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Tn pres-ntillg you with the information found in this booklet,
which you will find most valuable should you anticipate investing
in Florida, ve desire to introduce ourselves as not being "land
boomers," "land speculators," "commission merchants," nor "hot-
air balloons," but are merely the representatives of the estate
of William Astor, selling the lands of this estate in Florida;
being so far remote from the home office in New York, Mr. Astor
is unable to give his personal attention to same, and has there-
fore, decided to sell the property and invest the proceeds in New
York, where the investment will be under his personal control,
and this is your opportunity to secure a home and farm in
Florida at an exceedingly low price.
The information contained herein are facts as to the true con-
ditions as they exist in Florida, given by men whose reputation
will bear investigation, and who have lived in Florida for twenty-
eight years and know and will give the information desired. We
beg you to read this booklet, get and obtain the information, and
then make a thorough investigation and see what you are buying
before you invest your money or select a home to spend all or
a greater portion of the remainder of your life.
General Superintendent, Superintendent on Ground,
W. W. HURT, J. P. DOSS,
MARION, VA. ASTOR, FLA.
It IrI S1 B
STEAMER CITY OF JACKSONVILLE, ON ST. JOHNS RIVER, EN ROUTE TO ASTOR.
In Ipm I-Wt-- u III&tu I~l~*
00: FLORIDA :::
N Spanish, Florida means "Land of Flowers," which in all
probability was applicable to the spot discovered at the
season when Florida was given its name, but this does not
apply to the whole State, and you must not be disappointed in
seeing vast areas of sand-hills, scrub, brush and pine growing
on a vast amount of worthless land. Much of this class of land
is being sold at fabulous prices to strangers who are not familiar
with the country, and is absolutely worthless for the purpose for
which it is purchased (causing failure and disaster to the pur-
chasers). Nevertheless, Florida contains in spots valuable agri-
cultural lands, and some of these spots have many advantages
into which you should look carefully.
Being the most southerly state of this glorious Republic, it
grows the earliest fruits and vegetables which go to supply the
Northern markets, and one of the strongest inducements to set-
tlers to locate in this State is the diversity of its products; being
a leader in early fruits and vegetables of standard market crops,
and also produces many fruits not grown in other States.
In topography the lands are nowhere very much elevated above
sea level, but are sufficiently rolling to require but little artificial
draining, and that only in the lowest portions.
The valuable soils may be classed as hummock, pine land, high
and flat woods, prairie and muck or reclaimed lands, most of
which is a sandy loam underlaid with clay and hardpan. In
acreage the pine lands are largely in excess of any other type.
All these types of land are easily cultivated and very responsive
to intelligent cultivation.
The growth on the hummock lands is palm and hard wood-
i. e., oak, hickory, maple, ash, etc.-and these lands are very
rich, being adapted to the growth of all vegetables and farm
crops, and when well drained make fine lands for some fruits,
especially oranges. They are higher in price, as a rule, than pine
lands, and cost more to clear and improve, but even at the
advanced cost, are preferred by many to the other lands. The
best hummocks will easily produce sixty bushels of corn per acre.
STORE, OFFICE BUILDING AND STEAMBOAT LANDING AT ASTOR
Pine lands are the choice of a majority of our settlers, not only
on account of price, and small cost of clearing, but because they
find by proper handling these lands are very productive, and yield
good crops of all kinds. For growing peaches, pears, plums, etc.,
this high, rolling land is chosen. Oranges, grapefruit, etc., do
well on either high or flat woodlands, the only requisite being that
these lands are not underlaid with hardpan.
For growing vegetables and strawberries, the low or flat wood
lands are best. They are of a closer packing soil and hold moist-
ure better, not so susceptible to drought, and crops can always
be protected against any excess of rainfall by drainage. The
underlay of hardpan is not objectionable for such crops, but
rather desirable, making irrigation easier and holds fertility.
Some of the finest celery and garden land in the State is so
In prices, true hummock lands vary from twenty-five dollars
per acre upward, according to the quality and location; cost of
clearing depends upon the growth covering. Pine lands can be
purchased, unimproved, from ten dollars per acre upwards, and
the cost of clearing from ten to twenty dollars per acre.
