SPONSORED: The Orange County Regional History Center will celebrate Orange County’s official beginnings with free admission and fun activities for the whole family at the second annual Heritage Day on January 25.
This year’s Heritage Day marks the 175th anniversary, honoring the day in 1845 that the Florida Legislature named our county after a popular fruit and not a mosquito.
At 190 miles long and 60 miles wide, Mosquito County once encompassed what’s now Volusia, Brevard, St. Lucie, Indian River, Martin, Seminole, Osceola, Orange, Lake, Polk, and Palm Beach counties.
The insect-inspired name was derived from early Spanish monikers for the region’s waterways, such as Barra de Mosquitos (Mosquito Bar or Inlet), and was created by Florida’s territorial council on December 24, 1824. The population density was less than two people per square mile at that time – likely, in part, due to their less-than-marketing-friendly name.
In January 1845, the legislature designated the region as “Orange County.”
In recognition of the history-making move, admission to the museum will be free all day, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Visitors can enjoy citrus treats and fun family activities. Colton and Rachel McCormick will perform Florida folk music, Orlando’s Leu Gardens will be on hand with native plants, and Yaupon Brothers American Tea Co. will offer samples of homegrown Florida brews. Visitors can also learn about Orange County’s resources and services, including the Orange County Library System, and about other historic museums and sites, including the Lake Mary Museum, the Museum of Seminole County History, the Zellwood Museum, and the Holocaust Center in Maitland, which will present a VR experience about Anne Frank’s house.
For more details, visit http://www.thehistorycenter.org/event/heritage-day-2020/. Information about the museum is also available by calling 407-836-8500 or 800-965-2030.