Written by Administrator   
Friday, 05 March 2010 17:38

By Robert A. Fisk, Official Historian




Well! Let’s start this article with a brief educational theme, particularly for our younger drivers , as we can see in the August 27, 1925 issue of the St. Cloud Tribune.  With the advent of the automobile in 1908 there was suddenly a need to pass on information to other auto drivers, and at that time, no one had invented the electric turn indicators, and of course, auto air conditioning had not been developed so that windows were usually not closed or the car was a "rag top".  The driver therefore had to give some type of signal to the other autos that he was turning right or left. So take notice to the following:




     This column has mentioned before about the much-written and talked about “Florida Boom of the 1920s.”  We have mentioned the sub-division on the north side of the Dixie Highway (East Tenth Street) about 2 miles east of town, where Ashton Place and Ashton Oaks are today, called Ashton Court, that didn't make it.


Now we can read about another in the September 2, 1925 Tribune:  "SUNSET BEACH AT NARCOOSSEE BEING SOLD BY INTER-OCEAN INVESTMENT CO. ST. CLOUD”

  "Sunset Beach, composed of the most choice setting of Narcoossee, is being offered for sale by the Inter-Ocean Investment Co. of which Frank Patterson and Dr. Henry are owners. This new urban sub-division is located at Narcoossee, running west from the Hill Store to East Lake Tohopekaliga, and has in its plans a hard road from the Hill Store to the lakefront and a boulevard from Narcoossee south along the front of the sub-division.


"There are [a] full ten blocks laid off in this Sunset Beach, which give all of the lots offered a frontage on either the paved road or on the lakefront.  Reservations for lots in this section have already been made to many people, and this new sub-division will probably be on the market in but a few days."


There is a hard road, Jones Road, running from the Narcoossee Road west to the lakefront, but the boulevard road around the lake to St. Cloud never materialized.  There is another road south of the Jones Road, Oak Shore Estate Road and another road further south, the Sunset Road to the Sunset Ranch Estate, but that is all since the Sunset Beach project did not happen.


            The article continued with: "Orange Court is another sub-division that the Patterson’s have mapped out for sale to the home seekers in St. Cloud and embraces an orange grove of ten and a half acres just east of the city limits which are being sold off in city lots. There are only 60 lots in this plat and they will be sold within a short time."  This sub-division did not do much.


And more: "Edgewater Park, laid off by Dr. G. F. Henry on his recent purchase of lands from J. J. Johnston is on the east side of Lake Runnymede and includes some city park sites for city schools and churches and two or three business blocks just north of Ashton. This sub-division is also handled by the Inter-Ocean Investment Co. under the management of the Pattersons."  This sub-division did not take off either.


In the last issue we mentioned about the yacht and "kicker" races on the lake. The October 3, 1925 issue of the Tribune reported:  "WINNERS ANNOUNCED IN LOCAL YACHT RACES”

  "On last Thursday as witnessed at East Lake Club House the last of the first series of yacht races for this season.  At last water sports are having a taste of what is soon to be a real attraction in the way of water entertainment.


When the finish came, boat No. 7, owned by St. Cloud Real Estate and Investment Co. piloted by Messrs. Shine and Bart, won the race with a score of five points; this same boat also won the largest number for the entire series, 23 points in all. The presentation of the cup will be at a later date.


The next big race will be on Armistice Day, November 11th, and when all arrangements are completed, will be one of the most enjoyable of the season and to this all are invited."


Now let’s return to the “Boom” in the October 8, 1925 Tribune:  "LAGO VISTA DEVELOPMENT TO BE NEW VENICE OF FLORIDA”

  "Arrangements made by C. A. Blair and Company, Incorporated, of Kissimmee and Chicago, that two new dredges are on the way to complete the plans of the great development work undertaken at Lago Vista, midway between St. Cloud and Kissimmee indicates that this new city will be the 'Venice' of Central Florida.


Lago Vista has a lake frontage of some six miles and nearly twenty miles frontage on canals and lagoons to be provided in the wonderful development work now underway, many miles of streets are to be paved at once and Poinsettia Drive and San Remo Boulevard will be the widest driveway yet provided in the county of Osceola.


Twenty new homes have been contracted for and plans along the Spanish style of architecture are being made at the offices of the architects for the company in Kissimmee actual construction of which will be started at an early date.


Archways, in the boulevard entrances along the Dixie Highway, at the present time will be for a time to come mark the entrance to Central Florida's finest lake and highway frontage development.


