St. James AME Zion Church traces history to late 1800s

St. James AME Zion Church traces history to late 1800s

Black History Month 2021 St. James AME Zion Church St. James African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church has existed since Osceola County’s earliest days.  The exact year of the church’s founding varies according to available records. In the mid to late 1930s, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) paid people to compile reports of church histories. The WPA report states St. James AME Zion was constituted […]

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Nathan Porter funded Black youth recreation center

Nathan Porter funded Black youth recreation center

Black History Month 2021 Nathan Porter funded recreation center for Black youth in Kissimmee Census records state Nathan Porter was born in Georgia, but exactly where, when and the names of his parents are unknown. Dates for his birth vary from March 13, 1873 to May 1876, with his headstone, located in Rose Hill Cemetery in Kissimmee, showing a birthdate of March 7, 1877. Nathan […]

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A Sweet Business: Esper Products Deluxe

A Sweet Business: Esper Products Deluxe

Esper Products Deluxe A small jelly factory began in the fall of 1937 at 46 Main Street in Kissimmee, Florida. It produced 15-20 varieties of jams, jellies and marmalades. By 1950 there were 38 varieties of tropical flavors offered and the plant used an average of two tons of sugar per week. Aided by J.B. McCauley, Mrs. Emily Bast, widow of G.Y. Bast Sr. founded […]

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Citrus packing plants in Osceola County

Citrus packing plants in Osceola County

In the early 1900s, Osceola County was well known for its fruits and vegetables, grown and shipped from here. Some of those early packers and shippers were Waters and Carson Grocery Co., W.B. Makinson Co., and J. S. Stratton of the Basswell Grocery Co. in Peghorn. As larger packing houses were needed, they were constructed near the railroad lines in Kissimmee. By July 1914, the […]

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