Restored Smokey Hollow Barbershop Commemorates Tallahassee's African-American Heritage

A new addition to Tallahassee’s Cascades Park celebrates the legacy of the Smokey Hollow community. For over 60 years, Smokey Hollow was home to churches, restaurants, stores, and hundreds of residents. Urban renewal eliminated the neighborhood in the 1960’s, but the stories and history of the area lives on.

During the developments of Cascades Park, former residents of the lost neighborhood played a major role in the design and development of the Smokey Hollow Commemoration. The memorial was designed to be a symbolic village, featuring fruit trees, vegetable gardens, flowers, and three open, brick-and-steel “spirit houses”. These structures include photos and descriptions of how homes would have been furnished at the time.

The newest addition to the memorial is the restored community barbershop, which played a vital role in the Smokey Hollow community and was once the only commercial building in the neighborhood. Previous members of the historic community donated items to the historic barbershop, including a traditional 1960s barber chair from the family of Eddie Barrington, former barber and local civil rights leader who died in the fall of 2017 at the age of 99. Prior to his death, Barrington was the oldest living foot soldier of the Civil Rights movement and an integral figure during the Tallahassee Bus Boycott.

Located at the corner of Franklin Boulevard and E. Pensacola St., the barbershop is open to the public as a museum, reflecting on Smokey Hollow’s rich and vibrant history. Tours are by appointment only. For more information, contact Parks and Recreation.

Author:

Visit Tallahassee

Bio:

Leon County Division of Tourism (Visit Tallahassee)

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