Historic Markers Across Florida

Old Folks Home

Marker ID:  
Location: 300 Bush Boulevard, Sanford, FL
County: Seminole
Coordinates: N 28° 44.597    W 081° 17.936
  28.74328333    -81.29893333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMKC1A


Side 1
This structure built in 1926 is believed to be the only county "Old Folks Home" still standing in Florida. The unique exterior finish called "pebble dash" qualified the building to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

In 1925, social security did not exist, so local residents who could not care for themselves needed a place to live. To provide a home for these people in need, the Seminole County Board of Commissioners approved $9,020.00 to purchase 82 acres where a County Home for the poor would be located. The following year, the board spent $35,306.00 to build the home with separate quarters and dining rooms for white and black residents.

Local people called this farm-type home "The Old Folks Home." Like other county homes at the time, each resident had a private room and shared in the chores and activities, which

Side 2
provided a family atmosphere. To help provide for others living in the home, residents who were able to work tended an orange grove, a vegetable garden, chickens, dairy cattle, and hogs.

In 1940, all residents of the home were moved into the main building. the black residents' building became the infirmary for all residents. Miss Rachael Lee, a black nurse from Mississippi, was in charge of the infirmary until the home was closed in 1964.

The main building became the county Agricultural Center in 1964 with office for the County Agricultural and Home Demonstration Agents and other county agencies. In 1980, a new agricultural center was built. The Board of County Commissioners approved the establishment of the Museum of Seminole County History at this site in 1982.

Seminole County Historical Commission