Bob Beatty


On September 29, 2000, history will change forever," proclaimed the Orange County Historical Society at the grand opening of the 35 million Orange County Regional History Center.1 History in Orange County had indeed changed forever. Over a half century, the museum (and the commission and society that shaped it) struggled for legitimacy, particularly in finding an appropriate home. Prior to opening the Regional History Center in the 1927 Orange County Courthouse, the museu. hosted exhibits in five different locations. But its current address in the restored Courthouse is particularly appropriate and in a sense represents a closing of a circle: the museum originally opened on the same site in 1942 in a small room of th 1892 Courthouse.2 Today, the new History Center is a dynamic and interactive museum experience, a resource where Central Floridians connect with Orange County's heritage and begin to develop a better sense of the origins of their community.