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    Joseph Harold Ream - Anita Biggs Ream
    Grave Site Photos - Tallahassee, Florida

    Photos above thanks to Chris Ream, November 2004, the last photo was from April 2005 during 50th Anita Anniversary.

    Dave Ream writes:

    The correct name is Oakland Cemetery, and it is located in the old part of Tallahassee (before the building boom of recent decades), a block or two west of the Governor’s Mansion (home of Jeb Bush). The plot is in the northwest corner of the cemetery, just north of the divided road. It is a city-run cemetery, so a visitor could call the City of Tallahassee for more precise directions.

    Be aware that the only country house ever occupied by the Ream family in Leon County was Rocking Chair Ranch. Crooked Corners is the old rambling farm house that has been home to Victor and Denise Cawthon for many decades, since at least 1950. And you’ve probably read enough about Millstone Plantation already. In any event, do not include any house on the web page other than the ranch.

    The Old Man purchased the 628 acres that became Rocking Chair Ranch in February 1952. At that time, the land had been out of production for many years. It was overgrown with the trees, bushes, etc. that thrive in the subtropics (a point that impressed Chris on his recent visit). There were no structures on the land, other than a shack dubbed “the Negro cabin.” The Old Man resigned from CBS in Summer 1952. The family immediately moved from Princeton to Tallahassee, dragging along several truckloads of furniture and farm equipment (we had been farming near Middlebush in Somerset County). We dumped the farm equipment on the newly-bought land and began to build that “tool shed.” Then, we began clearing the land, preparing it for plantings of pasture grass. Meanwhile, we moved into a rented house at 818 Baker in Tallahassee. At the same time, our parents were working with an architect to design the ranch house. Construction began quickly. By April 1953, the house was ready for our occupancy.

    I’ll skip the next few years—too much to write. One year after Anita died in April 1955, the Old Man got restless, and accepted the job with the National Security Agency. At that point, all the children were away from Tallahassee, in school. Yet, he continued to spend weekends on Rocking Chair (lots of air commutes). By the summer of 1957, he decided that he wanted to stay in D.C., and get rid of the ranch. So he made a rent/purchase deal with Bill Boynton. Boynton rented for a year, then purchased the entire ranch—with the financial backing of his silent partner Al Block, who ended up with two-thirds of the ranch. I would say that the last time any Ream slept in the ranch house was in the fall of 1957.


    Rocking Chair Ranch     (Thanks Chris Ream November 2004)

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