Page 54

18676FC

and Berry. There he planted orange trees and later carved out an unpaved road, Genius Drive, which decades later would become one of Winter Park’s most cherished attractions, thanks to its profusion of peacocks. Morse then remodeled a home at the corner of Interlachen and Lincoln avenues for use as his winter residence. Osceola Lodge was transformed into a textbook example of Craftsman-style architecture and filled with custom Mission style oak furniture, walls of books and an array of rustic Indian artifacts. From this cozy and comforting setting, Morse supervised development of his properties and quietly — sometimes anonymously — supported community causes. (Osceola Lodge still stands, and is today headquarters for the Winter Park Institute, a Rollins College-affiliated organization that sponsors lectures from prominent authors, scholars and thought leaders in an array of fields.) In 1906, Morse deeded land that became Central Park to the city, but only so long as it was open to the public and not developed. He helped form the Winter Park Country Club, serving as its first president and providing the land on which the clubhouse and golf course were built. He asked the versatile Ward to design the course, along with a golf pro named Dow George. (The facilities, now owned and operated by the city, are still in use today.) He paved roads, funded a citrus packing house, gave property to churches and, in 1912, provided start-up capital for construction of a second Seminole Hotel. (The first one, where Morse had previously spent winters, burned to the ground in 1902.) The new Seminole Hotel, at the foot of Webster Avenue, was smaller than the original with 82 rooms. But it still attracted a discerning clientele. Among them: President Calvin Chicago industrialist Charles Hosmer Morse bought most of the city’s undeveloped land in 1903. Coolidge, who appears to have been characteristically silent about his Winter Park sojourn. (The hotel stood until 1970, when it was demolished and homes were built along what is today Kiwi Circle.) Morse, who retired and moved to Winter Park permanently in 1915, also donated the Interlachen Avenue site on which the Woman’s Club of Winter Park built its headquarters. He paid for construction of a city hall in 1916, and for years routinely covered operating deficits at Rollins as a member of the college’s board of trustees. Morse also personally selected who could buy lots. He refused to sell to investors, for example, explaining in no uncertain terms that he’d do the speculating in Winter Park. Only people who planned to build homes could buy lots. And, of course, the homes to be built had to be of acceptable quality. Clearly, had Morse been a less enlightened person, Winter Park would likely be a very different place today. Fortunately for future generations, however, the Vermont native was a visionary who insisted that enhancing Winter Park was far more important than profiting from it. A NEW CENTURY By the early 1900s, Winter Park’s founders were either dead or in their final years. Many of them ended up in Palm Cemetery, resting beneath ground on West Webster Avenue donated by none other than Chase, the man without whom there might not have been a Winter Park. The cemetery, which was for whites only when it opened in 1906, is notable for the fact that golfers on the adjacent municipal course must sometimes hit errant shots from around tombstones. Pineywood Cemetery had been established in 1890 for black residents. (Both are now operated by the City of Winter Park.) Newcomers were founding businesses and raising families in Winter Park. Among them were Jerry and Mary Trovillion and their 16-year-old son, Ray. They arrived in 1908 from Harrisburg, Illinois, where Jerry, a medical doctor, had operated a sanatorium. The Trovillions bought Maxon’s Drug Store, located in Ergood’s Hall, 52 LIVING IN WINTER PARK and renamed the business Trovillion’s Pharmacy. The mercantile store founded by Ergood and White, now owned by William Schultz Jr., had moved in 1900 to Park Avenue and Morse Boulevard. Jerry installed a modern soda fountain in the pharmacy and began assembling an impressive portfolio of investment property. High-spirited Ray, meanwhile, tried to acclimate himself to living in what he found to be a rather stuffy community with an absurdly rigid code of behavior. In a 1978 interview with the Winter Park Sun-Herald, the 86-year-old raconteur recalled running afoul of the law by playing horseshoes with friends near the railroad depot. “Up rides our little town marshal on his big bay horse to inform us that we were under arrest … for pitching horseshoes on Sunday,” he said. “It was rough in those days. No golf or fishing on Sundays. Another law was you couldn’t buy gasoline or kerosene after dark.” In 1912, brothers B.A. and Carl Galloway were awarded a franchise for the Winter Park Telephone Exchange. In 1913, phone rates were $1 per month and there were a total of 35 operating telephones in Winter Park and Maitland. The First Baptist Church of Winter Park was founded in 1913, and a new railroad depot opened along the west side of the tracks facing Morse Boulevard. In 1915, the fire department bought a fire wagon pulled by a single horse. The horse lost its job the following year, replaced by a motorized vehicle. The Woman’s Club was organized in 1915, and the building that the club still uses was completed in 1920. The redbrick Winter Park Graded School, later known as Park Avenue Elementary School, opened in 1916 at the southeast corner of Park Avenue South and Lyman Avenue. Initially the school served 150 students in 11 grades. Until it was expanded, 12th-graders attended classes at the Rollins Academy. The building was bought by Rollins in 1961 and used for the college’s continuing education programs until 1988, when it was razed despite emotional appeals from former students and local history buffs. Today, the 400 block of Park Avenue encompasses a Mediterranean-style office and retail complex developed by the college. A plaque is the only indication that a school ever stood on the site. By the early 1900s, the citrus industry was finally recovering from the catastrophic freezes of the 1890s. Just as growers were regaining their footing, one Winter Park rookie found himself in possession of a history-making tree that produced a different sort of fruit and attracted worldwide notice. In 1910, while New Yorkers John and Mary Hakes were vacationing in Winter Park, John became fascinated with the area’s citrus groves and resolved, to his wife’s chagrin, to invest in a 17-acre tract of orange and grapefruit trees just off Palmer Avenue. Their son, Louis, and his wife, Ethel, later relocated from New York to Winter Park to manage the business. Although neither had any experience growing citrus — Louis had worked in a real estate office and Ethel had been a schoolteacher — the couple made the grove a success. In 1915, Louis noticed that one particular tree produced a different sort of fruit, its color more deep, its pulp more tender and its flavor more exotic. He took one of the curious, sunset-colored orbs to William Chase Temple, a onetime Pittsburgh steel magnate who was now a Winter Park citrus grower and president of the Florida Citrus Exchange. Temple, recognizing that the fruit was unique and potentially valuable, advised Louis to send a box to D.C. Gillett, owner of the Buckeye Nursery in Tampa and, in Temple’s opinion, the best citrusman in the business. Gillett examined the fruit and concluded that it was likely a hybrid of an orange and a tangerine. He also recognized its commercial value and rushed to Winter Park, where he made a deal with the Hakes family to secure exclusive rights to all of the budwood from the parent tree. His nursery would DIGITAL ART BY CHIP WESTON


18676FC
To see the actual publication please follow the link above