Get Involved

Support the

Lake Wales
History Museum

You can play a vital role in helping the Lake Wales History Museum preserve and share history! Explore the many ways you can get involved.

Mimi Hardman Legacy Fund

Events, Exhibits & Programs

Friends of the Museum

Become a Volunteer

Mimi Hardman Legacy Fund

Lake Wales History Museum | Lake Wales, Florida | Since 1967

It’s the beginning of a new chapter of historic preservation in Lake Wales, and we hope you will be a part of it. The Friends of the Lake Wales History Museum is dedicated to saving Lake Wales history, and with your support, our first project is complete—the restoration of the 1916 Seaboard Airline Freight Station. This building now houses the Mimi Hardman Collections and Research Center to properly store our collections, provide public access, and honor Mimi Hardman. This building opened to the public on January 23, 2021.

At the dedication ceremony for this new building, we shared news of the Mimi Hardman Legacy Fund. This is the new, dedicated place to give funds to help the museum continue to care for collections, restore and preserve the museum’s historic sites, and promote others to participate in historic preservation.

With contributions from the Mimi Hardman Legacy Fund, the Friends of the Museum plans to:
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Create an internship program

to help museum staff care for, inventory and conserve collections of the museum. The collection includes items such as military uniforms from WWI, beautiful Victorian quilts, decorative arts & furniture, historic maps of Lake Wales, railroad lanterns, local artwork, thousands of photographs, and a world of history from the people and places of Lake Wales.

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Restore and open the Historic Stuart House

located at 300 East Central Avenue. The Historic Stuart House was built in 1920 by one of the town’s founders, Edward Crosland Stuart, who invested in industrial real estate and businesses in Lake Wales, Florida from 1889 to the early 20th century, most significantly, the Lake Wales Land Company. The Historic Stuart House is the only historic house museum in Lake Wales. The museum plans to restore and open the Historic Stuart House to the public and display interpretive exhibits about the Stuart and other Lake Wales families including new research about the African American community, the lifestyles of Lake Wales pioneers in the early 20-century, and significant architectural styles of the Lake Wales historic districts.

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Foster the next generation of community leaders

by awarding a Mimi Hardman Scholarship annually to a local high school senior. We hope to assist students from Lake Wales who need help achieving their educational goals.

Will you please help us continue to save history

and make a donation to the new Mimi Hardman Legacy Fund today? We need you to be a part of the museum’s future because history is happening! Thank you for your support. A gift in any amount is welcome and appreciated.

Friends of the Museum

Lake Wales History Museum | Lake Wales, Florida | Since 1967
The Friends of the Lake Wales Museum, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide financial support and promote the Lake Wales History Museum. The goal of the Friends of the Museum is raise funds and awareness to help the museum care for and share local history.

Our 2021 Goals

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Continue to steward new and renewing members.

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Establish and secure donations to the Mimi Hardman Legacy Fund.

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Launch a new scholarship program for a graduating high school senior.

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Restore and open the Historic Stuart House.

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Participate in the Pioneer Days Committee and volunteer at the event.

In just 18 months since the Friends of the Lake Wales Museum was established in May of 2019, they have successfully launched, established a membership program, held a virtual fundraiser, and raised more than $33,000 to create the Mimi Hardman Collections and Research Center housed in the newly restored 1916 Seaboard Airline Freight Station.

Become a Member

Membership contributions are a cornerstone of the Friends of the Museum’s support of the Lake Wales History Museum, and your donation makes a difference. Knowing you contributed to the preservation of the community’s history is rewarding in itself, however; you’ll also receive special benefits made available only to members. Members receive discounts on retail merchandise and educational programs, advance notice of special events, and invitations to Members-Only events. There’s a Membership Level that’s right for you, it’s tax deductible and affordable. Join Today!

Benefits for all member levels:

Subscription to the Lake Wales History Museum newsletter

20% discount on retail merchandise in the Gift Shop

Discounts on programs and event tickets

Invitations to Member-Only events

Time Travelers reciprocal membership

Free admission and discounts at more than 250 historical sites and museums in the US and 25 organizations in Florida. LEARN MORE

Named listing in the annual report

FRIEND

$20

Basic membership benefits for one person.

SUPPORTER

$50

Basic membership benefits for two people and children or grandchildren under the age of 18.

BENEFACTOR

$100

SUPPORTER level benefits PLUS a complimentary copy of “Historic Lake Wales” book.

SUSTAINER

$250

BENEFACTOR level benefits PLUS two complimentary tickets to the History Bus Tour.

PIONEER

$500

SUSTAINER level benefits PLUS an invitation for two to the Director’s Annual Luncheon.

PATRON 

$1,000

PIONEER level benefits PLUS a private behind the scenes tour up to 15 guests with the Museum Curator.

GOLD PIONEER

$2,500

PATRON level benefits PLUS use of the museum for a one-time private use for up to 50 guests.

*All memberships are valid for one year. Additional contributions to the Friends of the Museum or the Lake Wales History Museum are welcome and considered outside your membership fees. The Friends of the Museum, Inc. is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide financial support and promote the Lake Wales History Museum.

Become a Volunteer

Lake Wales History Museum | Lake Wales, Florida | Since 1967

Are you looking for a way to give back to the community and use your skills and talents? Do you love history, sharing stories, and being with others? From greeting guests to helping in collections, volunteers are needed in every area of the museum. Your time is a vital part of the museum and helps us so much. We would love to have your volunteer with us!

Volunteers are needed to help answer the phone, greet visitors, work in the collections, on events, historic preservation projects, exhibit installations, and more. The museum is self-guided, but we encourage questions from visitors as they experience the exhibits.

To volunteer, please fill out and return the Volunteer Form or contact Bartholomew for more info.

Thank you to

Our Sponsors

Visit Central Florida | Sponsors | Lake Wales History Museum
Lake Wales Museum Association | Sponsors | Lake Wales History Museum
City of Lake Wales | Sponsors | Lake Wales History Museum
Lake Wales Medical Center | Sponsors | Lake Wales History Museum
Citizens Bank & Trust | Sponsors | Lake Wales History Museum
Bernie Little Distributors | Sponsors | Lake Wales History Museum
Culture Builds Florida | Sponsors | Lake Wales History Museum
Ledger Media Group | Sponsors | Lake Wales History Museum
Have Polk News Sun | Sponsors | Lake Wales History Museum
WUSF Public Media | Sponsors | Lake Wales History Museum
90.7 WMFE | Sponsors | Lake Wales History Museum
MAX 98.3 | Sponsors | Lake Wales History Museum
Sky Powersports | Sponsors | Lake Wales History Museum
97.5 WPCV | Sponsors | Lake Wales History Museum