The Robert M. Conrad Research and
Educational Center was built in 1997 by Mrs. Hawtense Conrad in honor of her late husband
Robert. This facility not only expands the opportunity for research and educational
programs, but provides the space for a growing library, a showcase for changing exhibits
of historical interests, to display the Society's artifacts and collectibles, a
classroom/lecture hall/meeting room, and a space to preserve the thousands of photographs
and newspaper clippings dating back to 1877. In addition, the Society maintains a
growing collection of approximately 100 oral history videos that can be viewed at the
~Click on any of the topics below to find out
more about the Center~
~ the display cases showcase historical artifacts and we also have traveling
exhibits which change every few months.
~ a collection of senior citizens interviews and remembrances.
~ books, periodicals, scrapbooks, yearbooks, centered on Florida and a great
resource for genealogy.
Our center display case features private
collections on loan to the Society. These exhibits change every 3 months. This
month's exhibit is Harvest in Florida showcasing vintage photos of
pineapple fields, sugarcane, etc.
Florida Humanities Council Traveling Exhibit
highlights different aspects of Florida's history. The exhibit schedule is as
The St. Johns River Valley
May - July 24, 2000
Hemingway in Florida and Cuba
August - October 23, 2000
Thomas Jefferson's Legacy
November - January 22, 2001
Florida Goes to War
February - April 23, 2001
The Last Harvest
May - July 23, 2001
One of our cases displays memorabilia and photos
of John B. Stetson and his life in Florida. John B. Stetson had a 300 acre estate in
DeLand and was a close friend of Henry A. DeLand. Mr. Stetson, not only donated
money to Stetson University, but also brought many improvements to the city of DeLand,
including the prestigious College Arms Hotel and Golf Course and electricity. Some
highlights in our exhibit include his "mad money" wallet, silver chalice given
to him by the citizens of DeLand, Stetson hats, and a menu from the New Years Eve dinner
at the College Arms Hotel and Golf Course.
Our final display cases house historical artifacts
relating primarily to DeLand and also to Florida. These artifacts include DeLand
Company Baking Soda, 1917 City of DeLand phone book, and arrowheads found in the local
area. There are many more interesting pieces of history to view.
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Our ever-growing book collection focuses primarily
on DeLand and the state of Florida with subjects ranging from history to flowers to
steamboats to poems to citrus, etc. The library also includes yearbooks from DeLand
High School, Stetson University and even the DeLand Middle School. Our old telephone
book and city directory collection aides people in their genealogy research. We also
have business ledgers from historical bicycle shop, Red Hats baseball team, John B.
Stetson's citrus groves and much more. Our scrapbooks include West Volusia County
community histories and pioneer family histories. Vintage maps, photographs, and
newspapers are also found in the library. Our entire library is currently on a
database that is accessible to our visitors to aide them in their research.
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