The history of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church begins with the arrival of Mr. Anthony Tress from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. He came to Kissimmee in the fall of 1895 on account of poor health and before the end of the year, a Mass was celebrated at the Tropical Hotel by a Jesuit Father from Tampa. Following the arrival of his wife, Annie and two children in 1898, a defunct bank building was used 3 times a year for Mass services. There was only one other Catholic family in town.
My first exposure to the Osceola County Historical Society (OCHS) and resulting enthusiastic desire to join as a member began with a story about growth…
In 2011, a community development plan was being prepared for the Narcoossee Corridor with input from local residents collected via a series of public meetings organized by the Osceola County Planning Department and District 5 Commissioner Fred Hawkins, Jr. As a participant, the topic of local historic preservation came to my attention when information was shared that the historic circa 1886 Narcoossee Schoolhouse was slated to be moved out to the Pioneer Village in Kissimmee.
The Kissimmee/Osceola Chamber of Commerce is a vital organization and has been since it was founded in 1924. But prior to its formation, another group of citizens saw the need to bring business and industry to Osceola County.
On August 11, 1908, the Kissimmee Board of Trade was born with its object being “the upbuilding of this city and the advancement of our community in general”, as stated in The Kissimmee Valley Gazette August 14, 1908 edition. The article also states “Here we have the essential things that are the foundation of a first-class business center and tourist resort – climate, health, and soil and transportation facilities.” Interestingly, those same things are said today.
Every small town has at least one “colorful” character. Rube Lamont fit the bill for Kissimmee and although many people may have never heard of him, his background story is a fascinating one.
Born as Walter Savage in Morris County, New Jersey on June 9, 1876 he was the son of Eli C. and Catherine Savage. Walter was raised in Parsons, Kansas and played pro ball until enlisting in Company A 22nd Kansas Volunteer Infantry during the Spanish-American War. He was discharged November 3, 1898. It is not known when he began to call himself Rube Lamont.
Born on May 26, 1846 in Daviess County, Kentucky to John Gideon Mitchell and Elizabeth L. Allen, Lucius Lantonus Mitchell enlisted as a Private on September 9, 1863 at the age of 17. He mustered into Company D, 35th KY Infantry, Union Army.
While still in its infancy in 1910 and with a huge tent being used for church services and public gatherings, the City of St. Cloud on March 14 of that year, saw the birth of a Woman’s Club. The members dedicated themselves to civic improvements and literary advancement. By October of that year, the By Laws were changed and they became known as the Ladies Improvement Club.
Looking for something unique to do with family and friends this summer? Look no farther! The Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek is comprised of a permanent collection of 8 historic structures which once stood in different areas of Osceola County. While walking through the Pioneer Village, you’ll feel as though you are taking a stroll back in time. Here is a list of the top 5 reasons you should come visit.
Here is a list of the top 5 reasons you should come visit the Pioneer Village this summer!
Shingle Creek Regional Park at Steffee Landing recently opened a newly constructed kayak, canoe and paddle board rental facility called The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek. The creek and surrounding area, to include West Lake Tohopekaliga (Lake Toho for short), has a rich history and cultural heritage reaching back to the 1800s. Shortly after the United States Civil War, Shingle Creek became home to those seeking a new life in a warmer climate. With plenty of available resources such as food, water, and timber, as well as easy access to the trade hub that was West Lake Toho, Shingle Creek was among the earliest settlements in the greater Kissimmee area. At the turn of the 20th century, the creek’s abundant Bald Cypress trees provided timber for settlers’ houses, as well as shingles for their roofs, thus inspiring the creek’s name. Steffee Landing is uniquely situated at the confluence of the original “water highway” used by the Seminole Indians and the modern “land highway” (Hwy 192), which is a well-known tourist corridor linking Disney World to the City of Kissimmee, 10 miles away. Paddling Center visitors on canoes and kayaks passing under Highway 192 quickly become immersed in the ecological diversity and natural beauty that is Shingle Creek, experiencing what the Seminole Indians may have experienced 200 years ago.
Mark Miller, owner of Al-Marah Arabian Horses, whose horses graced the ring at Arabian Nights Dinner Show for years, originally considered starting Arabian Nights in Orange County. Planners working with him to create the world famous dinner show told him to consider Kissimmee instead, insisting that he would find a home in Osceola County.
Miller has lived in Central Florida since he moved to the area in 1966 to attend Rollins College, and he tells me Rodeo Diner in Kissimmee is his favorite place to eat. “I love the county’s rodeo heritage,” he says, “If you have someplace that has history like Osceola County, it’d be tragic not to preserve it.”
BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING…you may not have considered!
Thinking about volunteering? Not sure about how to take the next step? Cautious about ‘jumping in’?Always having good intentions to volunteer in one’s community…..but always procrastinating and never following through?
Think of it another way:
“Volunteering can have surprising benefits to both your mental health and well-being”
The benefits of a few hours a week volunteering can be enormous to you, your family, your neighborhood and even your community and beyond.