Town of Penney Farms - Historic Museum logo

Penney Farms Historic


Museum Opens

Commissioner Cella

Commissioner Cella and Audience

New Hope

Now Open

Museum Visitors

Ribbon Cutting

Town Council

Speech Commissioner Burke

Speech Commissioner Burke Conclusion

Museum Construction

After Construction

During Construction

Before Construction - Old Fire station


Town of Penney Farms Historic Museum is now open.

Please Come see what the newest addition to Clay County, Florida Historic Tourism has to offer.

Located in the old Penney Farms Volunteer Fire Department building at 4100 Clark Ave., Penney Farms, Florida 32079

Regular Museum hours are:

9 AM – 1 PM Monday thru Friday

2 PM – 4 PM Second and Fourth Sundays

2 PM – 3:30 PM Second and Fourth Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

For information please call during regular hours (904) 742-1344



Visit the Town of Penney Farms Historic Museum and learn about the experience of a hardy group of families who invested their time, labor and money in a community that was inspired by J.C. Penney.


Learn about one man’s vision for a self-sufficient farming community, the sustainable farming methods and the working families that started a community called New Hope.


Research and read about Long Branch, New Hope, Florida Farms and Industries, Bordenville and Shadowlawn Dairies, Penney-Gwinn Industries, and an era of truck farms and support staff.


Find out about the early school, mercantile store, railroad, hotel, sawmill and township.  Explore the role of the Penney-Gwinn Institute of Agriculture and Engineering.


Appreciate the original design or Penney’s community with a centrally located church surrounded by retirement homes.

Take time to

Explore Historic Penney Farms, FL

“The Golden Rule”

Thank you to:

Town of Penney Farms and the

Historical Society of Penney Farms, Inc.

Get Involved

Your support helps us continue to preserve the rich history of Penney Farms for future generations.  In addition, we hope to provide fun and educational programs to the community.  You will have confidence that your support contributes to our mission: To provide information and education to residents and visitors about the early history, culture and inception of Penney Farms by its founder, James Cash Penney.

Donations from individuals, families, and organizations form the core of Historical Society of Penney Farms collections, and we are grateful to be acknowledged as a secure and trustworthy repository for housing and caring for the story of our town.

We appreciate your support!

Old Penney Farms
Town of Penney Farms Historical Marker

Town of Penney Farms Marker, Florida.

This marker is located on the south side of SR 16 at Penney Retirement Community in Clay County In Florida.

The text on the marker reads as :

” James Cash Penney (1876-1971), philanthropist and founder of J.C. Penney Department Stores, purchased 120,000 acres in Clay County and invited farmers to claim 40-acre tracts by clearing the land, building houses, growing crops and raising livestock. In 1922 Penney and associates formed the Florida Farms and Industries Company that planned, plated and registered 10,000 acres as Long Branch City, whose population rose to 825 in 1930 and is 654 in 2002. Here, in 1926, Penney built the Memorial Home Community to honor his parents. In 1927 the Florida State Legislature chartered the city as the Town of Penney Farms and in 1937 the town limits were reduced to 1,500 acres. The community consisted of a church building and 22 cottages based on French Norman architecture. Modest wood frame dwellings occupied by farmers contrasted with stately Norman-styled buildings. The Great Depression (1929) caused Mr. Penney to sell his holdings except 200 acres, which he deeded to the Memorial Home Community, and turned over its operation to the Christian Herald Foundation. In 1971 it became the self-sustaining Penney Retirement Community, Inc., and in 1999 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.”

Sponsors: The Town of Penney Farms and the Florida Department of State – 2002

From the George Lansing Taylor Collection Main Gallery, University of North Florida Digital Commons

Historical Society of Penney Farms Logo


4100 Clark Avenue, P.O. Box 1041
Penney Farms, Florida 32079
Get Directions

Museum Hours

9 AM – 1 PM Monday thru Friday

2 PM – 4 PM Second and Fourth Sundays

2 PM – 3:30 PM Second and Fourth Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

Contact Historical Society


Phone: (904) 742-1344