Every year since 2010, the Historical Society has given funds to a graduating senior to attend a college of their choice.  Monies are raised  through an auction of new and handmade items donated to the auction by members and friends.  The amount of the award is based on the receipts from the auction.  Our current awards are $1,000.

To read the history of our scholarship fund and learnabout previous scholarship winners click here.

Watermelon Festival 2016

JULY 4TH Parade

Every July 4th parade in Arcadia sees the Historical Society wagon and volunteers who are members and friends.  2017 saw the addition of a 38 star flag that is a replica of the one in use when DeSoto County was incorporated.

Tour of Homes

​​Members of the Historical Society also assist with Team Arcadia’s Holiday Historic Home and Building Tour on the second Saturday in December.  They provide historic research for the featured structures, and they also provide docents for the buses, homes, and buildings.

​Veterans Day Parade
The Society appreciates all veterans, and to show our gratitude and respect, we participate in the Veterans Day Parade.  We  walk with placards showcasing veterans of the past and local heroes.  We wear  historic costume, Pioneer Day t-shirt, or Historical Society golf shirt.  Members and friends are encouraged to walk with us.

 New marker for the Arcadia Historic District:  

Members of the DeSoto County Historical Society who attended the dedication in December of the new Florida Historic Marker, from left:  Judie Neeley, Mitzie McGavic, Bebe Bradbury, Adrian Cline, Carol Mahler, and Ruth Reynolds Dunn.  We thank Adrian for his remarks and helping to unveil the marker, and Carol for set-up, clean-up, and photography. 

To celebrate and commemorate the history and heritage of Arcadia and DeSoto County, the Historical Society participates in many community events.  

DeSoto AgVenture (4 H)  2016

Deacon Vaughn at lectern hand-carved by Tom Gaskins.

Smith Brown Annual Community Day

 Rodeo Parade
​2018 saw the opening of the new Mosaic Arena and there was much excitement at the Parade. Society member, Frances Pooser held up a sign telling everyone that she was "at the first Arcadia Rodeo 90 years ago" while Carol Mahler pushed her as they walked the parade.  Volunteers who also walked the parade were:  Cail Dyal, Zane Dyal, Cindy McLeod Ely, Frances Pooser (in her wheelchair), Kaylee Griffin, Mariah Griffin, Jackie Hampton, JW Hampton, and Karen Smoke.

The Society received the award for "Best Walking Unit in the Rodeo Parade 2018”!!!

The November Meeting of the Society was held in conjunction with St.Edmund the Martyr Episcopal Church.

Deacon Robert Vaughn  provided a presentation of the 125 year history of the church that focused on local individuals and families involved in the congregation as well as trends in the development of the church.  The current and original buildings were open for touring.

Christmas Parade

​On the first Saturday in December, the annual Chamber of Commerce Christmas parade features lighted floats and walking units designed to fit a theme.  In historic costumes, the Society walks with a lighted covered wagon designed and built by Cindy Ely.  Members and friends are encouraged to walk with us.


Ms. Tonya Bordner and 3rd graders  from West Elementary School attended a meeting of the Historical Society and read their reports of their trip to the Ingraham House & Museum in Dec. 2016.

Week of the ​Family = Family Fun Day - 2016

Shown by walking volunteers recruited by West Elementary School Third Grade Teacher Tonya Bordner.  From left, Elizabeth Barrera, Karen Smoke, Jose Barrera, Cindy Ely, Mike Ruiz, Camille Ruiz, Allyssa Ruiz, Sophia Ruiz, Rachel Ruiz, Carol Mahler, Tonya Bordner, Milagros Jacobo, and Rosa Jacobo.

2017 Historical Society received award for walking in the parade as well as a special award was given to Frances Pooser for carrying a sign saying, "I was born before Armistice Day".  

Pine Level Public Art & Archeology Day

We met our goal of $1,000 thanks to the enthusiastic participation and willing giving of members and friends who attended the auction, and to the well chosen great items donated..   Many bidders topped off their expenditure when they paid for their items.  Thanks especially to John and Sandy Olin who could not attend but sent a note to add any amount needed to be sure we reached our goal.
Thanks to Asena Mott, we had a great room in which to hold the  auction.  Thanks to Oak Street Deli, we had a good meal of lasagna and salad. We also enjoyed tales of his high school days in Arcadia by James Westberry.  And thanks to Vernon Keen who was an enthusiastic and capable auctioneer and made us have fun while  bidding.

Scarecrows for downtown light posts= a Main Street project.

Periodic Events around Town

Smith Brown Community Bake Off