[Re]surfacing derelict histories through juxtapositions of the past and present

Material Information

[Re]surfacing derelict histories through juxtapositions of the past and present
Chryst, Abby Marie ( Dissertant )
Rogal, Maria ( Thesis advisor )
Slawson, Brian ( Reviewer )
Gladdys, Katerie ( Reviewer )
Stenner, Jack ( Reviewer )
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
College of Fine Arts, University of Florida
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
Physical Description:
Project in lieu of thesis


Subjects / Keywords:
Collage ( jstor )
Descendants ( jstor )
Ethnography ( jstor )
Homesteads ( jstor )
Memory ( jstor )
Plantations ( jstor )
Research design ( jstor )
Slavery ( jstor )
Viewers ( jstor )
Workforce ( jstor )
City of Gainesville ( local )
Spatial Coverage:
United States--Florida--Gainesville


This creative project explores the history, meaning, and significance of and between the Historic Haile Homestead (HHH) and the Haile Plantation subdivision (HPS) in Gainesville, Florida. The land the subdivision is built on, and where the Homestead sits, was once part of the larger Haile family plantation, named Kanapaha (established between 1854 and 1856). Embedded in the site and its surrounding environment, whether visible or invisible, are deep historical ties to slavery, family, wealth, and power. The popularity of the exclusive Haile Plantation subdivision overshadows and has seemingly erased the rich history and meaning of the HHH, to the point that many of the residents (both of the subdivision and the city) have no idea the land was once part of a working plantation or that the original family home-what is now the Historic Haile Homestead-exists as part of our collective past. I also explore how design and ethnographic methods and diverse media can be used, to understand popular conceptions of place; reclaim the history and meaning that has been eroded from the Homestead as a site; and explore ways to regain the respect, acknowledgment and significance of this place in Floridian and American history. The Homestead plays an essential role in society concerning our nation's collective past, as well as remaining as an artifact architecturally (physically) and emotionally connecting the past with the present. This place remains as the central thread in a major part of Floridian history; and without this remnant, we would have fewer connections to this history.
Graphic Design terminal project

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Permissions granted to the University of Florida Institutional Repository and University of Florida Digital Collections to allow use by the submitter. All rights reserved by the author.


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I first thank my supervisory committee chair, Maria
Rogal, for her interests in ethnographic research, and for
instilling in me the importance of such studies in my body
of work and research. I also thank her for showing me that
"anything and everything is possible."

I also thank all of my other committee members, Brian
Slawson, Katerie Gladdys, and Jack Stenner for their
willingness to help and for their ideas and input, which
are worked into this project.

For all of their support, help, and guidance, I thank my
fellow graduate students, Gabriella Hernandez, Garima
Thakur, Nancy Schreck, Marjorie Shropshire, Robert
Finkel,Jorge Gallego, and Dan Luo.

I thank Karen Kirkman for all of her help and insight, body
of resources and knowledge, and for her willingness to help
me with my research.

I thank Ellen Knudson for helping me to realize the
potential materials have in creating and telling a story
concerning place.

Finally, I thank my family and friends for all of their
support, help, and guidance.Without them I would not
be here today.

[re] Surfacing Derelict Histories i

all images by Abby Marie Chryst, unless otherwise noted.

ii [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories


This creative project explores the history, meaning, and
significance of and between the Historic Haile Homestead
(HHH) and the Haile Plantation subdivision (HPS) in
Gainesville, Florida. The land the subdivision is built on,
and where the Homestead sits, was once part of the larger
Haile family plantation, named Kanapaha (established
between 1854 and 1856). Embedded in the site and its
surrounding environment, whether visible or invisible, are
deep historical ties to slavery, family, wealth, and power.
The popularity of the exclusive Haile Plantation
subdivision overshadows and has seemingly erased the
rich history and meaning of the HHH, to the point that
many of the residents (both of the subdivision and the
city) have no idea the land was once part of a working
plantation or that the original family home-what is
now the Historic Haile Homestead-exists as part of our
collective past.

I also explore how design and ethnographic methods
and diverse media can be used, to understand popular
conceptions of place; reclaim the history and meaning
that has been eroded from the Homestead as a site; and
explore ways to regain the respect, acknowledgment and
significance of this place in Floridian and American history.

The Homestead plays an essential role in society
concerning our nation's collective past, as well as remaining
as an artifact architecturally (physically) and emotionally
connecting the past with the present. This place remains
as the central thread in a major part of Floridian history;
and without this remnant, we would have fewer connections
to this history.

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories |iii

Figure 1: The Historic Haile Homestead (HHH).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements i

Abstract iii

1. Introduction
Project Background 1
Problem Statement 3

2. Project and Research Influences
Maria Rogal 4
Karen Kirkman 4
Lucy Lippard 5
Clifford Geertz 5
-Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan 6

3.Justification 6

4. Delimitations 8

5. Process and Methodology
Project Methodology 8
Methodology I Time Line 9
Research 10
Design Process 12
-Visual Representations 16

6. Analysis
Evaluation and Conclusions 21

7. Further Directions 22

8.Terminology 24

9. Bibliography Citations Credits 27

10. Notes Endnotes Citations 29

11. Appendices
-A: Haile History A-i
B: Interview Questions B-i
C: Selected Interview Excerpts C-i

All sites exist first as places. Before places become objects of urban
planning and design, they exist in personal experience, hearsay, and
collective memories. Standing between planners and designers and
the sites on which they hope to act are socially embedded narratives.
And while these place narratives can be ignored, they cannot be
wholly erased. Places are never empty.
Robert A. Beauregard

Figure 2: Location and scale relationship of the Historic Haile Homestead
(HHH, surrounded by the smaller circle) and the Haile Plantation subdivision
(HPS, surrounded by the larger circle). Source: Google Earth.

I look at Haile Plantation and think,
how strange it is that people don't know
that they are living on top of an old
slave cemetery.

Haile Plantation is a subdivision development conceived
in the late 1970s and early 1980s, that shares the family
name of"Haile." The Hailes bought land and owned a
plantation, called "Kanapaha," which operated on property
the subdivision is built on today.

I always passed by the Haile Plantation sign on my way
home from the University of Florida. I became curious
about this place.

I didn't realize Haile Plantation was a [large subdivision]
development. I thought "Plantation" meant a real
plantation-at least that's what I had always learned
growing up. I never imagined that developers used the
name, or rather re-connoted the name for purposes such
as constructing subdivisions. "Plantation" to me, meant a
sense of loss, and struggle, when thinking about all of the
hardships slavery forces upon specific races.

Traditionally, plantations have been culturally displayed as
one might see in Gone With The Wind, and with places such
as Tara Plantation.When I think of a plantation, in this
social construct, what resonates in my mind are beautiful
and very large, costly Antebellum southern homes, with
large columns out front, grandiose staircases, and rich fine
objects lining the hallways.All of these socially constructed
interpretations of "plantations" mask the truth concerning
what a plantation really is and what it really means, behind
their facades.

A woman at Haile Plantation Realty told me about the
Homestead; or what was left. The Homestead was the
original plantation owners',Thomas and Serena Haile's,
home. Ever since that time in 2007 I have had an interest
in Haile; the subdivision; and especially the Historic Haile
Homestead, particularly as a place, historical artifact, and
what it means to us in the present.

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories 11

Figures 3-6: The Haile Plantation subdivision (HPS) and signage.

a i

Figures 7-10: Images of the Historic Haile Homestead (HHH) and signage.
HHH sign courtesy of Karen Kirkman and the Haile Homestead Archives.

My first tour of the Homestead was in September of
2007.As I walked through the central hallway after my
tour, I was even more interested and enthused since I love
history-especially history with such a deep meaning and
history rooted in our culture. The Homestead became a
"character"-telling the history of the place, through its
"Talking Walls," which have over 12,500 words written
on them dating all the way back to 1859. The walls were
named so because they express the way life was when the
Haile family lived in the house.; and the walls help tell the
story and life histories of the Hailes, family and friends, the
enslaved laborers, interactions, events, and house; through
phrases, scriptures, poetry, images, sketches, and personal
notations. The writings show a progression through time,
of the Haile family. The earliest writing is found in the
Trunk Room upstairs, and the master bedroom on the
first floor. These writings pertain mainly to the immediate
family. As we make our way to the music room and parlor,
the writing progresses, telling the story of many
of the visitors who had come by train or river to the Haile
Homestead, for parties and social events, creating
a catalogue of this history, physically written down for
visitors to see. The "Talking Walls" create a historical link
between the past and present, telling a story that speaks
currently about this place, and what it was like to live
back then.

This was the beginning of my two-and-a-half yearjourney
exploring the Historic Haile Homestead, Haile Plantation
subdivision, the inherent juxtapositions of these two places,
and this rich history that is both present and invisible

Places are never emptied. Rather what
occurs is a form of discursive displacement.2

1 t
Figure 11: Images of the "Talking Walls" in the
master bedroom of the HHH.

2 [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories

Having lived in Gainesville for almost three years presently,
I have been able to observe perceived connections and the
lack thereof, between the HHH and the HPS. This has
raised many questions concerning place, history, identity;
as well as the erasure, loss, and even apathy associated with
a historical site such as the Homestead.

Certain questions resonate frequently:
-Why do people not care enough to
know about this place?

B^.-'^' ;u i _--_ .
S ; ^ . ,'f. '. , ,,,,,*"
S ^ ^ < ....... ...._ .. -

If --

H -

'. .

Figures 12-14: The "Talking Wails," in the music room of the HHH.

-Why do so many people who live in
the HPS not know that the HHH
even exists?
-And, how can I engage the community
of Gainesville's and visitor's interest in
this history?

One reason I feel people are not engaged in the history of
this site and the area: Gainesville is a place of transience-a
college town-where people from all over the country and
all over the world come to live for a few years, and then
move on. Florida is a state that is always in growth mode.
People from the north and the midwest tend to move
down south, without knowing much about its history. In a
university town such as Gainesville, where people continue
to come and go, this history becomes even less evident. My
perception is that people feel as if it's not their responsibility
to either learn about this history, or to help it live on in the
future; they do not see it as having any connection to them.
However, such national history collectively holds ties with

Lucy Lippard mentions this similar concept:

The local is defined by its unfamiliar
counterparts. A peculiar tension exists
between "around here" and "out there,"
regional and national, home and others'
homes, present and past, outsiders and
insiders. This tension is particularly familiar
in a multi-centered society like ours, where
so many of us have arrived relatively
recently in the places we call home, and
have a different (though not lesser)
responsibility to our places than those
who have been living in the area
for generations.3

The objective of this project is to integrate ethnographic
design research methodologies with design to reclaim the
lost history of the site of the HHH (Thomas and Serena
Haile's plantation home) in relation to the HPS
(a contemporary development neighborhood), in
Gainesville, Florida.

