This film chronicles the purchase and restoration of the Wardlaw-Smith Mansion in Madison by residents William and Sue Goza. Built in 1860 by Benjamin F. Wardlaw, this antebellum mansion served both as a makeshift hospital after the Civil War battle of Olustee and as lodging along the escape route of former U.S. Vice President and Confederate General John C. Breckenridge.
The narrated film includes extensive footage of the house during its restoration. Madison contractor Dawson Rutherford gives an interview on the front porch of the house. He describes the difficulties of working on such a large historic structure and the difficulty of demolishing the Depression-era filling station on the property. Despite this, he believes the mansion will be an enjoyable home for the Goza family and a showplace for the Madison community.
Upon completion of the restoration, people move antique furniture back into the mansion. In the library and parlor, William Goza recounts the history of the home and expresses his hope that the people of Florida and Madison County will preserve and enjoy the house for many years to come. This film was produced by North Florida Films.
Florida Memory is funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Florida’s LSTA program is administered by the Department of State's Division of Library and Information Services.