The Lakeland History & Culture Center (LHCC) opened at the Lakeland Public Library on Thurs., Sept. 8, 2022 after receiving unanimous support and approval in 2019.
The 1,400-sqft exhibit space aims to tell the Lakeland story by highlighting different groups that contributed to the city’s culture. Wondering what you can expect when you step inside? Come along for a glimpse at the space, our favorite exhibits, and more.
The center’s inaugural exhibit, “Ties That Bind: 1880-1925,” educates guests on the history of Lakeland’s railroad industry, incorporation, and key players (think: Pipkin, Drane, Rochelle, Munn, and more) through interactive touch screens, artifacts, narratives, and traditional displays.
We recommend taking a peek at the interactive touchscreens and artifacts at:
- Pioneers and Places | Learn the history behind familiar names you see around town. City Editor Rilee enjoyed learning about the area of Christina, named for an early phosphate mining engineer’s daughter, Christina Memminger.
- Crossing Ties | Read about Lakeland’s history of racial segregation and the events that led to a unified city, such as a visit from Booker T. Washington.
- Business Directory | See photos + newspaper advertisements from Lakeland’s long-gone hotels, restaurants, shops, and more. City Editor Connor was surprised to learn how little a room at the Tremont House Hotel used to cost.
For Lakelanders curious about their historic home, their family’s legacy within Swan City, or general Lakeland history, stop by the Lakeland History Room to meet with trained staff who can assist you in searching historical + genealogical documents like:
- Property plans
- Personal items, and more.
Also in the History Room is the new DIY Digitize Space, which allows residents to convert videotapes, cassette tapes, and photographs into a digital format.
Ready to stop by? The exhibit will be in place for anywhere from eight months to a year, depending on the direction taken by the center’s new committee.