352-593-8496 | 490 West Avenue, Clermont, FL

Clermont Historical Museum

The mission of the Clermont Historical Society is to preserve, maintain and share the history of the pioneering families of South Lake County, especially the city of Clermont. 

We cover the period from the late eighteen hundreds to the end of World War II.  The CHS continues to uphold the dreams of the original members to have an Historic Village where people of all ages, especially young students, can learn about the lifestyle of times gone by.

Developed & Maintained by the City of Clermont & the Clermont Historical Society

Our Exhibits

Contact Us

    490 West Avenue

    Clermont, Florida 34711

    MUSEUM MANAGER:
    352-242-7734

    Office 352-432-3496 (leave message)

    slhistoricalsociety@gmail.com

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    Hours:

    Saturday 1 PM - 4 PM
    Sunday 1 PM - 4 PM

    or By Appointment

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    Meet The Team

    Jim Briggs
     
    President
     

    Born and raised in Rhode Island, Jim married his high school sweetheart in 1955.  They moved to South Florida in 1957 where 10 years later he began his career as a firefighter that included him serving as Winter Garden Fire Chief.   Jim & Carol have 3 children, 3 (living) grandchildren and 6 greatgrandchildren.  Jim has volunteered for many non-profits including Habitat for Humanity, Horseshoe Creek Wildlife Reserve, and Ember Ranch.   He also owns and operates a fire museum at Florida Flywheelers in Polk County.

    Devon “Pete” Cole
     
    Vice President
     

    Devon “Pete” Cole:   A native Floridian, Devon’s family relocated to Clermont when he was 3 and he has been a resident of the area ever since.  After graduating from Lincoln Park High school, the segregated school for Black students, Devon attended college and served in the U.S. Army fighting in the War in Vietnam.  He and his late wife, Aurelia M. Cole (a founding member of the Historical Society) were married for 49 1/2 years and had 2 children and 4 grandsons. Since retiring from UPS Devon has worked at Floyd’s Funeral Home and as a bail bondsman.  In addition to the Historical Society, Devon volunteers with the Lincoln Park Rams Motorcycle Club.  As such a long term resident of Clermont, Devon understands the importance of preserving the rich history of our beautiful city and passing the information to visitors and younger generations.

    Roxanne Brown
     
    Manager
     

    Originally from Arizona, Roxanne moved to Florida in 1999 and has lived in Clermont since 2002.  Roxanne began her career in the customer service industry, while attending college and writing independently for years. Upon moving to Florida, she switched her career path to focus more on writing professionally and went on to become a reporter for The Daily Commercial/South Lake Press newspapers for 16 years. In July, 2020, she joined Akers Media Group as a staff writer and copy editor for Lake and Sumter Style Magazine.  Additionally, Roxanne has been the manager of the Clermont Historic Village since January, 2016.  Aside from work, Roxanne enjoys spending time with her family, which includes Keith, her husband of nearly 22 years, their three children and two dogs. 

    Karen Miller
     
    Treasurer
     

    Born and raised in South Florida, Karen was a kindergarten and first grade teacher there for 35 years.  With her husband Stuart, she moved to Central Florida about 15 years ago.  They have 3 sons and 5 grandchildren. Her hobbies include reading, sewing, and quilting and she is an active member of Congregation Sinai.

    Donna DiGennaro
     
    Recording Secretary
     

    Raised in New Jersey, Donna spent her adult life working as a history/social studies educator and high school administrator in Maryland.  In 2007 she retired and moved to Lake County to be near her oldest daughter’s family.  Now that her other daughter and family also reside in Florida, she feels she has the perfect retirement.  Donna is also on the boards of the Women’s Giving Alliance and the Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra, is a member of the DAR and volunteers at South Lake Hospital.

    Micki Blackburn-Nagel
     
    Chairperson of the Board
     

    A native Floridian, Micki’s family came to South Lake County when she was a young teenager.  After working as an educator in the Lake County School system, Micki founded her own successful real estate business.  She is also one of the founding members of the Historical Society.  The mother of 1 daughter and grandmother of 3, Micki is well known in the Clermont area for her philanthropy and support of many charities including the Mike Connolly Hospice House and the arts.

    Dieter Grube
     
    Board Member
     

    Born in Germany, Dieter moved to Canada when he was 8 years old where he grew up and married a Canadian girlIn 1983 they moved to California to take over his father’s business upon his retirement where he ran a successful architectural plywood factory for years.  He retired and moved to Geneva, Switzerland for several years before returning to the US for his wife’s retirement.  In addition to the Historic Village, Dieter has volunteered at LAPD, NTC, Sommer Sports, Flo-dash events, and the Clermont Performing Arts Center.

    Carole Fernandes
     
    Board Member
     

    Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Carole and her husband relocated to Florida in 2000 from Newark, Delaware.  After her husband passed in 2005 she moved to Clermont to be near her youngest son.  Carole also has 4 other children, 14 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.  In 2015 she read about the opportunity to join the Clermont Historical Society and “the rest is history.”

    Larry Oskin
     
    Board Member
     

    From Buffalo, NY; Larry has been in professional marketing, media relations and graphic design for over 50 years, owns Marketing Solutions, and works as a photographer/writer for The South Lake Tablet. In addition to the Historical Society, Larry is also on the boards of the Clermont Downtown Partnership, the South Lake Non Profit Think Tank, Congregation Sinai, and the Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra.

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    Articles

    The Clermont Historic Village Museum highlights the proud past and legacy for all to enjoy. From historic homes to displays of those who helped shape the history of Clermont and the world. Something for everyone!

    -Nancy Konsler

    The Historic Village is a wonderful representation of the early days in Clermont. The volunteers are very knowledgeable about every aspect of the village and take pride in sharing information about the buildings and their contents. To have this gem located in downtown Clermont gives visitors and residents the opportunity to learn about the history of the area with a visit to it’s beautiful waterfront location, perfect!-Karen Swistack Krawchuk

    -Karen Swistack Krawchuk

    The Caponi Family has been visiting the Village since the beginning. It always makes us feel we are stepping back in time once we step foot onto the grounds.

    -Angelo Caponi

    I am a frequent visitor to the Clermont Historic Village.
    I learn something new with every visit. The volunteer docents are very knowledgeable and friendly. And it has become really kid-friendly with books, activites, the one room log cabin school house, and of course, the outhouse. This is a must stop during a walking tour of clermont’s fabulous waterfront.

    -Ann Whitlock, President, Kiwanis of South Lake