The Osceola County Historical Society (OCHS) is thrilled to be expanding and now showcasing a brand new History and Nature Museum within Osceola County’s Welcome Center! The 52,000 square foot facility (formerly Roadhouse Grill) has been fully remodeled to house a life-size steamboat and five themed exhibit areas, including the Swamplands, Pinewood Flatlands, Transportation, Oak Hammock, and Lakefront. Throughout the exhibits are interactive tools to compliment the experience, complete with iPads displaying collections of historical photos and nature scenery, children’s map stamping stations, a fresh water fish tank, and several smaller displays and artifacts along the way. The children are sure to enjoy the gopher tortoise hole they can crawl through featuring some surprises along the way, have a chance to practice their timber sawing skills, and can even get their picture taken inside a life-size bald eagle’s nest! As part of the museum, there is a temporary exhibit gallery, currently housing OCHS’ ‘Flags over Florida’ exhibit. The exhibit serves to educate on the various flags which have represented the state, explaining the history and significance behind each, and even allows the public to become part of the exhibit with an interactive comment board. Within the facility is also a multi-purpose room, which is available for rent to the public for various functions, complete with an attached catering kitchen, and screened porch area.
The facility is located at 4155 W. Vine Street, in Kissimmee and is an addition to the Shingle Creek Regional Park. The location is very significant, as the facility serves to showcase the County’s early history in the very same region as some of the earliest settlements in this area, directly on Shingle Creek. From the Welcome Center and Museum, folks can stroll down to the creek’s edge, ride their bikes or walk down the trails leading to other areas of the Regional Park, including the Babb property and Steffee Homestead. The south side of the trails eventually connects to the Historical Society’s Steffee Nature Preserve, which will take you on a path leading directly to the OCHS’ Spence-Lanier Pioneer Village (750 N. Bass Road, Kissimmee). There, visitors can enjoy a glimpse into the past, touring four historic structures dating back to the last 1800’s, sit amongst the shade of the grand oaks, or enjoy a picnic lunch on the grounds.
In an effort to showcase the new Welcome Center and History & Nature Museum to the community, the Osceola County Historical Society will be hosting the Grand Opening event in conjunction with the 21st Annual Pioneer Day. The big event will take place in November 10, from 10am-4pm, with activities at both locations for the entire family to enjoy. At the Museum, there will be famous Highwayman, Al Black, showcasing some of his artwork, alligator wrestling shows, fishing for the kids on the bank of Shingle Creek, food trucks, music live-on-location compliments of K92FM and of course, the Museum will be open and available for touring and exploring. At the Pioneer Village, guests can enjoy the sounds of live, local folk music throughout the day, including headlining artist, Ben Dehart at 3pm. The scene will be complete with craft vendors, sponsor booths, character re-enactors, kids’ crafts, and of course, BBQ.
The Osceola County Historical Society has so much to offer the community. We hope you will support us by attending events, visiting our locations, and becoming a member of this organization. The Osceola County Historical Society is a not for profit organization, whose mission is to preserve and share the County’s rich, cultural history with others. We hope to see you soon!
For more information regarding sponsorships, memberships or volunteering, please visit our website at www.osceolahistory.org or contact Rachael Pinkert, Development Director, 407-396-8644.