Displays, Events, HistoryMembership, Officers, Purpose, Research


Early Sebring...FOUNDED IN 1912

Tommy Mcguire...WW II Flying Ace

Prehistoric Animals of Florida

Prehistoric Animals of Florida
Click image for large view

    This 5' X 13' mural was painted on canvas which had been glued to the wall of the Sebring Post Office in 1942. Artist Charles R. Knight of New York was commissioned United States Artist Works Project during the Great Depression. It is the only one of the eleven hundred, painted across the nation by various artists, which does not include a human figure. More information about the artist, his work and the animals can be found in the archives. The mural is now located in the Sebring Public Library.

Race... International Grand Prix

G. E. Sebring Family...City founder

USS Highlands ...WW II Pacific Transport

Models of Sebring Circle and Highlands County Courthouse

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January, April, July, October (the last Saturday of month) Covered dish lunch, historic program in downtown Allen Altvater Civic Center

October 1, 2, 3, Crew of USS Highlands meeting in Kenilworth Lodge, Sebring

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Brief History of City of Sebring

G. E. Sebring was captivated by the area surrounding Lake Jackson (Then Lake Hare) which he first saw during a fishing trip and purchased it in 1911 for the location of his dream city. Sebring, a pottery manufacturer from Sebring, Ohio founded his dream city in 1912 and named it Sebring also. Sebring was chartered in 1913 by the Florida legislature. The arrival of the SAL Railroad gave Sebring a jump start! The aggressive advertising campaign launched in the Northeastern United States increased the town population quickly. Mr. Sebring was a religious motivator and gave sites to denominations wishing to locate in the new town. He instructed his developers to plant a citrus tree in every residential lot, some of which are still producing in the nineties. Sebring area continues to grow and boasts a population of over 35,000.

Brief History of Sebring Historical Society.

Participants of a class reunion in 1962 enjoyed reminiscing so much that Floyd Schumacher (of Withers & Harshman) invited a few friends to a stag party where conversation for the entire evening was centered around the events of the early days of Sebring. As a result of the interest, Schumacher gathered a few friends at Ford Heacock's office and a plan was developed to organize the Sebring Historical Society. The Society was chartered August 7, 1968 with Ray Graddy as president. Meanwhile Allen Altvater had been meticulously collecting Sebring's History. This priceless heritage was donated to the Society and stored in the basement of the Sebring Post Office. The collection remained in the basement until the new library was built on Lakeview Drive in 1989.The generosity of Woodrow Harshman's financial contribution made possible the Society Archive's present location in the downtown Library building. An archivist is on duty Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. State-of-the-art  equipment (including Micro Film reader/printer and a laminator, provides fast convenient service

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Learn the history of Central Florida

Make interesting new friends

Learn how to preserve and protect photographs, documents and video tapes 


Name:_______________________________ Phone:________________
City:______________________ State___________Zip______

Annual Membership Categories

____Student $ 5.00
____Individual 15.00
____Family 20.00
____Business 30.00
____Corporate Sponsor 75.00
____Patron 100.00

    Please make check payable to:
        Sebring Historical Society, Inc
        P.O. Box 3313
        Sebring, Fl. 33871-3313

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Officers 2002

President Robert "Bob" Brown
Vice President Wanda Whitehouse
Treasurer Charles Lairsey
Secretary Janice Shoemaker
Historian Editor Dr. Howard Crawford 


Sylvia Beeks, Bob Brown, Tim Eures, Aenid Fisher, Paul Gustat, Marvin Kahn, Charles Lairsey, Everet Lilyquist, Janice Shoemaker, Jack Stroup, Haywood Taylor, Wanda Whitehouse

ARCHIVIST Carolyn Collier

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1967,68  Ray Graddy
1969,70  Leila Sebring
1971,72,73 Marguerite Skipper
1974,75 Dr. H.V.Weems
1976,77 Jack Ingle
1978 Dr. Henry Mitchell
1979 Ruth Sebring
1980,81,82 Joe MacBeth
1983,84 Dr. Howard Crawford
1985 Jack Ingle
1986,87 Marty Young
1988,89,90 Arlene Commings
1991 Linda Duncan
1992 Joanne McAfee
1993,94 Dr. Howard Crawford
1995  Susan Foster/A.W. Pollard
1996 Ted Shoemaker
1997 Linda Duncan Pierce
1998 Billy Waggaman
1999 Billy Waggaman
2000 Dr. Billy Cason
2001 Haywood Taylor


To protect, preserve and to share records, photographs and stories of events and customs of the history of Sebring and Highlands County.

To stimulate interest in the collection of historic material and to issue a quarterly publication to its members.

