The L.B Brown House is a physical legacy left behind by a former slave who defied the odds, and became an incredibly successful Florida business leader.

From Slavery to Community Leader

It is possibly the only remaining house in Central Florida built and owned by a former slave.

Lawrence B. Brown was born in Alachua County during the last decade of slavery. Following the end of slavery in 1865, his family moved to Volusia County, where Brown would go on to marry, and acquire a considerable amount of property. This self-taught master carpenter began to shape his destiny by building multiple homes on his property and either renting or selling them. The street that bordered his property was even named “Lawrence Street” in his honor.

National Register of Historic Places

Following the death of his father, Lawrence and his mother moved to Bartow, which was in the midst of an economic boom. Here, he continued the pattern of his earlier success by acquiring and developing more property with homes, including the historic L.B. Brown House.

The nine-room, 1,700 square foot Victorian L.B. Brown house is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a museum and architectural masterpiece honoring one man’s triumph over adversity, and contributions to community growth in Central Florida.

Historic L.B. Brown House
Historic L.B. Brown House

Guided Tours

Visitors are of course always welcome to admire the architecture of the L.B. Brown House and look inside it, but it’s definitely worth scheduling a tour so you can get a closer look, and enjoy the insider knowledge from an experienced docent.

When planning your Central Florida vacation, schedule a guided tour by calling 863-534-0100, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Weekend appointments may also be available, if scheduled several days in advance.

Cost: FREE

Historic L.B. Brown House
Historic L.B. Brown House

L.B. Brown Annual Heritage Festival

Enjoy three days of entertainment celebrating L.B. Brown during this annual Central Florida history and heritage festival. The event features vendors, “back in the day” demonstrations, senior citizens activities, a history lecture, music and dance, a talent show and a gospel program on Sunday.

More Bartow Historical Experiences

If you are into history, which you likely are if you are reading this, you’ll be happy to learn that the Bartow area is home to two other historic hot spots you can add to your itinerary: Polk County Historical Center and Homeland Heritage Park.

Polk County History Center
Polk County History Center

Polk County History Center

The Polk County History Center is located at 100 East Main Street in Bartow. The museum consists of exhibits presenting local and regional history, and is located in the historic Old Polk County Courthouse. The Polk County History Center is the perfect place to start when taking an historical tour of the county.

Insider Tip: Sign up for a guided tour with a museum docent for the greatest experience.

Cost: FREE

Homeland Heritage Park
Homeland Heritage Park

Homeland Heritage Park

This unique park is home to several original structures from 19th-century pioneer life in Florida, including an 1800s farmhouse, school and church. The park is free to visit and makes a fun and educational field trip for students and families alike.

249 Church Ave, Homeland, FL 33847

Cost: FREE

Bartow Restaurants

The Cookie Jar Bakeshop
The Cookie Jar Bakeshop

Cookie Jar Bakeshop

They serve casual breakfast, lunch and the best fresh-baked cookies and cupcakes you’ll ever put in your mouth.

What we order: Spinach, mushroom and cheddar quiche with a Grande Café Americano for breakfast – OR - a River Boat Salad (add chicken) and a cookie for lunch.

305 E Main St, Bartow, FL 33830


Hacienda Mexico

This restaurant is fantastic and perfect if you appreciate authentic Mexican flavor, great service and live music. They serve lunch and dinner.

What we order: The Quesadilla Hacienda and a Skinny Margarita.

195 E Main St, Bartow, FL 33830


Address / Location

470 S Lb Brown Ave
Bartow, FL 33830
Get Directions

Contact Info

Visit Website

Hours of Operation

Reservations Only 863-534-0100

Trip Advisor Logo Reviews

5 Star Rating

You must call ahead to arrange a visit. Our guide, Mr. Lewis was very knowledgeable and entertaining. He spent spent 90 minutes giving us a tour of the house and recounting Mr. L. B. Brown’s life... Read Full Review

5 Star Rating

The building was saved in remembrance of one of the areas civil war era African Americans and offers an array of his craftsmanship. Read Full Review

5 Star Rating

The L. B. Brown House is a wonderful window into the past, with artifacts that help bring to life the story of Mr. Brown, an emancipated slave, and his family. The home has been lovingly restored... Read Full Review

Loading map...