Osceola County Historical Society Inc.
4155 W. Vine Street
Kissimmee FL 34741
Contact Information
Address 4155 W. Vine Street
Kissimmee, FL 34741
Phone (407) 396-8644 5
Fax (866) 929-5070
Web and Social Media
Donate with a credit card http://PayPal
Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek Aerial Shot
The Osceola County Historical Society collects and preserves the county's history, and provides educational, research and recreational opportunities to foster an understanding and enjoyment of the area's cultural and natural heritage through museum displays, demonstrations, interpretive programs, and special events for residents and visitors.
CEO/Executive Director Donnita Dampier
Board Chair President Katrina Scarborough
Board Chair Company Affiliation Osceola County Property Appraiser
IRS Ruling Year 1990
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $1,126,417.00
Projected Expenses $1,126,918.00
The Osceola County Historical Society collects and preserves the county's history, and provides educational, research and recreational opportunities to foster an understanding and enjoyment of the area's cultural and natural heritage through museum displays, demonstrations, interpretive programs, and special events for residents and visitors.

Accomplishments: The Osceola County Historical Society opened the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek in November 2014, and the grand opening coincided with the best attended annual Pioneer Day celebration on record, with nearly 3000 residents and visitors in attendance. The organization also received two grants from the state Division of Cultural Affairs for $580,000 to continue the expansion of the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek. Attendance is up at both the Pioneer Village and History Museum. The Narcoossee Chapter of the OCHS has gained momentum, having increased membership, as well as creating several fundraising activities in order to restore the 1886 schoolhouse. The chapter received a 2015-2016 grant from the state Division of Cultural Affairs for $26,500 to restore the schoolhouse. They also set up a one day Arts, Crafts and Farmers Market Day. Our annual fundraiser, Dine with the Departed was expanded, so that we were able to have greater seating capacity thereby serving more guests.

Goals: The top goal for the organization in the 2016-2017 fiscal year will be to complete the addition of a screened pavilion for programming at the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek, as well as construct three additional replica 1800s structures to enhance programming at that facility. The replica structures will include a schoolhouse, train depot, general store and church. The organization has increased its marketing efforts to attract more visitors, and is emphasizing community relevance with its outreach efforts. The organization will also diversify the programming offered this year, and is working to provide additional services to the Osceola County School District - specifically, the organization hopes to design and provide services to Osceola County literacy coaches.


Independent Research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or program effectiveness? No
1. The organization is in need of volunteers to assist with programming and operations at the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek, the Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum, and the Spence Pavilion and Research Center. These volunteer needs include tour guides, gardeners, and living history re-enactors.
2.  The organization needs annual sponsors (at $5,000 or $10,000) for the Welcome Center and History Museum, as well as the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek. These annual sponsorships assist with programming and operations at these locations.
3. The organization is looking to increase its membership, and needs members from the $50 individual level to the $1,000 corporate level.
4.  The organization needs books for the literacy program it hopes to offer to Osceola County School District literacy coaches. The organization staff estimates that the financial need to cover the cost for these books will be $2,500.00
5. The organization needs volunteers to assist with the oversight of its archives and artifact storage facility. This location is in need of reorganization following the Osceola County Historical Society's recent expansion and relocation. 
Background Charles & Twylah Hartley of St. Cloud and Alma Heatherington of Kissimmee chartered the Osceola County Historical Society, October 29, 1949.  For some 20 years beginning in the 1960's the society displayed artifacts and other historical items in a wing of the Osceola Center for the Arts building, located on Hwy 192 in Kissimmee. In 1991, The Society moved its collections to the former Spence Family property, who donated the 4 acres of land and their residence, located on Bass Road in Kissimmee. This moved allowed for the Pioneer Village to be situated on the property, along with an indoor Museum. The Spence House donated with the property serves as OCHS's office and research facility. 
CEO Statement The Osceola County Historical Society (OCHS) is an ever-evolving organization lead by an enthusiastic team of Board Members, Staff, and Volunteers. Our mission is to preserve the unique history of Osceola County and to share that history in many diverse and engaging ways with the residents and visitors of our county. OCHS is the only organization whose sole mission is to preserve and protect our county’s past and our team takes that responsibility to heart. We take great pride in the organization's accomplishments and look forward to the challenges ahead.
NTEE Information
Primary Organization Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Primary Organization SubType Museums
Secondary Organization Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Tertiary Organization Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Tertiary Organization SubType Arts Education
Areas Served
Geographic Areas Served
FL - Osceola
FL - Brevard
FL - Lake
FL - Orange
FL - Polk
FL - Seminole
FL - Volusia
The geographic area which is served is primarily Osceola County residents, ranging from children to seniors, including several cities and towns throughout the county. OCHS also serves geographic areas from around the country, even around the world, by targeting the large tourist population who visit the Orlando/Kissimmee area every year.
HelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact.

