In The Spotlight: The Grove Museum
EXPLORE FLORIDA'S HISTORY FROM SLAVERY TO CIVIL RIGHTS
The Grove Museum is a must-see historical site in Tallahassee. Built in the 1830’s by enslaved African Americans, the Grove Museum is one of the best-preserved antebellum residences in Florida. As the home to several generations of the affluent Call and Collins families, The Grove was sold to the state of Florida in 1985 by Governor LeRoy Collins and his wife Mary Call Collins under the promise that the home become a museum to preserve the State’s history for years to come.
Work to convert the residence into a museum began in 2009 after Mary Call Collins passed away. Between 2009 and 2017, the Florida Department of State undertook an award-winning renovation of the home – transforming it into the Museum as it stands today. The museum takes a critical look at slavery and the Florida Civil Rights Movement to educate and empower visitors from across the country. The programs and guided tours make the Grove the ideal destination to get an immersive lesson on how we build a better Florida for future generations.
The standard tour at The Grove Museum highlights the civil rights movement in Tallahassee and Governor LeRoy Collin’s pivotal role in its success. Governor Collins was a strong advocate for civil rights at a time when the Florida Legislature staunchly fought against the Brown vs Board of Education decision to integrate public schools. The Museum hosts many artifacts from Governor Collins time, including a picture of President Lyndon B. Johnson with the Governor, and a pen used to sign the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In addition, The Grove Museum looks at the civil rights movement locally, focusing on the bus boycotts and sit-ins led by FAMU students. The stories of leaders like Patricia and Pricilla Stephens, Wilhelmina Jakes, and Carrie Patterson are brought to life throughout the tour. These tours fulfill the Grove’s mission of engaging the public in dialogue about civil rights and American history.
The Women Making History Tour takes an alternate look at that history in Tallahassee by focusing on the women who lived at the home and their work for women’s rights. This tour provides another crucial layer to Florida’s rich history, and how the women who preserved the Grove contributed to the fight for women’s rights.
To keep history lovers safe from COVID-19, the Grove Museum is offering a wide variety of virtual tours and programs, allowing visitors and residents the opportunity to enjoy the museum from the comfort of their home. The Civil Rights Tour, the Architect and History tour, and other behind the scenes exhibits are all available on the Grove’s website. Nature lovers can also enjoy the virtual Nature Walk and explore the wildlife, native plant species, and healthy ecosystems found in the expansive backyard.
Every aspect of The Grove Museum highlights Florida’s past and invites visitors to learn from the history made in Tallahassee. Engage with history, explore the museum, and help preserve its legacy.