The focus of this project is to visually, verbally, and
spatially explore the Historic Haile Homestead, including

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories 13

juxtapositions of the past and present that surround this
place, and that of the HPS (which sits on land once used as
the operating Kanapaha Plantation owned by Thomas and
Serena Haile) in Gainesville, Florida.

Investigation and collection of personal experiences,
perceptions, and collective histories of these places
(and meanings) using ethnographic methodologies, inspired
me to create rich and diverse interpretations of my research
findings. This includes exploring the history and meaning
of these two places and exploring how I can reclaim and
create a space in the present for what has been erased. I
have been exploring issues through such methodologies
Sas thick descriptions, collected interviews, questions, video,
sound, photography, and interactive media (including time-
based media).

Among the many sources I investigated and people I spoke
with (concerning place, ethnography, identity, history,
the past, experiences, and collective memories and tied
affiliations to place and culture), the most influential to my
research and this project are Maria Rogal, Karen Kirkman,
Lucy Lippard, Clifford Geertz,Warren Lehrer, and Judith

Maria Rogal
Designer and Associate Professor of graphic design at the
Figures 15-22: Rooms and interior spaces of the HHH.
Top left to bottom right: nursery room, nursery room window and wall detail, University of Florida
girl' room, school room, sick room, dining room, ma ter bedroom entrance,
master bedroom-T.E. Haile bed. Maria's design foci, such as peeling back the layers to reveal

past identities, and using ethnography for research, greatly
influenced my design process.Within the course of my
design studies, she encouraged me to use "thick descriptions"
of place and identity to reveal these layers of history and
meaning in the context of this project; and to visualize
through the research, the design of this information.

[Places] are fertilized into being through Karen Kirkman
a confluence of voices. Places are complex President of the HHH, Director of Finance and Personnel,
constructions of social histories, personal College of Engineering at the University of Florida
and interpersonal experiences, and selective
memory. Karen has been of great help and support to me throughout
Miriam Kahn the past three years, as I researched and explored the HHH.
She transcribed over 12,500 words from the walls of the

4 [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories


Figure 23

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories 15

I ( Homestead, and has been transcribing Serena Haile's diary.
S, I interviewed her numerous times, and she shared family
f: stories, histories, and genealogies with me, and gave me
L countless resources to aid in my research. She also put me
in contact with relatives and descendants of the enslaved
laborers of Kanapaha (the name Thomas Haile gave to
the actual plantation), as well as the Haile family.
(www.hailehomestead. org)

Lucy Lippard
American author, activist, and curator

Lucy has written countless books, two of which greatly
influenced my research: I /:. Lure of the Local: Senses of Place
in a Multicentered Society; and On The Beaten Track: Tourism, Art,
: Maria Rogal, at center, conducting research in the Yucatan
of Mexico. On left,Artisan Celso. and Place. In both books, Lippard speaks about place, and
the collectivity shared in these places. She also talks about
S. the differences between being a traveller and being a tourist
and the inherent juxtaposition of those who come to the
unfamiliar and those who live in (the local) a specific place.

The local is defined by its unfamiliar
counterparts. A peculiar tension exists
between "around here" and "out there,"
regional and national, home and others'
homes, present and past, outsiders
and insiders.4

Clifford Geertz
Karen Kirkman, at left, during our interview session. American anthropologist and ethnographer

Geertz, in his essay, "Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive
Theory of Culture," explains that ethnography is not simply
S'1 III Ii displaying collected data, but a "thick description" of place,
B \ kI' 1T E N that tells a story. This story focuses on the meaning and the
communicative language our actions display.
TI \C:k
... man is an animal suspended in webs of
significance he himself has spun, I take
culture to be those webs, and the analysis
of it to be therefore not an experimental
science in search of law but an interpretive
one in search of meaning.5

Geertz looks to culture to understand these communicative
levels-which are in many ways semiotic in nature-in
order to understand in greater depth and meaning the
significance of our actions.

Figure 24

Figures 25-27: Previous page: Cover of On the Beaten
Track by Lucy Lippard. Above: Cover of The Lure of the
Local by Lucy Lippard, and cover of Crossing the Blvd., by
Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan.

Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan
American authors, documentary artists, and teachers

Judith Sloan andWarren Lehrer's book Crossing the Boulevard
focuses on sharing stories and conversations held in their
neighborhood of Queens, NewYork City. Here, they
examine the different life struggles, social hierarchies, and
cultural conflicts among the many geographies, cultural
divides, and relationships of the community. They focus on
the "designer as author" and use an ethnographic approach
to explain the identities of more than 100 people from all
over the world, and collectively share their stories.

In October 2009, I met with Warren and Judith, during
their visit to the University of Florida, and was able to gain
insight from them through lectures, examples of their work,
and individual critiques of design projects. Their insight was
very influential in helping me to better communicate my
research and in helping me to envision how my body of
research could develop the final project.

The importance of this project lies in the fact that as a
society, we have shared collective memories of place, that
are deeply embedded in our social structure. I believe we all
share responsibility for being knowledgeable concerning our
past, present, and future states of being, living, making, and
communicating in order to progress as a society.

Nostalgia is oftentimes considered remembrance and
longing-in a positive fashion-for what has passed before,
for our previous states of being, and for our desire to be in
that place again. In practice, nostalgia may also surface
that which is unpleasant, and often times appalling. As
human beings, there is a tendency (even a desire and a
need) to erase the ugly parts of our past and replace them
with something less harmful and more beautiful, if we cover
up what happened, it will be easier to forget.And so, this
covering up becomes a way of dealing with hardships and
past tribulations, often under the guise of moving forward.

Lucy Lippard writes,
The ways in which places and their
histories are hidden, veiled, preserved,
displayed, and perceived provide acute
measures of the social unconscious.6

6 [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories

Place is the crucible of memory.The places
where things happened are stimuli to memory,
and there in those places, memories will pour
out with irresistible force. An individual will
feel this sometimes overwhelming power in a
place, and so will a family, even a community
or a nation.
Robert R. Archibald

Throughout my project I focus on designer as author, and
explore ways to use ethnographic research as a method to
surface the invisible. Through interviews of collected pasts,
histories, and experiences, my project re-surfaces these
invisible histories of the site by making them heard through
design research and the visual representations of this
information through photographs of the people interviewed,
the Homestead, the HPS, and the surrounding context;
auditory relationships; and video representations of the
people interviewed and the place.

In many design fields, ethnographic research is not
conducted, and in fact, is not even thought about.
Ethnographic research applied to graphic design research
is a relatively new concept. Ethnographic research can
be defined as a process by which the designer involves
themselves contextually-conducting interviews with
subjects, taking field notes, making sketches, taking
photographs, and becomes informed, involved, and develops
relationships with the subjects and the communities in
which they are researching. Many times, this kind of
research enters into the design process as a separate entity,
performed by others, and doesn't engage the history of a
site, a place, or a people. This truth from previous histories
of a site is then often forgotten, not cared about, and
remains unknown.

This creates a large void in design and communication. It
allows disparities to form between what existed previously
and what now "replaces" these previous forms, designs,
spaces, and places already created. The new design then
lacks an informed context because it did not draw from
previous contexts or histories. The lack created with a break
in dialogue and communication within a place is something
ethnography can help to restructure.

Lucy Lippard mentions this concerning place:

However much "place" is down played
in favor of generic space, to ignore it
means to create a placeless space. Site-
specific is not the same as place-specific.
The site's narrative can be down played,
but never entirely erased. The site is the
past, and what will happen on it is the
future. The present mediates. It makes

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories I

I do not seek a thorough analysis of all the separate
neighborhoods and parts of the HPS 'I .. i r. iiii..I to specifics
such as commercial, retail, and mixed-use spaces and all
of their inner workings/functions), although this project
does focus in on certain aspects of these parts. Rather, this
project focuses on analysis of the subdivision in a theoretical
manner concerning points of erasure, and its relationship to
the history it is physically built over, and the displacement
of our collective past with the apparent present.

This project is also not a video documentary about the
Homestead or the HPS, but does contain video and sound
interviews conducted at both of these locations, concerning
concepts derived and about both of these places.

Finally, this project does not reflect all of the perceptions,
voices, and opinions regarding the HHH or the HPS
(including visitors to either place, descendants of the
enslaved laborers and the Haile family, residents of the
HPS, and store/retail owners in the HPS).

I focused on ethnographic research in order to generate
thick descriptions of place. I was first introduced to
ethnographic research by Maria Rogal, in Spring 2008
and again in spring 2009 when I travelled to Mexico to
work with Mayan communities in theYucatan Peninsula.
My objective in learning ethnography was to collaborate
on the growth of an eco-tourism project and work with
Maya artisans to expand their creative possibilities through
design. Here, I worked in the field with others, taking field
notes and photos, making sketches, and conducting oral
and video interviews with people in communities to gain a
deeper, and much richer understanding of their culture and
their goals.

The rich materials, insights, and information about
people, place, and culture that resulted from these earlier
experiences led me to focus on ethnographic research as a
method, and on ethnography as an outcome for my MFA
creative project.

Figures 28-30: Design for Development group in Mexico visiting the Maya
artisans, February, 2009.
Bottom left-image courtesy of Yesenia Rivero. Top:Artisan Audomaro.
Bottom left:Artisan Concepcion.

8 [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories

Clifford Geertz defined ethnography as follows:
From one point of view-that of the textbook-
doing ethnography is establishing rapport,
selecting informants, transcribing texts,
taking genealogies, mapping fields, keeping
a diary, and so on. But it is not these things,
techniques, and received procedures, that
define the enterprise.8

Clifford Geertz considered ethnography to be thick
description, a definition he borrowed from philosopher
Gilbert Ryle. By thick description, Geertz implied that
the ethnographer conducting research is collecting data
concerning contextual matter as well. An outsider to the
body of research gains a more in-depth understanding
of data and research presented.


