Sanford Museum

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Sanford Museum

520 East 1st Street

Sanford, FL 32771 

P.O. Box 1788

407.688.5198 Office

407.688.5125 Fax

      Sanford Museum bldg.

Alicia Clarke- Curator - Email

Brigitte Stephenson- Museum Assistant - Email 


 Museum Hours:

Tuesday-Friday 11 AM - 4 PM

Saturday 1 PM - 4 PM 

Free Admission


View Larger Map




Directions by car:

From I- 4 Westbound:
• Take I-4 W Toward Orlando
• Take exit 104 for US-17/US-92 toward Sanford
• Turn right onto U.S. 17 S/US-92 W (There will be signs for Zoological Park/Port of Sanford/Sanford)
• Turn left onto W 1st St., and the destination will be on the left
From I- 4 Eastbound:
• Take I-4 E toward Deltona
• Take exit 101B-101C for FL-46 toward Sanford/Mt Dora
• Turn right onto FL-46 E (There will be signs for Sanford Historic District)
• Continue straight onto W 1st St., and the destination will be on the left 



 About the Museum


The Sanford Museum opened in 1957 as The Henry Shelton Sanford Memorial Library and Museum. The building was expanded in 1974 and again in 1993. The Sanford Family Collection, including the library and papers of city founder Henry S. Sanford, was donated to the city by Sanford’s daughter Carola Sanford Dow. On display are European and American paintings, furniture, personal objects and books from 1820-1890.

The Chase Gallery was built in 1993, this gallery was named in honor of S. O. and Margaret Chase. The gallery has exhibits on local history including: city planning, railroads, Riverboats, agriculture, business, education, local celebrities, fire and police departments, and the Naval Air Station Sanford. The sports collection highlights the achievements of Sanford natives including sportscaster Red Barber, Baseball stars Tim Raines and David Eckstein, professional football’s Jeff Blake and Reggie Branch and Drew “Bundini” Brown, Muhammed Ali’s corner man. The exhibit includes Hall of Fame players who were in Sanford with the New York Giants’ farm system in the 1950s.

Henry Shelton Sanford

Henry Sanford

Henry Shelton Sanford was an American diplomat, attorney and investor, who was born in 1823 in Derby, Connecticut. He established the city of Sanford as a Transportation hub in 1870 and is considered a founder of the Florida Citrus Industry. He lived in Brussels, Belgium for thirty years with his wife, Gertrude, and his seven children. He died in 1891 in Healing Springs, Virginia.

Sanford Papers Register


 Celebrating 60 Years

Celebrating 60 years 

The Sanford Museum is celebrating 61 years! The museum opened February 8, 1957 from a collection that was given to the city of Sanford by Henry Sanford's daughter, Carola Sanford Dow. Since then the museum has had two expansions, and has grown to not just tell Henry Sanford's story but Sanford as a city's history. 

Research Collections

 The Sanford Museum’s research collection includes:

•The Sanford City Archive: Photographs, family histories, yearbooks, city directories, maps, letters and Memorabilia collected from public and private sources.

•The Naval Air Station Sanford Collection: Photographs, memoirs, biographies, base newspaper, cruise books and station records 1940s-1960s.

 •The Sanford Herald Collection: Microfilm of the local newspaper 1908-2000, Photographic negatives 1973-2000.  

•Research Library: Books of local interest, Florida history, Polk City Directories, local telephone books, maps, Seminole High School annuals, city tax rolls 1920-1966, memoirs, genealogies, subject files and obituary file.


To schedule your next tour or field trip at the Sanford Museum, call 407.688.5198


        Helpful Links:

        Sanford Historic Trust 

        Historic Sanford Florida

        Sanford Historical Society, Inc.:

        Central Florida Memory: