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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Homeland in Polk County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Homeland School

Typical Wooden Pioneer School

 

—Oldest Surviving School in Polk County   1878-1956 —

 
Homeland School Marker image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, June 27, 2012
1. Homeland School Marker
Inscription.
Homeland School Building
— 1878 —
Has been placed on the
National Register
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); 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
Homeland School image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, June 27, 2012
2. Homeland School
(approx. 5 miles away); Historic L. B. Brown House (approx. 5.2 miles away); Willoughby Tillis Battle Monument (approx. 5.3 miles away).
 
More about this marker. The marker consists of a large wooden sign which is mounted on two posts directly over a metal plaque also mounted on two posts. The above marker title and subtitles appear on the wooden portion and the metal portion holds the inscription.
 
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
Homeland School image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, June 27, 2012
3. Homeland School
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 of Polk County.

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. EducationSettlements & Settlers
 
Sign for Homeland Heritage Park image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, June 27, 2012
4. Sign for Homeland Heritage Park
Operated by the Polk County Board of County Commissioners
Park sign for English log cabin image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, June 27, 2012
5. Park sign for English log cabin
Single pen log cabin
Earliest Polk Pioneer Architecture
Built by Cornelius English
1880's
English Log Cabin image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, June 27, 2012
6. English Log Cabin
Built of cypress logs by Mr. English in 1888, the cabin was a family residence until the 1900s. It remained a recreational cabin until donated to the park by the English family in 1989. A second structure, the pole barn, was given by the same family to display various farm implements and tools.
Raulerson House image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, June 27, 2012
7. Raulerson House
Raulerson family residence from 1900 - 1912, it remained with the family until it was given to the park in 1987. Their orange grove foreman and his family lived on the second floor, which had a separate entrance. The house was never upgraded with running water or indoor plumbing. It originally stood west of Lakeland along County Line Road at Interstate 4.
Park sign for the Raulerson House image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, June 27, 2012
8. Park sign for the Raulerson House
Early affluent
rural architecture
Built by the
Blocker family, 1880's
1900-1987
Park sign for Homeland Methodist Church image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, June 27, 2012
9. Park sign for Homeland Methodist Church
Mother of Methodist Movement
in Central Florida
1887-1974
Homeland Methodist Church image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, June 27, 2012
10. Homeland Methodist Church
Built in 1887 as Bethel Methodist Church, the building stood at its original location about three quarters of a mile away until 1986, when it was relocated to Homeland Heritage Park. Its aluminum steeple replaced a wooden original which was destroyed in 1946 by a hurricane. The church congregation dissolved in 1974 and the building was donated to the county.
 
 
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 434 times since then and 56 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.
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