Welcome to my latest followers Merri & Steve from Jammin' Along and Lady Dyna Ryder at DnD 2015. I love it when I meet new people! Go visit them and tell them I sent you!
We went over and visited the Museum and Bell Tower while my daughter and the boys were here. It is such a wonderful memorial to Stephen Foster's Music. It is located right here at the Stephen Foster Folk Cultural Center State Park where we are camping. Click here to visit my campground review on this park.
Located only a short distance from the boundary separating Florida and Georgia, Stephen Foster State Folk Culture Center fulfills two purposes. Appropriately situated on the Suwannee River, the 247-acre center honors the memory of Foster, whose song "Old Folks at Home," memorialized the picturesque stream. It also serves as a gathering place for those who perpetuate the crafts, music and legends of early and contemporary Floridians. Foster apparently never saw the Suwannee River, but he made it famous nevertheless.
The 1935 Florida Legislature designated "Old Folks At Home" also known as "Suwannee River" the official state song. Foster wrote more than 200 songs, including "Oh! Susanna," "Camptown Races," "Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair," "My Old Kentucky Home," "Beautiful Dreamer," and many others familiar today.
There are many Dioramas which depict scenes described in some of Stephen Foster's most famous songs are housed in the Stephen Foster Museum and Carillon Tower along with rare pianos and priceless musical instruments.
The Carillon Tower is also home to the world's largest tubular bell instrument constructed and installed by the J.C. Deagan Company in 1957. The carillon at White Springs, is the largest and the last system to be installed by Deagan, consists of three full sets of 32 bells with a scale range of C to G, chromatic, plus a fourth high G bell. Three bells sound in perfect unison for each note to produce a strong, resonant tone response. Regular programs of many of Stephen Foster's compositions, which number more than 200, are played by specially trained carillonneurs and at other times from the automatic electric player installed with the carillon. The Bell tower chimes on each hour (between 8am & 6pm)and plays a Stephen Foster Song everyday. It is really beautiful to listen to.