New Narcoossee Sign Unveiled by County, Historical Society
Published on: Dec 9, 2016
Osceola County, Florida – Two new signs showcasing Narcoossee’s history will greet visitors and residents along County Road 15, also known as Narcoossee Road.
The first sign was unveiled Friday along the northbound entry into the community.
“I think the sign is a fantastic reflection of this community’s unique history,” said County Commissioner Fred Hawkins, Jr., whose district includes the area. “I’m very pleased with how engaged everyone involved in this process was. They are certainly visually pleasing. They help establish an immediate sense of place for those who call Narcoossee home. ”
Hawkins had the idea for the sign about two years ago and asked Narcoossee Area Chapter of the Osceola County Historical Society to spearhead the process. Darlene Waniel was the winner of a design contest with 40 entries judged by a panel of community residents.
The signs feature a little black bear, which is tied to the Native American meaning of Narcoossee. The design incorporates significant elements such as railroad ties that represent the Sugar Belt Railway and a wharf piling and lines for the steamboat history of the area and East Lake Tohopekaliga. Native woods – cypress and mahogany were used for the signs.
Dennis Burke of Burke Signs took the concept from paper to reality. The process was funded through a community betterment grant.
“We are excited about the enthusiastic responses we have experienced along the way, the preservation of our important local history, and the final results,” said Lisa Liu, President of the Narcoossee Area Chapter of the Osceola County Historical Society.
As it was never incorporated, the boundaries for Narcoossee are subject to interpretation. The society opted for a combination of accuracy and visibility. The northbound sign is located near Ralph V. Chisholm Park on the right side of the road. The southbound sign is scheduled to be installed after the New Year.
Founded in 1884, by E. Nelson Fell, Narcoossee was originally settled by English immigrants intent on raising citrus. One of the early settlers was a cousin of Queen Victoria. Shipping via East Lake Toho and the Sugar Belt Railroad were early signs of the robust community’s success. Many left the area after a severe winter and hard freeze in 1894-5.