Homeland in Polk County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Typical Wooden Pioneer School
—Oldest Surviving School in Polk County 1878-1956 —
— 1878 —
Has been placed on the
Of Historic Places
By the United States
Department of the Interior
Erected by Homeland Heritage Park. (Marker Number 07000001.)
Location. 27° 49.128′ N, 81° 49.716′ W. Marker is in Homeland, Florida, in Polk County. Marker is on Church Avenue south of 2nd Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. The marker stands in front of the old school building on the grounds of the Homeland Heritage Park, an educational and historical park operated by Polk County. Marker is at or near this postal address: 249 Church Avenue, Homeland FL 33847, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Historic Kissengen Spring (approx. 1˝ miles away); The W. Henry Lewis House (approx. 4.7 miles away); Site of Fort Meade (approx. 4.8 miles away); Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson Memorial (approx. 4.8 miles away); Fort Meade Veterans Memorial (approx. 4.9 miles away); Florida 2000 Center of Population (approx. 4.9 miles away); Christ Church (approx. 5 miles away); Historic L. B. Brown House (approx. 5.2 miles away).
More about this marker.
Regarding Homeland School. The main portion of the wooden schoolhouse opened in 1878 under the name "Bethel Academy" to educate children in and around the town of Bethel, as Homeland was originally known. Student enrollment quickly grew from five to 60, and within ten years stood at 75. To accommodate growth, the original structure saw a room added in 1888; while in 1910, a large addition was constructed to give the building its current L-shape. Classes continued to be held at the Homeland School until 1956.
After the school's closure, the building was maintained for the purpose of establishing a museum/historical park to preserve the early history of Polk County and demonstrate how the area's pioneer settlers lived. Official progress was made in 1985, when the Polk County School Board deeded the building and surrounding land to the Board of County Commissioners for the purpose of establishing the Homeland Heritage Park. The five-acre park contains five historical buildings, of which only the school is original to the property. The remaining buildings were relocated to the site from various parts
Today, as a function of the park, the Homeland School building is regularly home to educational programs geared toward elementary grades and adults, as well as community-wide historical festivals and cultural events.
The Homeland School building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007 (ref #07000001). It is the only structure of this status within the park.
Also see . . .
1. Welcome to Homeland Heritage Park. Visitors' guide with historical details and sketches (Submitted on July 8, 2012, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.)
2. Homeland Heritage Park. Official park page at the Polk County Government website (Submitted on July 8, 2012, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.)
3. Homeland School page on Wikipedia. (Submitted on July 8, 2012, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.)
Categories. • Education • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 8, 2012, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. This page has been viewed 454 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on July 8, 2012, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.