Remembering former Tall Timbers Beadel Fellow
Dr. William R. Brueckheimer

Dr. William R. Brueckheimer

Dr. William R. Brueckheimer passed away on May 31, 2015. He lived a long, full life and had a distinguished career as an educator, researcher and writer. Dr. Brueckheimer was a Beadel Fellow from 1973-1984, and a member of the Red Hills Conservation Association, a predecessor of the Tall Timbers Land Conservancy.

Dr. Brueckheimer came to Tallahassee in 1964, to chair the geography department at Florida State University, and retired in 1990. He contributed to the Atlas of Florida (1981), and was the author of Leon County Hunting Plantations: An Historical & Architectural Survey (1988).

During his tenure as a Beadel Fellow, Dr. Brueckheimer completed a manuscript on the history of Tall Timbers Plantation and its owner Henry L. Beadel. It was an outcome of his research on the Red Hills quail plantations and their land-use practices. His chronicle of Henry Beadel and Tall Timbers began with the physical setting of the property as a hunting plantation and ended with the founding of Tall Timbers Research Station. Below are excerpts from the preface and acknowledgments to his history manuscript:

My initial interest in plantation country dates back to the 1970s when on serveral occasions Dr. Edwin V. Komarek, former Executive Secretary of Tall Rimbers Research, Inc., led some of my classes on fascinating field trips over Tall Timbers, Birdsong and Greenwood Plantations. In answer to many questions I had about the origins, whys and wherefores of the hunting plantation phenomenon in the Thomasville-Tallahassee area, “Ed” Komarek recommended I untertake my own study to seek out the answers and kindly provided some seed money to do so.

The more I studied the plantations and their land-use practices including the technique of controlled or prescribed burning, the more I realized that Tall Timbers and its long-time owner Henry Beadel had played decisive and central roles in the development of modern game management and the fire ecology movement. This realization increased my desire to learn more about the man, Henry Beadel, himself, and about the history of his plantation.

Dr. William R. Brueckheimer
Tall Timbers History Manuscript

The Brueckheimer manuscript lay fallow in Tall Timbers library for many years; it is a massive, scholarly treatise that became the basis for The Legacy of a Red Hills Hunting Plantation: Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy by Robert L. Crawford and William R. Brueckheimer, which was published in 2012. For his contribution to the book, Dr. Brueckheimer was given co-authorship. We are fortunate to have had Dr. Brueckheimer’s long association with Tall Timbers. His scholarship on Tall Timbers, Henry Beadel and the plantations of the Red Hills Region finally bore fruit. We are also grateful to his family who requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made in his memory to Tall Timbers.

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