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
“Postcards and Perceptions: Florida Seminoles and Tourism” by The Ah-Ta-Thi-Ki Museum
March 26 – May 31, 2019
Postcards serve as guideposts to the changes of early 20th century Florida history. Their simple, yet evocative imagery reveals the adaptive nature of the Seminole people. They reveal the complex pressures and adjustments Seminoles endured to assert their identity.
“Building an Icon: Building Bok Tower Singing Carillon” by Bok Tower Gardens
June 8 – August 24, 2019
Creating an Icon features information about the ways that people worked on the Singing Tower from Edward Bok’s initial vision to its design and construction. Photographs, infographics, bios, and details from the builder’s journals tell the story of the Tower, from the foundation to its crowning herons.
“Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964” by The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
September 3 – October 12, 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.
“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.