St. Cloud Heritage Museum

Located in the 1922 Veterans Memorial Library, the museum contains exhibits on the history and founding of this community. St. Cloud's history is linked closely with the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), the largest organization of Union veterans of the Civil War. While searching for a setting in which to locate a Union veteran's retirement colony, the Seminole Land and Investment Company acquired 35,000 acres of land here in 1909. Lured by the favorable climate, GAR members purchased 25 x 150' lots for $50, sight unseen. Sleeping on cots in old army tents while they built their homes, the community had a population of more than 2,000 within a few years, and in 1911 the Florida legislature granted a charter of incorporation. In 1914, the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall was constructed at 1101 Massachusetts Avenue as a memorial to Union army veterans, and today is considered one of the best preserved GAR halls in the country. The museum's collections include early colony records, names and obituaries for the more than 350 Union veterans interred in Mt. Peace Cemetery, and GAR memorabilia, as well as numerous images and objects from the city's early history.