The museum serves as an ever-growing, multifaceted resource for the community.
It was built as a railroad station in 1926 by the Seaboard Railroad, which brought
hundreds of people to the area in the late 1920s, many of whom would later settle
Thousands of soldiers -- and their families -- also arrived in Avon Park by train
during World War II, when the city was home to two Army Air Corps training
facilities. A number of these soldiers married local girls and later returned to
make Avon Park their home.
Museum Avenue, home to the Depot Museum, the Avon Park Public Library and the
city’s community center, is now known as the Cultural Core of Avon Park.
At the heart of this core is the museum, operated by the Historical Society of Avon Park.
Today, the Depot’s main function is to serve as a historical museum for Avon Park
and the surrounding area. It features a number of ever-growing exhibits telling the
stories of Avon Park. The museum also features a research room, complete with a
microfilm reader/printer for viewings yesterday’s Avon Park newspapers. And, of
course, visitors will find a museum gift shop.
A former railroad dining car, built in 1948 and purchased by the Historical Society
of Avon Park in 1986, sits adjacent to the museum. It is rapidly becoming a popular
site for people-pleasing luncheons, historical programs and other
During the summer season, we periodically sponsor Sunday afternoon programs.
include both “chat rooms,.” where visitors are encouraged to share their
memories of growing up, or a “speakers series.”
So far in 2007, we have held
sessions on “Quilting: Today and Yesterday,” “Flags
over the New World,”
“The Turpentine Industry,” and “Writing the Stories of Your Life.” On July
22, the topic will be “50 Years of the Avon Park Correctional Institution.
While the train no longer stops here, every day four passenger trains rumble past
the former depot, along with several freight trains. Each time a train passes, the
building seems to shiver with delight, as if recalling the glory days of yesterday.
And the building -- along with the dining car -- also serves as a magnet for
railroad buffs from all over. Many depots have been lost to history. Ours remains as
a reminder of the golden days of railroading.
Avon Park's strong suit is its history. That's true -- but only
if we work at it. And that's why we need your continued support to
keep it alive. If you'd like to wok with us on any of these
projects, call the museum at 453-3525 or call us at home at
Elaine Levey, Museum Director Feb.