Wednesday, June 29, 2016, 9:30am – 4:30pm
Matheson History Museum
513 E. University Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32601
Citrus has been an integral part of Florida’s history since Christopher Columbus brought it to the New World in 1493. Spanish explorers (most likely Ponce de Leon) planted the first orange trees near St. Augustine in the early 1500s but citrus wasn’t grown commercially until the 1800s. The Matheson’s original exhibition will explore the history of citrus in Alachua County and throughout Florida. Images, documents, and artifacts will highlight such topics as the origins of citrus, the Great Freezes of 1835 and 1894-1895, citrus industry practices such as debt peonage, and the state of the industry today, including its uncertain future due to citrus greening.