Preserving the past for the future.
The East Hillsborough Historical Society, Inc., a 501C3 nonprofit organization was formed in 1975 to preserve the historic 1914 Plant City High School, the cornerstone of the North Plant City Residential Historic District (National Register of Historic Places site) and the cultural history of our community. The Society’s museums, archives/library, art gallery and exhibits of history and art; cultural venues include live music and theatrical performances, art and dance class space. We strive to keep history and cultural arts fresh and alive.
The Mission Statement of the East Hillsborough Historical Society is to encourage and participate in historic preservation and the cultural heritage of our community; to collect, preserve, and house historic documents and objects and artifacts, especially those pertaining to eastern Hillsborough County and the State of Florida and to collect, preserve, and house genealogical books and materials to aid genealogical and historical research.
Programs provided by the Society serve a diverse audience of people from Plant City, Hillsborough, and adjacent counties (Polk, Pasco, Pinellas) through topic, content and style of presentation. School age student programs includes outreach to three Title 1 schools (2 elementary schools walk to the 1914 Center) and other local schools. We offer a transportation stipend. Additionally, students from the Hillsborough Community College and University of Florida Plant City Campuses are approximately 2 miles from the 1914 Center and can benefit from the cultural events. Annual Pioneer Day, a free public event, draws 2000+ visitors from a multi county area including rural, underserved areas of Hillsborough, Pasco and Polk Counties. Past and upcoming programs and activities: exhibits, lectures, tours, workshops, presentations, educational outreach, music concerts and theater shows.
The Classroom Gallery has produced income for local professional artists participation and student engagement. Exhibits include temporary/traveling art. Collectively, programming economic impact includes income to performers, artists and lecture scholars/presenters, technical and administrative services for program production, marketing and advertisement, stage/sound equipment purchase/rental, concession supplies, venue space cleaning and utility costs, hotel/motel, gasoline/diesel generating bed tax/fuel tax revenue for local government.
The East Hillsborough Historical Society supports the community through scholarships to high school seniors of Plant City High School, Durant High School, Strawberry Crest High School, and Simmons Career Center annually.
Additional community outreach and support includes providing volunteer support and goods to local food banks, children’s services and disaster relief donations.
The major fundraiser of the Society is the strawberry shortcake booth at the Annual Florida Strawberry Festival. 2022 , our volunteers stemmed 1200 flats of berries and we served 29,000 shortcakes to visitors over the 11-day event. All proceeds from our fundraiser support our mission, programs and services.