By Robert A. Fisk
There was no dearth of entertainment in St. Cloud in the 1920s as one can see in the November 15, 1923 Cloud Tribune; “WATCH OUT FOR POLLY TICK!
“People of St. Cloud are warned to be on the lookout for two notorious characters that are heralded to arrive in St. Cloud on Tuesday, November 27, known the world over as Mrs. and Mr. Polly Tick.
Just what these folks expect to do here is untold, but the Daughters of Veterans have arranged to capture them and together with the band of hangers-on (that’s what politicians side partners are called) and to stage them at the G.A.R. Hall for the benefit and amusement of the general public.
It is said that the noted Mrs. Polly Tick can outtalk the famous W. J. and out polltick Tammany Hall, Thursday what the folks of St. Cloud can find out if they go to the G.A.R. Hall to meet these folks on November 27.” Sounds like fun!
And, in that same issue: “COUNTY FAIR HERE AT THE LIBRARY SATURDAY.
“The Ladies Improvement Club have a big time in store for the people of St. Cloud for next Saturday afternoon and evening when the Big County Fair will be held at the library grounds on Massachusetts Avenue.
Many weird things will be seen and good music will be provided. In the evening lunch will be served and a general good time is promised for that afternoon and evening. See their announcement on page five of this issue.”
In the November 22nd issue we find out about the fair: “COUNTY FAIR’ AT LIBRARY SATURDAY DRAWS BIG CROWD, NETS GOOD SUM TO CLUB.
“The ‘County fair’ entertainment given by the Ladies Improvement Club at the Veterans Memorial Library last Saturday drew a large crowd throughout the afternoon and evening and netted a goodly sum to the club, for the benefit of the library.
About three o’clock in the afternoon the fife and drum corps of the G.A.R. began a program of musical numbers that attracted the buying public then down town to the library building where it was found that booths of various kinds had been prepared with useful articles for sale and many little side attractions proved financially profitable to the club for the occasion.
There was ex-mayor S. W. Porter, serving hot dogs and ladies next him with hot coffee, then there were new fangled waffles served hot and crisp at a trifle cost, and candies, needle work, fruits and tea was to be had at other places. All the afternoon and evening and the gypsies kept one busy visiting the fortune telling booths, where for a small sum your past, future and the infinitesimal expectancy could be revealed in a truthful manner either by reading your palm, by cards by the tea cup route.
In the evening the library was filled to overflowing for the midget wedding, which was followed by a radio concert through the courtesy of Messrs. J. C. Gallatin with some new equipment and part of the Eiselstein family radio outfit, and musical numbers were enjoyed by those who remained late enough for the static interference to be overcome from station KDKA Pittsburg, and from the Atlanta Journal station and the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Loud applause was given to various numbers rendered after the instruments had been tuned in properly and during the concert, announcement was made from Pittsburgh that a telegram from St. Cloud had been received telling that the radio concert was being received here in good shape.”
Needless to say that the County Fair delighted the thousands of St. Cloud people and visitors that have already arrived for the winter that the final count proved the entertainment to be profitable to the committees on Library funds, as well as the pleasing to the crowds that attended the affair.
A full report will probably be made from the next meeting of the Woman’s Improvement Club.”
Radio in the 1920s was a far cry from what we now have, but it was in its infancy. I can remember walking down the street in the evening and never missing a word of Amos and Andy because everyone had it on the radio and the windows wide open to admit cooling breeze. Now if we do not use air conditioning we might be able to hear a program on TV.
Moving on to November 23, 1923 in the “WOULD BUILD NEW ROAD TO ORANGE COUNTY LINE.
“(By S. J. Triplett). Narcoossee, Fla. Nov. 22, – A progressive step was taken by the Board of Trade at the meeting held Friday night, November 19, when a motion prevailed to appoint a committee to draft a petition for signatures of free-holders, asking that an election be held in this commissioners district to issue bonds in sufficient amount to construct a hard-surface road from Narcoossee to the Orange county line, also to clay certain roads in this section leading from this proposed hard road to the orange groves a short distance east and northeast of this town.
