Historical Resources

Old Inverness Courthouse

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Manatee Exhibit Opens at The Old Courthouse Heritage Museum

Manatee Mania’s Grand Opening will be held Friday, January 25th, from 5-7 p.m. at the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum. This FREE mixer event invites all members of the community to take a tour of the museum and meet others from all parts of the county who share a passion for history.

This new exhibition has been brought to the museum with a grant from the Florida Humanities Council in collaboration with the Exhibits and Program Committee. This exhibit begins in the 18th century when the English made manatee hunting illegal and created a sanctuary for the animals, continuing with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Manatee Recovery Plans and conservation work throughout the state. Topics include the complex human relationship with manatees; from the first manatee protection law in 1893 to our most recent changes. Visitors are introduced to manatees and their connection to mermaid sightings, including one by the infamous Christopher Columbus. Next, we trace the history of Manatee protection over time leading to their current protections under Florida law as a threatened species. This history features popular scientist, Jacques Cousteau, who visited Crystal River in the 1970’s, as well as Governor Bob Graham and Jimmy Buffet who helped establish the Manatee Club in 1981. The exhibit will highlight economic factors and the benefits of conservation to both manatees and humans who inhabit the neighboring coastlines and waterways that affect them. Research by groups like Sea to Shore, citizen involvement, and legislation will be covered. The exhibit will spark awareness of the manatee’s important role in Florida’s identity and unique sense of place.

The exhibit will run from January 25th through the end of April 2019.

Coffee and Conversations Speakers Series

Sponsored by the Florida Humanities Council come learn from some of the best scholars in the fields of history, marine biology, and environmental sciences. Walk through the Manatee Mania exhibit and have your questions ready for these magnificent speakers!

January 31: Dr. James “Buddy” Powell presents, “Manatees in Paradise or Peril?” Dr. James “Buddy” Powell, Executive Director of Sea to Shore Alliance, has spent 40 years studying manatees and working toward their conservation. He’ll share some of his field experiences with you, along with a brief history of manatee research and conservation in Florida and beyond.

February 7:: Dr. Steven Noll presents, “Florida Loves Manatees!” Steve Noll is a master lecturer in the department of history at the University of Florida. This program will examine the interactions between humans and manatees in a historical and ecological context and even attempt to look into the future (rarely the realm of the historian!) to see what may happen to manatees

March 14: Cynthia Barnett presents, ”Our Water, Our Florida—A Water Ethic for Florida” Water defines us as Floridians no matter where we live: Idyllic beaches surround us on three sides. Rivers and streams flow for ten thousand miles through the peninsula. We’re blessed with nearly eight thousand lakes and a thousand more freshwater springs—the largest concentration of artesian springs in the world. Florida’s economy and idyllic lifestyle are built on a foundation of pure and plentiful water. Yet, for the first time in state history, the latest generation of Floridians has not inherited waters as clean and abundant as their parents. In her uplifting program, journalist Cynthia Barnett shows audiences how one of the most water-rich states in the nation could come to face water scarcity and quality woes—and how it doesn’t have to be this way.

April 4: Janie Gould presents, “When Manatees Were Sea Cows: How Floridians Coped When Times Were Hard” This program explores some of the inventive ways in which Floridians put food on the table and survived during the Great Depression and the years following that era. Needless to say the menu could be more than a little creative in those tough times. The presentation will also include a woman’s memories of how her unemployed father was able to keep his family afloat by collecting Spanish moss and selling it for use as mattress stuffing.

All Coffee and Conversations Speaking Events are held at the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum at 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Coffee and light refreshments will be served. Call (352)-341-6428 or go online to http://www.cchistoricalsocietyshop.com to reserve your FREE seat today.


Music at the Museum: Southern Exposure

The 2018-2019 Music at the Museum Acoustic and Jazz Concert Series: Only Three Shows Remaining!

One of Citrus County’s best-kept secrets is the outstanding music that is offered in the gorgeous setting of the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum.

February 21: Southern Exposure: We are proud to welcome back Southern Exposure for their 9th consecutive year playing at the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum! These talented, local musicians bring an energetic and memorable musical experience to their audience. Don't let the romance end on Valentine's Day! Bring your partner and enjoy this amazing jazz group together.

March 21: Rusty and the Music Makers – Popular Jazz Tunes

April 18: Mindy Simmons –Tribute to Jazz Legend Peggy Lee

Call (352)-341-6428 or go online to http://www.cchistoricalsocietyshop.com to reserve your seat today. A limited number of tickets are available at the door. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. for all shows and music starts at 7:00 p.m. Acoustic shows are $15/person and include light refreshments, a cash bar, and auditorium-style seating. Jazz shows are $25/person and include appetizers, a cash bar, and tabled seating.

southern exposure band photo

Inverness Walks! Downtown Walking Tours

3rd Wednesday of Each Month, Starting at the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum at 9 AM.

These highly entertaining and educational tours are held the third Wednesday morning of each month and since there has been such enthusiasm for them, we are requiring reservations.

Hear stories of early and present-day Inverness as your guide shows you a small town rich with history. Experience the beautiful lakes, parks, and quaint, walkable downtown and its historic buildings. Even locals will be amazed by what they learn! Preferred limit no more than 15.

All proceeds benefit the exhibition, programs, and operations of the Inverness Cultural Heritage Council at the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum. $5.00/per adult, $2.00/per child. For more information and reservations, please contact 352-341-6428.



inverness walking tour photo

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Citrus County Old Courthouse Museum


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