The State Parks were full for the 7 days we wanted to stay, but we found a small commercial campground that worked fine: Twelve Oaks RV Resort in Sanford. We had full hookups, a level site, access to internet and our phones worked fine.
From there, we got took day trips to Mount Dora and Sebring before checking out the local museum in Sanford.
At the end of town not far from the Sanford Harbour Marina on the edge of town, we found the Sanford Museum:
- Henry Sanford was born into wealth and prestige in 1823. He traveled in Europe as a young man and obtained a law degree from the University of Heidelberg. He was Abraham Lincoln's diplomatic appointment in March 1861.
- He purchased a large tract of land in 1870 near Fort Mellon at the convergence of the St John's River and Lake Monroe. He saw the potential of the area as an economic hub and transportation center for Central Florida.
- In 1880, the railroad came to Sanford along with the city building its first hotel. It had all the infrastructure it needed to become "the Gateway to Southern Florida".
Sanford moved to the area and cleared land for groves of citrus fruit. He imported over 140 varieties looking for those that would adapt to the climate. His biggest grove he named Belair.
I had never heard of Sanford until we looked for places to camp to be near our friends in the area. Some things we saw and learned after visiting the museum:
The museum was a fairly good size with three large rooms of artifacts.
Former president U.S. Grant was traveling in Florida at the time and participated the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the railroad terminal.
Later in the 1970's, baseball great Tim Raines was drafted by the MLB Montreal Expos. He was born and raised in Sanford and had a successful major league career.
Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!