Figure 31: Mint Design Studio,January, 2008. X-yaat Ecotourism
project-Yucatan, village of Senor, Mexico.

Figures 32-35: Mint Design Studio,January, 2008. X-yaat Ecotourism
project-Yucatan, village of Senor, Mexico. http://designs /share/
Our guide Marco Cante-in middle, wearing green. Top left, Maya
women artisans demonstrating how they embroider. Bottom right:
Don Abundio-traditional Maya toryteller.


5.1- 8.15

8.15 9.30

10.1 -11.1


Initial project proposal turned in to

Project research, development of
questions for interviews, and IRB approval
paperwork, (research interviews begin in

Collection of research by interviews,
books, oral histories, photographs, video.
Committee meeting sometime in here.

Another committee meeting within this
time frame for review, researching
supporting case studies / antecedents,
continued collecting, and beginning to
combine mediums. (Design)

Last committee meeting before end of
semester, plan for continued project and
make sure direction is clear, continued
combining of mediums, and working with
all collected data to form coherency for
final project. (Refinement).

12.5 1.5 Winter break: PRODUCTION

12.6 1.15


2.17 3.15

3.16 4.26

Meeting with committee to discuss
progress, formulating all research into a
coherent written document.

Meeting with committee, discuss
relationship between written documentation
and setup of visual and physical project.

Committee meeting to discuss revisions,
and final work, any final production issues
need to be resolved.

Final revisions of paper (due to committee
chair on 4.26.2010). MFA Thesis Exhibition.

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories 19

Personal narratives can aid the reconstruction
of nearly forgotten social institutions,
demonstrate continuities and changes in
memory and identity over time, and reveal
individual and collective reactions to historical
-Jacob Climo & Maria Cattell

a A

Figures 36-45: People interviewed throughout the course of research. Top to
bottom, left to right: Tim Voisat, Peggy Haile Thomas, Teresa and Dan, Ron
and Amy, Shirley Blumenthal, miscellaneous group, Richard Estabrook, Sue
Stanton, Evans Haile, and Beverly Haile.

Through my research and interview questions, my objective
was to construct a story about place, situated around the
HHH. These recollections then can be used to surface
history and memory of place in the broadest sense. This then
can be compared to, juxtaposed with, and connected to
others I interviewed, in order to tell a more comprehensive
and informed story. These interviews recall memories and
opinions. My body of work is a multi-media sense of
"Thick Description."

To begin, I developed interview questions that were
open-ended. I actually set about identifying people to
be interviewed from a list I had created of specific users/
audiences pertaining to the project. These users were defined
as people who lived in the HPS, and nearby the HHH,
and visitors to both places, with a large emphasis on the
community of Gainesville as a whole. I was working toward
integrating my design research and so I was not beginning
from scratch. I relied on feedback from those I interviewed
to guide my design process and communications as well as
coming to certain conclusions on perceptions and meanings
of place (surrounding the context specifically, of the HHH,
in Gainesville, Florida). Research questionsfor each targeted
audience group is found in Appendix B.

I focused on learning from different audiences:
-Visitors to the HHH
- Docents at the HHH
- Descendants of the Haile family, former slaves,
and laborers
- Residents of the HPS
- Owners and employees of businesses in the HPS
-Visitors to HPS and residents of Gainesville.

One of my goals was to reclaim the lost history of the
site-parts of history that were not visible in the HPS. To
do this, I sought interviews with people who have close
relationships or connections to the HHH, to the Haile
family, families of enslaved laborers, as well as people who
live near the Homestead. My intent was to create multiple
ways of accessing this place. This project and body of
research focus on communicating to these main audiences,
previously mentioned in this document.

The Homestead offers a place of collective identity for the
community, and Gainesville can continue its story through
individual voices.

10 1 [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories

Figure 46: Michael I a Bennett Kelley descendant, interviewed on July
26, 2009.

. MIffiift LA. lil l 4 j,. .
Figures 47-48: Images of Bennett Kelley andj retrieved from the Haile
Homestead Archives. Top: Bennett and wife Daphne I Bennett is bottom
left, sitting in chair.

Michael Kelly (originally from West Palm Beach, Fl, and
now living in Donora PA) is a descendant of Bennett
Kelley, a favored house boy and field hand owned by the
Hailes. Bennett 1 ../. his last name with an "e" before the 5 '
in K, i; i., but Edmund and Michael Kelly use "After slavery
was abolished, Bennett Kelley remained the caretaker and
a tenant of the property. He was a very important figure
when researching the Homestead, because of his close
relationship with Serena Haile. During the later years of
her life, Serena Haile (dod 1896) remained at the
Homestead, often alone, and Bennett was there helping her
and keeping her company. She mentions him almost daily
in her diary (kept from 1874 to 1893) beginning in
the 1880s.9

Bennett and his family purchased land from the Hailes less
than a quarter mile from where the Homestead sits. Some
of the Kelly family still lives on the same land. However,
Michael and Edmund Kelly did not even know that
the Homestead existed, or where it was. It was not until
Edmund Kelly, Michael Kelly's uncle noticed the mention
ofBennett Kelley along with the Homestead in the
newspaper, that the Kellys became aware of how close their
heritage lay to them.

In my interview with Michael Kelly, he states,

... that story should be told because you
could use it as a model of saying, well ...
white folks wasn't all that bad, and they
were, there there were some good ones
and bad ones.10

Throughout the course of my research, I learned a great
deal about people's perceptions of the Homestead and the
HPS, and the disconnect between these two (which share
the same name), but are portrayed differently.

The people I interviewed who work in the HaileVillage
Center, and current or former residents of the subdivision,
have a very different perspective and understanding about
the history, than other members of the community of
Gainesville and visitors to the Homestead. I often noted
wrong or misleading information, and parts of the story
were missing.They too seemed to have a disconnect with
the Homestead. For instance, I interviewed a woman named

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories 11

myth shifted the formal system of the first significations sideways.
As this lateral shift is essential for the analysis of myth, I shall
represent it in the following way, it being understood, of course,
that the spatialization of the pattern is here only a metaphor:

S Signier 2. Signified
Langu age 3. Sign

It can be seen that in myth there are two semiological systems,
one of which is staggered in relation to the other: a linguistic
system, the language (or the modes of representation which are
assimilated to it). which I shall call the lanzuare-obiect. because

Figure 49: Roland Barthes'signifier and signified model-takenfrom
Mythologies, page 115.

-K L

Figures 50-53: Initial hand drawn mind mappingsfrom keyword
terminologies and basedfrom semiotic diagrams.

Maryanne, who owns a shop in the HaileVillage Center
and who knows of the HHH and even has friends who
are connected to this place, yet she admitted to me that
she has yet to go and even see the place.While speaking
with a realtor at theVillage Center, I found out that there
isn't much of anything posted concerning the Homestead,
but there is a large image of a drawing, replicating the
Homestead placed in the Barnie's (coffee shop); and this
was all this person could direct me towards concerning
liturgy about the Homestead, within the HPS. It was also
interesting to speak with this same person and notice that
they confused a lot of the historical information, and told
me incorrect factual information. This person seemed
very interested in the history, yet when I asked if they had
been to take a tour at the Homestead, they said that they
had been there awhile ago when thy conducted their first
CandlelightVisits out there, and they saw the place then,
but had not gone for a tour at any other time. During the
Candlelight Visits, however, the Homestead is dark, only lit
by candles, and no actual tour occurs, visitors simply walk
through the spaces of this place and if they have questions,
docents can help them with answers.

While conducting my research, I began to focus on making
a series of smaller explorations that could be used as proof
of concept for my research questions.

One of my first explorations drew on semiotic research,
concerning key terminologies and connotations surfacing
of and around the Homestead and the HPS. I was
interested in how Barthes approached an analysis of space
in all planes-x,y, and z. I was working off of a hybrid
system-one in which I mapped multiple hierarchies of
language and meaning on top of one another-influenced
by Roland Barthes' semiotic model of the signifier and the

I began by creating a series of mind mappings concerning
these key terminologies, and then working with them
digitally, mapping connections within. Multiple levels of
these connections and meanings are presented. I began with
the keywords-chosen from key concepts and connotations
surrounding the Homestead and context-and mapped out
each, and then began combining mapping connections

12 1 [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories

among the terminology created in each map. From
here, I created yet another level to map out the strongest
connections between certain terms. I then proceeded to
map each of these highlighted terms in relation to each
other, and finally I created one more level of connection
among the original keywords only in relationship to each
other. To take this farther and make it interactive, I began
inserting the design into Adobe Flash, and working with
roll-over buttons that would play sound from my collected
research interviews, to give the viewer context.

Since my goal was to create an integrated, interactive
system, I added pop up windows. The interactive level
of the project during this point wasn't quite what I
was looking for. I felt it still needed more interactions;
specifically, something that would engage the audience to
get them interested in the research and the place. I was also
having a hard time finding a way to insert "the place" into
this design, since I was working from a map with no site-
specific context.

The project was shifting from a focus on an interactive way
to show the research, to a way to tell the story and engage
the audience in a more profound manner.

I had been working a great deal from mappings, and
thought to try something different: a deconstruction to
relate the HPS and the HHH physically. I would show
the extensions of the subdivision cutting through the
Homestead. From here, I planned to create sectional pieces
or models of these cuts, and work with the research in a
diagrammatic (more conceptual) and physical manner.
Here the viewer would be able to move and rotate the
models, but the work could also be digital. When the
project reached this step, however, it had somehow lost the
original concept of being accessible online and interactive.
It was potentially confusing for the audience. I was not
convinced that the viewer would gain the same sort of
meaning from this kind of work. I decided to not go
forward with this idea, and began rethinking how to go
about making the work again, interactive, digital, and able
to be web-based-mainly for reasons pertaining
to accessibility.

Figures 54-59: Top: digital semiotic mapping. Middle: Semiotic mapping
combined/Adobe Flash underlay. Bottom: Image of the deconstruction mappin
I tarted-this shows areas of the HPS, extended into and through the area of
the HHH (in red).

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories 113


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Figures 60-62: Vuvox digital collages-backgrounds, showing embedded
videos, images, and hot-spots that open to reveal pop-up windows with
other embedded media.

I initially intended for this project to be out at the
Homestead; and then decided against this for two reasons;
one-internet access, and two-I wanted to get people to
the HHH.

