Our chair, Trevetta Wunderlin, welcomed us to the 21 May 2010 meeting of the Genealogy Interest Group – Ancestor Trackers.

She handed out a list of upcoming programs for the Genealogy Interest Group and the Florida Genealogical Society and took a vote to see if we want to continue to have our meetings on the third Friday in the upcoming year.  The outcome was to continue at the same time next year.  Additionally, Trev gave out surveys of member interests.

Our speaker was Mike Woodfin of Riverview, a retired teacher and band director involved in the study of history of ghost towns.  His topic for our meeting was “Ghost Towns of Florida.”  Mike became fascinated with ghost towns while on a visit to South Dakota and later found an Internet site www.ghosttowns.com that had no Florida ghost towns listed.  Mike and his son soon became contributors to the site.  Often the location of railroads caused towns to grow or lose population.  In Florida towns that produced turpentine or phosphate lost population, as well as sawmill towns that died after the trees were all cut down.  Mike told us about different classes of ghost towns and showed us photographs of towns he had visited.  One class of ghost town is a barren site, and another has only rubble and roofless buildings; another class of site is standing abandoned buildings with roofs and no population, except perhaps a caretaker.  Then there are near ghost towns that have a small resident population and many abandoned buildings, and historical communities that are not what they once were.  Mike used Ybor City as an example of this class.  The final class is a town that has been restored which the Park Service maintains.

Respectfully submitted,

Rosalyn Davenport Gibbs