top of page

 Museum of the Apopkans 

Fortunian rose in honor of Earl Findley Nelson

WHO WE ARE ... Before Apopka was "The Indoor Foliage Capital of the World" or even before it was "The Fern City" it was "The Lodge." From about 7500 B.C. until the 1st century A.D. Native Americans lived on the shores of Lake Apopka, then they disappeared for unknown reasons.


The region appears to have been uninhabited for about 400 years, until a different cultural group came to the lake around 500 A.D. When the Spaniards arrived in Florida in the 16th century, the Acuera tribe of the Timucua Confederation was said to have lived in the Apopka area, growing crops and trading. By 1730, these natives were decimated by war and diseases brought by the Europeans, and they also disappeared.


Early in the 19th century, there was a Seminole village on Lake Apopka, or Ahapopka, as they spelled and pronounced the name. The village remained active until the outbreak of the Second Seminole War in the mid-1830s. Coacoochee (Wild Cat}, one of the most famous and influential war chiefs, was born here and ruled as chief until this village was evacuated, and the natives sought refuge in the swampy areas around the St. Johns River.


The Armed Occupation Act of 1842 brought settlers to the Apopka area. They received 160 acres settle them. These pioneers began converting the area into what it is today.


After the Civil War, the climate and the agricultural opportunities in Apopka attracted developers and settlers, and the town became an important trading center in the 1850s. The Masons were particularly active. Orange Lodge No. 36 was organized in 1857, and The Lodge building was completed in 1859. Today, it is the oldest running lodge in Florida and is standing on its original site at Alabama Avenue and Highway 441. It was around this building that the town grew in the 1860s and, 1870s and ultimately became the Town of Apopka City, incorporated 1882.


Progress continued and today Apopka is still an important hub of commerce. One of the fastest growing cities in Orange County, it is home base to more than 60,000 citizens in the greater Apopka area


WHAT WE DO ... As the preservers of the history of Apopka, we have collected many artifacts and documents which are located in the Museum of the Apopkans.


Be a part of the ongoing effort to preserve Apopka's history by becoming a member of the Historical Society. There are many ways you can become involved.


Photo of live oak trees at Tilden's Lake in front of  Eldorado at SR 436 and SR 441

By DrO

bottom of page