SEMINOLE — The Seminole Historical Society, working with the city, kicks off Seminole’s yearlong celebration of its 50th anniversary of incorporation with a special presentation at the Parkview Room in City Park, 7464 Ridge Road, on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 6 p.m.
This free event, “Present Remembering the Past,” will feature presentations by Mayor Leslie Waters, SHS president Michele Abramo and Bob Grant, the Kiwanis Club of Seminole president, who will lead attendees on a journey through the city’s history.
“He’s been here since the dinosaurs and he knows everything about Seminole,” said Jeff Etter, a SHS board member who helped create the evening’s presentation. “He was here when the city was founded.”
Some of the presentation will focus on the early days of Seminole’s history, before it officially became a city, and will include information on how the area was settled. The bulk of the kickoff event will focus on the city’s history since its incorporation in 1970.
“Our presentation focuses a little bit, a few minutes, on the pre-city aspect of things, the history of how we got here to 1970,” Etter said. “After that, we break it down by decade and special topics and really look at how the city has grown and changed.”
The bulk of the information used in the presentation was found in the SHS collection of more than 50 scrapbooks organized between the 1950s and the 2000s by a variety of organizations, including the Greater Seminole Area Chamber of Commerce, the Seminole Volunteer Fire Department’s Ladies Auxiliary and the city. These scrapbooks, which have been organized by volunteers in recent weeks, will also be on display during the event.
“They went through these (scrapbooks) to help us create a timeline that shows every important point that we could find about the city, stuff that most people would never know,” Etter said.
He and his wife, Sue Etter, also recorded various city leaders, residents and business owners for the presentation. They also incorporated older footage from a video the Kiwanis Club made for the city’s 25th anniversary and a video featuring recently retired library director Michael Bryan regarding the 40th anniversary of the Seminole Community Library in 2000.
“We’re excited to be kicking off the 50th anniversary with this special presentation Jan. 22 at the Parkview Room,” said Becky Gunter, the city’s recreation director. “The historical society was nice enough to put together this presentation about the present remembering the past. They’re going to take us through the decades leading up to 2020.”
The event will feature former City Council members, celebrate the first business to open once the city incorporated and will celebrate the winners of the 50th anniversary photo contest. There will also be a surprise or two, Etter added.
“We’re just really excited,” Gunter said. “This is the start of a year of celebrating. We’re going to have an event each month. We have some pretty cool stuff lined up this year. We’re excited to kick it off.”
For a complete list of upcoming 50th anniversary events, visit myseminole.com.