History of the Osceola County Historical Society            

 

The history of the Osceola County Historical Society began when…

 

Charles and Twylah Hartley of St. Cloud and Alma Hetherington of Kissimmee chartered the organization on October 29, 1949.  

 

For some 20 years beginning in the 1960’s the Historical Society displayed artifacts and other historical items in a wing of the Osceola Center for the Arts building.  

 

In 1987, Ross and Willa Lanier donated their historical family home to OCHS. The family home is known today as the “Lanier Cracker House” which was originally constructed in 1889. During the same year, the Spence family heirs, Carl and Ruth Yates Spence donated four acres of land and their family home at 750 North Bass Road in Kissimmee. For the price of $8,000.00 the Historical Society moved the “Lanier Cracker House” to the donated property, then known as the Osceola County Pioneer Enrichment Center. The opening of the Osceola County Pioneer Enrichment Center helped mark the 1887 centennial celebration for Osceola County.

 

 

In 1990 OCHS moved its collections from the Osceola Center for the Arts, now known as Osceola Arts to the Osceola County Pioneer Enrichment Center.

 

In 2006, an Inter-Local agreement was created between the Historical Society, Osceola County, the City of Kissimmee, the City of St. Cloud, and the Osceola County School Board to create funding to hire an Executive Director. The organization renamed the Pioneer Enrichment Center to the Pioneer Village. 

 

In 2010, Osceola County approved the expansion of the Pioneer Village and Museum to the Shingle Creek Regional Park. This partnership between Osceola County and the Historical Society led to the organization’s operation of the Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum, located at 4155 W. Vine Street in Kissimmee, which opened in October of 2012.

 

 

In August 2012, due to public interest in keeping the historic Narcoossee School House in its original location at 5026 Yukon Street in Narcoossee instead of moving it to the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek, the Historical Society created an additional chapter of the organization. The additional chapter is now known as the Narcoossee Chapter of the Osceola County Historical Society.

 In December 2013, the Historical Society took possession of the historic Narcoossee School House and received a 99-year lease for the property from Osceola County. The historic Narcoossee School House is being restored and refurnished under the direction of the Narcoossee Chapter of the Historical Society.

 

Pioneer Village Replica Schoolhouse

In November of 2014 the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek opened at 2491 Babb Road. The Historical Society relocated four historical structures from the Pioneer Village at Bass Road which included the Tyson House, the Lanier Cracker House, the Cadman Citrus Packing House, and the Cadman Boy’s Room, as well as four additional historical structures from throughout the county, including a caretaker house and barn from Henry O. Partin’s ranch on Henry Partin Road in Kissimmee, as well as the kitchen and main house from the Cadman’s property in Narcoossee. The county agreement for the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek included a 50-year lease for the 10 acres that comprise the Pioneer Village.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, over 17,000 people enjoy the rich history of Osceola County through their attendance at the Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum & Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek attractions each year. Additionally, they enjoy the many other activities that the Historical Society manages onsite, including hosting their private parties and events at the Pioneer Village or Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum, the educational programs and field trips the organization facilitates, attending any of the special fundraising events, experiencing the living history on Pioneer Day, and managing the artifacts, historical documents, and archives located at the Spence Pavilion and Research Center, formerly known as the Pioneer Enrichment Center.

 

History is Happening!
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