The Santa Rosa Historical Society was chartered in 1974 and is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated to the identification, documentation, and preservation of Santa Rosa County's unique historic legacy. The Museum of Local History was located in the Imogene Theater in downtown Milton until a fire damaged the facility and destroyed neighboring buildings on January 6, 2009. Luckily, almost all the exhibits and artifacts were spared from the smoke and flames, and the museum has reopened.
The museum features an extensive collection of photographs and artifacts, including everyday household objects, clothing, tools, etc. It showcases artifacts from the county's early industries, starting with the 1820s brick-makers who produced millions of bricks for Forts Pickens and Barrancas. Lumber mills and shipyards sprang up along the rivers and, by the Civil War, Santa Rosa was the most highly industrialized county in Florida. Historical photographs and artifacts from stores and public buildings depict the development of Milton. Over 150 historic photographs and postcards can also be viewed on its website.
The Imogene Theatre is owned and operated by the Santa Rosa Historical Society and is available for rent on a daily basis. Proceeds from rentals are used to maintain the historic 1912 opera house. It is located on Highway 90, across from the courthouse, in downtown Milton. The theatre has a wooden floor and stage with two dressing rooms that include restrooms.
Museum of Local History (Imogene Theater)
6866 Caroline Street, Milton