First Floridians First Americans Conference 2012

First Floridians: First Americans Conference

The second First Floridians First Americans conference will be held in Monticello Florida the first week of October 2015
Your donation will make it possible
for us to make this conference equal the first.
If we have enough money, early enough to engage him,
we would like to invite
Dennis Stanford, Archaeologist at the Smithsonian
to be our Keynote Speaker

Please help – go to, hit the donation button to make a contribution or mail your check to:

First Floridians Conference
P. O. Box 323, Monticello, FL 32345

Please visit our website at:


OCTOBER 4, 5, and 6, 2012
Phone: 850-576-0721 or E-Mail:

The First Floridians First Americans Conference was sponsored by Main Street Monticello Florida, Inc. and the Jefferson County Florida Historical Association and undertaken with a $10,000 grant from the Florida Humanities Council. As we realized the extent of person-power and money needed to make the event great, it became a community project, supported by many individuals.
The City of Monticello, the Jefferson County Commission, the Altrusa Club, Aucilla Academy, the Monticello Opera House and several local businesses helped. The total accumulation of individual contributions of $25 to $500 became our greatest financial support after the grant from the Florida Humanities Council. Volunteers who helped with the conference represented most of Monticello and Jefferson County’s civic organizations.
The Jefferson County Historical Association, in partnership with the City of Monticello, a local nurseryman and the owner of a large sod farm dug out an unsightly cement parking lot and created a large garden to beautify the town for the conference. The City of Monticello cleaned and patched streets, planted flowers and helped with providing police protection for the wonderful and valuable exhibits throughout the conference.
Attendance was more than expected, totaling 608 people registering over the three days. Approximately twenty volunteers were available at all times, registering people, providing coffee, helping attendees find seats. Some people visited the exhibits without registering. Enough donations were made to pay conference expenses.
We received 90 evaluation forms from attendees, citing their sources of information about the conference as — Web – 33, Radio – 10, Print – 29, and word-of-mouth – 18. All fourteen speakers seemed thrilled to participate in the conference and sent us thank you notes for their invitation.

Here are the exact words of some of the evaluators:

“So many locals brought in things to be dated. That was great.”
“Great work and congratulations to organizers and volunteers for a smooth running professional conference – speakers were very relatable to the public audience – great boon to the local economy!!!”

“Loved the 2 hr. lunch – saw the town. Excellent use of technology.”

“Great job – plenty of time for lunch & breaks. Fun & informative while also very informal.”

First Floridians First Americans Conference included thirty-minute presentations by fourteen scholars, each with a ten-minute question and answer session. All sessions were plenary and well attended. We recorded every session separately and are in the process of obtaining copyright from the speakers so these recordings can be available on Compact disks. Each speaker has been asked to submit a paper on his or her subject and a publisher is being sought.
The First Floridians web site will be continued and we are now in the process of including photographs of the crowd and many of the exhibits included in the conference. Reports on the conference will be added as available.
Many attendees and evaluators requested that this conference be presented on an annual basis in the future, but we think it should be repeated in three to four years when more information is gathered from on-going archaeological digs in the Aucilla Basin. We are however, encouraged by the success of First Floridians, discussing the possibility of presenting a conference in the same venue next fall on protecting the north Florida aquifer and springs. This event may be incorporated with a Rain Garden Certification class.
We learned from the First Floridians First Americans Conference that when we present another conference we will include at least one evening presentation for people who work. We will also time presentations so that each day concludes with a discussion panel made up of the day’s speakers fielding questions—and we will move into that panel discussion without a break. Also, as urged by many conference attendees, we will make great efforts to include school children of all ages in the conference, offering appropriate activities along with exhibits.
Thank you on behalf of Main Street Monticello Florida, Jefferson County Historical Association and everyone who helped make the First Floridians First Americans Conference a great success.

Anne H. Holt, Ph.D, Program Manager
Main Street Monticello Florida, Inc.

Sponsored by
First Floridians: First Americans Conference will be held in the Monticello Opera House, Monticello, FL on Oct. 4, 5, and 6, 2012.
Scholars will explain the pre-history of Jefferson County as revealed by the archaeological digs in the Aucilla Basin, several Spanish Mission sites and Paleolithic sites around 14000 years old.
Michael Waters of Texas A&M, Mary Glowacki, Florida’s State Archaeologist, and 10 other archaeologists, anthropologists, historians and others familiar with these sites will make presentations with Q&A. Displays of artifacts found in local digs will be included. We will publish the Conference proceedings.
Media Release
The First Floridians First Americans Conference will tell the story of the early people of Florida, including the Apalachee of Jefferson County. We will talk about the coming of the Spanish and local Mission sites. One presentation will explain how the diversity of plant life in the Aucilla Basin attracted and fostered settlement throughout the ages. We’ll hear how remnants of Florida’s tribes and Georgia Creeks formed the Seminoles.