The ultimate goal of the Osceola County Historical Society is to preserve Osceola County history and share it with community residents and visitors from all over the state, country, and world. The organization oversees the Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum, the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek, and the Spence Pavilion and Research Center. These three locations offer a unique glimpse into the natural and cultural history of Osceola County, and the organization's goal is to share these unique experiences with as many people as possible while serving the community's needs in a meaningful way.


As the sole organization devoted to the preservation of Osceola County history, the organization strives for excellence and wholeness in its representation of the county's natural and cultural history. A main goal of the organization is to complete the expansion of the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek, with the end goal being an interactive and complete village similar to what would have been available to Osceola County's early pioneer families and the Native Florida Tribes who lived in the area prior to these settlers' arrival. The organization received two grants totaling $580,000 from the Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs to construct five additional structures at this location, and will continue to raise funds to complete all planned structures for this location.
Offering a variety of programming for Osceola County youth, including field trips and special events, it is a goal of the organization to keep costs for its programming at an accessible price point for all income levels. It is also a goal to design and provide additional programming for the community's youth, including a program to assist Osceola County literacy coaches. In the past, the organization has offered scholarships for summer camp to Osceola County students in need of a safe and fun place to go during the summer months, and it is a goal to continue with similar programming.
Moreover, the organization hopes its facilities, social events, and programs will provide an environment for people in the community to engage in meaningful dialogue about life in Florida and Osceola County. In a rapidly changing community, it is the goal of the Osceola County Historical Society to show its community members that all residents, old and new, are an important part of the history in our county.
HelpWhat are the organization's strategies for its stated long-term goals?

Above all else, it is important for the Osceola County Historical Society to bolster its community relevance in order to best serve the county's residents and visitors. One strategy to ensure this is an emphasis on the marketing of the organization's facilities and programs. The organization hired its first Marketing and Events Director in April 2014, and as of summer 2015, attendance numbers at all locations are up.

Another way in which the organization bolsters community involvement is by providing free opportunities for residents and visitors to visit its facilities. Admission to the Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum (featuring award-winning exhibits that explore Osceola County's natural, industrial, and cultural history) is always free for visitors.

 The Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek, another location maintained and overseen by the Osceola County Historical Society, opened in November 2014. The organization worked to double the number of historic structures on the site, moving the structures once located at what is now the Spence Pavilion and Research Center and joining them with four additional late-1800s structures salvaged and relocated from other parts of the county. These structures were fully restored and are available for public viewing 7 days a week for a small admission fee. The organization is working to make this experience more immersive and entertaining by constructing replica structures that visitors of all mobility levels will be able to enter and explore, experiencing a historic way of living firsthand.
HelpWhat are the organization’s capabilities for doing this? What resources, capacities, and connections support its progress towards long-term goals?

The Osceola County Historical Society was founded by volunteers in 1949, and has a long history of passionate volunteer involvement. With a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of local business owners, local government staff and officials, and experts in the tourism and development industries, the organization is well-equipped to manage the construction of new facilities, evidenced by the successful completion of the first phase of the expansion of the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek.


