CLEARWATER — Members of the Clearwater Historical Society are doing their best to preserve the past. Their mission is to keep the Plumb House, circa 1896, in good condition, an ongoing project since a major restoration effort in the mid-1980s.
Over the years, workers have painted the interior, replaced light fixtures and railings on the veranda, and refinished existing woodwork, among other efforts.
The house, now located at 1380 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. in Ed C. Wright Park, originally was built on the northwest corner of Lakeview Road and South Fort Harrison Avenue. The first floor served as a paint store. There were apartments upstairs.
After the paint store was later moved east into an abandoned and overgrown orange grove, the structure was acquired by Ralph and Florence Plumb. They converted it into a single-family home and added a wrap-around veranda on the ground floor, along with a kitchen and a dining room.
When descendants Mary and Kathleen Plumb, the last residents of the house, went into nursing homes in 1982, the property was purchased by Dr. Charles Nach, who decided to donate the house to the Clearwater Historical Society, which was looking for a permanent home at the time. Nach also paid the cost of moving the structure to its current location in December 1983.
Members of the society have furnished the house with antiques and furniture from the early 1900s. Many of the pieces have been donated by area residents. A variety of historical artifacts, relics and documents recovered and preserved by the society can be found there.
Clearwater High School grads might be interested in the collection of yearbooks dating back to 1917. There is also an extensive collection of Clearwater Bombers memorabilia. The display featuring the 10-time world champion men’s fastpitch softball team was added in recent years. The latest addition is the five-foot-high world championship trophy the team was awarded in 1962.
The Plumb House formally was dedicated as a permanent museum for the city of Clearwater in January 1985. The Plumb House Museum, as it’s now called, has been the setting for weddings, receptions and other special events.
Free tours are available to the public. For more information, call the historical society at (727) 446-4250.