The mansion holds a significant role in the state's history. Built with slave labor by territorial Gov. Richard Keith Call, it would eventually become home to Collins, who tried to shepherd the state through the civil rights era by taking a more moderate stance than other Southern governors. Collins married Mary Call Darby Collins, the great-granddaughter of Call.
The exhibits catalog the changes in the state and those who lived there - featuring for example - an audio description of Call's denunciation of Florida's secession from the Union where he told a group of secessionists that they had "opened the gates of hell."
The museum includes exhibits that detail how Collins initially came into office defending segregation but then came to view it as morally wrong. And it features illuminating information on other members of the Call family who lived in the mansion during the Civil War and throughout the decades before Collins and his wife moved into it.
But up on the 2nd floor of the mansion is an exhibit that actually touches on some of the main legislative battles that are raging a mile or so southward of The Grove in the halls of the state Capitol.
Museum caretakers have placed a short film that talks about Collins legacy in attempting to "modernize" his home state.
What does it touch on? Higher education, promotion of tourism, and efforts to attract businesses to the Sunshine State.
Collins is lauded as someone who pushed for the creation of junior colleges and the creation of the University of South Florida because he felt it was important to have higher education institutions closer to where people lived. (The Senate this week passed a bill designed to boost the state's higher education system into the ranks of the nation's elite.)
The film also points out that Collins worked constantly to try to lure businesses from outside the state to come to Florida. It quotes Howard Hughes, the industrialist (and pilot and film director...) as calling Collins "the greatest salesman" that Florida ever had. (The House is scheduled on Friday to approve a bill that would shutter the state's economic development agency Enterprise Florida.)
And then there's the part of the film that appears to have bearing on one of the key talking points being made by House Speaker Richard Corcoran and House supporters about Visit Florida, the state's tourism marketing corporation.
They have noted that Visit Florida was officially created back in the '90s and have argued that people visited Florida before then without the need of any state resources promoting tourism. The House is considering a bill to overhaul Visit Florida and appear on track to cut a large chunk of its funding.
But the exhibit at The Grove seems to contradict that.
"He foresaw the need for greater state funding to promote tourism and helped lay the groundwork" for the organization that eventually become Visit Florida,'' states the exhibit.
State officials from the Department of State - who work for Gov. Rick Scott - say this is a bit of coincidence, noting that work on The Grove exhibits predate the incendiary debate over Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida by probably a year or more. Scott is fiercely opposed to the House efforts and has criticized House members for considering "job-killing legislation." Public records appear to back that up as emails and discussions about the script go back to early 2016.
For what it's worth, Scott does not plan to attend the grand opening of The Grove, so it may be a while before he sees the exhibit himself. At last word, it didn't sound as if any House leaders, including the speaker, planned to be there either.