The Lake Wales Museum will give you the inside track on this area’s history and heritage through exhibits set inside a building built by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1928.
Originally a train depot, the Lake Wales Museum features exhibits beginning with the foundation of Lake Wales in 1911 as well as the formation of the city, industry, places of interest and developments in the 19th century that led to the settlement of the area. Best of all, admission is free!
Since the Central Florida Museum opened in 1976, it has been a resource center for the public. It is a place where the public can enjoy educational programing, exhibits, and events that highlight the history of the area.
The Lake Wales Museum includes both chronological and thematic exhibits. Chronological exhibits cover land development and the evolution of the city itself, while thematic exhibits highlight the cattle, citrus and turpentine industry, and tourism.
The Train Master’s Desk
This original oversized train master’s desk overlooks the Florida Midland Railroad which currently serves more than 25 businesses delivering food-related products, chemicals, lumber, stone, building products, fertilizer, citrus juices, pumice, and limestone.
One of the most beautiful pieces in the Lake Wales Museum is a Prehistoric Dugout Indian Canoe. The 21-foot canoe was discovered in Lake Hancock in 1994. Carbon-dated by scientist at the University of Arizona, the Dugout Indian Canoe is more than 1,020 years old.
The Museum Curator
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to speak with Bartholomew Delcamp, the museum’s curator. He is a wealth of knowledge and clearly enjoys telling the story of how Lake Wales came to be.
The small gift shop features a variety of traditional museum offerings as well as a hats, bags, t-shirts and citrus label merchandise.