotgun style house known as the Milligan House which was also donated to the Museum and serves as an auxiliary building.  

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(Left; Above)  Each year, the Bagdad Village Museum hosts the fourth-graders from Bagdad Elementary School as part of their curriculum in learning about their community.

The Museum houses a wonderful collection of preserved documents and artifacts that tells the story of the Bagdad Lumber Mill and the daily lives of those who lived in the village.

Photos and artifacts from the area's turpentine and shipping industries are also on display representing the businesses that co-existed with the lumber industry.  Each of these industries benefited directly from the strategic location of Bagdad on the Blackwater River.

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(Above)  A variety of tins, cups, and aprons were used for the collection of pine sap to make turpentine.  The rich stands of long-leaf yellow pine in Northwest Florida were an ideal source for the naval stores industry.  Turpentine, resin, and pitch were used in the construction and maintenance of wooden naval vessels, and for making paint.

(Above)  This wonderful collection of hand tools and hardware were used in the ship-building industry. Knowledge and skills were passed from generation to generation, keeping this valuable trade alive.  

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(Above)  Local historian and author, Nathan A. Chesser displays his hand-made collection of artifacts during his lecture on the life, culture, and skills of the Muskogee Creek Nation in Northwest Florida.

To help raise funds for the Museum, the Bagdad Village Preservation Association sponsors several events during the year.  One of these is the monthly Bagdad Museum Lecture Series which features topics related to Bagdad and the surrounding area.

Another popular event is the Author's Luncheon Series.  This is a quarterly event featuring authors whose writings reflect local interests.  Visit the Events Page on this site to learn more about these and other events scheduled.

(Below)  John H. Appleyard has authored numerous historical novels and is one of the most beloved storytellers in Northwest Florida. Mr. Appleyard has a unique way of engaging the audience as he brings local history to life.

(Below)  Dr. Charles N. D'Asaro is a resident of Bagdad and the owner of the Thompson House.  Dr. D'Asaro continues to bring some of the most interesting artifacts to the Bagdad Museum Lecture Series as he lectures on various topics related to Bagdad and the surrounding area.  

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 Bagdad Village

Preservation Association

 

President   Michael Johnson

850-293-5349

Treasurer   Elaine Willis

850-623-3288

Formerly New Providence Missionary Baptist Church, the Bagdad Village Museum is constructed of Heart Pine lumber hauled from the old Bay Point Mill.  It was built by newly freed slaves and free black men in 1874, and served as a school for black children in the early years.  The building is believed to be the oldest Black Church in existence in Santa Rosa County.  It was built during a very important era in the history of Black religion in Florida. This was a time when Black communities were just beginning to establish themselves and function independently.  After replacing their church in 1987 with a new building, the congregation of New Providence Missionary Baptist Church donated the original historic structure to the Bagdad Village Preservation Association.  The building was moved to Church Street and now serves as the Bagdad Village Museum.  The Bagdad Village Museum complex is located on Main St at the corner of Bushnell St in Bagdad, FL, Santa Rosa County.
 

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