Arden Mays Designs – Grand Opening – Saturday, March 26, 2011 – 6:00 P.M.

Arden Mays Designs invites you to join us as we celebrate our Grand Opening!

Enjoy an elegant evening with wine and hors d’oeuvres at Arden Mays Designs and the Plant City Photo Archives & History Center.
Atlanta muralist and decorative artist Arden Mays has relocated to his hometown of Plant City and set up his studio in the downtown area. Arden Mays Designs specializes in European-style custom murals, decorative artwork and faux finishes on location or on canvas. We also offer mini-mural canvas prints for sale.
Time: 6:00 P.M.
Date: Saturday, March 26, 2011
Address: 107 1/2 South Evers Street Plant City, FL
Phone: (813) 719-6535

Center adds administrative assistant




Published: March 16, 2011


Plant City Photo Archives and History Center recently added Timothy Grzelczyk to the staff as administrative assistant to Executive Director Gil Gott.


Grzelczyk is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of South Florida Polytechnic, Lakeland. He has a bachelor of arts in interdisciplinary social sciences and holds an associate’s degree in history from Polk State College.


He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, a national college honor society, and is a graduate of PCC Collegiate High School in Lakeland. Grzelczyk’s duties will include assisting in virtually all the organization’s operations but will focus on the development of the history center and research library, and on grants programs.


The not-for-profit history organization and museum was founded in 2000 by businessman Ed Verner and has received both an award from the Plant City Historic Resources Board and an award jointly from the Economic Development Council and the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce for its contributions to the community.


The center opened as a photo archives and added a history center last year.


The exhibit center and gallery, 106 S. Evers St., are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For information, call (813) 754-1578 or go to

Photo archives adds three board members


By BETTY BRIGGS | The Tampa Tribune


Published: March 9, 2011


Plant City Photo Archives and History Center recently added three new members to its advisory council.


The new members include:


•Bill Dodson, who has served as a city commissioner since 2002, and was mayor in 2004. Educated at Atlantic Christian College, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina, Dodson has been senior vice president of Florida Brick and Clay since 1979.


He also is a member of the Plant City Community Redevelopment Agency, Hillsborough County Council of Government, Tampa Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council.


A long-time member of the Lions Club, Dodson also has been active with the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, the YMCA and several recreation leagues.


•Felix Haynes, a Florida native, was raised in Tampa. He served in Panama and Vietnam as an Army officer, and then worked in health care administration and higher education, primarily in continuing education and work force development.


Haynes holds a bachelor of science in journalism, master of arts and doctorate of education, all from the University of Florida. Haynes served nine years as president of Spoon River College, Canton, Ill., and three years as president of Dundalk Community College, Baltimore, before coming to Plant City as president of the Plant City campus of Hillsborough Community College.


He is a published author and has a great interest in local history.


•Donald “Rob” Yoho is the son of Don Yoho, who was an educator and coach for many years in the Plant City and Hillsborough school system. He grew up in Plant City and Tampa, and was educated at Jesuit High School and the Air Force Academy.


He received his M.D. from the University of South Florida and a master’s from the Harvard School of Public Health.


He served as a flight surgeon in the Air Force, medical squadron commander and clinic commander, and residency director in the Air Force Aerospace Medicine Program, retiring as a colonel in 2006.


An avid reader, Yoho’s interests are in history and research, photography, genealogy and youth sports.


He recently compiled a history of Tomlin school in all its phases and locations.


Plant City Photo Archives was founded in 2000 by businessman Ed Verner and the advisory council has been active in guiding its operations since its inception. The photographic collections contain more than 100,000 images, and more than 60,000 have been scanned, digitized and preserved in computer storage media.


The archives and history center, 106 S. Evers St., is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For information call (813) 754-1578 or go to

Retired Plant City attorney to receive Heritage Award


By BETTY BRIGGS | The Tampa Tribune

Published: February 27, 2011
PLANT CITY – Retired attorney Bob Edwards will be presented the Plant City Photo Archives and History Center’s Heritage Award at an annual banquet on March 31.

There will be jazz entertainment, a hors d’oeuvre buffet and historic photo exhibit sponsored by Sunshine State Federal Savings and Loan. This is the eighth Heritage Award with previous recipients being David E. Bailey Jr., James L. Redman, Robert S. Trinkle, B.M. “Mac” Smith, Betty Barker Watkins, Hal Brewer, Gladys Jeffcoat and Sonny Jones.

The award is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to preserving the history and heritage of the area.

The event, in the Red Rose Ballroom at the Red Rose Inn and Suites, 2011 N. Wheeler St., starts with a 6:30 p.m. champagne reception.

Reservations must be made by March 17.

General admission is $100 for nonmembers and $85 for members.

This affair is black tie optional.

For information, call (813) 754-1578.


Photo archives receives retired Plant City writer’s collection

By GEORGE H. NEWMAN | The Tampa Tribune

Published: October 7, 2010

Updated: 10/07/2010 07:00 am

PLANT CITY – Panky Snow spent much of her life writing about the people and places of her hometown.

Snow, a reporter for decades, put away her pen a few years ago and retired. But her legacy will live on in both her writing and a collection of her memorabilia recently donated to the Plant City Photo Archives and History Center.

Her collection of Plant City High School yearbooks, old newspapers and other documents was headed for the trash dump until someone who lives in her former home recognized that it wasn’t just a bunch of junk.

Archives Executive Director Gil Gott called it an “historical treasure trove.”

“We were very fortunate when these items were brought to us, some of it in trash bags or in boxes,” Gott said.

Snow retired as a reporter for The Tampa Tribune several years ago but continued to write for the paper as a freelancer until about 2007, sometimes for a column labeled Reminiscing with Panky Snow. Her nostalgic looks back were published in the Plant City edition of the Tribune.

Snow now lives in a retirement center in Ybor City.

Gott continues to look through the papers and personal items compiled by Snow, a 1945 Plant City High graduate whose maiden name was Morgan.

“When Panky was in high school she was the editor and chief of the school yearbook,” Gott said. “She was very active as editor and quite spirited.”

Gott told how Snow once rode a circus elephant, to her parents’ surprise, while researching a story about the circus coming to town.

“Panky has devoted her time over the years in writing stories about Plant City and the people who live here,” Gott said. “She is a very sweet lady and means a lot to this town.”

The collection being reviewed by Gott and his staff includes items saved by Snow’s father, Lennox E. Morgan, whose nickname was Rat. Morgan, who served as a city commissioner and mayor, collected such items as newspapers, including Plant City Couriers dated 1927 and 1934.

“He was very active in civic organizations in the Plant City area. He retired after working almost 35 years with the railroad,” he said.

Part of the collection is a packet of letters sent to Morgan by prominent people from around the country congratulating him on his retirement.

Once assembled and catalogued the Snow collection will be displayed along with those from such prominent contributors as photographers Bill Friend and Gladys Jeffcoat, and items from the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

“We appreciate all the individuals who have provided us with historical items regarding Plant City and the people who live here,” Gott said.