Revamped And Ready To View
New and improved, the Depot Museum is once again open to the public. For all the history buffs out there or even someone looking to learn something new about the area, this is the spot to do so. I visited on the first day that it re-opened and there has been many changes made. It was a quick stop with no charge to check out and I’m glad I did so because there is a interesting story to be told about the area we live in and this museum does a good job at capturing it all for you. I accompanied a friend who knows much more about Lake Wales than I do and he was able to go through the museum with me explaining a lot about the exhibits that I had little knowledge about.
To mention a few, I learned about Lake Wales starting out as a large location for turpentine production and the Chalet Suzanne hotel. Sadly, the hotel just closed down but is still very interesting with its long history, intriguing infrastructure, and it’s claim to fame being that one of their signature soups was selected by NASA to go up into space with the astronauts during the Apollo missions.
What makes the re-opening even more fascinating is what’s yet to come. There are many ideas that are now being brought to light, giving way to big plans for Downtown Lake Wales. I sat down to talk with the director of the Museum Monica Drake Pierce, much about what the future holds for three other city owned buildings near the Depot Museum. She informed me that their vision is to have all of these buildings connected in a way that they can be great additions to the museum and bring more opportunity to the downtown area. One project in the works is the possibility of reintroducing model trains to the Seaboard Train Depot building to meet the interest of a lot of young kids and enthusiasts.
All in all, I would say that the visit was worthwhile because there were many interesting artifacts and it gave me a better sense of this area’s history. I’ve found that the more I learn about this town’s history, the better I understand its culture today.