Are you looking for an escape that will take you back in time? Visit Homeland Heritage Park that dates to the mid-1800s and see how an early Florida historical community lived in central Florida. You can take a tour of the park and get a sense of what it was like living without the amenities we sometimes overlook.
Visiting Homeland Heritage Park
There are 2 types of historic houses at the park that exhibit two different lifestyles. One home is the English home, a single-room log cabin with four doors and windows. Family members occasionally slept on the wrap-around porch for the cooler temperatures. The second home belonged to an affluent pioneer family, called the Raulerson house. It was built in 1900 and said to house the Raulerson family downstairs and the foreman’s family upstairs.
Checkout the original school building that opened in 1878. It was named Bethel Academy and started with 5 students and one schoolteacher who taught reading, math and writing. Eventually, the number of students grew to 75, and it became the largest school in Polk County. The original school bell still exists, and you will see the teacher’s desk and several oak chairs used by students.
Nearby the school sits the Homeland Methodist Church that was built in 1887. The structure features stunning stain glass windows that shine bright colors on the original pine flooring and the church pews once used by parishioners. Other items on exhibit include the pole barn, church annex and a mock cemetery.
Public & Private Events
The park was opened in 1985 to celebrate Polk County’s history and offers residents and visitors a glimpse into what it took to live and work in Central Florida. Homeland holds several public events and activities throughout the year, and it’s a great place to hold weddings and receptions.
For information about educational events hosted at Homeland Heritage Park, visit the related page on Facebook. To schedule a guided tour, call 863-534-7377.
You may also be interested in Polk County History Center or Lake Wales History Museum.