Money crops in Florida in vegetables are potatoes, tomatoes,
celery, cucumbers, lettuce, beans, cabbage, pepper, egg-plant
and beets, and they rank about in value in the order named.
Almost any variety of vegetables grown in any other State can
be grown in Florida.
Watermelons and cantaloupes form a leading crop in many
parts of the State; hundreds of cars are shipped annually, bring-
ing to the grower large returns.
Florida oranges and grapefruit are so well known to the whole
of the United States, as without rivals, it seems almost superflu-
ous to more than mention them. These fruits are a source of
great wealth to the owners of groves, and the greatest resource
of the State.
The counties of Lake, Lee, DeSoto, Hillsboro, Hernando, Osce-
ola, Orange, Citrus, Alachua, Marion, Manatee, Pasco and Volusia
are the principal orange and grapefruit counties.
Strawberries in Florida are of good quality, easily grown and
bring the grower a handsome revenue.
VIEW OF ASTOR, LOOKING NORTH FROM ST. JOHNS RIVER. ASTOR YACHT CLUBHOUSE IN THE FOREGROUND.
Pineapples are not grown in large quantities in the territory
above mentioned, but enough of the fancy varieties are grown
for home use.
Many peach orchards have been planted in the past three years,
and the peach industry promises to be one of considerable im-
portance. The type of peaches grown in Florida are seedlings
from the Peen To, imported from China, and the Honey, imported
from Japan. The earliest ripening is from April 25th to May
5th; this in South Florida. The fruit is of high class, and a
delicious table peach.
Plums of the Japanese strains reach high perfection here, and
wild varieties abound everywhere. The wild stock furnishes the
best for budding or grafting.
Of pears, the LeConte and Kieffer varieties are grown success-
fully all over the State.
Other fruit, such as Japan persimmons, figs, guavas, mangoes,
Avocado pears, grapes, etc., are not grown for market to any
extent, but for home use.
Pecans, the finest grown, are being largely planted, and
wherever the hickory will flourish, so will the pecan. A pecan
orchard, once in bearing, as a money maker is something to be
In addition to all the different crops of fruits and vegetables
grown for shipping, every good farmer can and should be self-
supporting. With sweet potatoes, sugar-cane, and other field
and forage crops, he can always be assured of a living at home
for his family and stock. In the central and northern parts of
the State, general farming and stock-raising is the principal
industry. Long-staple, or sea-island, cotton, as well as short-
staple cotton, is largely grown. For the benefit of farmers and
truckers, good hard roads are being built all over the State,
making the cost of transporting their products to the shipping
point the minimum.
For climatic conditions, health, quick returns from his labor,
cheap and fertile lands, social and school privileges, it is to the
interest of every home-seeker to investigate the opportunities
offered in Florida.
SHOWING SHELLED STREETS IN THE TOWN OF ASTOR, AND THE BEAUTY OF THE SHADE TREES.
::: MANHATTAN :::
FORMERLY a Spanish grant in the name of M. E. Levy,
now the property of the estate of William Astor, located
on the west bank of the St. Johns River, in Lake County,
Florida, 140 miles south of Jacksonville, between Lake
George and Lake Dexter, containing 14,000 acres, is centrally
located in the valuable fruit and agricultural lands of the State.
The Spaniards in their day were the leading people of the world,
and were foremost in their undertakings. By referring to the
map of Florida you will note that in dividing the State into
counties, sections, and townships, the old Spanish grants were
observed and held intact; and further, if you will closely observe
the government map you will find that a majority of these grants
are located along the St. Johns River in the northern portion of
Lake County. After carefully looking over the State these people,
who first discovered Florida, selected this land as being the most
valuable for agricultural purposes, entered and settled on same
accordingly, which is conclusive evidence of its superior location
Mr. William Astor, twenty-five years ago, while pleasure seek-
ing in Florida during the winter months, recognized the value
of this property and purchased the same as a valuable asset to
his large holdings. Few of us will undertake to dispute or gain-
say Mr. Astor's judgment as to the value of real estate.
