The Clermont Historical Society is proud to unveil some beautiful new additions to the Townsend House at Clermont’s Historic Village.

Pictured above is a doll/statue representing Sallie Townsend.  Sallie and her husband, James, were the first persons of African descent to live permanently in Clermont.  The house that James built himself was the first building relocated to what is now the Historic Village.  The hand-crafted doll above was made by artisan Felicia Fernandez-Hagins of Leesburg using a photograph of Sallie that was featured in the Cooper Memorial Library’s 1992 Clermont Historical Calendar.  Felicia is known in the area for making dolls featuring women in traditional, African dress out of newspaper.  This one of Sallie is a departure from these because Felicia copied the style of the dress Sallie was wearing in the picture.  The doll is on display in the dining room of the house, on top of a china cabinet that once belonged to Sallie’s granddaughter.

Other new items in the Townsend House are some tools and carpentry instruction books displayed on shelves in the bathroom and a beautiful blue & white upholstered chair in the living room which can be seen right as you enter the house.  All of the furnishing, clothing and items on display in all the buildings at the Historic Village have been donated through the generosity of the people of Clermont and the surrounding communities.  Many of them are one-of-a-kind antiques.

The Historic Village, located at 490 West Avenue on the shores of beautiful Lake Minneola directly across from Victory Pointe, is a unique partnership between the City of Clermont and the Historical Society.  Together, we work to provide the citizens of our community with the opportunity to see what life was like in South Lake County in the late 1800’s and the first half of the 20th century.  The Village is open every Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 PM.  Volunteers are on hand to answer any questions and give guided tours when requested.  Admission to the Village is free however, a donation of $5.00 per person over 12 is suggested.

If you are interested in the history of Clermont or in history in general, why not consider joining the Clermont Historical Society?  Membership is just $25.00 per person or $35.00 for a couple annually.  At this time only board members are attending the society’s monthly meetings which are held on the second Monday of each month but members and guests are invited to join via Zoom.  You can also see lots of pictures and information about the Village on our Facebook page.  A new website will be launching soon.  For questions or further information please call 352-242-7734.  We hope to see you all now that the Village is reopened.  Stay hopeful and safe!

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