Meek Eaton Black Archives
The Historic Jake Gaither House Marker Installation Ceremony
April 10, 2015
O. Henry Award, a Grammy and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award - See more at:
O. Henry Award, a Grammy and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award - See more at:

The Jake Gaither House (JGH) Alliance unveiled the State of Florida historic marker at the home of Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) renowned football coach Alonzo “Jake” Gaither on Friday, April 10 at 2 p.m. The marker commemorates the life and legacy of Gaither and his contributions to FAMU. Alumni, students and community members were invited to attend the unveiling and view historic memorabilia kept in the home. The Gaither House was the home of Jake Gaither from 1954 until his death in 1994. He shared the home with his wife, Sadie Gaither, who was long-time FAMU English professor. It was purchased by Cornelius and Reché Jones in January 2014. Since then, the couple has enlisted the help of several community members and partners to restore the house and turn it into a cultural center for the Tallahassee area. The home features personal memorabilia belonging to the Gaithers, including: awards, footballs, photographs, programs and trophies from Gaither’s storied tenure as one of the winningest coaches in college football history. The marker is sponsored by Cornelius and Reché Jones, the City of Tallahassee, the Meek-Eaton Black Archives, Niki P. Joyce, LaTanya White and the Florida Department of State. For additional information about the Gaither Home, visit

Video and articles about the ceremony can be found at the Tallahassee Democrat, WCTV and WTXL.

Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor serves as master of ceremony for the marker installation.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum reads a proclamation from the city.

Pictured from left to right is: City of Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum; City Commissioner Curtis Richardson (Seat 2); and marker sponsors Cornelius and Reché Jones (owners of the home); Niki P. Joyce (longtime friend of Coach Gaither); and LaTanya White, assistant professor of marketing at Florida A&M University.

FAMU Head Football Coach Alex Wood speaks about his experience with Coach Gaither.

Bobby Lang, the last living coach of the Jake Gaither era, prouldy reminisces about his years as a part of the Gaither team.

George "Godfather" Thompson, who served as head trainer and equipment manager during the Gaither Era, recounts his experiences with the legendary coach.

Roosevelt Wilson, who served as sports information director during the Gaither era, gives words of encouragement.

Murell Dawson, Ph.D. (left) of the Meek-Eaton Black Archives with Edison Bruce (right), unveil the historic marker.

Michael Hart, historic site specialist with the State of Florida, provides information about historical markers across the state.

Home owner Cornelius Jones (center) with his family discusses his decision to turn the historic home into a museum. From left: Devin Jones (son), Dalyce Jones (daughter), Reche Jones (wife), Cornelius Jones, Dorrell James (son) and Dorian Jones (son).

The Florida Heritage Site marker in front of the historic home of Coach Alonzo "Jake" Gaither located at 212 Young Street in Tallahassee, Florida.

Guests view historic memorabilia inside the home of Coach Gaither.

Dominique James, Miss FAMU 2014-2015, poses in front of the historic marker.

Meek-Eaton Black Archives student employees and volunteers pose in front of the historic marker. Top row, from left: Michael Young-Harris, Katrice Brown, Caesarea McCord, Caron Breland, Tyra Hodge, Dewayne Johnson, Keila Dumas. Bottom row, from left: Ebony Ivey, Matthew Bell, Dr. Murell Dawson, Samuel Flagler.

The historic marker installation was held one day prior to what would have been Coach Gaither's 112th birthday.

Members of the Ladies Arts and Social Club, who served as hostesses for the installation ceremony, pose in front of the marker. From left: Lenita Joe, Margaree Elkins, Dr. Patty Ball Thomas and Sylvia Petties.

Contact Info

445 Gamble Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32307

P: 850-599-3020
F: 850-561-2604