Sunday, September 26, 2010

Florida Farm Colony, Sunland, and Tacachale

The campus in Gainesville, Florida now called Tacachale has a fascinating and lengthy history. Under Governer Sidney Catts, Florida's first "Colony" for intellectually disabled children was formed in 1919. The original name of this 3000 acre tract of land was the Florida Farm Colony for the Epileptic and Feeble Minded. Later, it became one of the 7 Sunland Training Centers in Florida. Some years later, "Training" was dropped and it was a Sunland Center. In the early 1990's, the name Tacachale was selected. Tacachale is a Timucuan Indian name meaning "to light a new fire". This was felt to reflect the rebirth of the center, and perhaps a shedding of the problems of the past. Here is a view of the orginal administration building. This photograph was taken in 1949. Credit: Florida State Archives, Photographic Collection.

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