One of my goals was to create multiple ways for people to
access the site. Clearly I would want to get people out to
the physical site whenever possible. However, the research
materials I collected (audio and video interviews, for

14 1 [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories

I l 4- 5AR

Tim is from Ft. Lauderdale, and he
and his family came up to
Gainesville for a trip, and
happened to find the Homestead.
1 l il:- -. 1:... . .. ..[ .

Figures 63-65: Vuvox hot-spots with embedded media, such as video
and audio, as well as additional supplemental text boxes with information.

example) lent themselves to online interactive media, which
would be accessible to people everywhere. This way, more
people could learn about this resurfaced history, through
many voices, on their own time and in their own space.

Having the sound and video, and being able to see and hear
these interactions of people and place, and the interaction
between the visitor and me (the interviewer) are important
aspects of the project and the work. These examples of
my ethnographic research are non-judgmental and they
reflect the various target audiences who I hope can learn
from this story. These interactive areas are also important
because they engage the audience on a different level, by
allowing them to hear the tonality of the speakers, their
visual expressions, and the relationships among me (the
interviewer) and those I interviewed. The viewer also gets
a sense of the place, by being able to see the spatiality of
the Homestead, as well as the surrounding context, through
visual imagery and auditory information.

These issues are what finally led me to investigate and work
withVuvox, a free online software with built-in interactive
capabilities. Using Vuvox, I could create narratives quickly,
without expensive software, using my data, and without
technological impediments. For example, I didn't have to
learn programming or code in order to use the program.
Therefore, I could focus on the design and
communication of how this information is presented, and
getting my research out there for people to access.

Vuvox software is not "open source" which implies that
one can access and change the source materials; but it is
free, so anyone who has access to the internet can have
access to the use of this software, and joins a network of
people creating online work (

The other great aspect aboutVuvox is that unlike Adobe
Flash, you can make changes rapidly and easily. As
mentioned before, the designer does not need to work with
programing or code in order to use this software, which
makes it designer friendly. Flash used to be accessible to
designers, but has recently introduced Action Script 3, more
complex coding.This takes time and is frustrating; and in
many cases, the designer wastes time working with code
that is unusable for the end result.

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories 115

This is a hot-spot embedded into a
movie clip, when clicked, it opens in
/a new yvindow.
+Th) S- F sl ghgd (Y t/ c,

1-2o?.'B- u '-CJ ij-L Lue. '+-I3.C
iodelI n o s.xyi,, ,Let~..
This movie begins playing
on mouse rollover.

Embedded hot-spot icon.
-Embeddeci hot-spot icon.


LWh-k.k olks wa
,3 .,A 44-+i were
qoocd one's ajx

L a .4 "-
s sha --khere to choose
share/embed optior
This is a hot-spqt emb ded
into an image, whericlick, it
opens in a new window& /

Figures 66-67: Dissections of Vuvox digital collages-backgrounds, showing
embedded videos, images, and hot-spots that open to reveal pop-up windows
with other embedded media.

SinceVuvox is also already on a network; and once the
collages are published, everyone on the network can
see the other's work. Authors may also post collages to
their Facebook, Twitter, blog, and or website. This really
accelerates the spreading of the story and the information.
Whereas Flash is always changing, the changesVuvox goes
through do not complicate the user's ability to design; this
makes it very easy to access information and stories, and
allows progress to be seen quickly.

The body of work presented is diverse in form, yet carries
central connective threads from found artifacts present in
the digital work, the post cards, the large-format prints,
and the letter-pressed book. Although the letter-pressed
book and the large collages were not the main focus of
the work, they are other explorations in sharing the HHH
history. All work together with the interactive work, creates
an atmosphere, and an environment, that reflects the
Homestead, the history, and the research.

I organized the collages so the two at the top begin
the story, by talking more about the history and the
location; and beginning with descendants of the Haile
family and their perspectives and direct connection with
the Homestead, giving the viewer a sense of the family
history. The middle collages represent the level the visitor
enters in on, not being directly connected to the house, the
family, or the enslaved laborers. Here, the viewer gets a
sense of perspective pertaining to what outside visitors felt,
thought, remembered, and were taking with them from the
experience. This is the level the viewers themselves would
be coming in on, since they too have no direct connection
to the family. The last two collages represent the realm
of the enslaved laborers, focusing on the two interviews I
conducted with enslaved laborer descendants, Edmund and
Michael Kelly. Here, viewers get insight into the perceptions
and identities of these descendants and how they see
themselves in relation to the Haile family. The collages
that focus mostly upon the Haile family history and Haile
descendants, are in juxtaposition with the collages that focus
mainly on the enslaved laborers and their descendants, by
being at distinctly different polarities on the screen-top and
bottom. These positions also emphasize the class, race, and
power positions of the time. The viewer also gets a sense of

16 1 [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories

-to 'd

r.. m, 3 ,...r cr,t Ilri r. ,,, r..
l.',A tr,., l p r ,,rl r,. l r :r,

.I" P i, L. ..4

I o r H 11

Text box with sqlp.iipqnta
information ali Mc pqp,, ,
within each holt b.ggl .' ,.

the time, while listening to a recap of part of an interview
that I conducted with Peggy Haile Thomas (a 97-year-old
Haile descendant). Here, Peggy speaks about time spent
with the former enslaved laborer, Bennett Kelley, when
she relays to me, her remembrances about her childhood
memories of visiting the Homestead and Bennett taking
care of them when they came.Within all six of these
interactive collages, the similar subversive background
imagery that I had been working with in other parts of
the project (as mentioned before) become juxtaposed with
these very real visual and auditory interviews. There is a
thread of these subversive details running throughout all
of the collages, which speak about the idea that issues
concerning slavery are deeply embedded in the site. These
subversive details also visualize this tie throughout all of the
collages. For example, within the collages pertaining mainly
to the Haile Family and history, viewers can see these
details. They are shown here, to visualize the connection
between the enslaved laborers, and the Haile family.

My intent is for viewers to understand the story of this place
even if they go about viewing the collages randomly. If
viewers begin with Michael and Edmund Kelly's interviews,
they will get a sense of what the story entails.Then they
can visit the perceived beginning of the collages with the
family history, and they will be able to put these two bits of
information together.

I tell the audience about the people I interviewed (which
are seen in the collages) by having information concerning
who they are, and where they are from, as well as segments
of the interviews I conducted with them (in video and
auditory form). The additional and supporting information
is held in the text boxes that contextualize their story.

Once these stories are shared-by making each collage
public and embedding them in websites and social media
outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, and blogs-the story is
accessible to many more people. It is then possible for people
to respond to the collages, creating another community-
one centered around the knowledge of this place-that can
continue to grow. In addition, viewers can post comments
on Twitter, Facebook, and my blog. 12 Another objective of
having the work online is to motivate people to visit the
HHH. Perhaps, afterward they will revisit the site to leave

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories 1

Figures 68-69: Dissections of Vuvox digital collages-backgrounds, showing
embedded videos, images, and hot-spots that open to reveal pop-up windows
with other embedded media.

osion wth the Same Name X


comments about their experiences and personal memories
of this place, to share with other viewers, and continue
this story.

The history is just as important as the story that continues
to be created by personal experience of this place. I'm
planning to share the current data on media networking
sites, and continue to make these connections with people
and open up more access to the Homestead in the next
few months.

In each oftheVuvox collages, I used a layered background
environment, made from artifacts and remnants from the
Homestead. Many are indexical of the enslaved laborers,
since many of the pieces come from wood-working details
created by the enslaved laborer Johnson Chestnut, a highly
skilled carpenter. Also seen are Haile artifact details, from
objects inside of the HHH, and pattern details taken from
embroidery on clothing connected to the Haile family.
These details are found within the site, and so I carried
them throughout the body of work, embedding them as
indices. Semiotically, these artifacts are embedded with
meanings, that reflecting the slavery, connections, ties,
and relationships between the Hailes and the enslaved
laborers. These pieces are subtle but intentionally subversive,
because as visually beautiful they masked the hardship and
labor that occurred to create these beautiful details. The
interviews help to corroborate the histories of the site and
are not subversive, speaking outwardly about this place
and the connections it holds.

The interactive portions of the project are set up similarly
to relate to the way the viewer might scan for information
in a traditional book format. Here, for instance, one can
move through information to gain different pieces of the
story. Each collage is centered around a main chapter,
those being: the Hailes, visitors, and the enslaved laborers.
Within each chapter, connections are made between the
different viewpoints of each of these groups of people. The
viewer can also move from left to right in order to read
and discover the information made visible. However, these
collages tell a story in both a linear yet nonlinear fashion;
the viewer may start anywhere, and can scroll from right
to left. The viewer is free to re-visit different pieces of

18 [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories

information, which makes these collages different from
just a single video.

I created this story by embedding photographs and hot
spots (visual indicators on the screen which are used as
links to other documents or files) within the collages, as
background context. In this way viewers roll the mouse
over an interactive hot spot, and part of the story is revealed
in a new window on the screen. As an author to my work,
I was able to use this rich media to best communicate my
research material.

Within the collages, each hot spot holds varied information
on multiple levels simultaneously. For instance, there is a
sound or auditory level, and a visual level (either through
video or photographs); and then there is a textual level,
where correlating information is held. This way, the viewer
has multiple ways of accessing these pieces of the story.
For instance they can view the collages in micro scale by
opening up hot spot windows, and then when viewers are
done exploring one piece or part, they can simply exit out
of the window back into macro scale, and continue
to peruse the collage for more of the story.

The viewer is also free to browse the collages. Since, again,
the story is nonlinear, the viewer can put together all of the
pieces they reveal to learn more about the history held in
this place. It is not necessary to begin at the "beginning."

Similar artifacts-Haile artifact details,
wood-working details, and clothing detail, as well as
hand-inked versions of these artifacts, and photographs
layered in the site, can be seen on the large-format wall
hangings. These, on first inspection, romanticize the past.
They somewhat mask the identity of this however, and it
is only once you begin to explore all of the pieces of the
project together, that one can see the interconnections
of the visuals and the stories presented. They are meant
to draw the viewer into the environment of the gallery
space that they were created for. I these large-
format prints are meant for a gallery space, and would
not be seen otherwise-out at the site. The smaller pieces
of the story become revealed-which is present within the
digital collages. They function as a beginning to the story,
ambiguous and unclear, but still contain artifacts. These

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories 19

Figures 70-72: Three wall hanging
details, one from each largeformat print.
Original sies-3 ft. by 6ft.

