200 W. New England Ave.
Winter Park, FL 32790
3287 Hickory Lane
Longwood, FL 32779
|Tuesday - Friday||10 AM - 4 PM|
|Saturday||9 AM - 2 PM|
Groups may make arrangements to tour on these days.
No admission charge for visitors, though donations are gratefully accepted. We charge groups (other than school groups) a small fee for special tours.
Christy Grieger, Executive Director
The Winter Park Historical Association partners with several regional institutions to research and promote the history of our area. We are founding members of the Winter Park Cultural Consortium and participate in many city-wide festivals to share with our residents and visitors the rich history of this lovely community. Our annual garden tour takes place in a different historic neighborhood each April. Not only do our participants have the opportunity to stroll through a lovely neighborhood and into private gardens, but a written history included in the program makes all aware of this community's heritage. Our museum exhibitions change and are informative, educational, creative and occasionally whimsical. We have had: "From Cattle feed to Cashmere: 100 Years of Business in Winter Park" (playing on the humble origins and today's rather chic downtown reputation). We have explored the history of the police and fire departments ("Whistles, Sirens, Flashing Lights") as well as homes and neighborhoods ("City of Homes", the former city motto) Our 2008-09 exhibition, "From Kin to Kant: The Culture of Turpentine", is a scholarly and visually stunning exploration of an industry not usually associated with Florida; the idea germinated after remains of a turpentine still were discovered on the campus of University of Central Florida. The exhibition explains the process, the product and the difficult lives (and sometimes deaths) of the turpentine laborer from can see in the morning to can't see at night). Using references to jook joints first published by Zora Neale Hurston, our central vignette brings the jook joint among the pine trees to life. We bring mini-exhibits to city festivals; "The Great Flyswatting Campaign", "Scouting in Winter Park" "Fore! History of Golfing in Winter Park" are a few of these.
The mission of the Winter Park Historical Association is to collect, preserve, promote and research the history of Winter Park and its surrounding area, and to share that history with the public through educational programs and operation of a museum.
In 1974 citizens wished to preserve & showcase the history of Winter Park. WPHA held free public programs during the winter season. WPHA also worked with Park Ave. merchants to create historical displays in windows. WPHA collected photographs, documents & artifacts. Volunteers also began collecting oral histories. Members worked hard to find a permanent home for the artifact & archival materials, but it was not until 1995 that the City & WPHA found a home in the Farmers Market, a 1927 freight depot. Local architect maximized 1000 square feet into imaginative & flexible exhibit space. Archive was housed at the Polasek Museum. In 1998 WPHA received city funds to hire a director. WPHA archive has grown, exhibits have changed, grants have been received from Rotary Club of Winter Park, the State of Florida, Historical Museums Grants-In-Aid, United Arts of Central Florida, Florida Humanities Council, other foundations & trusts.
Educational outreach expanded WPHA participates in local festivals, is a founding member of the Winter Park Cultural Consortium & belongs to many history/museum organizations. In 2004-05 WPHA participated in American Association of Museums Assessment Program. Rollins History Dept. & WPHA partnered to teach oral history methods. WPHA has come a long way in just over thirty years. Museum is still in the Farmers Market but the archive is now in the Bigelow House. We have a nationally recognized museum dedicated to the history of Winter Park.
Our artifact collection contains items related to specific times and/or people and/or businesses, such as Kummer Lumber, the Langford Hotel, Winter Park Telephone Company, the Harold and Grace Sanford Collection and many other items. Most are either in the museum or stored in off-site climate-controlled facility in archival boxes.
We have several files related to Winter Park people, businesses, civic groups, homes, and City materials. We have a collection of Winter Park maps (from 1925 onward), Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival posters, old newspapers and magazines, etc.
Five free public lectures each year with guest speakers; annual historic garden tour in April; tickets may be purchased one month in advance or day of tour; school and other group outreach programs available on a variety of subjects (free to schools); personalized group walking tours may be arranged (group of 20 or less, $75.00 for a one hour tour; copy fees for archival materials apply.
Access: General Public, Students, Scholars, Members
Appointment required: Yes
- Newsletter, available on-line, 9 issues per year
If wheelchair access is needed, please call us prior to your visit for ramp access, which is located on the southwest entrance of the Farmer's Market.
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