The Osceola County Historical Society recently had the privilege of attending a private behind-the-scenes tour of Osceola Heritage Park. Here is a little history and glance of what goes on behind the curtains of all the concerts, events, and trade shows that take place at our very own Osceola Heritage Park.
Born in Hartford County, Maryland on February 23, 1864, William Burroughs Makinson was one of Osceola County’s early pioneers honored in 2011 by the Osceola County Historical Society at their annual Dine with the Departed event. He spent the early years of his life on a farm near Baltimore with his three siblings and parents William T. and Mary L. Makinson. In 1883, W.B. traveled by boat to Jacksonville, then by train to Sanford, Florida, finally arriving in Kissimmee on the first train to make the run from Sanford.
Born in Bedford, Ohio, John Carroll worked for Ohio oil companies until 1936 when he became manager of his father’s 55,000 acre Carrollton Ranch in Deer Park. In 1947, he became Vice President of the First National Bank of Kissimmee, retiring in 1975 as Chairman of the Board. John was one of the sixteen horsemen who rode in the inaugural parade for Governor Spessard Holland in 1941. He was a charter member of the Silver Spurs quadrille, helped organize the Silver Spurs Riding Club and was its first “Big Boss” in 1942. At the age of 81, John was honored by being named “Coca Cola Cowboy” in 1988 by the Club. Bestowed annually since 1982, the honor was given to an Osceola County resident who had worked to promote the rodeo and its way of life. After receiving the honor, he replied “You don’t know what it means to a Yankee to be accepted like I have been.”
The Silver Spurs Riding Club was formed in 1941. They quickly became popular in the region and across the state of Florida. The Spurs were known for their exceptional skill and riding tricks, especially the Quadrille, a square dance performed on horseback.