The one-room schoolhouse of the early 1900s was often filled with benches or desks, but one stood out from the rest: the teacher’s desk. Many times, there were too many students and children had to resort to sharing those desks, as well as books and other school items. However, the teacher’s desk was for one person: the teacher.
While segregation was a major issue in many places, the tensions between blacks and whites in Osceola County were much less. There weren’t as many restrictions in place, making integration much smoother for the county. Blacks and whites lived close to each other, and in some cases, even worked together. One place in particular that did not discriminate with employees was the Disston Sugar Mill.
This WW II Women's Army Corps (WAC) uniform was worn by Margaret M. Cafero who enlisted in the United States Women's Army Corps on October 12, 1943, at Springfield, Massachusetts.
The haunted history of Osceola County has creaked into the artifact collection at OCHS. The antique funeral coach, shrouded in mystery, was donated to the Osceola County Historical Society by Osceola Memory Gardens in 2015. Although the origin of the coach is unknown, it is suspected to have been manufactured in Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, or Massachusetts circa 1890. However, the only shocking part of this tale is that the horse-drawn funeral hearse has remained in excellent condition, complete with full seat cushions, seat drops, curtains, hitch, and coffin.
An official appraisal suggests that the coach may have been manufactured by Cunningham Coach, based in Rochester, New York or George Brownell, who hailed from Bristol County, Massachusetts. Both were award winning manufacturers, known for creating fine carriages of the highest grade. The rise of petrol-driven hearses, circa 1909 in the United States, brought about the decline of horse-drawn hearses.
Traveling trunks were widely used throughout the 19th century, and the Cadman family who settled in Narcoossee provided no exception. The Osceola County Historical Society cares for and preserves a number of trunks owned and used by the family during the late 1800s and early 1900s, as part of the Cadman Collection.
As the repository for Osceola County history, the Osceola County Historical Society receives a number of great historical treasures every year through the generous donations of our local community. While we are selective on what items are accepted into the permanent collections, gems from local history are added each year to help preserve and share Osceola County history with the public.
One time, an unexpected package was waiting on our doorstep and as we opened the package, we realized that one of those historical gems was hiding within the contents of the box. There, buried in layers of bubble wrap, was an original silver tea set from the Graystone Hotel of Kissimmee.