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Project Information

The Samsula Historical Archive (samsulahistory.net) was begun as part of a dissertation project through the Texts & Technologies doctoral program at the University of Central Florida. The purpose of the site is to create a community "scrapbook" that preserves and documents our shared histories as Samsula locals. Though my dissertation has been completed, the Samsula site will stay open and continue to grow as more of us take the opportunity to share our stories.

From farming to hunting and fishing, from the Lodge hall to the Samsula school, from local landmarks to local wild lands, we share memories and stories that are of interest not just to those of us who lived the experiences, but to new generations and others who might just be curious about this community known as Samsula.

Marcy Galbreath

My own Samsula history started when my mother's parents, Martin and Christine Jontes, came to Samsula in 1926 following a wave of earlier Slovenian settlers. Martin knew Joseph Sopotnick (one of the first Slovenians to move to the area), and, after an initial trip to check things out, packed everything (including my mother, Elsie, and my uncle, Robert) into their Ford Model T and moved to Florida to farm. Some of the pictures I have shared on the site reflect their experience in Samsula, but I hope the community will add many more images from their own families to document the whole Samsula story.

I enter this work from the perspective of an environmentalist, but I am also very interested in the other "ecologies" that come into contact with the natural, like the families who settled the Samsula area in the early 1900s and those who followed; the technologies and economies that shaped the community over time; the  transportation, education, and communication systems that linked this community with other places and other times; and the social and political forces that touched our rural agricultural village over the course of the twentieth century.

The site is constructed to show the different ecologies through six exhibits: People & Places, Tractors & Tillers, Crops & Cash, Roads & Rails, Wells & Water, and Swamps & Soils. Each exhibit will contain as many pages, or sub-categories, as necessary to include the stories that Samsulans want to share. The site also includes a map that can be linked to the images included in the exhibits, and a timelmap for each period of activity. The interactive "Add Your Story" tab is now active, which will enable you to send in stories and pictures to post to the site.

If you have questions about the site, I may be reached at marcy.galbreath@ucf.edu or at marcy.galbreath5@gmail.com. At this point the site is just in the birth process, and as it grows I hope to hear from the Samsula community. Since many of the older photos in the exhibits include unidentified persons, any help putting names to faces will be appreciated.