Sale of Historic Fry-Conter House
Historic Apalachicola Foundation, Inc.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Fact Sheet Regarding Sale of Historic Fry-Conter House to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
The Board of Historic Apalachicola Foundation, Inc., is pleased to announce the transfer of its Fry-Conter house, 96 Fifth Street, Apalachicola, to the U.S. Department of the Interior's Fish & Wildlife Service. The historic Fry-Conter home, which currently serves as the Apalachicola Museum of Art, will become the office and Visitor Center for the St. Vincent Island National Wildlife Refuge.
St. Vincent Island, located nearby in Apalachicola Bay, has a close historical relationship to Apalachicola, most notably that of the Wefing family. Hatch Wefing, who resides in Apalachicola, owns the journal of George Frederick Wefing who began to record his experiences of living on the Island in July 1879 when he was 16.
The transfer between the Department of Interior and the non-profit Historic Apalachicola Foundation enables the return to Apalachicola of the St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge offices and Visitor Center, formerly located in the Harbormaster's House at Scipio Creek. It also represents a renewing of the historic connection between Apalachicola and St. Vincent Island as well as a returning of a tourism center to Apalachicola.
The Historic Apalachicola Foundation, which was incorporated in 1988, has contributed two built projects to the historic fabric of Apalachicola: the Lafayette Park revitalization, completed in 1991, and the restoration of the Fry-Conter house as the Apalachicola Museum of Art. The Museum has been the setting for public meetings and art exhibits, and it has enjoyed a strong collaboration with local schools and nonprofits, frequently hosting programs for the nonprofit Bring Me A Book Franklin and both the Charter School in Apalachicola as well as the District's Consolidated School in Eastpoint. Most recently, in a collaboration with the Apalachicola Library, it was the site of a traveling Smithsonian exhibit, "The Way We Worked", part of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program. Over six weeks, more than 500 tourists from 33 states, Canada, and Europe, as well as 430 local students, enjoyed entering through the Museum’s giant 9-foot high Greek Revival style door to view that exhibit.
The Historic Apalachicola Foundation will continue its mission to honor this historic town, concentrating on the preservation of Apalachicola's historic and environmental resources, including restoration of the city’s original and historic city plan.