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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Winter Haven in Polk County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Gram Parsons Derry Down

 
 
Gram Parsons Derry Down Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, December 23, 2017
1. Gram Parsons Derry Down Marker
Inscription. On December 20, 1964, Winter Haven businessman Bob Parsons opened the Derry Down in this building. The English-themed teen club’s primary purpose was to give his stepson, Gram Parsons, a performance venue for his folk band, The Shilos. The club not only provided a venue for local youth musicians, but it helped elevate Winter Haven as a destination for traveling groups in the region. The Derry Down became part of a circuit of Florida teen centers in the 1960s that provided fledgling musicians a place to hone their skills as performers. In 1968, Gram Parsons joined the American folk rock standard-bearers The Byrds. In 1969, he founded the country rock band, Flying Burrito Brothers. Parsons recorded two genre-bending solo albums with then-unknown folk singer, Emmylou Harris. He died in 1973 in Joshua Tree, California, at age 26. In 2013, author Bob Kealing raised awareness that the building was slated for demolition. The building’s owner, Six/Ten, LLC donated the building to the community-driven Derry Down Project, a Main Street Winter Haven initiative, to restore the building and preserve its legacy by nurturing new artists.
 
Erected 2015 by Derry Down Project, Main Street Winter Haven, Inc., Bob Kealing, and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-869.)
 
Location.
Gram Parsons Derry Down Marker and building image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, December 23, 2017
2. Gram Parsons Derry Down Marker and building
28° 1.493′ N, 81° 43.915′ W. Marker is in Winter Haven, Florida, in Polk County. Marker is on 5th Street Northwest south of Avenue D Northwest, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 297 5th St NW, Winter Haven FL 33881, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 1940 Publix Super Market (approx. ¼ mile away); Historic Pughsville Neighborhood (approx. 1.2 miles away); Florence Villa Training School (approx. 1.3 miles away); Bayard Retail Building (approx. 4.4 miles away); Patterson Retail Building (approx. 4.4 miles away); "Flatiron" Triangle Building (approx. 4½ miles away); Auburndale City Hall (approx. 4½ miles away); Seaboard Air Line Rail Depot (approx. 4½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Winter Haven.
 
Also see . . .  Derry Down. (Submitted on January 1, 2018, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.)
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainment
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 2, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 1, 2018, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 75 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 1, 2018, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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