"The Origins of the Celery City" is an exhibit that follows the history and progression of the city of Sanford from its incorporation in 1877 to its ascendancy as the seat of the newly formed Seminole County in 1913. The story of prominent Sanford photographer Jefferson Clay Ensminger and his family, serves as a framing device for the exhibit's narrative. Ensminger moved to Sanford from Iowa in 1884, and soon befriended the aging Henry Shelton Sanford. Ensmigner would remain in Sanford until his death in 1912, his daughter Carrie attended the Little Red Schoolhouse and later became an educator at Sanford Grammar School. The exhibit is primarily based on a series of photographs and portraits taken by Ensminger himself, or scenes of life in Sanford between the 1870s and 1910s. Prominent businessmen like W.H. Underwood and J.N. Whitner are featured. Educators such as Clara L. Guild and Carrie Ensminger help to tell the story of Sanford's education system. Key turning points within the city's history are also explored, events such as the "Sanford Fire of 1887" and the "Great Freeze of 1894-95", are explored. The region's transition from the use of steamboats as its primary mode of transportation to the arrival of the Atlantic Coast Line and Central Florida Railroad, further influenced the city's progression into becoming one of Central Florida's most important cities.
Student Museum - General Photographic Collection