Parks and Preservation
About the Museum of Seminole County History
The Museum of Seminole County History highlights Seminole County, the historical gateway to interior Central Florida. The area has gone through periods of great importance militarily and as the area's transportation hub, and more recently as an agricultural leader.
The Museum of Seminole County History is comprised of two buildings situated on 2 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds.
The main building is the original "Old Folks Home". This one-of-a-kind building has become an endearing part of the history of Seminole County. It was constructed in 1926 when the county was only 12 years old to serve as living quarters for those people who were in need of a place to stay or had no one to care for them.
Each resident had a private room and they shared chores and activities that established a family atmosphere. A large orange grove provided some income, and a vegetable garden, chickens and dairy cows helped to make the home almost self sufficient. A superintendent and his family lived on site and a nurse was available to tend to the sick.
In 1965 this building was converted into offices for the County Agricultural and the Home Demonstration Agent. It was known as the Agricultural Center until November 1980, when the new agricultural building was completed and this building was vacated. In 1982 the County Commission approved the establishment of a Historical Museum in the former Old Folks Home. The formal opening was in November 1983.
In June of 1999, the Museum was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Camphor Tree
The large tree on the right of the main building was the second largest in the state of Florida and is recognized as a Florida Champion Tree. It is believed to have been planted in the mid 1880's.
Camphor trees were imported from China and are not native to Florida. Only the massive trunk of the tree remains today, as its branches had to be removed to protect the building. Plans to carve iconic images of Seminole County into the tree's trunk are in progress.
The museum has an extensive collection of reference materials available to the public during regular scheduled museum hours. Reference materials include segments of the Jacksonville Times Union newspaper, the Sanford Herald and Seminole Herald newspapers, on microfilm from August 1908 forward. Other reference items include assorted City directories, reference books and some Seminole family histories.
Seminole County Historical Commission is a 15- member board that is appointed by the BCC and is an advisory board to the BCC concerning the Museum.
|Current Historical Commissioners
||Ettie Jane Keogh
||Beverly Mason (Chairman)
The Seminole County Historical Society is the support and fund-raising group for the Museum. Some of the older members were instrumental in the creation of the Museum. SCHS is governed by a Board of Directors and has approximately 65 members.
Both groups support the Museum.