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
Thanks to Cindy McLeod Ely for a fabulous entry for the Independence Day Parade in 2019 that included a covered wagon float plus walkers. We thank James Hampton for driving his truck to pull the float; Cail Dyal for being our featured whip-cracker; Cindy and Jahna Leonard for carrying the banner; Carol Mahler and Frances Pooser for carrying the flags; Karen Smoke and Forest Reynolds for distributing coloring books compliments of The Arcadian; Kaylee Hampton, Jacki Hampton, Jamee Hampton, and JW Hampton for giving out candy and coloring books.
Deacon Vaughn at lectern hand-carved by Tom Gaskins.
Smith Brown Annual Community Day
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.
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
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".
(Frances passed away Dec. 2019 at age 101)
As a volunteer, Allison Bordner worked to make a display of historic photographs of the Smith-Brown School to display in the Museum for the Holiday Tour of Historic Homes.
Pine Level Public Art & Archeology Day
Scarecrows for downtown light posts= a Main Street project.
Periodic Events around Town
Smith Brown Community Bake Off
Society Shines in 2019 Christmas Parade
Thanks to Cindy McLeod Ely for designing, decorating, and pulling the Society’s wagon featuring baby Jesus in a manger to fit the DeSoto County Chamber of Commerce’s theme for the Christmas parade: “The magic of Christmas is not in the presents but in His presence.” We appreciate Carol Mahler and Hazel Whidden for carrying the Society’s banner. We are grateful to Society members Karen Smoke, Kaylee Hampton, and her children Cail Dyal, Zane Dyal, Jackie Hampton, and JW Hampton who gave out invitations to the Holiday Tour of Historic Homes plus candy and pencils.
In 2020, The Society awarded our $1,000 scholarship to Allison Bordner, a high school senior at Florida Southwestern University’s Collegiate High School. She’s a Bulldog, too, playing varsity softball and running cross country all four years! The Scholarship Committee was especially impressed by her hours of community service for the Society: she helped with field trips and with preparations for the Holiday Tour of Historic Homes and Buildings. In the fall, she will most likely attend the University of Florida (one of three universities to which she applied and was accepted) with a planned major in mechanical engineering. With gratitude for her volunteer hours, we wish her the best with the continuation of her education!
Tour of Homes
The Historical Society also organizes the 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.
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.
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.
Annually, the Historical Society offers a Scholarship to a DeSoto County High School Senior heading off to a higher education facility.