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Tallahassee city commissioners hear Frenchtown concerns during tour

Posted at 5:55 PM, Jan 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-28 17:55:10-05

TALLAHASSEE — The City of Tallahassee is taking an interest in one of its most historic neighborhoods.

From the mayor to utility workers, employees at the city toured Frenchtown to learn more about its history and how they can support the neighborhood.

City leaders learned more about why the people living here in the community cherish it so much and the neighbors got the chance to address their concerns in a comfortable and informal way.

"They used to live on Adams Street. Her father had been tax collector and a city councilman during Reconstruction," said Anthon Roberts as he addressed the tour group. "When was Reconstruction?"

On every corner, you'll find a piece of history in Tallahassee's Frenchtown neighborhood. The community was established in 1825, claiming to be the oldest continuous black community in the entire state of Florida.

"If we get on the bus and go down MLK, I'd like to show you the house that belonged to Margaret Adel Yellowhair," said Roberts.

Anthon Roberts' family has been in the community since the beginning and she got the chance to share some of that history with city leadership and city workers.

"It was great to hear about the history of Frenchtown, but also about the future and how we can move forward," said Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey.

While learning more about the Goodbread community and the Dent Street Diggers community garden, people in the neighborhood also got the chance to tell leaders what their neighborhood needs most.

From bringing more businesses to the neighborhood, to redeveloping current structures and building more, all while maintaining the history and culture that makes Frenchtown great.

"I'd like to see separate individual private family homes. No more apartments," said Roberts. "I'd like to see family's with small children."

Roberts says so far, her suggestions haven't gone anywhere.

"I have been going to commissioners and mayors for years, since the 60's and I have not gotten much results," said Roberts.

She hopes Tuesday's tour will be the change she's spent decades looking for.

"I'd like to come to a city meeting, sit down, and work out something and it comes to fruition," said Roberts.

"The ideas that were kicked around today were absolutely fantastic," said Dailey. "I think the city's committed."