This educational program is designed to promote the area's history by bringing the history to the children. This opportunity is provided to Osceola County teachers who are able to borrow the "trunk" filled with artifacts, books, and other teaching aids to compliment the teacher's lesson plans on the subject. The trunks are provided at no cost to the area teachers, however, a small deposit it requested. This is a great resource to enable teachers to have history become alive, as some schools and classes are not always able to particpate in the field trip program to visit the grounds themselves.
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. Program coordinator/Executive Director.
Description  The Art in the Archives programs are designed to combine art and history to create an immersive program for adults or children. The organization's first Art in the Archives programs were in conjunction with a Florida Highwaymen Paintings exhibit, and field trip groups who chose this special Art in the Archives option were able to create their own artworks in the Florida Highwaymen style. Seeing success with this initial program, the organization decided to offer this program with each of its temporary exhibitions, and added special after-hours programming for adults to visit the museum to view these temporary exhibitions and create their own works of art following the instruction of an expert artist. The organization plans to host Art in the Archives adult programming quarterly, and will continue to offer the activities associated with these programs as an option for field trip groups.
Population Served
Description The Osceola County Historical Society now offers a monthly new program: Storytelling with Kari. This program is designed to invite children ages 3-5 years old to learn about history and nature with books that coincide with the Temporary Exhibit Series. 
Population Served
CEO Comments
Our current programs focus on reaching the community in unique and various ways, in order to share insight into Osceola County's history. These programs have been designed with the organization's mission and purpose in mind, keeping education at the forefront, combined with the need and desire from the community. We continue to grow our events, along with the community, and mold them according to how we can impact the most people, allowing the programs to become exceptional resources the community can depend on OCHS to provide now, and to many generations to come.
Board Chair
Board Chair President Katrina Scarborough
Company Affiliation Osceola County Property Appraiser
Term Oct 2015 to Sept 2016
Board Co-Chair
Board Co-Chair
Board Members
NameCompany AffiliationsStatusCertificate*
Director Russell Anderson RetiredVoting
Director Ricky Booth
Director Peggy Choudhry Sevilla InnVotingNo
Director Debi Clark Eco Tourism Airboat RidesVotingNo
Past President Mary Cooper Goodwin RealtyVoting
Director JoAnn Cumbie Goodwin RealtyVoting
Director Pete Edwards
Director Abel Marte Bank of AmericaVoting
Secretary Linette Matheny Osceola County GovernmentVoting
President-Elect Stacy McCland Community VolunteerVotingYes
Director Bill Prather RetiredVoting
President Katrina Scarborough Osceola County Property AppraiserVoting
Narcoossee Chapter Pres Scott Sever Community VolunteerVotingNo
Director Mary Thiele Community VolunteerVoting
Director Bruce Van Meter
Director W. Turner Wallis, IV Johnston's Surveying, Inc.Voting
Director Angie White Retired
Treasurer Brian Wong Old Town SuitesVoting
*This individual has been awarded a Certificate in Orientation to Board Service by the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College ebi.rollins.edu, the Central Florida Partnership www.centralfloridapartnership.org, and the Central Florida Foundation www.cffound.org.
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 14
Hispanic/Latino 2
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Other (if specified) 0
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy No
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 75%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Standing Committees
Standing Committees
Committee Name
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Donnita Dampier
Term Start Dec 2006
Email donnita@osceolahistory.org
Experience Donnita received her BA from the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale in 1996. Prior to coming to the Osceola County Historical Society, she owned her own business, Dampier Designs in Kissimmee for 3 years.  She has served as President of the Kissimmee Main Street Program and now sits on the Rotary Club of Kissimmee Board and Visit Florida Visitor Services Committee.  She is also a member of the Small Business Association, Inc., in Osceola County.  She resides in Intercession City with her husband and their eleven year old son.
CEO Salary Range $50,001 - $75,000
Number of Full Time Staff 5
Number of Part Time Staff 6
Number of Volunteers 25
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate 66%
Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 2
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Jan 2014
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
OCHS currently collaborates with Osceola County Government, City of Kissimmee, UF Extension Services, Osceola County Drug Court Program, Transition House, Kissimmee/Osceola Chamber of Commerce, Experience Kissimmee, Visit Orlando, Visit Florida Wild Florida and Paddling Center at Shingle Creek.
AwardAwarding OrganizationYear
Exhibit Competition AwardSouth Eastern Museum Conference2013
State Registration Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Expiration Month Aug
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Expiration Year 2017
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Oct 01, 2015
Fiscal Year End Sept 30, 2016
Form 990s
2012990 signature page
2011990 signature page
IRS Letter of Determination
Form 501(c)3
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$292,144$329,510$408,173
Individual Contributions$285,680$113,457$114,168
Investment Income, Net of Losses$232$519$771
Membership Dues$7,452$7,452$14,204
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Expense Allocations
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$382,568$336,292$429,268
Administration Expense$163,392$135,237$124,585
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.070.960.97
Program Expense/Total Expenses70%71%78%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$548,058$510,857$538,263
Current Assets$330,019$298,109$311,310
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$548,058$510,857$538,263
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment $292,144Government $329,510Government $408,173
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFoundations, Corporations and Individuals $285,680Foundations, Corporations and Individuals $113,457Individuals, Foundations, Corporations $114,168
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountMembership $7,452Membership $7,452Membership Dues $14,204
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Anticipated In 3 Years
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
CEO Comments
Foundation Comments
Financial figures taken from IRS form 990 or 990EZ.  990 and audit reconcile.
Contributions from foundations and corporations (and government for 2010) are included in total for individuals, as they were not separated in the 990 or audit.
Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
Notes Programs listed here are those that are only activated during a disaster. Some organizations have unified budgeting and do not budget by program. Because of this, some budget fields may be blank or represent an approximation. Organization describes previous experience during the immediate response, recovery or rebuilding phases following a disaster.