DeSoto County Historical Society, Inc.
P. O. Box 1824
Arcadia, FL  34265
(863) 266-5774

Board of Directors 2017
President          Adrian Cline
Vice Pres.          Vernon Keen
Secretary          Norma Banas
Treasurer         Mitzie McGavic
                         Cindy Ely

                         Kay Higley
                         Leonard Higley
                         Zona Carlton
                        Dennis Tyson
                        Arthur Southwell
Past Pres.      Bebe Bradbury

DeSoto County Historical Society (EIN 85-8013127211C-7).   We are a State of Florida Nonprofit Charitable Corporation authorized to solicit funds within the State of Florida. 
DeSoto County Historical Society holds Public Charity Status with the IRS as a 501-c-3 Corporation established May 4, 1990.   A copy of the Official Registration and financial information may be obtained  from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll-free 1-800-435-7352 within the State.  Registration does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by the State.  Our registration # is CH53049.   (No part of your donation goes to pay for salaries or un-related expenses.)

 on second Thursday of the month, 
at the Family Service Center Annex 

corner of N. Orange Ave. & Effie Street.
 Thanks to Kay & Leonard Higley 
lunch will be available at 11:30 for $6.

Program to follow


The Oak Park Inn is in the Carlton Block, built circa 1904.  It was one of three structures to survive the 1905 Thanksgiving Day Fire that destroyed downtown Arcadia.  Hurricane Irma tore the roof off the only building in Arcadia with Italianate characteristics, an architectural style popular 1880-1900.  Please donate to help pay for the restoration of this iconic structure:


As a member  you will receive a monthly newsletter inviting you to our programs and events, our monthly meetings, Pioneer Day festival on the third Saturday in March,  Yard Sale fundraiser in November, Annual Scholarship Dinner, and more!   Click here for application.​
We also maintain a page on Facebook to keep you up to date on our events and to provide historical tidbits.
                  Go to Facebook and type in:  DeSoto County Historical Society.  Like us and follow us.
Everyone is welcome to attend our monthly Board Meetings at the Seed House the 4th Monday of each month.

Keep up with our news every day by following us on        


click here to go to our page

​​​   The DeSoto County Historical Society, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of DeSoto County, Florida for future generations.
    The Howard and Velma Melton Historical Research Library is now open in the John Morgan Ingraham Seed House, 120 W. Whidden Street, Arcadia, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursdays (except the second Thursday of the month) and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month.  The Research Library includes historic photographs, newspaper articles, letters, receipts, family histories, and many other documents.  
   Open to the public is the adjacent John Morgan Ingraham House Museum, 300 N. Monroe Avenue, Arcadia. This restored, late 19th century home is a memorial to all early pioneer families of the City of Arcadia and DeSoto County. It showcases a simple kind of "Florida Cracker" architecture and lifestyle and includes furniture and artifacts from that period.
    Welcome to our home on the web, and we hope you will stay a while and learn a bit about the past of this county that we call home.


     The Historical Society will provide hour-long guided walking tours of historic Arcadia, Florida, for your group for a donation of $5.00 per person. If you want to “make a day of it,” we can arrange for lunch for your group at one of our local restaurants for an additional charge. Then you’ll have time to browse in Arcadia’s many antique shops and specialty boutiques.  click here for Self Guided Tour Map.
    To schedule your group’s tour, please contact our tour guide, Carol Mahler, at 863-445-0789 or online at

​       To purchase our booklet, "A Walking Tour of Historic Arcadia, Florida" see details under publications.