Cascades Park - History
A 24-acre classroom, Cascades Park is the perfect place to learn all about Tallahassee's early years. From the founding of Tallahassee with Florida's first point of origin in the Prime Meridian Plaza to life in the 1900s with the Smokey Hollow Commemoration, it can all be found here in Cascades Park.
All along the trails, you can learn about the history of Tallahassee and the Cascades Park area - from the days of its first discovery through the 1900's. Now you can get some exercise and learn something along the way!
Prime Meridian Marker
In the middle of the park is something that links all Floridians together - the Prime Meridian Marker. This marker, which was originally set in 1824, is the beginning point for all land surveys in the state of Florida, and it's the original southeast corner for Tallahassee's first boundary. Today, the marker is housed inside a map of Florida, which is inlaid into the bottom of the Prime Meridian Plaza, with colorful bricks and sturdy granite.
Smokey Hollow Commemoration
Flash forward a few years, and you might enjoy the Smokey Hollow Commemoration. This area pays homage to Smokey Hollow, a once vibrant African-American community from the 1900s. Smokey Hollow, which originally stood where portions of Cascades Park is today, was home to some of Tallahassee's most prominent African-American leaders, including John G. Riley, Tallahassee's first African-American millionaire. The commemoration, which connects via sidewalk to the John G. Riley Museum, features community gardens, interpretive historic panels and spirit houses, which represent the shotgun houses that were found in the neighborhood.
Purchase a Personalized Brick to be Placed in Smokey Hollow
Help lay the path for downtown Tallahassee's future with a personalized brick in the Smokey Hollow Commemoration located in Cascades Park. Although the infrastructure portion of the park is funded, many amenities are not. The Cascades Park Brick Campaign will raise funds for the construction of unfunded amenities. Buy a brick today and help complete the vision for Tallahassee’s historical Cascades Park!
Download the Brick Order Form (PDF)
Korean War Memorial
Beyond these two landmarks, there is still plenty to learn in Cascades Park. For example, there is the Korean War Memorial and informational panels strategically placed throughout the park that make for great reading when walking the many trails. Did you know that "Famos Amos" of Famos Amos cookies has a tie to the park? Learn more about that and other fun Tallahassee tidbits while exploring Cascades Park.