We’ll move back in time to learn how this land protected the evidence of our pre-history and how people lived in Jefferson County 14,000 years ago. Dr. Michael Waters of The Center for First Americans at Texas A&M will reveal new knowledge found in an Aucilla Basin archaeological dig this summer.
Scholars will explain the pre-history of Jefferson County as revealed by the findings in Paleolithic sites more than 14000 years old. You will see unsurpassed collections of artifacts found in the Aucilla Basin and enjoy an “Artifact Road Show” where experts identify items in private collections.
Mary Glowacki, Florida’s State Archaeologist and Neil Wallis, of Florida Natural History Museum, Jim Dunbar, Lee Newsom, Harley Means, Glen Doran and others familiar with these interesting sites will make presentations with Q&A. Visitors will be able to join hikes to see nearby sinkholes and mounds.
The conference will end with a panel discussing how we can use and still protect the great ecological and archaeological treasures of the Aucilla Basin. Later Saturday evening we’ll enjoy a real Monticello celebration with local food and music.

First Floridians First Americans Conference Schedule

THURSDAY – October 4, 2012

8:30 AM – Registration & Coffee
9:00 AM – Mary Glowacki and Barbara Hines – Introduction to First Floridians Conference
9:40 AM – Break
10:00 AM –Rochelle Marrinan – Spanish Missions Sites in Jefferson County
10:40 AM – Jack Rink – New paraphernalia and puzzles in dating Florida archaeology
11:30 AM Break for lunch
1:30 PM –Ken Sassaman – Eight Thousand Years of Archaic History in North Florida
2:10 PM – Break
2:30 PM –Neil Wallis – Ancient Regional Networks of North Florida
3:20 PM- Andrew Frank – “The Ancient and Historical Origins of the Seminoles.”
4:00 PM – End of Presentations for the first day: Artifact Display and exhibits downstairs in Opera House
6:00 PM – Close for Thursday
FRIDAY – October 5, 2012

9:00 AM registration & Coffee
9:30 AM – Harley Means – The Link Between Geology and Archaeology in Florida-
10:15 AM – Break
10:35 AM – Lee Newsom – Insights into the Ancient Ethnobotany of the First Floridians”
11:20 AM – Break for lunch around town
1:30 PM – Matthew C. Mihlbachler – Florida, Late Pleistocene ecosystem dynamics & extinction
2:15 PM Break
2:35 PM – Ervan Garrison – Drowned Prehistoric Tools and Landscapes – the Georgia Bight.
3:20 PM – Break
3:40 PM – Glen Doran – A brief bioarchaeological background on early populations
4:25 PM – End of Presentations for Second Day: Artifact Display and exhibits downstairs in Opera House – Artifact Identification Booth- Barbara Hines
6:00 PM – Close for Friday

SATURDAY – October 6, 2012

9:00 AM registration & Coffee
9:30 AM – Dave Thulman: – Paleoindian Distributions in Florida
10:15 AM – Break
10:35 AM – James Dunbar – The Aucilla and Wacissa Rivers provide a time machine to our past.
11:20 AM Break for lunch around town
1:30 PM – Michael Waters – First Floridians First Americans
2:15 PM Break
3:20 PM – Panel—Enjoying and Protecting Florida’s Ecological & Archaeological Treasures
4:35 PM – End of Presentations: Artifact Display and exhibits downstairs in Opera House –
5:30 PM – Social Gathering for speakers and guests in Opera House with BBQ, music and cash bar

NOTE 1 – The Honorable Ken Detzner, Florida Secretary of State — Our arrangement is that he would be slotted in for 15 minutes if and whenever he can attend



Erv Garrison

Dave Thulman

Ken Sassaman

Rochelle Marrinan

Matthew C. Mihlbachler

Michael Waters

Barbara Hines

James Dunbar

Glen Doran

Lee Newsome

Jack Rink

Mary Glowacki

Harley Means

Andrew Frank or

“Funding for this program was provided through a grant from the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this (publication) (program) (exhibition) (website) do not necessarily represent those of the Florida Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.”