Staff Spotlight, Thomas W. Fugate

Park Ranger Tom Fugate standing next to the ice machine in Dr. John Gorrie State Park.

Park Ranger, Thomas W. Fugate

John Gorrie Museum State Park

Park Ranger Tom Fugate has one of the coolest jobs in the state of Florida. Ranger Tom gets to share his passion for history in the museum dedicated to Dr. John Gorrie, the man who made the first ice machine and today is referred to as the father of refrigeration.

Tom and his wife Betty relocated to Apalachicola after completing careers in Kentucky state government. He has been awarded numerous national, state and local awards for the development of exhibitions and educational and historic preservation programs. Tom serves as an interpreter at both the Dr. John Gorrie Museum and Orman House state parks.

You'll typically find Tom in the Gorrie Museum giving tours to groups of all sizes or maintaining the museum grounds. Tom especially enjoys bringing John Gorrie to life by sharing who he was as a person, not just as an inventor. Tom says that one of his favorite aspects of the position is being able to help people understand the role of the Department of Environmental Protection and Florida Park Service today as visitors enjoy a temporary exhibit about the history of the Florida Park Service.  

Ranger Tom invites you to come enjoy some cool air and learn how one man was able to change the way we live here today. 

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