During the 1920’s, Mr. William L. Hutcheson was the General President of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Union of America based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Concerned that many union members lacked a source of income after retirement, Hutcheson envisioned a large home where the men could live well, receive appropriate assistance as needed, and be provided a significant number of activities to enrich their lives. In order to finance his vision, the union assessed a charge to its members.
Through various acquisitions over time, the property grew to approximately 2,000 acres and was an integral part of Lakeland’s growth and history. For years, it employed services provided by local citizens and purchased goods from local merchants.
Of historical interest, the Carpenters Home was the subject of a report in the first edition of the Lakeland Evening Ledger. The Home was also recognized for its historical significance and natural beauty by M.F. Hetherington in his book, A History of Polk County.
By the 1950’s, fewer union members resided at Carpenters Home, because by then, they had pension and social security benefits that allowed them alternative retirement choices. Finally, in 1976, after decades of declining demand, the Carpenters Home ceased all operations.
In 1980, the First Assembly of God Church purchased 470 acres and by 1985, it built a 9,600 seat sanctuary, which became known as Carpenter’s Home Church. In 1989, the Church repurposed the Carpenters Home building as an evangelical school, which operated until 2006.
In 2015, Lakeland Senior Living, LLC doing business as Lake Gibson Village, purchased the church, school and ancillary buildings on 63.49 acres with 400’ frontage on Lake Gibson. The classic beauty and grace of the iconic Carpenters Home is being meticulously restored and enhanced with all of the conveniences of the finest modern amenities. Lake Gibson Village will open its doors as Lakeland’s premier independent senior living community in August, 2016.
The Carpenters Home; A Descriptive Story in Text and Pictures, The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.
The Carpenters’ Home, Polk, January 4, 1970.
Cinnamon Bair, Polk Chronicles, Lakeland Ideal for Retiring Craftsmen; The Ledger, August 30, 1999.
Star-Telegram, Vol 32, No. 266, February 13, 1944.
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