OKEECHOBEE — On Monday, Sept. 18, the Okeechobee Historical Society celebrated a milestone - 50 years and counting! The society’s first president was Annie Raulerson who was an exceptional person and her influence can still be felt today. Under her leadership, our strong foundation was laid. Henry Kelly was the second president who was very instrumental in developing the Historical Society’s physical presence in the community and Betty Chandler Williamson, our longest serving president who filled that role for an amazing 25 years, has been the guiding force that has carried them to this point.
The event was hosted by Gil and Marie Culbreth in the Historic Bank Building on Highway 70 and the members were quite in awe at the wonderful restoration efforts made by the Culbreth Family to preserve this historic venue.
During the meeting, the Historical Society made presentations to “Historic Heroes” which were individuals, businesses or governmental organizations that have been extra supportive of its mission. A plaque honoring these “heroes” will be on display at the museum. Those being included on the plaque were the former presidents, and the following individuals: Gil and Marie Culbreth, Gene and Peggy Fulford, George and Mary Beth Cooper. Water’s Edge Dermatology, the Altobello Trust, Domer’s Machine Shop, and the Seminole Tribe of Florida were also included for their generous contributions in support of the Historical Society’s many projects. Finally, the City of Okeechobee and the Okeechobee County Board of County Commissioners received recognition for their unwavering support over the years.
The Historical Society will once again be holding open houses at its various museums during the season. On Oct. 21, 2023 the Raulerson Log Cabin, 811 SW Second Ave., and the Primitive Baptist Church Historic Site, 1003 SW Third Ave., will be open to the public for no charge from 9 a.m. until noon. Come see what we’ve done!