Figure 73: Large format wall hangings installed in MFA Thesis Exhibition II,
April 2010.

Figure 74: Letter-pressed book.

artifacts are then made more visible through the digital
collages, the post cards, and the letter-pressed book.

The letter pressed-book, The Historic Haile Homestead, reflects
the research through visualizing collected interviews, hand
drawings of the place, and layers of meaning. My voice
runs as a constant throughout the book, sharing my insight,
collected insights from guests, relatives, and descendants
concerning the HHH. Each separate layer of information
presented within the folios-among the many layers
presented-contains meaning.The methodology of this
part of the project was focused on making the temporary
permanent. Emphasis was also placed on my voice,
although softer and in the background as compared to the
other voices from the collected interviews. Here, I become
the narrator. This is unlike the digital collages, where I focus
on allowing voices from the collected interviews narrate the
stories. Instead, this is part an ethnography, and part my
own reflection and perception. These voices however are
printed darker than my own, and so they speak over my
own, yet my voice remains the constant (again, unlike the
digital collages).These voices become prevalent, referencing
interview excerpts that can be heard and seen in the
digital work.

The collagraphs printed underneath the text and images
reflect the same artifacts seen in the interactive collaged
stories and post cards, again reiterating these remnants of
place. Here, however, they become secondary information
and are embedded, but are less revealed than in the other

20 1 [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories

There used to be plantation
but now there's a subdivision.

I7;,.,r I'm interested in,
is the architectural history
of this fantastic house, that was
built by enslaved labor; but by true
craftsmen, true artisans, who built
this place. And because of their
work, the house is still.
descendant of the Halle family
FEBRUARY 5th, 2010

[re] Surfacing
Exploring the Historic Haile
Homestead Gainesville, FL

Abby Marie Chryst
MFA Creative Project Design
University of Florida

8500 Southwest Archer Road
Gainesville, Florida
Sat. 10 am 2 pm; Sun. 12 4 pm

Front Halle Homestead No 2 (detail)
Layered objects & artifacts mixed media
letterpress collagraph and pressure print
from wood carved furniture details & string

Figure 75-78: Post cards,fronts and detail of the back of Evans Haile's card.
Excerpt from three il people are displayed on the backs;Abby Marie
Chryst, Evans Haile, and Michael Kelly.

We can speak of a real community as a

"community of memory," one that does not

forget its past...and which is involved in

retelling its story, its constitutive narrative...

and it offers examples of the men and

women who have embodied and exemplified

the meaning of the community.

Robert Bellah

pieces of the project. The book becomes a different way
of cataloging and accessing the information, and a copy
is meant to stay at the Homestead for visitors to look
through. It creates a hard copy of the voices, experiences,
and perceptions surrounding the HHH and context.When
the book is viewed at the HHH, by visitors, it helps to add
to the story within the context of the place. And when the
book is viewed outside of the context of the place, it can
function as a means to propagate site visits out to the HHH.

The post cards are meant to get people out to the
Homestead. The fronts again reflect the same remnants
(artifacts that speak about the place) and the back has
a quotation of research pertaining to a former enslaved
laborer's descendant (Michael Kelly), Haile family member
(Evans Haile), and my commentary concerning the
Homestead (Abby Marie Chryst).Visitor information is
included, as well as my MFA project site containing my
digital storybook containing the research.They are meant
to give the viewer a glimpse-an insight-into this past; but
to entice them to go out and experience the HHH for

The internet, and social media sites such as Facebook
and Twitter, as well as personal blogs and websites have
increasingly become popular forms of exchange for all
ages, etc. Everything and anything can become accessible
once it is on the internet.

This heightened access is one way to further promote site
visits and the history that I surface at the HHH, and its
relation to that of the HPS. By telling the story to more
people, there is a greater probability that more interest
surrounding the HHH will develop.

Through the use of ethnographic research, the viewer of this
body of work, will have a much greater insight into what
this place has to offer, without judgements. This includes the
connections the HHH has within our environment today as
well as what its connections implied historically-the HHH
creates a link from the past to the present and can continue
these connections in the future.

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories 121

Places of memory possess authenticity and
integrity. Living in places that are
authenticated by memory, places that have a
history, indices and embellishes the feeling of
connection to the past...We all need memory
places. In the absence of them, we are cursed
by a sense of confinement an isolation in the
Robert A. Archibald

Throughout this project I learned many things, most
important, about the Homestead and its wonderful history.
I also learned about focusing on important aspects of place
and working to reveal these, rather than trying to reveal
everything (trying every angle or design approach). Rather
I chose to do several smaller explorations to be able to
see what worked for the project, audience, and myself-the
designer. In a project scope such as this, the designer must
translate information to the audience.

I hope to tell the story of this place through the work
presented, and to continue this story in the present. One
of my major concerns and what compelled me to use the
HHH as context, was that its story was becoming lost,
erased, and invisible because of the lack of knowledge
surrounding and interest in the place. To me, this was a large
injustice, since, in order to progress, we must know where
we came from. It was people such as the Hailes and the
enslaved laborers who collectively transformed Florida into
what we know today-and enabled modern settlement.
The economic struggles of the time, the fact that slavery
was a large economic driving force behind the south's
wealth at the time, and the lives that these enslaved
laborers lived are all pertinent information that explain the
time; and by ignoring these pieces of history we become,
collectively, a nation of ignorance.

I also hope to continue working with Karen Kirkman and
other community members in Gainesville to promote the
HHH, and get people to visit the site. I want people to walk
away with knowledge about what and who we are, and this
cannot happen if we do not know about what came before
us, because all of our present actions are based on actions
of the past. Our past actions guide us presently, by directing
us onto new paths.We as an overall community, need to see
ourselves along with our past to know where to direct our
ambitions for the future, and to not lose our sense of self and
who we are.

I see this project as an ongoing inquiry, that can continually
be added to, updated, and progressed further.

In the future, I see this project becoming a model and a
catalyst for others to work with in similar projects. I also
see this project as a model which I can learn from to

22 [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories

continue work and research similar to what is presented
here within this project. I hope to work with some of the
extra research I collected-interviews, photographs, and
audio/video-that I did not use within this project in order
to add more layers to what I have already designed; and
to create more interactive collages with this research.

Uir!,,. ir.i~l I would like to explore the point of"access" to
this place through social media, used as a device to create
these different points of access. The method is the driving
force behind this sort of design, and therefore the place
may change, but this method of research is what can be
implemented into the design concerning any place with
derelict histories.

I am interested in exploring the role of social media and
networks as a viable and functioning means for revealing
the lost history of the site, as well as a means of engaging
my audience in order to provoke interest in this history. I
hope to use this method for an approach to develop physical
visits out to the Historic Haile Homestead through target
audiences consisting the city of Gainesville collectively, and
residents of the Haile Plantation subdivision. This part of
the project is a catalyst to further the gain of interest in the
meaning this place holds, and other places/sites with similar
characteristics anywhere and everywhere.

I feel that fields like architecture and historic preservation
could greatly benefit from research methodologies such
as I have explored in this MFA creative project. Since
studying architecture and receiving my Bachelor of
Architecture degree in 2007, I have become increasingly
interested in the history and meaning of place through
built form, and the implications buildings have in our lives
and social constructions. Since my recent acceptance at
the University of Virginia for a Master of Architecture
degree, I plan to pursue ethnographic research in the field
of architecture. My interest is to explore how this type of
design research can be used to reclaim and design sites
of embedded meaning in the built environment in the
hopes of designing and using built form to enhance and
communicate socially, ethically, and historically important
narratives of site and place.

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories 123


CONNECTION: a link or relationship; influential people
with whom one has contact or to whom one is related
(Compact Oxford English Dictionary, 1991). In the scope
of this project, connection refers to people and place;
descendants as well as visitors; and the lack of, break,
or deep ties to this specific place of the Historic Haile

CONTEXT: The site and the connections and ties that
are present, such as the targeted audiences and the history
and meaning surrounding the place.

ENSLAVED LABORER: "It is important to refer to the
slaves as "the enslaved,""the enslaved people,""people
enslaved by the Hailes."The term "enslaved" speaks to
the humanity of these people-they had names, they had
families, they lived, breathed, laughed, cried, and died like
anyone else, but they were not free."
(Taken from the Historic Haile Homestead at Kanapaha
Plantation 2007 Docent Manual).

ETHNOGRAPHY: a method and product of
anthropological studies, ethnography uses thick description
to express or explain the identity, interactions, and social
relationships, of or pertaining to a culture.

EXPERIENCE: personal to the viewer, or the one who
experiences, collected thoughts and perceptions; and
happenings that will be tied to specific memories, histories,
and connections surrounding time, place, and culture.

HISTORY: something that is past; what has happened
before, and collectively how we share and are connected
to this past.

IDENTITY: the fact of being who or what a person or
thing is, and the characteristics determining this (Compact
Oxford English Dictionary, 1991). In this project, identity
refers to the true nature of the Historic Haile Homestead,
and the HPS, as well as the characteristics that make
up each person I interviewed. It refers to these identities
to explain and tell the story, and to express different

24 1 [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories

INTERACTION: occurs between the visitor and the place.
Experience and culture play into this interaction, and
therefore the character of this place has an effect on the
viewer. (Compact Oxford English Dictionary, 1991)
acting so as to have a reciprocal effect.

MEMORY: the faculty by which the mind stores and
remembers information (Compact Oxford English
Dictionary, 1991). In the project, memory refers to collective
and social remembrances, constructs, and histories of the
site/place, and experiences surrounding this place.

MULTI-SENSORY: The experience viewers have when
visiting the site physically, as well as when they investigate
and learn about the place through the design research.
The place and the research engage the visitor or viewer
in multiple ways (through auditory, visual, physical, and
textual information) perceived by the senses.

PHYSICALITY: the place solely-the house, the architecture,
and the materiality of this structure. This is a physical
construct that houses experiences, collected histories, and
memories that can be traversed.

PLACE: not simply a physical space, or a location; but
somewhere with collective meaning, and collective histories
that tell a story. A place is embedded with context.

PLANTATION: a large farm area where enslaved laborers
lived and worked.
(The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English)
n. an estate on which crops such as coffee, sugar,
and tobacco are cultivated by resident labor.
San area in which trees have been planted, esp. for
commercial purposes.
hist. a colony.