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Books: (Published by the Society)

DeVane'S History of Early Florida - Vol. I & II (Albert & Park DeVane)
Good Old Days of Sebring, The
Hall Of Fame - Sebring City Officials
Heartland Heritage
Highlands Hammock - State Park
Newcomb & Baker Collection
Sebring Folks
The Way It Was First Years of The Sebring Chamber of Commerce
Twice Told Tales

Books: (Published by others)

Archbold Biological Station (Fred E. Lohrer)
Around The World in Eighty Rhymes (Verna Weems MacBeth)
Boggus, F.C.M.,The Autobiography of (F.C.Boggus)
Consequences of Crime (Judge C.Kelly & W. Wantz)
Consolidated Financial Corporation-A Partial Story (James. F. Holsonback)
Consolidated Financial Corporation History (James. F. Holsonback)
Country Was Ours, This (Virgil, J. Vogel)
Cracker Cures (C.S.Wood)
Everglades, and other essays relating to Southern Florida, The (John Gifford)
Everglades, River of Grass, The (M.S. Douglas)
Fifty Years of Pleasure - History of Publix (Pat Waters)
First Hundred Years of Avon Park 1880-1980 (Leoma Maxwell)
Florida (Norman D. Ford)
Florida, A History of (Caroline M. Brevard)
Florida Anthropologist, The - Vol. 20 # 1,2,3,4 Vol. 21 # 2,3,4 (Florida Anthropological Society)
Florida Becomes A State (Florida Social Life in Florida)
Florida, Vols.I,II,III,IV (J.E.Lovell)
Florida Cattle Frontier Symposium, Proceedings 1845-1995(Elliot & Knetsch)
Florida Cowhunter - Life and Times of Bone Mizell (Jim Bob Tinsley)
Florida Cracker Trail - 1998
Florida for Floridians (Florida Endowment for Humanities)
Florida for Tourists, Invalids, and Settlers (George M. Barbour)
Florida Gardens, In (Mrs. Miller Wilson & Mrs.John Fergerson)
Florida, History and Government of (Caroline M. Brevard)
Florida Historic Markers, A Guide to (Florida Division of Archives)
Florida In The Making (F.P.Stockbridge, J.H. Perry)
Florida Indian and His Neighbors (J.W.Griffin)
Florida, Land of Enchantment (Nevin O. Winter)
Florida, Land of Romance, The (Dr. Dorothy Dodd)
Florida, Old and New (Rufus R. Wilson)
Florida, The Territory of (John Lee Williams)
Florida Trails to History Treasures (James R. Keel)
Florida War, The Origin, Progress & Conclusion of (John T. Sprague)
Florida Wilds, In Lower (Charles T. Sinmpson)
Four Years of Progress - Hendricks Field (Laura Hendricks)
Ghost Town Locations in Florida (Jim Warnke)
Goodnow Mound, The (John W. Griffin)
Grier's Almanac 1965
Harshman, Hashman, Hershman, Husman Family, The - Vol. I & II (Col C.C.Harshman and Mrs. M. Harshman)
Heacock Family (Martee Heacock & Betty Atkinson)
Head & Tail Lights of History (Matthew Francis Lathus)
Hendricks Field, A Look Back (A.W."Spizz" Pollard)
Highlands County Golden Jubilee
His Band Marches On (Jennie B.Gustat)
History, Property Surveys of Avon Park, Sebring, Lake Placid & Highlands County (Historic Properties Association)
Iron Trail, The (Rex Beach)Tales of Alaska
Killing Mr. Watson (Peter Matthiessen)
Kissimmee Island, The - Piney Woods Rooters( Doris Lewis)
Lake Annie Tract, Natural Features of (Archbold Biological Station)
Land Remembered, A ( Patrick Smith)
Manuscripts, Guide to Care and Editing of (L.M.Kane)
McClelland, Silas and Penelope {Anderson} (Clifton A. McClelland)
Murder in the Tropics, The Florida Chronicles  Vol. 2(Stuart B. McIver)
Pinellas County, Images of America (A.M. de Quesada Jr, and Vincent Luisi
Pioneer Families of the Kissimmee River Valley,    Kyle S. VanLandingham)
Rails of Heartland (Sebring Model Railroad Club)
Red Patriots - The Story of The Seminole Indians (Charles H. Coe)
Rinaldi's Official Guide of Florida (Hollin, Murray & Rinaldi)
Rolling Stones (Fred Stone)
Scenic Highlands Florida (H. Faber & R. Lansley)
Sebring City On the Circle (Stephen Olausen)
Sebring Collections (Walter Wilson Sebring, John Cletus Sebring)
Sebring Collections, Addendum to (Wilson Sebring, John Sebring)
Sebring Fifty Years Of (1912 - 1962)
Sebring Lions, Fifty Years Of (Tom W.Jones)
Sebring Men Who Gave All (A.W."Spizz" Pollard)
Sebring, Ohio Images of America ( Craig S Bara)
Sebring, Seventy Five years of (1912 - 1987)
Seminole Indians in Florida (Federal Writers Program)
Southern Florida Pioneers, Tales of (Jack Beater)
Southern Florida, Natural Features of (John H. Davis, Jr.
Tequesta Vols. I,II,III,IV,V,VI (Carlton W,Tebeau)
USS Highlands (Wayne Kilmer)
USS Highlands Ship Log
Vegetation, History Southern Lake Wales Ridge, Highlands County, Florida (Patricial A. Peroni)
Verses, Verses, Verses, (George W. Gage)
Watch Wauchula Win (Margaret Stringer)
Woodward's Reminisces, of the Creek or Muscogee Indians (Thomas W. Woodward) 
Yesterday, A Family Album of Highlands County (Larry and Elaine Levy)


