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!

Lake Wales Museum
Lake Wales Museum

Museum Exhibits

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.

Lake Wales Museum
Lake Wales Museum

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. 

Lake Wales Museum
Lake Wales Museum

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.

Lake Wales Museum
Lake Wales Museum

Prehistoric Canoe

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.

Lake Wales Museum
Lake Wales Museum

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.

Gift Shop

The small gift shop features a variety of traditional museum offerings as well as a hats, bags, t-shirts and citrus label merchandise. 

Lake Wales Museum
Lake Wales Museum

You may also be interested in Lake Wales, Bok Tower Gardens or Top 10 Museums and Cultural Attractions

Address / Location

325 S Scenic Hwy
Lake Wales, FL 33853
Get Directions

Hours of Operation

Tuesday - Saturday 9:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Trip Advisor Logo Reviews

5 Star Rating

There is no charge to gain entrance into this museum but a free will donation if you wish. My wife and I had no problem in making such a donation as we both enjoyed our visit here. It gives a good... Read Full Review

5 Star Rating

Really enlightening glimpses of the way we were, 100 years ago. I learned so much about our origins outside of the citrus industry. Also gives visitors snapshots of other places one should see in... Read Full Review

3 Star Rating

In this converted retro railroad station we came to see the presentation of the historic Hwy. 27, that was at one time the main artery into Florida, going from Indianapolis to Miami. Quite enjoyable. Read Full Review

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