Come see the 'They Led the Way' Exhibit as part of the "Seasons of Emancipation"!
Congratulations to Mr. John Lawrence for being the 2014 recipient of the Althemese Barnes Historic Preservation Service Award!
Past and Present Riley Museum Interns
Past and Present Riley Museum Interns at the 2014 Gala
Fall 2013 Blended Lives with Ms. Jami
The Riley Museum Staff welcomes you!
Visitor Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony 2013
Renaissance Park Field Trip
Riley Kids at Natural Bridge

Latest News!

Congratulations to the Smokey Hollow Commemoration at Cascades Park for receiving the most votes to win the People’s Choice Award by the Florida Chapter of the American Institute of Architects!

Thank you for all who supported the Smokey Hollow Commemoration by voting! This is a public space that represents the once thriving African American community of Tallahassee. This architectural piece serves a reminder of what use to be there.

Congratulations to “They Led the Way” Exhibit!

The American Association for State and Local History has selected “They Led the Way” as a 2014 recipient of the National Award of Merit. The Award of Merit is presented to recognize excellence for projects (including civic engagement, special projects, educational programs, exhibits, publications, restoration projects, etc.), and individual achievement. As one of eighty honorees, the Riley Museum is the only organization in the State of Florida to be recognized, the other award will be given to an individual. Interested in what this means? Read more about it here.

Membership Appreciation Reception – POSTPONED

We want to personally thank all of our members for their continued support of our mission to educate, archive, and illuminate the legacy of Mr. Riley and the Smokey Hollow Community.

The John G.Riley Center/Museum invites you to a Membership Appreciation Reception at the NEW Riley Visitor Center on September 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm!

Let us show you how much you are appreciated!

Schedule A Museum Tour Today!

“Seasons of Emancipation” is a riveting exhibit displaying historical photos, news articles, living history displays which document and chronicle the African American quest for freedom and equality developed over time.
They Led the Way expresses the Civil Rights Movement part of the “Seasons of Emancipation.”  This section details the intimate portraits and oral histories of the first 8 students to integrate the Leon County public school system. It is presented in partnership with Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

 While the Civil War Era brought freedom, the Civil Rights Movement brought equality. The “Seasons of Emancipation” demonstrates this phenomena by presenting these two distinct parts of American history side by side. Don’t miss your opportunity to experience living history. Call us at (850)681-7881 or email to schedule your tour right away!


John G. Riley robot» Click Here – Mr. Riley (Animatronic) speaks from his office in the West Room John Gilmore Riley was born in 1857, when slavery was a way of life and educational pursuits for blacks were illegal. In 1881 he began teaching at Lincoln Academy, one of three freedmen schools built during the Reconstruction era in Florida to provide secondary instruction to blacks. In addition to his career as an educator, he also distinguished himself as a leader in business and was Grand High Priest of the Royal Arch Masons of Florida. John G. Riley died in 1954. The house he built for his family in 1890 stands today as a testament to the rich, cultural heritage of African-Americans.» Click Here to read more


Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.


The John G. Riley Museum is proud to spotlight industry partners whose support and cooperation has made a great impact on the success of our organization. Every quarter we will highlight a small business enterprise that encourages commerce while making a significant community impact.     

Partnership Spotlight: Gary Simmons, Owner – Data Set Ready, INC. | 850-688-8099 |

Since 1989, Data Set Ready, INC. has been committed to quality service and customer satisfaction as a Telecommunications Company to the Tallahassee area. This local business provides a variety of Information Technology Systems services such as Wireless, Close Circuit TV Systems, Audio/Visual Systems, Card Access Systems, Intercom & Paging Systems and Intrusion Detection Systems. By establishing partnerships with major manufacturers in the industry, he insures clients with the latest technology for their requests. Thus, they can offer extended manufacturer warranties up to 25 years to insure your systems will be up to date. Through state of the art tools and test equipment, they pride themselves with timely and quality installations for their customers.