On Saturday, January 15, I got to join fellow staff members for our first History Con at MOAS in Daytona. We give a special thank you to Zach Zacharias, Senior Curator of Education and History, at MOAS, for inviting us to participate. We got a top-notch spot and set up our slideshow to share with everyone! We had books for sale and brochures to share with visitors. It was a great opportunity to share what we do at the Research Library, our collections, and what we have planned for the future.
We got to meet other historical societies in the area, learn what they are doing, and how the community benefits from all these organizations. There were so many different groups to meet! The Barberville Pioneer Settlement, you can see me here with one of their staff members, Erick Nielsen. Their historical village shows what life was like during the 1800s and early 1900s. They brought all sorts of neat objects with them!
We met Mark Lane author of the book Roaring Reptiles, Bountiful Citrus, and Neon Pies, about how Florida State symbols have shifted over time. It’s amazing how much thought goes into the decisions for symbols to represent their state. Lane also gave a talk about symbols, especially how Key Lime Pie is the Official State Pie of Florida, and Strawberry Shortcake became the Florida state dessert this January! Every hour there were talks in the Root Family Auditorium, other presentation topics included: Black History from the Rural South; looking at headlines from different newspapers through the 1700s and 1800s; Jim Crow in Volusia County; and Florida Forts.
Some of the other groups that we met include: The New Smyrna Museum of History which gives walking tours through historic New Smyrna Beach, visiting local landmark buildings as we as places where the first residents made their homes; The Halifax Historical Museum which is located in the 1910 Merchants Bank building and houses collections covering local history from thousands of years. They also tell the story of Brownie, The Town Dog, a large brown dog that didn’t belong to anyone and belonged to the community. His burial marker is located at the south end of downtown Riverfront Park in Daytona; other groups included the Volusia County Public Library who works with the Volusia County Genealogical Society. The library hosts the genealogical society’s speaker events and workshops to help people learn more about their family history.
While visiting some of the exhibits, we also met a photography vendor who happened to have photos of St. Augustine, and guess what! We even found one of the Oldest House. It was an unexpected find. There was so much to see at the MOAS, and so many people to meet. We are definitely looking forward to coming back to History Con in 2023.