As part of the Art & History Museums of Maitland’s continuing lecture series on the history of Florida, Diana Reigelsperger will host a free lecture entitled “Paving Roads and Disappearing Orange Groves: Memory and Development in Old Florida” on Thursday, July 28 at 6:30 p.m.

Reigelsperger will explore the rapid development of Central Florida from the 20s-60s, with a focus on how highways affected Eatonville and Maitland, and will address the history of development in Florida during part of the era that J. Andre Smith (founder of the Maitland Art Center, home of A&H) was painting, roughly the 1930s to the 1960s.

Between the emergence of the National Highway System in the 1920s and the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s, Central Florida grew in dramatic ways. Growth brought new opportunities for local communities, but also negative effects. A closer look at the social and economic impact of paving roads and building interstates for communities like Maitland and Eatonville reveals the complex history of politics and development in Central Florida. The talk will also reflect on how those changes are represented in popular memory and historical curation.

Diana Reigelsperger is an associate professor of history at Seminole State College. She specializes in the history of Florida and the colonial Southeastern United States. Her research focuses on interethnic relations and trade across the borders of the Spanish and British empires. Her most recent publication is “Networks of Diplomacy and Trade in the Contested Florida Borderlands,” in The Latin Americanist. She received her Ph.D. in Latin American history from the University of Florida in 2013. Currently, she teaches courses on U.S. history, the history of Florida, and the history of Latin America.

Register for the free talk via the link above.

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