Fall happenings at the Matheson History Museum

The Matheson History Museum is bringing two new exhibits to Gainesville: “Finding the Fountain of Youth” and “Liberating Learning?” Both will be located in the main museum building at 513 East University Avenue.

“Finding the Fountain of Youth: Discovering Florida’s Magical Waters” opens Oct. 14 in the Mary Ann Cofrin Exhibit Hall.

This exhibit is based on Rick Kilby’s award-winning book. The former traveling exhibit was created by the Florida Museum of Natural History and was donated to the Matheson by author Ricky Kilby. The exhibit examines how the legend of Ponce de Leon’s quest for restorative waters shaped the Sunshine State’s image as a land of fantasy, rejuvenation and magical spring-fed waters.

“Liberating Learning? The Story of Desegregation in Alachua County Schools” opens Nov. 8 in the Main Exhibit Hall.

This new and original exhibition will explore the history of desegregation in Alachua County.

The public is also invited to these upcoming events and programs:

  Grand Opening of the Matheson Library and Archives and the Mary Ann Cofrin Exhibit Hall on Saturday, Oct. 14 from 11am-4pm. This is a free event.

  A rare treat – all four buildings in the museum complex will be open to the public, including the Tison Tool Barn and the 1867 Matheson House.

  An Outrage documentary viewing and panel discussion with UF African American Studies lecturer Dr. Patricia Hilliard-Nunn and filmmakers Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 6pm. This is a free event, although pre-registration via Eventbrite is required. This moving documentary on the history of lynching in the American South premiered at the National       Museum of American History earlier this year.

• A fundraiser/gala, SesquiSENSATIONAL: 150 Years of Matheson History, will be on Saturday, Nov. 4 from 5:30pm-9:30pm. The cost is $250 and tickets are available via the museum’s website, www.mathesonmuseum.org. The 1867 Matheson House turns 150 years old this year, and this fundraiser gala will celebrate its storied past and honor five families whose ancestors were in Alachua County 150 years ago and have made a significant contribution to our community’s history: the Chestnuts, Hailes, Harns, Thomases, and Tom Fay, posthumously. Proceeds from the evening will go towards the continued care of the 1867 Matheson House and its furnishings and artifacts.

For more information please visit the Matheson Museum website at www.mathesonmuseum.org or follow them on Facebook. D

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