A large force of men and much machinery is in use grading the streets and providing for the laying of sidewalks in Lago Vista, and nine branch offices are being opened at various points in the state, from which daily bus trips will be made to the properties of the Blair Company at Lago Vista and Toliga Manor.


Plans call for serving noon lunch on the property each day for those taking advantage of the free bus .trips to the properties, and for this purpose large tents finished in Lago Vista colors orange and blue have been purchased and will be erected on the grounds within the next 10 days....


...Advance reservations of lakefront lots and building sites are being made every day and long before the company completes their program of development it is believed the place will be sold out on reservations.


The ideal location of Lago Vista, facing six miles on the lake and four miles on the St. Cloud-Melbourne hard road give to Lago Vista the best possible offerings for home sites and for building a new city between St. Cloud and Kissimmee, either water, auto or train service at the command of the new home seekers, no better location can be found...


...Portals 16 X 16 feet high are being erected at the entrances to Lago Vista, which faces on the Dixie Highway know as the St. Cloud-Melbourne Road between Tampa and Melbourne, just about 2 miles west of St. Cloud. These portals mark the entrance to San Remo Boulevard and Poinsettia Drive where grading is under way for the two width paved driveways as good as in any community in Osceola Co..."


            I assume that the readers have noticed the flowery language used in the write-ups on these properties and I hope that the realities of the "Florida Boom Times" are known to most people, or they have some knowledge of them.  None of these developments that are related here ever became reality. The land of Lago Vista went from the canal, west of St. Cloud, to West Lake Tohopekaliga and I think Henry Partin wound up with most of it.  I assume that some of the homes in the sub-division still exist and, of course, Kings Crest and Cane Break developments now exist in that area and the lake developments on Kings Highway are in that area.  The reader will also notice that Osceola County got its way on the Dixie Highway from Kissimmee to Melbourne through St. Cloud.


Backing up a bit to the September 24, 1925 issue of the Tribune:  "ST. CLOUD TO HAVE ANOTHER APARTMENT HOTEL IN THE NEAR FUTURE”

  "Sure gratifying the way our businessmen are waking up to the situation brought on by our boom that has only recently begun in our city.  The announcement at the last meeting of the Realtors Board was made by G. C. Hunter that V. Clyde Edwards is to build a 2- or 3-story building on the corner of the Dixie Highway and New York Avenue consisting of three business rooms on the Dixie Highway side and one on New York Avenue for the accommodation of the increasing demand for business rooms for rent, and for the still greater need for hotel and modern apartments.  One of these three rooms will be the new home of Edwards Pharmacy, which is now located opposite the post office and although there have been many calls for leases on other rooms it has not be determined who will be the fortunate ones. There is not a location in the city that is more in the center of things or artistic buildings built of brick and stucco on this location it will speak volumes to the tourists that pass by."


            The proposed building, as it was stated, would have been built on the northeast corner of New York Avenue and Tenth Street, did not get built and is now the police sub-station.


Another item in the October 8, 1925 St. Cloud Tribune was interesting:  "PENN HOTEL TO BE ENLARGED AND REMODELED BY NEW OWNERS”

  "On Friday Misses Ryan and Roberts, architects of Orlando, were in St. Cloud with preliminary plans for the new edition and the remodeling on the Conn building on Tenth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, recently purchased by Palm Beach men. That the new owners see the need of much added hotel capacity in St. Cloud is evidenced by the fact that he is to have a three story addition built at the rear of the two large buildings, each room to have bath and hot and cold water.


The room now occupied by the Chamber of Commerce is to be vacated and in the remodeling plans the present buildings are to allow ten feet to the width of Tenth Street. It is the purpose of the new owners to make an entrance on the alley to the room now occupied by the Chamber of Commerce on which will be one of the best equipped restaurants south of Jacksonville. Between the two buildings now facing Tenth Street, will be located two small offices, a tea room, and stair ways leading into both buildings; in the center will be a beautiful fountain and flowers. The plans (unreadable) plans include stuccoing and making the entire building into a modern Spanish type."


The Pennsylvania Hotel was in the building that is now the St. Cloud Twin Theater across from the former News-Gazette and, as one can notice, the plans did not happen to either building.  The Misses Ryan a   and Roberts were the architects for many buildings in St. Cloud.   # # # #

Last Updated on Friday, 05 March 2010 17:40
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