SLAVERY: the act of owning or forcing people into slavery;
as part of our collective American past.

(Compact Oxford English Dictionary, 1991)
In all senses of the word, a slave is: (historical) a person who
is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them.

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories 125

SPACE: physical space, such as volume and moveable
space. The way one traverses a space, and what it is like
to be inside or outside a space such as the Historic Haile

THICK DESCRIPTION: a way of giving contextual
information so an outsider to the body of research
can understand the basis of the investigation, and the
significance of an activity, thing, or place.

26 1 [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories


Archives and Museum Informatics. (2008). The Art of Sto-
rytelling: Enriching Art Museum Exhibits and Education through
Visitor Narratives. Retrieved January 7, 2010, from http://

Auel, Lisa B. &Wayne, Lucy B. (2003). Historic Haile
Homestead at Kanapaha Plantation Docent Manual: Matheson
Historical Center, Inc., and Real South Tours.

Bachelard, Gaston. (1969). The Poetics of Space. Boston:
Beacon Press.

Barthes, Roland. (1972). Mythologies. NewYork: Hill and

Boorstin, DanielJ. (1961). The Image:A Guide to Pseudo-
Events in America. NewYork: Atheneum.

Borden, Lain, Kerr,Joe, Pivaro, Alicia & Rendell, Jane.
(1996). Strangely Familiar, Narratives ofArchitecture in the City.
London: Routledge.

Brevard, Caroline Mays. (1924) A History of Florida From I ..
Treaty of 1763 To Our Times. Deland, FL: TheFlorida State
Historical Society.

Burns, Carol J. & Kahn, Andrea. I- i.: Site Matters: Design-
Concepts, Histories, and Strategies. NewYork:Routledge.

(Ed.) Climo, Jacob J. & Cattell, Maria G.. ,_', 1, Social
Memory and History:Anthropological Perspectives. NewYork:
Altamira Press.

Emerson, Robert M., Fretz, Rachel I. & Shaw, Linda L.
.(1995). Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes. Chicago:The Univer
sity of Chicago Press.

Faud-Luke, Alastair. (2009). Design Activism: Beautiful strange-
ness for a Sustainable World. Sterling,VA: Earthscan.

Floyd,Julia. (1973). Slavery and Plantation Growth in Antebel-
lum Florida, 1821-1860. Gainesville:
University of Florida Press.

Gannon, Michael. ,_- '. :., Florida,A ,l:...i History. Gaines-
ville, FL: University Press of Florida.

Gates,Jr., Henry Louis. (2002). Unchained Memories: Readings
from the Slave Narratives. Bulfinch Press.

Geertz, Clifford. (1973). The Interpretation of Cultures. New
York: Basic books, Inc.

Hildreth, Charles H. & Cox, Merlin G.. (1981). History of
Gainesville, Florida, 1854-1979. Gainesville, FL: Alachua
County Historical Society.

Laurel, Brenda. I', '*). Design Research: Methods and
Perspectives. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

Lehrer,Warren & Sloan,Judith. _,. Crossing the Boulevard:
Strangers, Neighbors, Aliens in a New America. NewYork:

Leone, Mark P. & Siberman, NeilAsher. (1995). Invisible
America: Unearthing Our Hidden History. NewYork: H. Holt.

Lippard, Lucy R. (1997) 1 /:. Lure of the Local: Senses of Place
in a Multicentered society. NewYork: New Press.

Lippard, Lucy R. (1999). On The Beaten Track:Tourism,Art,
and Place. NewYork: The New Press.

Mitchell, William J. (1995). City of Bits: Space, Place, and the
Infobahn. Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Ortiz, Paul. (2005). Emancipation Betrayed: I 1:. Hidden
History of Black Organizing and White Violence in Florida from
Reconstruction to the Bloody Election of 1920. Los Angeles /
Berkley California: University of California Press.

Papaneck,Victor. (1985) Design for the Real World. Chicago:
Academy Publishers.

Pickard, John B. (1994). Florida's Eden:An Illustrated History of
Alachua County. Gainesville, FL: Maupin House.

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories 127

"plantation." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Cur
rent English. 2009. Retrieved April 10, 2010 from
Encyclopedia. cor:
doc/10999- plantation005.html

Russo,Angelina,Watkins,Jerry, Kelly, Lynda & Chan,
Sebastian. (2010,January). Participatory Communication
with Social Media. Curator, 51(1). 21-31.

Solnit, Rebecca. (2000). Wanderlust:A History of Walking.

Stilgoe, John R. (1998). Outside Lies Magic: Regaining History
and Awareness in Everyday Places. NewYork: Walker Publishing
Company, Inc.

Visocky O'Grady,Jenn & Ken. ,', ,, ,. The Information
Design Handbook. Cincinnati, Ohio: F+W Publications, Inc.

Wynne, Lewis N. & Parks,John T. ,_', 4, Florida's
Antebellum Homes. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing.

28 1 [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories


SQuote made by the author, Abby Marie

2 Burns, CarolJ. & Kahn,Andrea. (2005). Site Matters:
Design Concepts, Histories, and Strategies. NewYork:
Routledge, 54.

SLippard, Lucy R. (1997) 11. Lure of the Local: Senses of
Place in a Multicentered society. NewYork: New Press, 13.

4 Lippard, Lucy R. (1997) 1 I:. Lure of the Local: Senses of
Place in a Multicentered society. NewYork: New Press, 13.

5 Geertz, Clifford. (1973). The Interpretation of Cultures. New
York: Basic books, Inc., 4.

6 Lippard, Lucy R. (1997) 1 :.. Lure of the Local: Senses of
Place in a Multicentered society. NewYork: New Press, 23.

SBurns, CarolJ. & Kahn,Andrea. (2005). Site Matters:
Design Concepts, Histories, and Strategies. NewYork:
Routledge, 2.

8 Geertz, Clifford. (1973). The Interpretation of Cultures. New
York: Basic books, Inc., 4.

9 Auel, Lisa B. &Wayne, Lucy B. (2003). Historic Haile
Homestead at Kanapaha Plantation Docent Manual: Matheson
Historical Center, Inc., and Real South Tours.

10 Kelly, Michael. (26 July, 2010). Personal Interview.

" Barthes, Roland. (1972). Mythologies. NewYork: Hill and
Wang, 115.

The HHH has a Facebook page currently, and I have
created a Twitter page for the Homestead as well. Karen
Kirkman has already mentioned that Evans Haile would
like to see this creative project website linked with the
HHH website, as well as on the Facebook site for the
Homestead. Karen has asked for my permission to link to
the site, and I of course agreed.

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories 129


- a -

Areas of settlement

Figure 79: Diagram taken from Slavery and Plantation Growth inAntebellum
Florida, 1821-1860, byJulia Floyd Smith. It shows the plantation growth
in the state of Florida by 1860.

Thomas Haile and Serena Chesnut Haile (the original
owners of the plantation), moved from Camden South
Carolina in the March of 1854, and relocated to Gainesville.
At the time, Gainesville had just been founded, and the
county seat had been moved from Newnansville, due to
the railroad. The original rail line ran across Archer Road.

Thomas Haile and the eldest Chesnut son (one ofSerena's
brothers) had visited Florida during the Second Seminole
War, which they both fought in, between 1836-1842. They
returned to speak about all of the land that was available.
So when they suffered four different crop failures due to
flooding, they decided to make the move to a new area.
The Hailes were among other South Carolina planters who
moved to Gainesville around the same time. An example
that remains and can be seen, is the Bailey house on NW
6th Street, in Gainesville. The Bailey's moved from Camden,
and also owned land that they had a plantation on.

When the Hailes first arrived,Thomas purchased 1500
acres, and built a log cabin construction North of
where the Homestead sits today. He called the land
"Kanapaha,"which is Seminole Indian for "small thatched
houses."The enslaved laborer's spent 18 months constructing
the Homestead based from Thomas's plan. The enslaved
laborer's built the Homestead by hand, and felled huge trees,
that were 100 feet long from the property. These huge, one
hundred foot-long hand hewn beams, run the entire length
of the underside of the house. Sand bricks were also created
from materials on the property.

Prior to the CivilWar, the Hailes constituted the largest
slave owners in Alachua county. There were 4 Haile brothers
and their mother Amelia living in Gainesville according to
the 1860 census, and together they owned nearly 400 slaves,
66 of which were living on Thomas and Serena's plantation
according to the 1860 census data. (Information told to me
by Karen A. Kirkman (author's notes, August 29th, 2009). The
enslaved people were living in 18 slave cabins to the North,
which is today covered by homes in the Haile Plantation
Subdivision. The field was also located to the north of the
Homestead, and is as well, covered by the present Haile
Plantation subdivision.

A-i i [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories

They grew Sea Island cotton, which is one of the very
valuable cotton varieties, due to its long staple (1 and 3/4
inches). It also is one of the most costly cottons, is very light,
and has a silky feel and a luster. It is part of the West Indian
cotton variety.

The Hailes arrived with four children (they actually had
five children before moving to Gainesville, but one died as a
baby) and proceeded to have ten more during the time that
they lived in the house (the HHH).The grandiose size of the
home is a testament to the wealth and power that
the Hailes claimed, comprising over 6200 square feet in built
form. This wealth is also evident in the fact that they they
were slave owners, and plantation owners having acquired
1500 acres of land.

A mixture of three architectural styles (Cracker, Georgian,
and Greek Revival), and built without the aid of machines,
the house has a braced frame and mortise and tenon
joinery. The pillars of the house, are local limerock with
clay-lime mortar, and set on sunken boulders. The house
remains a unique testament to what life was like "back
then," as well as an architectural masterpiece.

The vernacular style of architecture, Cracker Style (which
is also seen in other areas of Florida and Southern Georgia,
and began in the early 19th century), is incorporated
into the house through the use of a high pitched roof,
the braced frame construction, large windows and large
porches, as well as the houses orientation to the South-all
characteristics typically found within this style as well as
the Homestead. One difference with this house and Cracker
Architecture however, is that the fact that the house was
built all at one time, and usually Cracker Style Architecture
was a gradual and adaptive process, where, as a family
grew, a new room was added to the house and so forth.This
is just another example as to the wealth the Hailes had.

The enlarged Georgian plan can be seen in the central
hallway with symmetrical rooms off of this central axis
point. Georgian Style Architecture can also be seen in the
roof construction. The Homestead contains whitewashed
walls, and dark trim both elements that comprised
Georgian Style Architecture.

