Greetings members of the Lake County Historical Society and Museum. We hope and pray everyone is doing well. Due to the COVID-19 situation the Lake County Historical Society’s Annual Membership meeting scheduled for Thursday April 30th is cancelled. We will keep you updated on when the museum will be opening and on any upcoming meetings and events. The Society and Museum Office will be open during our regular business hours for any phone call inquires.
It’s June and in Florida, that means it’s hot! Although there is a lot to do in the outdoors in Florida, sometimes you just need to cool off. Your Lake County Historical Museum is just the place! Our air-conditioned location in the Historic Courthouse is filled with lots of cool things. Come see the new art exhibition in the Military Gallery, the new additions to our mural of famous Lake County Veterans and watch as we build our newest exhibit on the early Spanish explorers and settlers in Gallery 4. There are games and prizes for kids and adults as well, so it’s the perfect spot to come in and cool off for a while!
The museum is open 10-3 Wednesday, Thursday & Friday and 10-2 Tuesday and Saturday.
As we head into March, we move into a very busy and exciting period for the Museum. First, it is Women’s History Month. Come learn about the distinguished ladies who have contributed to the establishment, growth and ongoing success of Lake County!
Next, we are honored to be hosting National History Day 2019 for the Lake County Schools. On March 2, students from all over the county will come to the museum to compete in a History fair. This year’s theme is ‘Triumph & Tragedy in History’. The students will have entries in categories such as essay, performance, display, websites & documentaries. The public is invited to view the entries from 1:00 – 2:00 and stay for the awards presentation.
March will also mark our third annual Museum by Moonlight event which helps to raise funds for current and future exhibits. Among our goals is to open a 5th Gallery which will feature an expanded Civil Rights exhibit and highlight the contributions of the many diverse peoples of Lake County.
With all of this, things certainly won’t be slowing down after March. In April, watch for our next Author’s & Artist’s Day and later, look for a new Historic Holidays chapter as we prepare for the Fourth of July!
At this time of year, it is natural to be thinking of gifts. We give all types of gifts; toys, electronics, decorations, dinners… But how often do you think about the gift that we have all been given- the gift of our history! It is a wondrous gift, filled with exciting, funny, tragic and inspiring stories. It is what makes us who we are. The history of our parents, grandparents and the friends and communities that shaped them, shaped us as well.
We are surrounded by this gift every single day and rarely see it. Many of us drive down David Walker Blvd every day, but did you realize that he is an astronaut and pioneer of the Space Shuttle program? Those of you who live in Eustis- do you know who General Abraham Eustis was? As you enjoy Ruby Red grapefruit in the morning, did you know Ruby was a real person from right here in Lake County?
As you celebrate the Holidays and exchange gifts, exchange the gift of history too! Grandparents, tell your grandchildren about your lives as children. They will be surprised to learn you climbed trees and rode bikes too. Tell them where they got that red hair or how your parents didn’t understand you either. Tell them about the famous and infamous people you knew and the stories of people you learned as a child.
And for everyone, as you shop for gifts, may we ask that you consider some of the offerings at the museum? We have a wonderful pictorial history of Lake County on sale for just $10 or give the gift of a membership in the Lake County Historical Society. They will get a newsletter and invitations to special events at the museum. Memberships begin at just $15 a year for individuals.
Also, please consider a gift donation to the museum. Your generous support helps us to bring you ever changing and exciting exhibits.
However you celebrate the Holidays, we wish you a joyous, peaceful and blessed season!
On Sunday, Novemeber 11, the United States will celebrate Veteran’s Day. This is a day to acknowledge all those, throughout our history, who served in defense of the freedom we enjoy today. But the celebration was originally for Armistice Day, and commemorated the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918- the day the Allied Powers and Germany signed a cease-fire agreement that effectively ended the First World War. This November 11th will be the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I.
World War I was waged from 1914 – 1918 and involved an estimated 70 million combatants. Nearly 15 million soldiers and civilians died as a direct result of the war. Unfortunately, Lake County did not escape the effects of the war. Hundreds of families sent their young men to serve and sadly, many did not return. On the lawn of our own museum in the Historic Courthouse is the famous ‘Doughboy Statue’ that commemorates those who died from Lake County.
We invite you to come out to the museum to see a special exhibit commemorating World War I and Lake County’s place in it. Among the artifacts on display are period uniforms and equipment, photos and a newspaper article detailing the party thrown for a group of six African-American volunteers from Eustis, information on Florida General Charles Summerall, the famous leader of the 1st Infantry Division and much more.
Above all, we encourage you to take the time to say a prayer for all those, living and dead, who served and protected the freedom we have and also to look forward to the day that there really will be an end to all wars.
It is the Halloween season and naturally, thoughts turn to tales of fright and tragedy. But often, history doesn’t need made up ghost stories to frighten you or wild tales of tragedy. Death and tragedy are a part of life and are part of the stories we tell in the museum. Some of our artifacts reflect famous tragedies, horrible crimes, sad days and more than a few ghost tales. We invite you to come by the museum to see these artifacts and hear these stories as they are a part of the life and history of Lake County.
The Lake County Historical Museum will be joining the Smithsonian Institute and museums across the country in celebrating National Museum Day on September 22! Museums will be offering free admission and special events to mark the occasion. The Lake County Historical Museum is always free and we will have fun activities for all ages from 10am – 2pm.
Museums exist to house the stories of people. They are dedicated to the lives, histories and passions of the human experience. For just about anything you can imagine, a museum exists to tell the story. Museums in Central Florida include specialties like Pioneer Living, Modern Art, Tiffany Glass and African-American History. Visiting these museums allows you to find the stories that interest you and encourage you to dive deeper through research in archives, libraries and other specialty museums. No single museum can tell every story and we think you should make visiting museums a regular habit!
The Lake County Historical Museum is dedicated to telling the story of Lake County, Florida. From prehistoric times, to the development of it’s political and economic structures, the trials and triumphs of it’s citizens and it’s ongoing growth and development, we fit a whole lot into our four galleries.
Come see us this National Museum Day, or any day, to learn the stories of Lake County!