Two Rare Labels at Indian River Citrus Museum

Updated: Aug 4


Rare and Valuable Citrus Labels Added to Permanent Collection

Heather Stapleton, Vero Heritage Executive Director is excited to announce the arrival of two rare and valuable citrus labels to the museum’s permanent collection.

On July 20th, and within twenty minutes of each other, Walter Borden Hawkins and Jeri Lynn Fitzgerald walked into the Indian River Citrus Museum and presented Heather with the unique and colorful citrus labels. The labels are from the Walter Hawkins Company in Jacksonville and the Haffield Fruit Company in Vero Beach, and they both proudly proclaim “Indian River Fruit.”

During the first half of the 20th century, citrus was shipped in wooden crates with labels affixed at the ends. These labels were the advertising of the individual companies and have become collectible art forms. The early ones depict the flora, fauna, and indigenes of “old Florida” as well as the emergence of tourism with scantily clad bathers aptly named “Flo.”

With the arrival of cardboard mid-century, the wooden crates and their colorful labels fell out of use, and the old wooden crate labels are now highly prized. Thanks to a grant from the Indian River County Tourist Development Council, the Heritage Center and Museum has expanded and improved its authentic citrus label collection that focuses exclusively on Indian River District labels. The collection is a must-see for locals and visitors!

In addition to its growing permanent label collection, the museum offers a selection of original crate labels for sale at a reasonable cost.

The Heritage Center and Citrus Museum is always interested in adding to our label collection; if you have any authentic Indian River District labels that you’d like to be part of our collection, Heather would love to talk with you! She can be reached at 772.770.2263 She can be reached at 772.770.2263 or hstapleton@veroheritage.org