Polk County

Created in 1861 from Brevard and Hillsborough Counties

The Carousel

  • This 45 foot carousel was built in 1909 by the Mangels Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It has 44 hand carved animals from the factory of Looff, Carmel, Stien and Goldstein, and features a 1923 Wurlitzer Band Organ. The carousel was purchased by Alfred and Nettie Winterstein in 1915 and installed at Harveys Lake Pennsylvania. It operated with steam until 1930 when coverted to electricity. In 1935 the ownership was passed on to the daughter Geneviere Winterstein Fisk. She operated the carousel without interuption until 1963, when she sold the carousel to her nephew, the late Robert d. and Mary Ann Winterstein. when Harveys Lake Amusement Park closed in 1984, Mary Ann and son, Robert, disassembled and stored the machine until 1987, at which time, they graciously leased the carousel to Old Town.
  • In 1996, the carousel was dismantled and moved to Auburndale, Florida where it was restored. Mary Ann and her son, Robert leased the carousel to Market World where it re-opened in September of 1997. The carousel now continues to bring smiles and enjoyment to everyone at its new location.
  • Edward Bok, born October 9, 1863 at Den Helden, the Netherlands, died within sight of this tower January 9, 1930. At his request, his family placed his grave in the lawn in front of the great brass door. Coming to the United States as a poor immigrant boy of 6, he achieved success as a writer and editor. Later in life he created the sanctuary as a place of repose for the human spirit, built the tower with the great carillon as its central accent and presented them to the American people for visitation as his thanks for the success they had given him.
  • This sanctuary of approximately fifty acres with its plantings of native vegetation of Florida was the conception of Edward William Bok ~ It was designed and executed during 1924-1928 by Frederick Law Oemsted ~ Its purpose is to provide a retreat of repose and natural beauty for the human - a refuse for the bird - and a place for the student of southern plant and bird life.
  • The summit upon which this resting place stands is about 324 feet above sea level - it is the highest point of land yet measured in the peninsular Florida by the government of the United States. It is also the highest land within sixty miles of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico between Washington and the Rio Grande.


Established 1853 and used as a place of refuge
for the settlers of this community
During the Seminole Indian War 1855-1958.
Name changed to Bartow 1867
In honor of Confederate General
Francis S. Bartow

Erected by Bartow Chapter
Daughters of the American Revolution


On Kissimmee River sixteen miles
northeast of Lake Wales
government trail leading to Fort
crosses highway between Gum Lakes,
Lake Rosalee, where Seminole Indians
stopped before moving to everglades,
is near this trail.

Erected by Lake Wales Chapter, D.A.R. Polk County, Florida 1935


One mile north of here, a stockade
type depot was erected by a detail
of the 7th Infantry, U.S.A.
while on a march to the Kissimmee River.
Built Jan. 22, 1841. It was named
in honor of Sergeant-Major Francis
Carroll who suffered a hero's death
at the hand of Indians near Micanopy.


In this immediate vicinity was the
site of Fort Fraser.
Established by General Zachary
Taylor November, 1837 on his march
against the Seminoles culminating
in the Battle of Okeechobee.
Erected by the Fourth Infantry and
garrisoned by the Second Artillery
and the First Infantry, U.S.A. &
Florida Volunteers.


Built by Lt. George G. Meade
who later became commanding general
of the Union Forces
during the Civil War.

Headquarters of a military area
during the Seminole Indian War 1849-1858.
Near here were fought several engagements
with the hostiles.

Garrisoned by U.S. Army
and Florida Mounted Volunteer troops.


One of a chain of
Seminole Indian War forts 1849-1858.

Several men served at this post
who later gained prominence in the Civil War.
Among these were Generals George G. Meade,
A.P. Hill and "Stonewall" Jackson.

Garrisoned by 1st. Art., 7th Inf, U.S. Army
and Florida Mounted Volunteers

Indian Burial Mound

In the seventeenth century
under Spanish rule
Indians buried their dead here.
Glass beads and silver ornaments
found on an Indian skeleton
identify the mound as pre-seminole.

