Choose Language
English
Español
In   Facts

50 Things You Probably Didn′t Know About Tallahassee

Become a Tally trivia master with this list.
  • Eric Mohrman
  • 57,955 views
  • 50 comments
  • Eric Mohrman
  • 57,955 views, 50 comments

1. “Tallahassee” is a Muskogean word approximately meaning “old fields.”

2. Tallahassee was founded in 1821 and it became Florida's capital city in 1824.

3. It was selected because it was roughly centered between Pensacola and St. Augustine, the capitals of West Florida and East Florida, two former Spanish colonies.

4. Tally came close to losing capital status in the 1960s with a push to move it to Orlando, which is considerably closer to major growth spots in the state like the Tampa Bay and Miami areas.

5. The city's second and current capitol building, built in 1977, is the third-tallest capitol building in the U.S. (after Washington, D.C. and Austin). It's 22 stories high.

6. If you go to the top floor, there's an art gallery and large windows all around providing panoramic views of the city.

50 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Tallahassee
Source: Flickr user Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program

7. While camped out in what's now Tallahassee in the winter of 1539, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and his group are believed to have been the first people to celebrate Christmas in the continental U.S.

8. Union forces captured every Confederate state capitol city east of the Mississippi River except for one during the Civil War: you guessed it—Tallahassee.

9. Florida's capital city is known today as a college town, but it's been that way for well over 150 years. In 1843, the Tallahassee Female Academy was founded and in 1854, The Florida Institute was founded. Two seminaries were also built in the early 1850s.

10. All these schools eventually became part of Florida State University, the city's largest college.

11. Tally is also home to the country's biggest historically black university by enrollment, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, AKA Florida A&M or FAMU.

50 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Tallahassee
Source: Flickr user Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

12. This is one of the hottest places in the state in the summer. It's one of the few Florida cities that hits temperatures over 100 from time to time.

13. However, it's also one of the coldest places in the state during the winter.

14. In 1899, Tallahassee temps hit -2 degrees during a historic blizzard. It's the only recorded instance of a below-zero reading in all of Florida.

15. The city's record snowfall accumulation is 2.8 inches on February 13, 1958.

16. On average, Tally gets a measurable quantity of snow once every 17 years.

17. The city, and Leon County as a whole, consistently has one of the highest voter turnout percentages in all of Florida's 67 counties.

18. For the general election in 2008, the county set a state record with an 86 percent turnout.

19. The Tallahassee Police Department is the third oldest in the nation. Founded in 1841, only the Philadelphia and Boston PDs predate it.

20. FSU's Doak Campbell Stadium holds 82,300 spectators. It's the biggest Atlantic Coast Conference football stadium.

50 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Tallahassee
Source: Wikimedia user Sirberus

21. It's also the country's biggest continuous brick structure.

22. The university also offers students the opportunity to tour the world as circus performers if they join the extracurricular FSU Flying High Circus.

23. FSU has a long history of student activism and is believed to be where streaking was invented.

24. The highest powered magnet laboratory on Earth is at FSU's National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

25. Its magnets can produce a magnetic field one million times more powerful than our planet's magnetic field.

26. Tally hosts one of the world's top equestrian eventing competitions. It's called the Red Hill Horse Trials.

27. It also hosts one of the largest, most attended festivals in the South, Springtime Tallahassee, which has been running annually since 1967.

28. The Tallahassee Automobile Museum has Abraham Lincoln's horse-drawn hearse on display.

50 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Tallahassee
Source: Tallahassee Automobile Museum via Facebook

29. The 68,000-acre St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, founded in 1931, is one of the nation's oldest wildlife refuges.

30. You can see the historic St. Marks Lighthouse there, which was completed in 1842.

31. In the early 20th century, the St. Marks railroad transported cotton and other products to the coast for shipping. The route's been paved and is now a 20.5-mile long nature trail.

32. The John G. Riley House, built in 1890, is the last remaining piece of history from the middle-class African American community that thrived in downtown Tallahassee at the beginning of the 20th century. Today, it's a museum.

