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History Museums

This section features historical museums, but we have more museums in our Museums & Galleries section of the site which feature fine art, geological displays, and more.

DeBary Hall Historic Site

This site, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1871 by New York wine importer Frederick DeBary as a seasonal hunting estate to offer family guests hospitality and fun on the Florida frontier. The original estate consisted of 9,000 acres and was planted with orange groves and pecan trees. It also boasted Florida’s first swimming pool and had a private airstrip and airplane hangar. DeBary wintered here until his death in 1898. Now owned by the State of Florida and leased by the County of Volusia,DeBary Hall is fully restored with period furnishings and filled with award-winning exhibits and interactive programs.

DeBary Hall Historic Site
198 Sunrise Blvd, DeBary, FL 32713
(386) 668-3840

Veterans Memorial Park & Museum

The Veterans Memorial Park & Museum are centrally located in Deltona, with an extensive display of historical military artifacts. The Park houses 10 different memorials on the 5.6-acre site commemorating military campaigns beginning with World War I through the recent conflicts in the Middle East. In addition to an actual U.S. Army AH-1 Cobra helicopter on display, there is a full-size picnic pavilion for the public’s use. Annual observances for Memorial Day and Veterans Day take place at Veterans Memorial Park.

Veterans Memorial Park & Museum
1921 Evard Avenue, Deltona, FL. 32725
(386) 878-8100

Henry Sanford Museum, Sanford

Built in 1957 as a memorial to Henry Shelton Sanford who arranged for a colony of Swedes to settle the area and work an orange grove while experimenting with fruits and flowers from all over the world.  The museum allows visitors to get a glimpse of life as it was in Seminole County in the late 1800s. The house also contains a variety of local historical items, as well as papers of Henry Sanford.

Henry Sanford Museum, Sanford
520 East First Street, Sanford, FL 32771
(407) 688-5198

Conrad History Center

Located beside the DeLand House Museum, the Conrad History Center contains one of the most comprehensive collections of Volusia County historical artifacts and collectibles, vintage photos and newspapers dating from 1877. The research library provides historical books, videos, educational programs and frequently changing exhibits of historical interest. It houses the West Volusia Historical Society offices.

Conrad History Center
137 W. Michigan Avenue, DeLand, Florida 32720
(386) 740-6813

The Thursby House at Blue Spring State Park

In 1856, Louis P. Thursby and his family settled the area adjacent to Blue Spring. The Thursby house, built in 1872, remains standing. Shortly after his arrival, Thursby constructed one of the first steamboat landings and planted one of the first orange groves on the upper St. Johns River. The house was once a two-story structure built from three kinds of center-cut pine that had been milled in Savannah, Ga., and transported by boat to the site. It is a National Register of Historic Places. Louis P. Thursby and his family settled on the inlet to Blue Springs, on the St. Johns River in 1856. Shortly after his arrival, he constructed one of the first steamboat landings and planted one of the first orange groves on the upper St. Johns River. His first residence was a log cabin that he built.

Blue Spring State Park
2100 W French Ave, Orange City, FL 32713
(386) 775-3663

Is Thursby House Haunted?

DeLand House

For more than 40 years, the West Volusia Historical Society has actively pursued its mission of collecting, recording, storing, protecting, interpreting and sharing with others the physical and cultural heritage of West Volusia County. The Society currently operates two historical museums, the Henry A. DeLand House and DeLand Memorial Hospital, and the Robert M. Conrad Education and Research Center, an archive/library and educational programming center. Its educational programs and special events range from DVDs about St. Johns riverboats and horticulturist Lue Gim Gong to ECHO Rangers for children and the Oakdale Cemetery History Walk.

The Henry A. DeLand House Museum was built in 1886 by the founding father of the City, Henry Addison DeLand, a native of New York. The house and property was purchased in 1895 by DeLand’s first attorney, Arthur George Hamlin, who also developed the Hamlin Orange. Originally, the house was a one-and-a-half story structure with land that extended all the way to Woodland Boulevard, and had an orange grove from the house to the street.

DeLand House/ West Volusia Historical Society
137 W. Michigan Avenue, DeLand, Florida 32720
(386) 740-6813

Museum of Seminole County History, Sanford

This Museum highlights Seminole County, the historical gateway to interior Central Florida via the St. John’s River. All artifacts housed in the Museum have been donated by residents. Exhibits, artifacts, maps, documents, photographs and special events tell the local legends. Join us for an engaging tour through the past that includes: Native American Indian artifacts; Early Forts and Settlements; the development of railroads and steamship transportation; life in Seminole County towns in the 1800s and 1900s, among others.

Museum of Seminole County History
300 Bush Blvd, Sanford, FL 32773
(407) 665-2489

DeLand Memorial Hospital Museum

DeLand Memorial Hospital Museum, is part of a complex of museums that include the Deland House, the Conrad Antique Toy Museum, and the Hospital Museum. Located at the Bill Dreggors Park and Freedom Playground on Stone St. the Hospital Museum includes the old historic Hospital Building, a Pharmacy Display, and Electrical Display & Veterans Museum.

DeLand Memorial Hospital Museum
230 N. Stone St., DeLand , FL 32720
(386) 740-5800

Enterprise Heritage Center

Housed in the historic Enterprise Elementary School (1936) the building is a permanent display place for the extensive collection of historic letters, documents, photos, artifacts and other material owned by the Enterprise Preservation Society.  The building features a 1930s era classroom, works by local artists, and a community meeting place.  Enterprise was originally the site of a booming tourist industry during the Steamboat Era.

Enterprise Heritage Center
360 Main Street, Enterprise, FL 32725
(407) 701-4377

Postal Museum in Orange City

Walk inside a recreated Post Office from the 1940s. Visitors will see various artifacts, paperwork, books, forms, and clothing used over fifty years ago. Explore the 80 foot hallway lined with over 100 shadow boxes full of postal memorabilia.

Postal Museum in Orange City
300 S. Volusia Avenue, Orange City, Florida 32763
(386) 774-8849

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