Killearn Plantation and Gardens (later Maclay Gardens after 1965) were planted and designed by Alfred Barmore Maclay starting in 1923. Maclay featured camellias as the "backbone" of the gardens design, but also included hundreds of other flowers. The name "Killearn" came from a village in Scotland where Mr. Maclay's great-grandfather, the Reverend Archibald Maclay was born. Maclay died in 1944, and two years later his wife made the gardens public. In April 1953, Mrs. Alfred B. Maclay and children gave the 307-acres Killearn Gardens (including the Maclay house) to the Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials as a memorial to Alfred Barmore Maclay. The Maclay House and most of the associated buildings were constructed circa 1906 to 1909, when the land was used as a hunting plantation. In 2002, the park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Killearn Plantation Archeological and Historic District.
Florida Memory is funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Florida Department of State, Division of Library and Information Services.