World's Smallest Police Station
In the early 1960's, Carrabelle's police phone was located in a call box that was bolted to a building at the corner of Hwy. 98 and Tallahassee Street. During this time, the city had problems with tourists making unauthorized long distance calls on its police phone. Johnnie Mirabella, the only St. Joe Telephone Co. employee in Carrabelle at the time, moved the phone to another location, but the illegal calls continued.
So, when the phone company made the decision to replace the old phone booth with a new one, Mirabella decided to put the police phone in the old booth. On March 10, 1963 Mirabella, with the help of Curly Messer, deputy sheriff at the time, moved the phone booth to its current location on Hwy 98. There were a couple of reason for doing so - to protect police officers from the elements, as well as curtail the illegal calls. Unfortunately, the illegal phone calls continued to be a problem and eventually the dial was removed from the phone.
Many hardships have been endured by the retired St. Joe Company phone booth. Vandals have ripped phones from the booth, shot holes through its glass, it has been knocked over by a pickup truck and knocked over and damaged by Hurricane Kate. Adding insult to injury, a tourist one asked a gas station attendant to help him load it into his vehicle so he could take it back to Tennessee with him.
The original booth is on display in the Carrabelle Chamber of Commerce office, located at 105 St. James Avenue (Hwy. 98) and can be seen Monday - Friday, 10:00 AM-2:00 PM. It has been featured on the television shows "Real People", "Ripley's Believe It or Not", and the "Today Show". It was also featured in the movie "Tate's Hell" produced by Florida State University.
We invite you to stop by and take your picture in front of "THE WORLD'S SMALLEST POLICE STATION!"
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