Saturday, November 28, 2009

Museum of the Apopkans – Apopka, FL

If there was one town that Michael would call a “home-town” it would be Apopka, Florida. Never heard of it? Well, let us give you a little introduction. Apopka was settled by Native Americans thousands of years ago. Glimpses of that past are still found in artifacts from time to time. Following the end of the Second Seminole Indian War, white settlers began to arrive. By the 1860s and the start of the Civil War, there were a few families living in the area. After the war, and with the arrival of the railroad, the town began to grow. Now known as the city of Apopka, the area is also known as the “Indoor Foliage Capital of the World” and “The Fern City,” due to the amount of commercial foliage grown in the area.

We’ve visited the Museum of the Apopkans twice, with the latest visit coming in May of 2009. There are numerous items on display, including a couple of Native American canoes that were found locally. There are also other artifacts from this area. As to be expected with a local history museum, there are many items from the area. One exhibit deals with the citrus industry and includes local labels and a smudge pot. Local textiles are also featured, including quilts and coverlets, along with linen undergarments and old dresses. Other items abound, including information on early families, schools, and businesses. There is also a research room.

If you get a chance, stop by and visit the Museum of the Apopkans. There is a small admission charged. You can learn more by visiting the web site , linked here.

From a historian’s point of view: There were quite a few unique items in the museum’s collection. At the top of that list is a map of Apopka (I think it was 1890s, I forgot to jot down the date). This map is big – maybe four by six feet, and shows different houses and businesses in Apopka at the time. Seeing that my family has lived in the area since the mid-1960s, I do wish more items had been labeled as to their original owners.

From the educator’s point of view: Elizabeth regards this as an excellent museum for both local residents and visitors. Labeling could be a little more kid-friendly, but the textiles, toys, and other items are very engaging. The open layout makes a stroller easy to use and a good idea to keep a little person on track.

From an eight year old’s perspective: Nathaniel enjoyed seeing the medical instruments from Dr. McBride’s office. His grandpa probably saw the same medical instruments when he was Nathaniel’s age.