Scope and Content Note
In February 1924, William L. Hutcheson, general president of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, decided to locate a home for retired carpenters and joiners in Lakeland because the property met the organization's criteria to be "situated on a railroad siding, have lake frontage, possess a citrus grove and be near a city of temperate weather." The home was dedicated in October 1928, and 36 retired carpenters and joiners moved in the following March. As many as 370 men stayed at one time, but by the 1970's there was little need for a home when retirees received pensions and Social Security payments, allowing them to live anywhere they wanted. The home closed in 1976. The property was purchased by the First Assembly of God Church in 1980, changing its name to Carpenters' Home Church. The church constructed a new church building, but in 1989 renovated the original home for use as a school.
The school, Evangel Christian School, closed in 2006, and the structure remained largely vacant for nearly 10 years. Developers purchased the Carpenters' Home in 2015 with the objective of restoring the building for use as a senior residential complex. That dream was realized when the restoration was completed and the building reopened as Lake Gibson Village in the summer of 2016.
The collection consists of one folder (.1' in size) with copies of newspaper articles giving the history of the building, a 1928 book dedicating the home at the 22nd General Convention, 2 copies of a book of photographs of the home and residents enjoying activities, and a photograph of the building under construction.
Also included in the collection are a letter concerning the building of the arch at the entrance to the property and photographs of the arch and Joseph Kingsley Beazell who helped build it. The Carpenter's Court by Jack O. Johnson, 1988 (SC975.967 J67c) is part of the Special Collections book collection. Additional newspaper articles are in the Vertical File and postcards of the Home can be found in the Lakeland Postcard Collection.