Heritage Museum and Country Store is a great little museum highlighting the history of the town of Floral City, once more populous than Miami, through images, videos, artifacts and volunteers. It is located next to the Community Building and Library on Orange Avenue, one block east of U.S. Hwy. 41.
Two spacious galleries, a library and media area, and the country store are housed in the former fire station in downtown Floral City, providing a wonderful glimpse into the history of this small Nature Coast town and the area’s development at ‘The Floral City Heritage Hall Museum and Country Store’.
Volunteers staff the facility every Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and admission is free. Additionally, the museum is open for special events throughout the year.
The Library/Media Area is equipped with a 50-incl flat screen television for viewing historic photos and videos, along with a bookcase containing books and papers available for historical research. The exhibits change throughout the year so that there will always be something new and different to see.
The first gallery is primarily devoted to historic photographs of the Floral City area. Included are eleven mid-1880s stereo views of Floral City, which are perhaps some of the oldest photographs of Citrus County.
The second gallery offers changing exhibits. Two recent exhibits include “Steamboats: Coming ‘Round the Bend” and Spanish Conquistadors in Florida. To see which exhibit is currently on display, click here and look under Upcoming Events.
Other photos of the downtown area dating from the turn of the 20th century are displayed alongside photos of the same area as it appears today. The comparison is mind opening.
An exhibit on the Avenue of Oaks, one of the most photographed roads in the state, includes a five-foot-wide cross section of one of the historic 125-year-old trees that was lost in 2008.
Also on permanent exhibit in this gallery is a diorama of Floral City as it looked in the height of the phosphate boom. A numbered key to the buildings, each shown with a brief description of its history, hangs over the model and historic photos are displayed nearby.
After exploring the museum galleries, a visit to the Country Store provides an opportunity to purchase unique items reflecting the area’s diverse history, including reproductions of old postcard views and photos, historic Florida maps, olden-day children’s toys, and other items too numerous to mention.
Since 1993 the Heritage Council has sponsored and managed the annual Floral City Heritage Days. This educational event is held the first weekend in December, beginning Friday evenings. Floral City Heritage Council volunteers dress in period costume of the 1890s and act as guides to the historic home tours and the museum/country store. This wonderful event provides funding to support the museum.