The calling of this election, of course, is predicated upon Orange county guaranteeing to build a hard road, from Orlando or some point south on the Dixie Highway to meet our road at the Osceola county line. The committee from this Board of Trade will work in conjunction with a like committee from the board of trade of St. Cloud, which city is in this district and which will benefit equally with Narcoossee from the building of this road. This road will shorten the distance considerably between Orlando and the east coast by the Melbourne route and would result in thousands of cars passing over it on account of the saving of time, wear of car and gasoline, to say nothing of the fact that it will traverse as fine a section as can be found, the soil for miles each side of the proposed route being peculiarly adapted to the growing of citrus fruit and any character of field crop or vegetable, as well as running for several miles along the shore of one of the largest and most picturesque lakes in Florida.
It is understood that the commissioners of Orange county have long desired that the people of this district build this short link, which is only two and a half miles, as they would then have an outlet from the road that they would build from Orlando or some point south running through a section of Orange county that is subject to the highest state of development.
When this road is completed, and it surely will be, for there is no one in this district yet found to oppose it. Narcoossee will come into its rightful own and develop into one of the principal cities of inland Florida, for it is blessed by nature with every advantage in the way of perfect health conditions, as good soil as can be found in the state and a climate unsurpassed, being practically immune from frost, because of its location on the east shore of a body of water nine miles in length and seven miles wide. For years Narcoossee has stood still, its name seldom appearing in print, but the people here have awakened to new life, and intend to exert their full force to letting the world know that opportunities, advantages and possibilities are here for the home seeker, the investor and the tourist in greater abundance than can be found at any other place in this wonderful state. Especially is this true as regards health conditions for a physician is seldom called here although we have a population of several hundred, and death is such a rarity that few people know the location of the graveyard.
The committee in charge of this road matter will push the work, and there is no doubt but that in less than a year Narcoossee will have an outlet to the north, over a hard road as it now has to the east and south.”
Boy! Narcoossee did not give up the fight to grown back then – too bad it did not accomplish the growth.
In the November 15th issue of the St. Cloud Tribune you fishermen might get a kick out of; “SOME FISHERMEN – LOCAL SPORTS – BRING BACK OVER 100 GOOD ONES.
“Tuesday of last week A. L. Barber, Jack Calkins and Henry Arbor hied themselves to a spot east of St. Cloud with ordinary fishing poles and lines and returned in the evening with 120 bass and trout that weighted from one pound to four pounds each. They had a picture made of the catch and promised to let the Tribune have a copy for publication
“This catch was made during a few hours of fishing with live bait, the minnows being caught in the ditches near where they made the good catch. They have not had any one to produce a larger catch this season, and set this as a record that they wait to see beaten during the season.
Monday morning Jack Calkins and Percy Tyndall went out for a try again at fishing and came home in the afternoon with a large number of bass, but they did not beat the record made by the trio first related.
In the November 29th issue we find the big news: “GALA DAY WILL MARK OPENING OF NEW TOURIST CLUB IN CITY PARK MONDAY.
NOTICE – BUSINESS MEN
Owing to the Grand Opening of the Tourists Club House Monday. It is earnestly requested that all places of business in the city close at 1:00 P.M. and remain closed for the balance of the day.
- M. PARKER, Mayor
“Work has progressed so far to date that committees in charge of the building of the tourist club in the city park will be so near completed by next Monday that a gala day celebration will be held at that time.
People of St. Cloud have responded nobly to the appeals for donation of time or money and the work on the building has gone forward so rapidly that today the roof is being completed and the flooring laid, and the plans for a gala day opening will be carried out next Monday.
All of St. Cloud and the thousands of tourists within our gates are invited to be present at the formal opening of the tourist club in the city park next Monday afternoon, after many weeks of hard work by the several local committees who have been endeavoring to have the new park equipment ready for this season.
Ready responses from hundreds of persons who have given their personal labor and others their cash, have enabled the committees to proceed so rapidly that Monday will see the big auditorium ready for the formal opening. Only a hurry-up program could be gotten together by the committee, but a good time is assured all who come out on that occasion. Here is the proposed program: “PROGRAM FOR TOURIST CLUB HOUSE OPENING.
“All stores requested to close at 1 o’clock.
“Fantastic Parade starts from 11th and N. Y. Ave. at 2 o’clock.
“Program at Park.
“Music – Fife and Drum Corps.
“Song – America.
“Address of Welcome – Mayor L. M. Parker.
“Response by A. W. Hall, President of Tourist Association.
“Music by Band.
“Address by Rev. Win. Landise – representing Chamber of Commerce.
“Music by Band.”