Sunday, October 12, 2014

Celebrating 100 Years of Kenansville | St. Cloud In The News

By: Briana Polanco, SCITN Intern Writer

One Hundred Years ago, Osceola citizens founded the quaint town of Kenansville. Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast railroads initially ran through the cattle town. In honor of Henry Flagler’s third wife, Mary Lily Kenan, they named the town Kenansville in 1914.

Erected in 1916, the well-known walls of the school house hold an abundance of history. Henry Flagler promised to give money for a school when he brought the railroad through the town. When he died, his wife donated $6,000 to fund the school.

The famous Heartbreak Hotel is one sight to see. Legends hold that this very structure was the hotel to inspire the king himself, Elvis Presley. Locals maintain that he penned his iconic song “Heartbreak Hotel” about the lonely property.

In Kenansville you will find the lovely 6,000-acre Lake Marian, known to be one of the best bass fishing lakes in the entire country.

Kenansville is a fabulous town full of history, rich in agriculture and pioneered agronomy. With just a simple cruise through the town, visitors are captivated by the old-time feel of the many cattle ranches and the vast expanses of agriculture.

“There is so much history; people think there is nothing but this town was booming once,” says Kenansville resident, Tiffany Chapman. Tiffany is a sixth generation resident living in Osceola County, her grandfather hailing from the historical centennial town.

In celebrating 100 years since the town’s founding, Kenansville will hosted a community celebration on October 4. The celebration included a parade of history through the charming streets. Live music from numerous local artists filled the town including Kenyon Lockry, a bluegrass band, and a gospel choir.

Kids enjoyed the activity just as much as the adults. Shouts and laughter could be heard from the BB gun shooting range and the “cow camp” with story-tellers. Others marveled through historic tours, and munched on a delicious catered lunch of BBQ pulled pork dinner with baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, and swamp cabbage.

Event planners offered a fantastic raffle with winners receiving a custom drop point knife with an alligator jaw bone handle and alligator sheath or custom small folder knife with hippo ivory etched with beautiful tool work on the blade. Both knives were hand made by Jim Elliot.

All money raised will go to the community association to assist in historical renovations, preservation, scholarships, and community events.

In addition to all these fun events, the town buried a time capsule in front of the school house. It will be opened in 25 years. The event was truly in the making for the sleepy cattle town many call home.COMM Keenansville School NOW COMM OldKeenansville School


The Late News from