Club Resources

Historic Places and Markers of Osceola County


National Register of Historic Places


Colonial Estate (aka Tucker/Ivey House)


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(from the postcard collection of Mike Bast)
1925

2450 Old Dixie Highway, Kissimmee
(private property)
Architect: Henry Green
style: Classical Revival, c1916

This home was built by J. Wade Tucker, a lumber baron from Georgia. It was later purchased in the 1930s by Hilda and Lester Ivey and is still owned today by this family.

The title of the postcard is interesting; "Suburban Home, Kissimmee". It implies that this type of home is commonplace in the area! Especially in the early 1900s this was certainly a rather unique home and still is today!


Desert Inn (aka Wilson's Corner)


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5570 South Kenansville Road, Yeehaw Junction
(private property)
Architect: E. P. Wilson

The Desert Inn is just that, an Inn located at YeeHaw Junction. It was begun as a trading post by the late 1880's. The present building dates back to at least 1925 and is still in use today. In the 1920's the Inn was a patronized by cowboys driving cattle south, Indians, lumbermen, railroadmen, businessmen and other rugged individualists. Dad Wilson purchased the property in the 1930's. It has changed hands a bunch of times since then. The Inn's official website has a more detailed history of the area and building. Check it out! Also see the Historic Markers below.


First United Methodist


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(from the postcard collection of Mike Bast)

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2005

215 East Church Street, Kissimmee
Architect: S. S. Buzza / L. M. Weatherly
style: Late Gothic Revival, c1913

A small church was built in 1878 and as the population shifted another church was built and other places of worship were found. The M E Church South was organized in 1882 by a circuit rider preacher, Edward F. Ley. They worshipped in a one room schoolhouse on Main street between Orange and Magnolia. The lots on Church street were purchased and construction began on 21 Jan 1913. A bell from the old church was given to the the First United Methodist Church in 1967.


Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall

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(from the postcard collection of Mike Bast)
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2005


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(from the postcard collection of Mike Bast)
Laying of the Corner Stone
On the reverse:

This is one of the Pictures I
took of the School Children
at the Laying of the Corner
Stone of the G.A.R. Hall....

1101 Massachusetts Ave, Saint Cloud
Architect: M. V. Cheesman
style: Early Commercial, 1914

Located on the southeast corner of 11th street and Massachusetts Ave. The G.A.R. Lucius L. Mitchell Post, No. 34, was formed 20 Dec 1909 and received its charter in 1910. It was named after the first veteran to die in St. Cloud, Lucius L. Mitchell, on 16 Dec 1909, 5 weeks after arriving here. On either side of the entrance, are a number of bricks giving names and service info for the 86 charter members of the post. "Old Soldiers Colony" and "The Friendly Soldier City" were early slogans for Saint Cloud.

This Post hosted a National Encampment of the G.A.R. in 1914. It was the second largest post in the US. The men would gather every afternoon to tell "war stories". It somehow seems appropriate that the building is now used as a museum.

A plaque on the building itself reads:
G.A.R. Memorial Hall Erected 1914, by,
L.L.Mitchell Post No. 34 G.A.R.
Woman's Relief Corps No. 12.
Sons of Veterans No. 8 Abraham Lincoln Camp of St. Cloud, Florida
Building Committee:
Dr. E. G. Farris, Pres.
E. E. Scranton, Sec.
Wm. L. Fenimore, Treas.
J. F. Farris, Director.
Mrs. Anna Ansbaugh, Director.
Wm. A. Stewart, Director.
Jacob Hoffer, Director.
L. Q. Bower, Director.
Architect and Contractor, M. V. Cheesman.


Kissimmee Historic District

Broadway

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(from the postcard collection of Mike Bast)
Church Street

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(from the postcard collection of Mike Bast)

Roughly outlined by Aultman St,
Monument Ave, Penfield St, Randolph Ave.


Old Holy Redeemer Church


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120 North Sproule Ave, Kissimmee
Architect George A. Ledvina
Late Gothic Revival style, c1912.

In the fall of 1895 the first visiting priests began saying Mass for the small number of Catholic residents at the Tropical Hotel. A few years later they were held in a defunct bank building, then at the hom eof Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Tress and still later in the picture theatre after the Saturday night movie. The old church was built in 1912 with folding chairs and no electricity and the first mass was held on June 30 of that year. Electric lights were installed in 1913 and pews in 1915. The building was sold to the First United Methodist church in 1972 and a new building was built on Thacker Ave and first used in 1973. The old building is still owned by the First United Methodist church and is now called the Wesley Memorial Chapel.


Osceola County Courthouse


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(from the postcard collection of Mike Bast)
1917

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(from the postcard collection of Mike Bast)
 

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2005

Emmett Street, Kissimmee
architect: F. C. Johnson / Pierce & Torrey Investment Co.
style: Romanesque, c1888.

