Located in the historic Orange County Courthouse that was built in 1927, this five-story museum serves as the headquarters of the Historical Society of Central Florida. Exhibits throughout the museum display nearly 12,000 years of Central Florida history. There is also an outdoor park, called the Heritage Square that is available for events. A free audio-tour of the History Center's permanent exhibits is available at admissions.
As well as
being a historically significant building, the Orange County Courthouse was
home to one of the twentieth century’s most famous murder cases. This
courthouse is where the famous serial killer Ted Bundy was tried for the murder
of Kimberly Leach. The trial began on January 7, 1980 and reached a guilty
verdict on February 7. Julius Africano and Lynn Thompson, the defense
attorneys, unsuccessfully fought for a plea of “not guilty”, arguing that Bundy
was insane. Bundy carved his name into the table where he sat during the trial.
County Regional Center tells the story of Orlando outside of the famous theme
parks for which it is so well known. The museum tells this story in a variety
of ways, one of which is its “Orlando Remembered” gallery. Currently, this
gallery tells the story of citrus workers during the Great Depression. Although
the Great Depression officially began in the nation with the 1929 Stock Market
Crash, Florida receded into a depression, due in part to the end of the Florida
Land Boom, as early as 1926. Then, in 1929, the same year as the Stock Market
Crash, the citrus industry in Florida suffered a huge loss due to an
infestation of Mediterranean fruit flies Migrant workers flocked to South
Florida for work during harvest season.
“Orlando Remembered” gallery also tells the story of the famous Peabody Hotel
ducks and the practice of sending friendship dolls between Japan and the US
during the late 1920s.
The permanent collection also includes exhibits
exploring Florida’s natural environment, it Native American history, its
industry, and its aviation history. Check the website for latest updates on