The Lake Wales History Museum permanent historical exhibits are all self-guided, and display artifacts, images and documents about the the natural history of the Lake Wales Ridge beginning with Florida’s native people to the development of Lake Wales’ railroad, industry and residents of the 20 century. Guests may visit our newly restored 1926 Seaboard Air Line Railroad caboose, the 1916 Pullman passenger car and 1944 US Army locomotive engine. Three additional historic buildings are included on the property – a 1920 office bungalow originally the site of the Lake Wales Women’s Club, first library and later the chamber of commerce; the original 1919 frame vernacular Seaboard Airline Railroad Station; and, an early 20 century craftsman style bungalow house.
The Lake Wales History Museum is home to three authentic train cars, which can be viewed by visitors:
1926 Seaboard Air Line Railroad Caboose
1886 Pullman-style Office Car
1944 US Army Locomotive Engine
“Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964” by The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
September 3 – October 29, 2019
This exhibit explores the little-known story of the Bracero Program, the largest guest worker program in U.S. history. Between 1942 and 1964, millions of Mexican men came to the U.S. on short-term labor contracts.
"Voices of Lake Wales" by the Lake Wales History Museum
November 4, 2019 - January 18, 2020
Learn about some of the individuals from multicultural backgrounds who are part of the history of and have shaped the city of Lake Wales from the past 100 years.
“Spirited: Prohibition in America” by The National Constitution Center
January 28 – March 14, 2020
Adapted from the National Constitution Center’s flagship exhibition, American Spirits, the exhibition Spirited: Prohibition in America explores the history of Prohibition, from the dawn of the temperance movement to the unprecedented repeal of a constitutional amendment in 1933. What made the country go “dry” and how did America change during this period in history. Visitors to Spirited will learn about the amendment process, the role of liquor in American culture, the cultural revolution of the roaring ‘20s, and how current liquor laws vary from state to state today.
“Infamy: December 7, 1941” by the National WWII Museum
March 28 – June 6, 2020
Through iconic photographs, Infamy: December 7, 1941 illustrates the attack on Pearl Harbor and examines the moments that led the United States into World War II. It was a day of tragedy, sacrifice and heroism that united a nation; it was a day that lives in Infamy.
“Florida Before Statehood” by the Museum of Florida History
July 7 – September 26, 2020
Florida's rich history and cultural diversity is captured with the Viva Florida traveling exhibit, Florida Before Statehood. From First Floridians and early colonies to European explorations and journeys seeking freedom, Florida's story is distinctive. This exhibit explores the development of Florida into the great state we know today, marking 500 years of Florida's history since the landing of Juan Ponce de León and the naming of our state La Florida.