Originally a train depot, the building that houses the Museum was built by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1928. By 1954, passenger service to Lake Wales ceased. In 1974, the Lake Wales Bicentennial Commission began efforts to convert the building into a museum for the citizens of Lake Wales.
Since the Museum opened in 1976, it has evolved into a place where the public can enjoy educational programing, exhibits, and events that highlight the history of the area. In 2015, the City of Lake Wales stepped up to take over the governance of the Museum and continues to oversee and fund the Museum today.
The Museum has the added benefit of advocacy and support from the Lake Wales Museum Association (LWMA), a non-profit organization committed to supporting and sustaining the Lake Wales Museum & Cultural Center.
A public engaged in celebrating our story
The mission of the LWM is to preserve Lake Wales’ heritage and inspire, educate, and unite the public with our story.
The Lake Wale Museum & Cultural Center will:
- Be a community resource – a place that facilitates exploration and research on Lake Wales’ history.
- Be a steward of the museum collection – preserving and protecting the objects that tell the story of Lake Wales.
- Be a community space that fosters dialogue, encourages discovery, and unites the community through the diverse story of Lake Wales.
- Be an advocate of the Museum and foster relationships that have a positive impact on the community.
- Provide a unique experience for our patrons through exhibits, educational programs, and events.