Osceola County Historical Society Blog

Artifact Spotlight: European Glass Trade Beads

Posted by Larissa Bixby on Mar 23, 2017 7:47:34 AM

In the last weeks of Florida Archaeology Month, let’s talk beads. Beads are an important part of Native American cultures. The size, shape, color, and material of beads denotes status in many native cultures. Early beads found in Florida and the greater Eastern coastal region were made from clay, bone and shell. Clay and bone beadswere the easiest to make and became the most abundant. However, beads from the quahog clam, wampum, was also popular on the Eastern coast. The mostly white shell of the quahog has shades of light to deep purple around its edges; the amount of purple varies from shell to shell, making the color rarer and worth twice the amount of white wampum. Purple wampum designated their wearer as powerful, wealthy, and important in the community.

 

 

           

White Wampum, Interior of Quahog Shell, Purple Wampum

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Topics: Osceola County History, Florida Archaeology Month, European Glass Trade Beads

100 Years Ago in Osceola County

Posted by Anza Bast on Mar 9, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Front page headlines for the “Kissimmee Valley Gazette”, Friday, March 9, 1917 issue reported:

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Topics: Osceola County History, WIlliam B. "Dick" Makinson, Around Osceola County, Old Brandow Opera House

Artifact Spotlight: The Teacher's Desk

Posted by Kayla Smith on Feb 23, 2017 9:42:20 AM

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.

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Topics: Artifact Spotlight, Osceola County History, Teacher's Desk, Replica Schoolhouse, Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek

The Sweet Potato Pie that Built a Church

Posted by Anza Bast on Feb 22, 2017 9:30:00 AM

An “Osceola Sun” article headline for July 13, 1977 read, “Sweet potato pie that built a church”. In 1962, the congregation of St. Luke Baptist Church was in need of a new sanctuary to replace the original building erected a few years after organizing in 1882.  About 1966, under the leadership ofRev. T.C. Callahan, planning and fundraising began for the $100,000 project.  Contributions and special events brought in some funds, but bake sales featuring Bertha Stallworth’s sweet potato pie were the major fundraiser.

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Topics: Osceola County History, Sweet Potato Pie Recipe, Black History Month, Bertha Stallworth

Theresa Robinson Helms

Posted by Anza Bast on Feb 20, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Theresa Robinson was born on March 7, 1912, in Narcoossee, Florida.  Her father John owned a 10 acre orange grove.  John died before Theresa graduated from the local school but her mother was determined for her to have an education.  Since the beginning of the county, Black education up to the eighth grade was available but those who wished to go to high school had to go elsewhere.  Theresa’s mother sent her to Florida Normal College in St. Augustine, a high school level institution designed to train teachers for the Black schools.

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Topics: Osceola County History, Theresa Robinson Helms, Black History Month

Have You Ever Imagined Having Dinner in a Cemetery?

Posted by Rachel McIntee on Feb 16, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Have you ever imagined having dinner in a cemetery?

 This idea sounded crazy to me the first time I heard it until I learned a little more about Dine with the Departed and had a chance to experience it for myself.

 Dine with the Departed is a fundraiser hosted by the Osceola County Historical Society to help raise money to continue their mission. The event is designed to educate the public on the history of Kissimmee’s Rose Hill Cemetery and the influential people who now reside there.

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Topics: Fundraisers, History, Osceola County History, Dine with the Departed, Rose Hill Cemetery

Thomas C. Callahan

Posted by Anza Bast on Feb 15, 2017 9:30:00 AM

April 15, 1904 is shown as the birthdate of Thomas Carroll Callahan on his headstone.  He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Callahan and was born in McCormick, South Carolina.  Idella Thomas became his wife on June 24, 1930, in Hillsborough County, Florida.  The same year, he joined the First Baptist Church of Lakeland, Florida.  City directories and census records show the couple living in Lakeland, Polk County, Florida where T.C., as he came to be known, worked as a janitor, grocer, and yardman. 

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Topics: Osceola County History, Thomas C. Callahan, Black History Month

Martha Jane "Bandanna Mammy" Jones

Posted by Anza Bast on Feb 10, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Christened Martha Jane on the day of her birth in 1819/1820 on the Carter Plantation in Virginia. Little is known of her life until she left Richmond, Virginia in 1839, bound for Florida with a shipload of slaves.  She was a servant for the wealthy, nursed the sick, and was sold over and over, finally gaining her freedom.

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Topics: History, Osceola County History, Martha Jane Jones, Black History Month

Scipio Lesesne

Posted by Anza Bast on Feb 9, 2017 9:30:56 AM

The Lesesne name was prominent in South Carolina during the days of plantations and slavery. During slave uprisings in Charleston, many white families left for Barbados, taking loyal slaves with them. Descendants of Scipio Lesesne believe this is how he came to be born in Barbados on December 26, 1859.

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Topics: Osceola County History, Scipio Lesesne, Black History Month

Kissimmee Train Wreck of 1911

Posted by Anza Bast on Jan 30, 2017 9:30:00 AM

The December 1, 1911 “Kissimmee Valley Gazette” reported “One of the most frightful wrecks of a passenger train ever known in this section occurred last night just as train No. 85 of the Atlantic Coast Line was entering the city limits, although no one was seriously injured except Mr. L.C. Royal, the baggage master, who was badly crushed from falling trunks.”

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Topics: History, Osceola County History, Rail Transportation

About this Blog

The Osceola County Historical Society is focused on preserving Osceola County’s rich, cultural history while sharing it with others. This blog is perfect for just that. 

Remember, here you can find information on:

  • Osceola County History
  • Pioneer Families
  • Events at the Welcome Center and History Museum
  • Much, much more!

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