Lake County, in which this grant is situated, takes its name
from the 1,100 lakes which dot its surface, and it's these lakes
which give the county one of the most equable climates to be
found anywhere in the State, tempering the colder winds in the
winter and modifying the warmer breezes in the summer. Other
advantages favorable to Manhattan are its location with refer-
ence to Lake George, one of the second largest lakes in the State,
covering an area of 216 square miles; just south of Lake George
a. large government forest reserve, and on the east the Atlantic
Ocean. All northern breezes must come over Lake George and
St. Johns River, and are greatly tempered by the waters of this
large lake and river; on the west and northwest is the large
government forest reserve, which, too, has its warming and cool-
ing effects upon the atmosphere, and being only about thirty
miles west of the Atlantic Ocean, its climate is largely affected
by that source.
SHOWING ROADS AS BUILT ON THE MANHATTAN GRANT.
e~ Sgsi~g a' "
First of all, in buying lands for home or investment, the health
conditions should be considered.
There is sufficient frost during the winter to kill and subdue a
large amount of the insects and pests of man and beast, as well
as vegetation; also purifying the air and waters, and thereby
reducing to a minimum the swarm of mosquitoes and malarial
fevers. There are but few mosquitoes in this locality, compara-
tively speaking, or as compared with other southern portions of
the State,.and malarial fever only exists where people willfully
take no precautions-use water from the rivers, small lakes and
ponds, which is not necessary where creeks, branches, springs and
artesian wells flow and are easily accessible. We assert there is
no place in Florida Peninsula more healthful than this locality,
and the health conditions of Florida far surpass other Southern
The valuable soil of Manhattan consists of from one to two
thousand acres of hummock lands; three to four thousand acres
of low pine lands, and about two thousand acres of high pine
lands. A greater portion of the pine lands is underlaid with clay
and hardpan. The soil is a rich, sandy loam, with immense de-
posits of snell and muck on the property.
The Manhattan hummock lands are well elevated above the
river. By referring to the map you will note they have natural
branches and creeks running through them which give them
natural drainage. These lands are covered with a heavy growth
of hardwood and palmetto trees, also magnolias, wild oranges and
other tropical evergreen trees, showing beyond a question the
richness of the soil. For centuries the foliage and vegetation has
been decaying, making the soil black with moulded and decayed
Larids known as pine lands consist of a heavy growth of pine
timber, which has been removed from the Manhattan grant in
most instances, but evidence of the heavy growth still remains,
as indicated by the large pine stumps showing the size of the
trees. The surface of the land is covered with a heavy growth of
grasses, which has the appearance of a prairie where the timber
is removed. The color of the soil and the natural growths are
evidences of its productiveness. You will also note that these
lands have a natural drainage, but are not high enough in eleva-
tion to cause them to wash or leach out the plant foods contained
in the soil.
CELERY BOARDED UNDER PROCESS OF BLEACHING. Near Astor Park. Orange tree to the right. Manhattan.
Oranges, grapefruit, crumquats, and all other citrus fruits,
peaches, pears, strawberries, etc., are now being successfully
grown on this property. Seven orange groves are now on the
property, producing a large amount of fruit, which commands the
best market price. The hummock lands being the home of the
wild orange, where nature has provided the necessary protec-
tion from sun, winds and insects, by surrounding growths and
natural fungus therein (which is the enemy to all scale), why
should any one undertake to produce oranges on the sand-hills
and be himself the only protector against every condition? It
can be accomplished, but why, when we can grow them in their
natural home where they require so little care and fertilizer?
There is no comparison between the value of the hummock-grown
oranges and those produced on high pine land. When properly
protected, frost is an advantage to successful orange growing
(although we all understand that orange trees are damaged and
even killed by hard freezes). Thus, coupled with soil conditions
and where the wild oranges flourish, we do not believe you can
obtain better land for the growth of oranges in the State. An
examination of the groves we have will convince you of the merits
of this property, climate and location.