Greek Revival Architecture is seen in the large spatial
volumes of the rooms-allowing for greater air circulation

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories IA-ii

and added drama to the space. The front door with the
narrow sidelights and the rectangular transom as well as
the columns that are resting on piers on the ground, instead
of on the porch itself are both attributes of this style of
architecture as well. Constructing the porch in this manner
added greater shading, especially needed in the south,
and protected the porch form harsh rains. The Homestead
emphasizes starkness, and very little use of ornament,
another attribute of the Greek Revival Style.

Architectural features such as floor to ceiling heights of
12 feet, and almost 8 foot high windows also speak to this
family's wealth. Thomas and Serena both had prominent
educations; Serena attending a fine ladies finishing school
under Miss Hawks during her younger years, up in
Philadelphia, and Thomas attending Princeton.

The Hailes actually lost and acquired land quite often (told
to me by Karen Kirkman through conversation (author's
notes, November 5th, 2009). This made the boundary lines
through the years more difficult to define. According to
the family, they actually had originally owned 6000 acres
of land at one point (this was mentioned to me by Beverly
Haile, the great granddaughter of Thomas and Serena
Haile (author's notes, September 24th, 2009). The boundary
lines of the known 1500 acres, with the exception of the
southern boundary, which is unknown are as follows: the
western boundary exists along sw 91st Street, the northern
boundary exists along 44th Avenue (north of the HPS
visitor center). Along this boundary, the planning committee
of the subdivision found remnants of a chimney, while
clearing the land, (all of this is information told to me by
Karen A. Kirkman (author's notes, November 5th, 2009)).
The eastern boundary exists along 63rd Boulevard. This was
the old stage coach road that was donated to the Kanapaha
Presbyterian Church (the church is gone and does not exist
anymore), and until very recently was a dirt path. This road
also leads back to where the Hailes and a former favored
enslaved houseboy, Bennett Kelley, are buried, in the family
plot at the Kanapaha Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

Note:All information was told to me by Karen Kirkman, through
oral family histories, census data, and genealogical investigations, and
or found in the Historic Haile Homestead 2007 docent manual;
taken from information presented during the tours.

A-iii [re] Surfacing Derelict Histories


These interview questions were conducted as part of my
research pertaining to this project. The specific groups of
people listed were the audiences I targeted throughout
the course of my research. Names/interviews published
in this document were conducted under the permission of
the people who participated and the Institutional Review
Board (IRB) at the University of Florida, in Gainesville,

IRB Protocol number: 2009-U-0597

Visitors to the Haile Homestead
1. Where are you from? (county, state, etc.)
2. Why did you decide to come here?
a. Who did you come with?
b. Have you [or any of you] ever been to a
c. How much time you spend here?
3. Tell me about your visit.
4. What did you learn on your visit?
5. What do you think, if anything, is important about
this place?
6. Did you ever learn about this [southern or Florida
plantations] in school?
7. Would you recommend visiting to your family and
8. What are you taking with you from this
9. Is there anything else you want to share?

Docents at the Historic Haile Homestead
1. How did you learn about the Homestead?
2. When did you start to docent?
3. Why did you become a docent?
4. What are your experiences here?
5. What, if anything, do you think is an important
part of history?
6. What are some of the most important things to
share with the public?
7. Where do you live in relation to the Homestead?
8. Do you ever go into the Haile Plantation
9. What do you do there [like to do there]?
10. Have you ever been to the Farmer's Market on
11. Tell me about it.
12.What relationships do you think the Homestead
and the subdivision share?

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories B-i

13.What are some of the major differences between
coming to the Homestead and going to the
14. Is there anything else you want to share?

Descendants of the Haile Family, former slaves, and
1. Where are you from?
2. Where do you live now?
3. What relation do your ancestors have to the Haile
4. Have you ever been to the Historic Haile
If yes,
a. Did you ever visit it as a child?
b. How many times have you been there?
c. When was the last time you visited?
d. Why did you go there?
e. Can you tell me about your experiences?
f What kinds of things did you do there?
5. What do you think is important about Haile
6. Do you have any thoughts about the subdivision?
7. Is there anything else you want to share?

Residents of the Haile Plantation Subdivision
1. How long have you lived here?
2. Why did you decide to live here?
3. Can you describe the kind where you live?
4. Was the design of the neighborhoods a deciding
factor in living here?
5. What do you know about the urban planning or
design of this community?
6. What do you like about living here?
7. Is there anything you would change?
8. How much time do you spend inside of the
9. What kinds of things do you do here?
10.What do you know about Haile Plantation's
11. Have you ever been to the Historic Haile
If yes,
a. Why did you go?
b. When did you go?
c. Who did you go with?
d. How long did you spend there?
e. Can you tell me about your experience?
f What did you learn?
g. What do you think important about this place?
h. Did you ever learn about working plantations
in school?
i. Would you take your friends and family there?

B-ii I [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories

12. Have you ever found any artifacts on or in
your property?
If yes,
a. What were they?
13. Is there anything else you want to share?

Owners and Employees of Businesses in the Haile
Plantation Subdivision
1. Can you describe your business?
2. How long have you been here?
3. Why are you here?
4. Who are your clients?
5. Do you live in Haile Plantation?
If yes,
a. Can you tell me about living here?
b. Why did you choose to live here?
6. Do you know anything about the history of Haile
7. Have you ever been to the Historic Haile
If yes,
a. Why did you go?
b. When did you go?
c. Who did you go with?
d. How long did you spend there?
e. Can you tell me about your experience?
f What did you learn?
g. What do you think important about this place?
h. Did you ever learn about working plantations
in school?
i. Would you take your friends and family there?
8. Is there anything else you want to share?

Visitors to Haile Plantation Subdivision and
Residents of Gainesville
1. Do you live here in Gainesville?
If yes,
a. Why do you live here?
b. What do you do? [occupation]
c. How long have you lived here?
d. Where are you from?
e. Do you live in Haile Plantation now?
f Have you ever lived here [there]?
g. Why don't you live there now?
If no,
h. Where are you from?
i. What are you doing here [why did you come
2. Do you ever go the Haile Plantation Subdivision?
If yes,
a. How often?
b. What do you normally do there?
3. What do you know about Haile Plantation?

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories IB-iii

4. Have you ever been to the Historic Haile Homestead?
If yes,
a. Why did you go?
b. When did you go?
c. Who did you go with?
d. How long did you spend there?
e. Can you tell me about your experience?
f What did you learn?
g. What do you think important about this place?
h. Did you ever learn about working plantations
in school?
i. Would you take your friends and family there?
5. Is there anything else you want to share?

B-iv I [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories


In this section are some selected interviews that I conducted
and participated in, pertaining to the research. I have
transcribed these below.

Michael Kelly
Michael is a descendant of the former enslaved laborer,
Bennett Kelley. He now lives in Donora, PA and is a part of
the fifth generation in his family. I interviewed Michael at
his home, on July 26th, 2009.

Abby Marie Chryst (AC): What do you think is
important about the Haile Homestead, or about Haile

Michael: "You'll see how Godly the Haile family were,
because they could have been like Willie Lynch. And I think
Willie is the most extremist of any of the white's that owned
black slaves."

Michael: "Yeah, how, good the Haile people, that's what
I'm saying, that story should be told because you could use
it as a model of saying, well...white folks wasn't all that
bad, and they were, there were some good ones and bad

Michael: "But you know, I could stand on the records of
what the Haile's did.....that they wasn't trying to keep the
blacks stuck on stupid, and a lot of people were trying to
keep you stuck on stupid, to manipulate you...yeah, so you

Michael: "I never met them per say, like I said, I can't give
em a complete hundred percent because they still had em
as slavery, but, I could I could show a lot more gratitude
towards them because they could been worse than what
they were."

Edmund Kelly
Edmund Kelly is Michael Kelly's uncle and a descendant
of the former enslaved laborer Bennett Kelley as well. He
lives less than a quarter mile form where the Homestead
sits, off ofArcher Road in Gainesville, Florida. I interviewed
Edmund Kelly at his home, on February 8th, 2010.

Abby Marie Chryst (AC): What do you think is
important about the Haile Homestead, or about Haile

Figures 80-81: Michael Kelly and me, during our interview session, on
July 26t, 2009, in Michael' residence in Donora, PA.

[re] Surfacing Derelict Histories I C-i

Figures 82-83: Karen Kirkman and me during our interview session.

Edmund Kelly:"Mmmmmmm.., (hesitation),Yeah I don't
know too much about it so I can't say too much important
about it, but I know it's a good plantation. That's about all I
can say about it. I have never, I have never been over there
and looked around to see what it was, Haile Plantation."

AC: Have you ever been to the Historic Haile Homestead?

Edmund Kelly: "No, I Haven't never been there."

AC: Do you think you might ever go there?

Edmund Kelly: "I probably will.Yeah, I can't say for sure,
but I probably will."

AC: What relation do your ancestors have to the Haile

Edmund Kelly: "Mmmmmmmmm..., (hesitation), Let me
see, now, all I know, they used to work for em.Yeah, that's
the only thing I know about it. But my daddy was told,
told, he know a lot about the Haile people over there, so,
he's the one you know, he, at least if he didn't work, I know
his daddy did.Yeah, from what, from what was told to me.
That's about all I know about it."

Karen Kirkman
Karen is the president of the HHH, as well as the head
docent. She has lived in the HPS since the early 1980s, and
she is the Director of Finance and Personnel in the College
of Engineering at the University of Florida. I interviewed
Karen on August 29th, 2009 at the HHH.

Abby Marie Chryst (AC): What are your experiences

Karen Kirkman: "Uhh,just in terms of doing tours, the
thing that strikes home with me over and over again, is
the number of people who come here; who've grown up in
Gainesville; spent their entire lives here, or just live close by
in Haile Plantation; who are coming here for the very first
time. And they say, "I've lived in Gainesville all my life," or
"I've lived in Haile Plantation for twenty years, and I never
knew this was here."We get that over, and over, and over

AC: And why did you become a docent?

