Lake Wales History Museum

Museum Speaker Series: Cypress Gardens

Jan 17, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

2018-2019 Speaker Series: Cypress Gardens, America’s Tropical Wonderland by Lu Vickers

When Dick Pope transformed the swampland on the edge of Lake Eloise in Winter Haven into Cypress Gardens, he created an attraction that would become world famous, and in the process, cemented Florida’s reputation as the land of sun and fun. He achieved these feats with the unlikely combination of flowers, water skiers and Southern Belles. Lu Vickers’ talk on Cypress Gardens will feature a slide show of vintage photographs from the Garden’s archives that will take the audience on a journey through Cypress Garden’s history from the 1930s to 2009 when it was sold to LEGOLAND Florida. Vickers will discuss the creation of the world famous waterski show, the Gardens, and the iconic Southern Belles, and will explain how Dick Pope, Cypress Garden’s flamboyant owner, became known as the “Man who Invented Florida.”

The Lake Wales History Museum was awarded a Community Project grant of $5000 from the Florida Humanities Council.  These funds have been used to support a six-part speaker series, a project designed to present a range of topics by Florida expert historians, storytellers, researchers and authors to the community.  Each presentation focuses on different cultural themes throughout Florida’s history.  The speakers’ topics can cover a range of topics that are thought provoking, funny, nostalgic and many times challenging subjects to hear about such as slavery and cultural oppression.  Each presentation is designed to bring individuals closer to history.  

Each program begins at 6 PM, is free to the public and will include light refreshments.  Please RSVP to the Lake Wales History Museum at 863-676-1759.

The Lake Wales History Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Admission is free.  Parking is free and the first floor is accessible for persons with disabilities, wheelchairs and strollers.