Monday, August 18, 2008

Roy, Ella & Who?

I've had so many personal friends and family come to town for vacation recently that I've been a terrific backyard tourist ... but in the middle of entertaining I haven't found the time to write about it all!

One of those recent visitors was my cousin from North Carolina. We have a little tradition of trying all the touristy bits in a town. When he was attending college in Wilmington, I came up for a weekend and we had a 48 hour marathon of everything Cape Fear had to offer ... the Battleship, the museums, Circa 1922, and one heck of a freaky ghost tour. We were worn out at the end, but had a blast!

This time it was my turn to show he and his wife around our little town. One of the things we did together that I've not done before is visit the History Museum.

Here you can find the story behind the whole cast of characters that made Mount Dora. From Dora Ann ... to J.P. ... the Colonel ... and Royellou. Royellou was actually the original name for the city, after the 3 children of postmaster R. C. Tremain ... Roy, Ella and Louis. The town was later renamed Mount Dora after the lake and Dora Ann Drawdy.

The location of the museum was the original city jail and firehouse with an actual jail cell still intact for your claustrophobic thrills.

I'm thankful that we have a piece of our history preserved here.

The museum is dependent on volunteers and donations. Admission is actually "free," however donations are encouraged and accepted. The operating hours are sometimes not consistent, but next time you're in town peak down the alleyway between the Center For the Arts and 5th Avenue Cafe to see if the ole' "jailbird" is outside waiting outside to welcome you in. The history, stories and artifacts are fascinating, funny and worth the visit!


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