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Florida Guide > Days Out

Sanford Museum

Sanford Museum is located in East St Ist opposite Fort Mellon Park and is dedicated to Henry Shelton Sanford.

Henry was a diplomat, lawyer and businessman whose importance in the Victorian era can not be over played. He was born in Connecticut and after qualifying as a lawyer took several diplomatic posts in Russia, Germany and Belgium.

He also was a delegate at many important conferences dealing with such diverse subjects as expeditions, anti slavery and geographical events.

His first venture in Florida was to buy an orange grove in St Augustine (this was after the Civil War) there after he invested part of his fortune in various business ventures in Florida with little return. It is thought that he spread his business interests too wide for success.

His wife (though disaffected by their Florida experience) acceeded to his request to donate his papers to the museum. Also bequethed were various works of 19th century decorative art.

The papers owned by the museum number a staggering 59, 000 and include his fathers' papers also. Nehemiah Curtis Sanford owned a tack factory along with a huge amount of land in Michigan.

Among the papers it is recorded that in 1870 twenty three square miles of land in Central Florida was purchased for 30 cents an acre.

His papers also reveal that it was Henry who brought 100 Swedish workers to Florida to help with his labour problems. These workers later founded the town of Upsala.

Along with all his other interests, Henry was hugely keen on art and there is correspondence from Van Gogh, Gudin and De Latas among others.

It is difficult to name another person whose life was so rich and varied as Henry Shelton Sanford and we are indeed lucky that he so meticulously saved all this historic paper work.

If you have taken a Charter flight you will have flown in and out of Sanford Airport and I bet you would never have guessed that you were so near to such an important historical place.

This museum opens from 11 a. m. to 4 p. m. tuesday to friday, 1 p. m to 4 p. m. saturdays and it is closed sunday and monday.

Admission is free of charge and here is an idea; if you are unfortunate enough to have a flight delay, why not visit this museum and learn a little more about the History of America, Florida and Sanford before you leave?

We aim to provide accurate and useful information, but if you feel anything provided here is not accurate or out of date, please email us with the address of the page concerned and any comments so we can amend as necessary.

Page added on: 26 February 2010
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