Placed by Lake Wales Chapter
Daughters of the American Revolution
October 10, 1955


On Lake Pierce is the site of the Seminole Indian village of Chief Tallahassee who succeeded chief Chipco, leader of Creek Seminoles. Chief Chipco is buried nearby. The village was abandoned about 1896.

Dedicated 1956

The Daughters of the American Revolution
Lake Wales Chapter, Lake Wales, Florida
Ponce De Leon Chapter, Winter Haven, Florida

Lover of peace, friend of the white man.

His Seminole Indian village
was located on
Bonar's Island
in Lake Hamilton 1855

Dedicated by Ponce de Leon chapter
Daughters of The American Revolution
Winter Haven, Florida

Approximately 1 1/2 miles west of here
near the shore of Lake Alfred
is the site of
Fort Cummings
named for Colonel Alexander Cummings of the fourth infantry established
January 22, 1839 and occupied by detachments of the First
and Second Infantry and the Third Artillery.
Part of the line of forts setup in Central Florida to protect the
route from Fort Brooke, Tampa to Fort Mellon, Sanford.
One of the dramatic events of the year occurred here when
Coacoochee or Wildcat appeared at the Fort attired in the full
regalia of a member of a Shakespearian cast. The year before,
in 1840 Wildcat and his band attacked a theatrical group between
Ppicolata and St. Augustine and after killing the men of the party
escaped with the costumes belonging to the troupe. These, he and
his band wore as they approached the Fort and created quite an
effect on the spectators.

Erected by the PolkCounty Historical Commission

Acton Community
In 1884, a group of English men established Acton, named after English author Lord Acton, two miles east of Lakeland. Acton lasted from 1884 until 1894 when its residents scattered after the great freeze. During its decade of existence the town had about 200 people, a hotel, sawmill, stores and a church. Its atmosphere, dress and custom were typically English. Polo, fox hunting and cricket were a part of the village's daily life.

They left Bartow on March 8, 1862 and marched thru the woods to Gainsville to be mustered in as Company E., 7th Florida Regiment.
They subscribed to the same conviction that President Jefferson Davis expressed to the CS Congress and the world:
N.S. Blount, Captain
J.W. Whidden, First Lieutenant
Z. Seward, Second Lieutenant
Hamp Johnson, First Sergeant
William Gay
Luke Altman/ J. J. Blount/ O.R. Blount/ Dave Brandon/Rig Brown/ William Brown/ Daniel Brown/ A. J. Bullock/ William Cathcart/ Wilson Cook/ L. W. Cornelius o/ Reuben Carlton/ Wright Carlton/ Daniel Crum/ Edmund Davis/ James Davis/ Henry Driggers/ Raford Durrance/ Jack Ellis/ Daniel Ferguson/James Fletcher/ James Gaskins/ William Guy/ Martin Hancock/ Sam Hancock/ Albert Hendry/ J.M. Hendry/ J. W. Hendry/ William Hendry/ D.T. Henry/ Henry Hill/ William Hillard/Stephen Hull/ William Hooker x/ Stephen Hooker/ William Jackson/ Sol Johnson/ Daniel Jordan/ A.J. Keen/ Jim Keen/ Robert McAuley/ Will McAuley/ Joe McClelland/ Mac McClelland/ Si McClelland/ William McClelland/ Put Marsh/ John O'Neal/ David Pat/ Vick Patrick/ T. C. Pearce/ Jim Pitts/ John Pollard/ Alex Rimer/ W.P. Rogers x/ Albert Seward x/ Felix Seward/ Jim Seward/ Wash Sheppard/ William Sheppard/ Jim Smith x/ Simon Turman x/ John Underhill/ Joe Varn o/ W.B. Varn/ JimWilliams/ John Williams/ Lew Williams/ Nath Williams/ Daniel Waldron/ Cary Weeks/ Max Whidden/ George Woodard x
x - Killed
o - Missing after battle
June 20,2010
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