The Oldsmar Historical Society is a 501c3 non-profit corporation whose mission is collect, classify, protect, and display items, records, photographs, stories of events and customs of the history of Oldsmar and to research, write and publish articles concerning that history. We want to encourage those living in Oldsmar to embrace the city’s history because they are a part of its history too. It is not just the past but the present we must appreciate because it is a “present” for us to enjoy.
This Historical Society was established in 2003. Lacking a Museum, the Society met in TECO Hall at the Oldsmar Public Library. It wasn’t until October, 2011 that the Society had a room on the first floor of the newly renovated 1918 Oldsmar State Bank building at 101 State Street West. This building is the City’s first LEED green building. It is also the only commercial building from 1918 that is still standing.
Under the leadership of our past President, Loretta Wyandt (2003 to 2009) Oldsmar Historical Society became a 501c3 non-profit corporation. From 2010 to 2011, Ed Manny , Ed Sapeiga, and RoseMarie Chambers served as our Presidents. Our Museum which is designated the “Beverland Family Room” was opened at the grand opening of the Oldsmar State Bank Building in October, 2011. Jeri Antozzi was elected President, and at that time the Society officially started keeping Museum hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am to 2 pm. On the first and third Tuesdays of the month, you will also find the Oldsmar Historical Society open from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. Many visitors stop in before going to the second floor for the City Council meetings on those Tuesday evenings. Currently, Mark Opyd is President.
The Oldsmar Historical Society has adopted the STEM Club at Oldsmar Elementary School. Volunteer curator, Jeri Antozzi, visited four classrooms during the Great American Teach-In to share some history about Oldsmar and its founder, R.E. Olds. The outreach to our youth was one of our goals for 2013. We had a number of Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops visit the Museum.
The Oldsmar Historical Society could not succeed without the support of memberships, donations, and volunteer hours. We participate in community events, such as partnering with Gull-Aire Village’s Relay for Life Team for an Oldsmar “Relay for Love” Historical Walk. During the 2013 Oldsmar Days and Nights’ weekend, we partnered with the City of Oldsmar to host a city tour for the Oldsmobile Club of Florida. Some of the Oldsmobile enthusiasts came from out of state. Janice Miller, Gabby McGee and Jeri Antozzi coordinated the tour with the City. Some groups such as the Florida walking group, “Suncoast Sandpipers” requested that Gabby McGee incorporate a historical walk on the day that they were visiting Oldsmar.
By having a physical space for a Museum and operating hours, we have had an opportunity to meet many interesting people. Sometimes it could be a grandson or granddaughter of someone who had a store in Oldsmar back in the 1920’s. Of course, the old grocery store doesn’t exist now but they could tell us where it was located and they have items to donate when they come back in town.
Another gentleman from New York who came in makes museum quality replicas of R.E. Olds cars from 1880’s to 1904 using original plans. Hopefully he will bring a replica during the Centennial Celebration in 2016.
We had a lady come in and tell stories about living in the Wayside Inn on State Street when her mother was the manager in the 1940’s. The Wayside Inn burned down in 1948.
Oldsmar is a great place to live, work, and play. Oldsmar Historical Society members are eager to share neat things about their city. Volunteers can give as little as 2 hours a month and/or 2 hours a week. Join the Oldsmar Historical Society and be a part of the group. Visit us at 101 State Street West, Suite 2. We are open on Tuesday´s and Thursday´s from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm.