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"History right next door" - See why a house on a truck made its way through College Town Wednesday

One of two historic Jiles houses in College Town was moved to an area near FAMU
'History right next door': Neighbors react to historic Collegetown home being relocated
Posted at 7:02 PM, Sep 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-27 19:02:48-04
  • One of two houses built for Willis Jiles was moved to a location near FAMU Way on Wednesday
  • It's the first step in an effort to preserve part of Tallahassee's Black history
  • Watch now to hear from a direct neighbor of the house's new location


An important piece of Tallahassee history is getting the care it needs to be around for decades to come.

I'm Alberto Camargo in Collegetown, here on Wailes Street near FAMU Way, where this house was relocated from its original location about one and a half miles away from here.

I talked to people in the neighborhood about the new addition.

Just down the street on the corner of Wailes and Disston, I met Kyle Johnson, a local comedian who also works near FAMU.

"I run the C-store convenience store at night for the kids to come and buy food."

He's originally from Philadelphia, but has lived in Tallahassee for 30 years, and on Wailes Street for five. He wasn't aware of the project until I walked him through it. Kyle says bringing this kind of significant local history to his area will benefit future generations.

"I know of it but I would like to know more, you know. Like I said bring my grandkids up and let them see that we have some history here right next door to the house."

This house was one of two belonging to Willis Jiles, one of Tallahassee's first Black entrepreneurs.

The preservation project named Save the Historic Jiles Houses wants to turn the homes into a museum to preserve part of the Capital City's Black history alongside the former home of the Reverend King Solomon DuPont.

DuPont was a local Civil Rights Movement leader and pastor at Greater Fountain Chapel AME Church.

Project organizer Max Epstein says this location is not yet finalized, but it is historically significant.

"We hope to keep them here in this area, this block near the reverend's home, the church because it will create a destination for folks."

For locals like Kyle, the possibility of a historic site so close to his front door makes him even prouder to have moved to the city.

"I love being here, Tallahassee is my home now, and I'm looking forward to great things in the future here in Tallahassee, especially starting with this."

The second Jiles house is scheduled to be moved next door on Thursday morning.

In Collegetown, I'm Alberto Camargo, ABC27.