By H. Wadowski
Those visiting the historic city of Sanford during their Central Florida vacation will find several interesting museums that offer a wealth of knowledge about the area, its past and the many great people who called Seminole County home.
Showcasing and preserving the history, heritage, livelihood and culture of Goldsboro, Fla.—the second black incorporated city in the United States—this museum features exhibits on Goldsboro with a focus on its early pioneers. One of its newest exhibits, “Welcome Home Zora!” curated by Francis Oliver, tells the story of Zora Neale Hurston, an American novelist who spent the majority of her life, and authored many of her famous books, in Sanford. According to historian Altermese Bentley, “The history of Zora Neale Hurston and Sanford should be preserved in Florida and Sanford’s history.” Hurston is best known for her 1937 novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Learn more about the Goldsboro Museum here.
MUSEUM OF SEMINOLE COUNTY HISTORY
Located at the site of the former county Old Folks Home—a 1926 building listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its unique pebble-dash façade—this museum showcases Seminole County’s rich history through an assortment of artifacts that have been donated by local residents. Guests will learn about Seminole County’s inhabitants, early forts, settlements and more. In addition to permanent exhibits, like “Forgotten Foundations” which highlights the traditions and technologies of Native Americans and Florida pioneers who worked the land before any county lines were drawn, there are temporary traveling exhibits to give repeat visitors something new to enjoy. Be sure to check out “Front Lines: The Great War” from April 4 through June 30, which focuses on Seminole County during World War I. Plan your trip to the Museum here.
Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, this museum in Fort Mellon Park houses exhibits that illustrate the history of Sanford as well as the life and times of its founder, Henry S. Sanford. Guests will find exhibits covering everything from the development of the city to local sports history and heroes, including an exhibit dedicated to the career of Sanford native Tim Raines, who was recently elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Guests can also browse through various research collections during their visit, including local history archives containing photographs, maps, city directories, newspapers and a recreation of Henry S. Sanford’s 1880s library. Learn more about the Sanford Museum here.
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