John Gorrie St. George Island

Good ole’ John Gorrie making Floridians cooler since 1844!

Down St. George Island Florida way, winter weather sets in a little later. We’ve spent many a Thanksgiving meal in short sleeves with the AC blasting to combat the effects of the big turkey roasting in the oven along with everyone’s favorite Apalachicola oyster stuffing. In neighboring Apalachicola, folks know all about John Gorrie—even dedicating a square of town, a state park, and a museum to his memory.

Dr. John Gorrie is regarded as a pioneer in the realms of ice making and refrigeration. Those of us who spend our Thanksgivings beachside know all too well that without air conditioning and ice, this time of year would be a lot less about making family memories and a lot more about trying to stay cool on the coast.

These Florida folks need to cool down!

Gorrie relocated down to Apalachicola in 1833, bringing with him a host of knowledge and experience regarding everything from medicine to finances. As a young physician, Gorrie realized that the yellow fever epidemic plaguing the region seemed to be exacerbated by the patients being unable to drop their body temperatures. He began tirelessly searching for a way to cool the rooms these patients were in.  He even eventually gave up his medical practice to dedicate all his time pursuing a solution.

In 1844, Gorrie came up with the plans for the first ever air conditioner.  It was a device run on ice that then pumped out cooled air. In 1851, he received a patent for mechanical refrigeration, which laid the foundation for what would become modern refrigeration and air conditioning. While Gorrie was unable to witness the fruits of his labor due to a lack of widespread interest and investment at the time, we now recognize his contribution to the development of refrigeration as an integral part in creating the comforts of air conditioning that we now enjoy today.

Local boy done good.

Apalachicola honors John Gorrie and his dedication to bettering the lives of his patients with the John Gorrie Museum State Park, located at 46 6th Street. A replica of Gorrie’s ice machine can be found within the museum.  A statue bearing his likeness is on-site and visitors can pay their respects in person, as Dr. Gorrie’s gravesite buried just across the street from the museum building.

For more information about the John Gorrie Museum State Park or to plan a trip to honor the man responsible for the comforts of air conditioning we have today, visit the John Gorrie Museum State Park website here.


Resort Vacation Properties of St. George Island Florida makes it their mission to champion their community by sharing the old fishermen tales, the area’s mysterious history, the hidden beauty spots along the Forgotten Coast, and highlighting the wonders of this incredible beach island enclave.  St. George Island is a short 80 miles east of Panama City, along the sparkling Gulf Coast of Florida.  We hope you’ll check out our rental properties should your travels ever bring you our way.  

oysters-over-iceGorgeous St. George Island is home to sugary sand and unparalleled respite. However, did you know that in addition to being the place to get away, the Forgotten Coast offers unforgettable dishes all around—specifically, oysters.

Whether fried, charbroiled, grilled, or slurped right from their half shells, oysters are everywhere in autumn. Since the water is reaching cooler temps this time of year, oysters are guaranteed to be fatter and even more full of flavor right now. These mollusks are much more than just delicious—they actually improve the Gulf Coast ecosystem by acting as natural filters for the water!

Oysters help our waters, they create a lucrative industry, and they taste incredible with a little horseradish and hot sauce—here are a few ways you can commemorate everyone’s favorite bivalve:

The Downtown Oyster Roast celebrates with local food and flavor

Now in its twelfth year, Downtown Apalachicola celebrates oysters on Friday, November 4, from 6pm to 9pm. Just $60 will give you access to:

  • Oyster-themed arts and crafts
  • Family fun
  • Dishes from decadent oyster stews to massive fried oyster sandwiches with nearly every preparation in between.

And with live music provided by Joe Hutchinson and a host of oyster delights to try, this annual event is a can’t-miss when it comes to giving the mollusks their due appreciation!

Learn about the best bivalves around at the Oysters Workshop

On November 10 in Eastpoint, Florida, experience an oyster education that extends far beyond their salty flavor! From 1pm to 4pm the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will host a workshop to discuss the health benefits oysters provide for Apalachicola Bay.  They’ll also discuss facts regarding how the oysters improve the quality of water through their unique filtration abilities. In addition, participants will learn what gives the mollusks their noteworthy taste.  You and your family will walk away with a greater understanding of why these shellfish are such an integral part of our culture, ecosystem, and industry.

Feed your mollusk-loving soul at Lynn’s Quality Oysters

Few people know oysters as well as Lynn C. Martina, lifetime Eastpoint local and longtime owner of the oldest licensed oyster house in Florida. 40 years of experience in the seafood industry means that Lynn believes in feeding the soul with good food, treating friends like family, and serving the freshest oysters around. All of the oysters at Lynn’s Quality Oysters come straight from the best beds in Apalachicola Bay.  Her team engages in a daily process of tonging for the tastiest bivalves starting just as the sun rises. In order to ensure freshness, Lynn’s Quality Oysters even has a packing room on site where the oysters are housed once they have been meticulously inspected for quality. The restaurant will even ship you a box of the good stuff overnight so you can show your loved ones at home how much they mean to you!

For more information about Lynn’s Quality Seafood, visit lynnsqualityoysters.com or call 850-670-8796. When you’re there, be sure to try a dozen of the Oyster Poppers, a savory menu staple starring Apalachicola oysters topped with jalapeno, cream cheese, and Greek seasoning.

Say it with stew!

What better way to write a love letter to our famous oysters than by creating a rich and delicious stew in their honor?! Try this simple recipe and share with other oyster enthusiasts. Warning: Leftovers are unlikely!

Ingredients:

1 pint of Apalachicola oysters and their liquid

1 stick of butter

1 green onion, chopped

2 tsp parsley (dried or fresh chopped)

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp Ed’s Red Hot Sauce (use more if you’d like more heat—it is an oyster’s best friend, after all!)

2 cups heavy cream or half and half

Oyster crackers

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan, cooking over medium-low heat on stove until oyster edges begin to curl.

In a separate pan, scald heavy cream or half and half over low heat, heating slowly until tiny bubbles form at edges of the pan. Be careful not to bring to a full boil!

Add scalded heavy cream of half and half to all other ingredients. Stir, turn down to low until flavors have combined.

Ladle into bowls and top generously with oyster crackers.

Enjoy!


Resort Vacation Properties of St. George Island Florida makes it their mission to champion their community by sharing the old fishermen tales, the area’s mysterious history, the hidden beauty spots along the Forgotten Coast, and highlighting the wonders of this incredible beach island enclave.  St. George Island is a short 80 miles east of Panama City, along the sparkling Gulf Coast of Florida.  We hope you’ll check out our rental properties should your travels ever bring you our way.