The Panhandle Butterfly House Life Cycle
Transitioning to Our New Home
Searching for a new home was not an easy feat; the team knew what they needed, but also what they dreamed about as they planned for additional future growth. Amidst a global pandemic, The Panhandle Butterfly House relocated to a home in the Milton Historic District that sits on approximately 10 acres of land. The T.W. Jones House, was built in the late 1870s and was home to Thomas W. and Alice Jones from their newlywed days in 1897 to their respective deaths in 1951. In addition to being a local merchant with familial connections to the shipbuilding and lumber industries, the story of Mr. and Mrs. Jones also includes a life of public service through his role as the clerk of court for a number of years. Mr. Jones renovated the house in the early 1920s, transforming it into more of a cottage-bungalow style as a gift for Mrs. Jones.
When the opportunity arose to purchase the restored site from the Blackwater River Foundation, The Panhandle Butterfly House team could barely contain their excitement with all that the new property has to offer. The team is working diligently to create their dream space at the new location on Henry Street in Milton, Florida. With more than 3,400 square feet, the home includes a full porch and multiple indoor spaces for education, meetings, luncheons, and more. The renovated house is being updated to meet the specific needs of The Panhandle Butterfly House & Nature Center, while maintaining a significant level of respect for the historic nature of the home. The board of directors and other volunteers are working tirelessly to clean up the site and make preparations to once again welcome guests. One recent update was to paint the house a vibrant color, much like the colors of the many butterflies visitors will be able to see at the new location.
In the fall of 2020, The Panhandle Butterfly House was honored to be chosen by IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area as one of their grant recipients. “IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area, Inc. is an organization of women committed to improving their community by providing substantial grants to nonprofit organizations in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.” After submitting a detailed application for grant consideration, the IMPACT 100 completes a rigorous review process to select the grant recipients each year.
The IMPACT 100 grant money will be used as part of phase one, which includes constructing the butterfly vivarium, gardens, pavilion, house restoration, and parking. Nevertheless, The Panhandle Butterfly House is also pursuing donations and preparing the new site for construction of the vivarium, as well as the future gardens, pavilions, and nature trails.