33. The Tallahassee Automobile is home to the real Batmobiles from "Batman Forever" and "Batman Returns," as well as replicas of a number of other Batman-related vehicles.

50 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Tallahassee
Source: Flickr user Claire

34. It also has steam-powered cars and amphibious vehicles.

35. You can see Tallahassee's oldest resident—an approximately 10-foot tall mastodon skeleton named Herman—at The Museum of Florida History. He's over 12,000 years old.

36. Lichgate on High Road is a little-known fairy tale cottage and historic site open to the public. The land was bought by FSU literature professor Dr. Laura Pauline Jepsen in large part to protect a majestic, ancient live oak now known as the Lichgate Oak.

37. The Railroad Square Art Park district hosts the monthly First Friday gallery hop. About 2,000 people usually show up for the three-hour event.

38. Creed, one of the biggest bands of the late 1990s and early 2000s, was formed in Tally.

39. Singer-songwriter, rapper, producer, and actor T-Pain also comes from Tallahassee. In fact, that's what the “T” stands for.

50 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Tallahassee
Source: Flickr user Will Folsom

40. Wally Amos, founder of Famous Amos Cookies, was born and raised in Tally, too.

41. Ted Bundy was indicted in Tallahassee.

42. The Mission San Luis de Apalachee was one of the first Spanish missions in North America. It was built in 1633.

43. It was destroyed in 1704. Today, it's the state's only reconstructed Spanish mission and it operates as a museum.

44. Tally has Florida's most educated population. About half the residents have a bachelor's degree or higher.

45. Elizabeth Budd-Graham's final resting place is the most visited tomb in the City Cemetery. She died in 1889 at the age of 23, and her elaborate grave is marked by a very large, expensive tombstone that instantly attracts attention.

50 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Tallahassee
Source: Flickr user jlwelsh

46. Local lore claims that Elizabeth, better known as Bessie, was a witch. Hers is the only grave in the cemetery facing west and the tombstone bears an inscription quoting part of Edgar Allan Poe's poem “Lenore.”

47. Unlike most Florida cities, Tallahassee isn't generally associated with the beach. However, it's only 20 miles away from the Gulf of Mexico and several popular beaches are within a couple of hours' drive.

48. Though by no means mountainous, Tallahassee is one of the hillier spots in Florida. Its highest peak is a little over 200 feet above sea level.

49. The State of Florida employs more than 11 percent of Tally's population.

50. FSU is the city's second-largest employer, with almost 14,000 people on its payroll.

Feature Image Source: Flickr user Jet Shark Lambo

What's your favorite fun Tallahassee fact? Let us know in the comments below!

Who is Movoto Real Estate, you might ask? Movoto is an online real estate brokerage based in San Mateo, CA. Our blog has been recognized for its unique approach to city-based research by major news organizations around the world such as Forbes and CBS News.
Posted on: June 17, 2014
57,955 views, 50 comments
Do You Love Florida?
I have Florida pride oozing out of my ears.
Related Articles
If you can't understand what it's like to live in an old, underrated football city in...
Shawanda James
40
You're going to be really hungry after this.
Tena Moore
21
New Listings in Tallahassee
1148 Winfield Forest Dr, Tallahassee, FL
$217,300
  • 3 Beds
  • 2 Baths
  • 2,274 Sqft
  • 25 Days on Movoto
2724 Lucerne Dr, Tallahassee, FL
$140,980
  • 4 Beds
  • 2 Baths
  • 2,024 Sqft
  • 31 Days on Movoto
Facebook Discussions
New Listings in Tallahassee
1148 Winfield Forest Dr, Tallahassee, FL
$217,300
  • 3 Beds
  • 2 Baths
  • 2,274 Sqft
  • 25 Days on Movoto
2724 Lucerne Dr, Tallahassee, FL
$140,980
  • 4 Beds
  • 2 Baths
  • 2,024 Sqft
  • 31 Days on Movoto
Copyright © 2005 - 2014 Movoto LLC. All Rights Reserved.