The Auction Block; The Barrier; Flowing Gold; The Goose Woman; The Iron Trail; Jungle Gold; Laughing Bill Hyde and other stories; Masked women; Men of the outer Islands; Money Mad; The Ne'er-Do-Well; The Net; Oh, Shoot!; Pardners; Personal Exposures; Rainbow's End; Son of the gods; The Spoilers; Wild Pastures; The Winds of Chance; The World in His Arms   


Featuring Historic Sebring Photographs
1994, 1995, 1996, 1997,1999, 2000

City directories

(Sebring's first City Directory was published in 1926.)
First City Directory 1926
1942, 1956,57, 59,  60,62,63,65,66,67,69, 70, 71,
Avon Park & Lake Placid included in 1972,73,74,75,76,77,78,79,80,81,82,83,84,85,86,87,88-87, 89, 1998, 2000

List of Highlands County Commissioners 1921- 1990


Early Florida Maps

Desoto County Maps

Highlands County Maps

City Sebring Maps

Platt's; certain sections

Blue Prints; certain businesses, churches, etc.


Local, Loose or bound
    1912 through 1990

    On micro film 
    Local newspaper from 1953-1998
    Phone books: Sebring, Avon Park, Lake Placid - 1947,48,50,51,52,54-66,67-88,90-96.
    (including certain other communities).

Quarterly bulletins:

    The first hand-printed publication by the Society was issued April 1969

    The Bulletin now known as the THE HISTORIAN has grown to 12 - 16 pages with the aid of photographs and graphics via computer.

Post Office Records:

1893-1951, 1909-1910 

Tax records:

Sebring Tax Rolls - 1913-14,16-17,18-19,20-21,22-23,24-25

Teen Town Sign-In Sheets:

            1946, 1948-52

Video tapes:

Edna Pearce Lockett- life, dedication Kissimmee River Bridge, 1940's, 50's, 1996
Veterans' Day Ceremony- Memorial Gardens, Tuskegee Airman, 1996
Highlands County 75th Anniversary-Court House April 19, 1996
H. Orvel Sebring- home & local scenes (from old movies, early Sebring)

(Following tapes of Historical Society Programs)
Ruth K. Davis - Kahn Family, 1986 
Not So Long Ago - Hendricks Field
Library Expansion - Pete Pollard, DeVane Lawsuit Papers- Ross MacBeth, 1988
Society Annual Meeting - Albert DeVane Papers- Patsy West, October 1988
Henry Flagler Program - Sophie May Mitchell Honoree, January 1989
Tom & Sophie Mae Mitchell Family - interview at Kenilworth Lodge, January 1989
Sebring Airport - Hendricks, May 1989
Lanier Family - Jacaranda Hotel, July 1989
Allen Altvater Cultural Center Dedication - July 1989
Society Annual Meeting - Alsmeyer/Jernigan Honorary Pioneer Family, October 1989
Alsmeyer/Jernigan Family - in Jernigan Home, Reminiscing & viewing slides, 1989
Archeology - January 27, 1990
Ground Breaking New Library for Archives, 1990
Lauri Williams Family - Carl Cool at Highlands Hammock State Park, April 1990
Allen Altvater Award - Heacock Family History, October 1990
Report on Edna Pearce Lockett Party - Sally Giffard, Betty Atkinson &
report on Race History Video, July 1990
Sebring Family - Leila Sebring, January 1991
Weems/MacBeth Family - April 1991
Archive Dedication Ceremony - State dignitaries, March 1991
Mrs. Vail Weems (wife of Dr. Weems) - April 1991
Sebring High School - Don Hansen & Fred Wild, July 1991
Sebring Old SAL Train Station - October - 1991
Sebring Police Department History - January 1992
Staff & Book Club - Ruth Sebring; Earl Rich (Clerk of Court)- Records, April 1992
John Jovich's Presidential History - July 1992
Annual Meeting - October 1992
Collier Automotive Museum - CAMM-Otto
Presentation to Mayor Rudasil & Shirley Kitchens, Tom Mitchell on Sebring High School Reunion, January 1993
Park & Albert DeVane - Kyle Tolar, on Great grandfather and Great Uncle; Jack Hancock on Baseball in Sebring, April 1993
Sebring Lions Club - Ruth Sebring's memories; Jack Hancock's memories - July 1993
USS Highlands (Transport ship in Pacific World War II) - Larry Levy, January 1994 (memorabilia placed in archives)





Black History,

Civic Organizations,

Sebring Races,

Sebring Fire Department,

Sebring High School Band,

Sebring High School Year Books, 

Post cards



over 5,000

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Displays, Events, HistoryMembership, Officers, Purpose, Research


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Last updated - 18 February 2002