The county bonded for $30,000 to build this courthouse and the referendum for the bond passed by 2 votes. The property was purchased from David B. Stewart and the building was designed as a 3 story structure in the form of a T with a portico attached to the crossing element. It was dedicated in 1889 and opened in 1890, three years after the formation of the county. The actual cost was $25,031.70. In 1905 the first telephone was installed and in 1907 the first light bulb was lit within the Courthouse. The Courthouse was renovated in 2001 and restored to it's original design, though electric wiring and indoor plumbing were kept. On the 3rd floor there is still an active courtroom making this the oldest continuously active courthouse in Florida.
 

 

Florida Historic Markers Program


THE THUNDERSTORM PROJECT


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located in Veterans Park on Highway 192, Saint Cloud

On a typical summer afternoon thunderstorms will be seen in the skies surrounding this site. So common they are often ignored, thunderstorms are nevertheless vital to the State's economy. They provide most of Florida's annual rainfall, but lightening and strong winds from occasional severe storms can be costly. It was here in the summer of 1946 that scientists used weather radar, aircraft penetration flights, balloon soundings and an extensive network of surface instruments to gather - for the first time - observations which led to an understanding of the structure and life cycle of thunderstorms. This site was chosen because the frequency of thunderstorms in Florida is higher than anywhere else in North America. The Thunderstorm Project was conducted by U.S. Weather Bureau, Air Force, Navy and NACA (forerunner of NASA). Scientists working at the University of Chicago analyzed the resulting data. Theories they developed from observations made here in 1946 - and in the Ohio Phase of the Project the following summer - remain the cornerstone of our understanding of thunderstorms and related weather such as hail, strong winds, heavy rain and tornadoes.

Sponsored by meteorologists from around the country in cooperation with the department of state


OSCEOLA COUNTY

Front


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Back


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on the grounds of the county Courthouse, Kissimmee

Osceola County was created in May 1887 from portions of Orange and Brevard Counties. One of its sponsors was Senator J. Milton Bryan, who suggested the new county be named for Osceola, the great Seminole warrior. The new county was Florida's fortieth and had 815 citizens.

Kissimmee was named the county seat. In 1889, Osceola citizens voted a $30,000 bond issue to build this Romanesque Revival style courthouse, which has remained in daily use since 1890. It's significance was recognized by its listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

Osceola is Florida's sixth largest county. It has a rich history of cattle raising extending back to the days of the Seminole Indians. Other landmarks in county agricultural and economic history include the rise and decline of Hamilton Disston's Land and sugar empire, steamboating, and lumbering. Cattle and agriculture remain Osceola County's economic bulwarks, although it has experienced growth in manufacturing and tourism since the late 1960s.

Sponsored by Kissimmee business and professional women's club in cooperation with department of state


HAMILTON DISSTON SUGAR PLANTATION


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(from the postcard collection of Mike Bast)

Between Ninth and Tenth Street on New York Avenue, Saint Cloud

In 1885, Hamilton Disston, Pennsylvania industrialist and pioneer Florida promoter, established an extensive experimental sugar plantation on the drained lands around St. Cloud. The enterprise, part of Disston's promotional scheme, prospered for several years and operated its own cane mill. After the abolition of the federal bounty on domestic sugar, the business failed and much of the machinery was sold for scrap. The failure caused large scale sugar planting in Florida to be abandoned for many years.

Note: I didn't find this marker at this time (spring 2005). Perhaps it has been moved since the new City Hall was built in 2004. - April 2005. Does anyone know where it is located?


THE DESERT INN


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on State Highway 441 and State Road 60, Yeehaw Junction

The Desert Inn was founded as a trading post in the late 1880s. The present building dates before 1925 and served as a supply and recreational center for cattle drovers, lumber men and tourists during the era when much of Osceola County was still undeveloped wilderness. Cowmen working the free ranging cattle on the palmetto prairie and lumber men cutting timber in the nearby pine lands came to the Desert Inn to eat, drink, and dance at this ?oasis? where they could enjoy some relief from their arduous labors. Local patrons of the trading post and restaurant included African Americans and Seminoles, who had separate dining facilities in the era of segregation. The construction of roads in the 1930s brought tourists to the area, and a set of overnight cabins were erected behind the original building. Today the Desert Inn continues to be a popular destination for tourists and local residents. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.

Sponsors: Desert Inn and the Florida Department of State


FORT BASINGER


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(Once Located in Osceola County, now in Okeechobee County)

Col. Zachary Taylor had Fort Basinger built in 1837, during the Seminole Wars, on the Kissimmee River 17 miles above its mouth. It was a small stockade which served as a temporary fort and supply station on the line of forts extending from Tampa to Lake Okeechobee. Named for Lt. William E. Basinger of the 2nd Artillery, who was killed in Dade's Massacre, the fort was abandoned at the end of the Indian wars.

Florida Board of Parks and Historic Markers


Please Note: This listing may not be complete. If you know of other historic places or markers that are "registered" as such and aren't listed herein, please let me know - Lisa K. Slaski

 
 
Copyright: 2006 Mike Bast (postcard images)
Copyright: 2006: Anza Bast, Jean Witherington and Lisa Slaski (photos and transcriptions/text)
Donated to the Genealogy Club of Osceola County for posting on their website