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Richard Archbold and the Archbold Biological Station, An outdoor mural by Keith Goodson at Miller's Central Air, 19 West Interlake Boulevard, Lake Placid, Florida Dedication, November 27, 2007 Archbold Biological Station and Lake Placid Mural Society
Richard Archbold was born in 1907 in New York City. Heir to early fortunes of the Standard Oil Company, Archbold became an internationally renowned aviator and explorer. In 1929, he participated in a zoological expedition to Madagascar. During 1933-1939, he organized, supported, and led three biological expeditions to interior New Guinea. All these pioneering expeditions are still famous for their wide scope and major significance to science. They included the discovery of a large human civilization in the New Guinea highlands, previously unknown to the outside world.
Archbold Biological Station. In 1941, he moved to Lake Placid to fulfill a dream. He established a permanent biological research station on a 1,050-acre preserve, where scientists could live, explore, and conduct research on animals and plants in their native settings. Following World War II, Archbold continued to support biological explorations in New Guinea / Australia, but he remained in Lake Placid the rest of his life. Living at the Station as the Resident Director, he became an active member of the Lake Placid community, assisting in many service organizations. He helped bring electricity to the rural regions of Highlands County as one of the original founders of Glades Electric Cooperative. He worked constantly at improving the Station's facilities, collections, and library, and personally supported the research and living costs of every scientific visitor. In 1973, he added 3,000 acres of adjacent native habitat to the Station. Richard Archbold died on August 1, 1976. He left his estate, Archbold Expeditions, ensuring permanent core funding for the unique biological station that bears his name.
Mural History. During 2006 the Lake Placid Mural Society contacted Archbold Biological Station about adding a mural to the Lake Placid collection that would feature Richard Archbold and Archbold Biological Station. The Station decided to proceed with the mural project in conjunction with the 2007 Richard Archbold Centennial celebration. The Mural Society selected well-known mural artist Keith Goodson, and Station staff along with the Board contributed general content for the mural. The Station supplied the artist with many images of Richard Archbold, the Station, and regional biota. The artist developed the overall design for the mural. In July 2007, Station Staff suggested specific plants and animal images to add to the nearly-complete mural. Painting occurred during May - July 2007.
Mural Donors. This project could not have been completed without the support of the community. Miller's Central Air, Inc. generously donated the wall space, preparation of the wall, and the landscaping. Major sponsors included: Archbold Biological Station; Glades Electric Cooperative; Miller's Central Air, Inc.; Lake Placid Mural Society; Total Group Benefits; and Sherrod Contracting, Inc. Other donors include 23 individuals and businesses: Publix Supermarkets; Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell; Seacoast National Bank; Wal-Mart; Lake Rachard Estates; Central Contractors; McAdams Oil Co.; Heartland Metals; Anne Reynolds; Clair Parsons; Lake Placid Board of Realtors; EMCI; LaGrow Systems; Central Security & Electronics; Lake Placid Lions Club; Lake Placid Drug Co.; Colleen H. Boggs; Swaine, Harris & Sheeham; Sysco; Bert J & Lisa Harris III; Bill & Tom’s Key & Lock Service; C. Ray and Heather Dorsey, III; and Alan Jay Automotive Network. -- Cheryl Henderson.