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Val-P Museum’s Future Looks Bright Thanks to Land Donation

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Marion Ruckel Skalicky and Heritage Museum honcho Gina Marini stand near an old longleaf pine tree on the land recently donated by Ruckel Properties, Inc.

The Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida, through exhibits, programs, and events, seeks to preserve and promote the history of Northwest Florida. Ruckel Properties’ recent land donation helps the museum educate the public on local heritage and history through a future expansion.


“The Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida is a worthy cause. It is the keeper of our local history and an educational resource,” said Marion Ruckel Skalicky, president and CEO of Ruckel Properties, Inc. “My late father, C. Walter Ruckel, Jr., supported the museum with annual contributions, serving on the Board of Trustees, and volunteering with the Niceville-Valparaiso Rotary for the museum’s annual Saturday in the Park Festival.


“With this land donation, I am continuing the Ruckel and Plew families’ tradition of honoring the past while building the future.”


Ruckel Properties’ donation will provide the museum an opportunity for expansion so they can continue their mission to educate the public about the heritage and culture of our area. The museum currently hosts a series called Heritage Alive! Craft Classes where a variety of traditional heritage crafts are taught, including basket weaving, knitting, crocheting, soap making, wood turning, and blacksmithing.


This property will also be used for the Saturday in the Park and Yule of Yesteryear festivals, showcasing Northwest Florida’s unique history and culture. The goal is to provide quality educational programs and events to keep the heritage of Northwest Florida alive for guests.


“We are extremely excited about the potential growth of our museum,” said museum manager Gina Marini. “This museum relies on the community to support our preservation efforts, and we are very grateful to Marion Ruckel Skalicky and Ruckel Properties for their generous contribution and confidence in us to keep history alive for future generations. Ruckel Properties is part of our history, and now they are making history.”

– Gina Marini
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