By BRUCE COLLIER
Five years ago, Connie Taylor and her husband Danny purchased the old house at 209 E. Nelson Ave. in DeFuniak Springs, formerly owned and occupied by Robert and Janie Blue. Once the property was fully paid for, the Taylors entered into a lease agreement with local business Game Addicts, which now occupies the former dwelling. In getting the house in shape for their tenant, the Taylors discovered a treasure trove of DeFuniak Springs history.
“This house is a time capsule,” said Connie Taylor, sitting in a back room nearly filled with boxes, crates and assorted odds and ends. With her were Game Addicts owner Erika Rice and family friend Sherry Jenks Pincus. Pincus, who grew up in DeFuniak Springs and who has an interest in history, has been working her way through the material. She has managed to identify some of the photographs, many of which bear meticulous handwriting detailing their date and what they depict. Others are completely void of identifying marks. In addition to photos, there are several college annuals, a Walton High School 1958 War Whoop, maps, stacks of colorful picture postcards, slides, property descriptions, and a town plan for DeFuniak Springs circa 1960.
Many of the photos are of Mr. and Mrs. Blue, including their wedding photo and wedding anniversary photo. The Blues were keen travelers, and chronicled their journeys in photos and postcards. Also among the photos are dozens of old DeFuniak Springs, including long-gone businesses, school parades, social gatherings and pictures from the Blues’ business, a tractor and Oldsmobile dealership. The trove includes some old games and toys, records and personal souvenirs and mementos.
Taylor couldn’t bear to throw any of it away, and she (with the help of Pincus and Rice) would like to put the items in good order and see how much can be learned from them. To that end, they have been in contact with the Walton DeFuniak library and are planning to get in touch with the Heritage Museum, as well as anyone else who might have knowledge of the photos and the period they depict, approximately 1956 – mid 1970s. Anyone who knew the Blue family or who might be able to identify or give details about the photographs is invited to call 892-5449 (the Game Addicts phone number).