Karen Kirkman: "Because of my intense interest in
history. I mean that, for me, that goes way way back to
when I was in middle school, ummmm, in central New
york; I was in a history club called "TheYorkers," I did
a tour for, for the state convention of the French fort,

C-ii [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories

Figure 84: Tami Moore, after our interview session on September 1' 2009.

in Syracuse NewYork, ummmmm, I always had a, a, a,
interest in like the history of wherever I lived, or visited. I'm
always interested in history of place. So that's kinda what
got me into it, I was living in Haile Plantation, ummmm,
didn't really think about Florida as being ummm, a slave
state; if you will, ummm, because it just appears, kinda
soooo, Northern, it, you just don't go around and see
these big Antebellum homes with the big columns these
big plantations like Tara in Gone With The Wind, you
know, you just don't think of it that way and then when
I discovered a Haile Plantation (said with emphasis and
surprise), ummmm, I was very interested in uhhh,just
becoming involved with it."

Tami Moore
Tami Moore was a visitor to the Homestead during a day
that I was on duty as a docent. She was very interested in
the history of the house, the family, and the enslaved people.
She is a recent Gainesville resident, and lives in Mentone,
a subdivision across the street from the Homestead. I
interviewed Tami at the Barnie's coffee shop off ofTower
Road in Gainesville, Florida, on September 1s' 2009.

Abby Marie Chryst (AC): Can you tell me a little bit
about your experiences?

Tami Moore: "Um, it was really interesting, first of all,
kind of along with my mother in law, I didn't really expect
a full-fledged plantation house to be right there, like it's
literally right off of the main road. Un, so that was really
surprising when i first came upon it on my bike; but um,
it was just so cool, the whole house was intact and the
writing, the writing was just obviously the most amazing
thing, i mean who does that? Who writes on their walls
even these days? "

Tami Moore: "I don't know, just think they must have
been extraordinary people just to kinda write down
whatever they wanted to on these walls. I think that's what
struck me most."

Tami Moore: "It's really cool how history can kind of
remain alive, um, especially in a building like that where
they've written on the walls and left actual footprints of you
know their, their life, or parts of their life."

Tami Moore: "I guess that you know, history doesn't have
to die you know, as time goes by."

Tami Moore: "I really, it's hard to stop thinking about it
since I saw it, that you know, even when this morning I was
out just running along,

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories I C-iii

Figure 85: Melanie Barr on the front steps of the HHH, during the annual
Homestead Holidays celebration. Melanie is on the far right end, third row from
the top.

um Archer, and you know, right ...there, right there, like
literally right there is just this old plantation house."

Tami Moore: "It was just, it was so neat, I think it's

Tami Moore: "You know, I don't know, I feel like that's
the......I feel like I was like almost living history, it was just
really cool."

Tami Moore: "Like I don't know if I've ever..., cause
you know how you go and you see plantations but they're
always redone so well, and they're always... have very, not
modern furniture, but furniture you can tell was not there
that day, like that's another thing I love, the bed was real,
the crib was real, like it was was really neat."

AC: What if anything do you think is important about this

Tami Moore: "I think it's important, cause, you know
like, I was talking to my husband about like I live on land
that used to be worked on by slaves, you know, like not a
lot of people can say that, that you know, they lived right
now our house is on what used to be the land of a working
plantation. I just think that's huge, you know, not many
people at all can boast that in America, so..."

Tami Moore: "I think everyone that lives on property like
that should know about it."

Melanie Barr
Melanie Barr is a Historic Preservation Consultant in
Gainesville, Florida. She is also a docent at the HHH.
Melanie lives in the downtown historic section of
Gainesville. I interviewed Melanie at her home., on
October 6th, 2009.

Abby Marie Chryst (AC): What are the major differences
between these two contexts?

Melanie Barr: "The realtors take you straight to Haile
Plantation and say,"this is where you want to live." It's all
white, middle class, suburbanites with the good schools, with
hardly any blacks in it. So that's why there's no integration.
Our schools here, are like 90 percent black."

AC: What if anything do think is important about this

Melanie Barr: "And and so, that's what I think about
when we're at the Haile House, you know, what do they,
did they ever realize that this house would be one of the

C-iv I [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories

Figures 86-87: Shirley Blumenthal and me during our interview session on
September 27*, 2009, at the HHH.

few plantations standing? Cause it was allllllll plantations.
Where are they now? We might have 4 or 5 plantation
houses left, pre-civil war houses, in our county, and then
you go up North and everything is older; old old old; cause
the Civil War did not affect them up there. In fact I was
astounded to go to Ohio and see the lovely mansions built
in the 1860's 69 and I thought Florida was so devastated.
Nothing was being built in the 1860's or 70's.

! Shirley Blumenthal
Shirley was a visitor to the Homestead one day when I was
on duty as a docent. She is from Twin Falls Idaho, and came
to see the HHH because she is interested in history and
preservation. She came with her daughter, who now resides
in Gainesville, Florida. I interviewed Shirley at the HHH,
on September 27th, 2009.

Abby Marie Chryst (AC): What is important about this

I Shirley Blumenthal: "Oh, preservation of history, I'm
I entirely interested in that. I think that's great. Um, (pause)
tells us something about our past, because it's the American
past, so even if you don't live here, it's still part of the whole
picture. And um, I just think preservation is a very important
thing. Because you can't really understand anything about
other people if you can't sort of feel and see something that
S was theirs, 'l .... ..', so, yeah."

AC: What are you taking with you from this experience?

Shirley Blumenthal: "(deep sigh),You know, (long pause),
knowledge is sort of an overall intake of everything you see
and do, and I know that whenever I read a book that has
anything to do with this, or I think about something or hear
someone talk about, ummmm, Florida, or, historical times,
or The Civil War, or a lot of different things, what I see and
learn here is going to come into that whether I specifically
think about it or not. It's still going to be part of the layers
of knowledge and understanding that I have."

AC: Is there anything else you want to share?

Shirley Blumenthal: "Uhhh,just it's great, I loved it. I
think everybody that lives around here should come see it!"

Tim Voisat
Tim was a visitor to the Homestead one day while I was
on duty as a docent. He came to the HHH with his family,
because they were looking for something to do, and thought
it looked interesting. He is from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I
interviewed Tim at the HHH, on September 27th, 2009

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories C-v

Figures 88-89: Tim Voisat and me during our interview session on
September 27*, 2009, at the HHH.

Abby Marie Chryst (AC): What is important about
this place?

Tim Voisat: "Well what's important is that it being
preserved. Uhhhh, I think that's, that's critical; is that we try
to do something to protect this, this type of environment
and this, this house."

AC: What are you taking with you from this experience?

Tim Voisat: "Well, just the memory of uhh, what it looks
like, and uhh, the Haile family itself. And uhh, the walls; I
think that that's the most impressive thing about this."

AC: Can you tell me a little bit about your visit?

Tim Voisat: "Well, we uhhh, we had an opportunity to
take the tour, of the entire house, and within the house there
were multiple rooms of which the most interesting facet
was probably all the writing on the walls. So we spent time
reading the writings."

AC: Is there anything else you want to share?

Tim Voisat: "That certainly, uhhhh, we hope that uhh, this
place is preserved. I think that that's, that's the message that's
what's important."

Evans Haile:
Evans is the great grandson ofThomas and Serena Haile.
I interviewed Evans at his home here in Gainesville, on
February 5th, 2010. He is a producer, and runs the oldest
professional theatre in America, the Cape Playhouse,
in Massachusetts, as well as the North Shore Music
Theatre, the 5th largest theatre in America, up in Beverly
Massachusetts; and he is the conductor of the Gainesville
Orchestra, here in town (Gainesville, FL).

AC: Have you ever been to the Historic Haile Homestead,
and when was the last time that you visited?

Evans Haile: "Uumm, about a month ago i guess."

AC: Why did you go there?

Evans Haile: "Well I mean, we still own, the family, I
mean the family still owns, the property and owns the house
and so we're very proud of the fact that, (pause) we're very
proud of the fact that of the work that's been done to open
it up, to show not only the history, of you know, I'm less
interested in the family history, because I grew up with it;
what I'm interested in is, the architectural history of this
fantastic house, that was built by enslaved labor, but by true

C-vi | [re]Surfacing Derelict Histories

craftsmen, true artisans, who built this place. And because of
their work, the house is still standing. I mean, they deserve
most of the credit for it, and because it represents a part
of Florida history that people, a lot of people don't think
about in terms of true pioneer days; because Florida is not
an "old" state, it is an old state in the big picture, but it's,
it's not an old state in in terms of, of the "United States,"
ofAmerica, and its ownerships, so, so the fact that the you
know, that this part of Florida was developed and had,
you know, this wonderful history behind it, that I think a
lot of people aren't aware of, and I think that's part of the
joy of....ofThe Homestead, and that it opens up those
doors; and hopefully opens up those doors beyond just the
Homestead, but to other, uh you know, that sense of pioneer
period in this part of the state; which a lot of people aren't
really aware of, people think, or people move to Florida
and they only think of Florida form the 19, huh, 40's or 50's,
you know in terms of of tourism, but but they don't realize
that there that there was a real ummm, kind of a rough and
ready pioneer period here. And that's you know, that's that's
one of the things that i think The Homestead is is terrific
for. And of course then, then you know, then you add the
the family connections and I was saying this having nothing
to do with me, but just the fact that there was a family that
lived there, there was a family who wrote on the walls, there
was a family that was very social, and a family who in a lot
of people whose names are familiar to people who live in
Gainesville, uhhhh, there they are, represented right there on
the on the in the walls and uhhhh the walls that "Talk," for
you know and, and that's uhhhh you know that it is, there
are those connections."

Figures 90-92: Evans Haile and me during our interview session, at his home
in Gainesville, FL, on February 5h, 2010.

[re]Surfacing Derelict Histories I C-vii


Abby is an architect and a designer, who
graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia,
PA in 2007 with a Bachelor ofArchitecture degree,
and is a recent graduate of the University of Florida,
receiving a Master of Fine Arts degree in Graphic

She is interested in social design, sustainability, the
history and meaning of place, resurfacing derelict
histories, ethnographic research, and regenerative

She has also recently been accepted at the
University of Virginia for a Post-Professional
Master ofArchitecture degree.

Abby hopes to create a hybrid between art,
architecture, and design; and her interest is to
explore how ethnographic research within these
fields can be used to reclaim and design sites of
embedded meaning in the built environment in the
hopes of designing and using built form to enhance
and communicate socially, ethically, and historically
important narratives of site and place.


copyright 2010 Abby Marie Chryst