We have under cultivation in vegetables on the Manhattan
grant between thirty and forty acres of land, growing celery,
lettuce, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, peas, beets, beans,
sweet potatoes, melons, etc. The cuts shown in this Booklet
are actual photographs of some of these gardens. The Astor
celery is known throughout the local markets of the State to be
as good as the best, if not superior to that grown in other sec-
tions of the State, proving conclusively the value of the soil and
climatic conditions. Other vegetables and crops can be grown
as successfully here as in any other section of the State, such
as hay, corn, pepper, beans, cucumbers, squash, melons, sugar-
cane, parsnips, peanuts, oats, etc.
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A GARDEN ON THE MANHATTAN GRANT, GROWING LETTUCE, ONIONS, STRAWBERRIES, CELERY, BEETS, CABBAGE, ETC.
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VALUE OF CROPS RAISED
Many are making inquiry as to the value of crops raised, and
many tabulated lists of fruits, vegetables and melons have been
made showing costs, market price and net returns, but as most
of the vegetables grown are perishable and not staple products,
and as the prices vary so widely from year to year, depending on
supply, demand, and weather conditions, and as the vegetables
that produce from five hundred to fifteen hundred dollars this
season are often a failure the next, we prefer that the purchaser
of garden and farm lands make inquiry from those in the busi-
ness as to costs and returns on the various crops.
We will venture to say, however, the price received some years
for some vegetables is so great as to be almost unbelievable. A
variety of vegetables makes the producer sure of success, as a
failure in one or two would not badly cripple him.
ORANGES AND GRAPEFRUIT: While many other products give
more immediate results from the financial standpoint, the orange
still wields the scepter as queen of fruits.
The superior quality of Florida's citrus fruits are too widely
known to require extended discussion. Suffice it to say that the
soil and the climate of the State are peculiarly adapted to their
profitable culture. Though it requires time to bring a new grove
into bearing, the results are sufficiently satisfying. Profiting by
past experiences, the danger of losing groves by freezes has been
greatly reduced, and by the new process of grafting and caring
for groves, even if frozen out, can be brought back into bearing in
three years, making it impossible to again realize the fate that
once spread over Florida by the great freeze of 1895-6.
When the cost of living commenced to rise several years ago
and transportation companies were unable to haul the traffic,
wise men of our country said our only salvation was the inland
waterways, which would not only give proper facilities, but would
also enable the producers of commodities to market their pro-
ducts and receive their supplies at a nominal charge.
ASTOR GROVE ON HUMMOCK LANDS IN BLOSSOM.
Note foliage and thrift of trees.
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We have five miles of river frontage on the St. Johns River,
with two steamer landings, with daily boats during the shipping
season to and from Jacksonville, from which latter point the
world is accessible. In five days' time fruit and vegetables
shipped from Astor can be delivered by boat to Baltimore, Phila-
delphia, and New York, and our supplies received from those
points in the same length of time, and in most instances at a
cost of just half the rate paid by farmers not located on the
The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad runs direct from Astor
through the property, connecting with its through lines to all
northern and northwestern points. This railroad runs special
trains to haul fruits and vegetables from the State of Florida to
north and northwestern points, giving us at Astor the same rate
of transportation as is given by the boat line. This is not only a
great saving in the shipment of products, but your supplies the
year round, and the cost of living is greatly reduced thereby.
By reason of being located in a region which is blest with low
transportation charges, good soil and abundance of fish and
game, it lessens the cost of living and solves to a great extent
the problem now confronting the American people, and enables
you to employ labor of all kinds at a very much reduced price
as compared with other points not having these advantages;
and this should be your second consideration, after first looking
into the healthfulness of the locality in which you wish to settle.
Owing to the healthful location, Manhattan proves to be an
excellent place for poultry raising; fully demonstrated by sev-
eral parties who are now in that business at Astor. During the
cold months of December and January, when the poultry business
of the North is frozen out, a large crop of eggs is being
gathered in Florida, and the people at Astor receive 30 to 40
cents per dozen at their doors for all the eggs they can supply.
The value of poultry is in the production of eggs and early
broilers, and nowhere in the United States can they be more
successfully produced than in Florida.
SPRING CREEK ENTERING ST. JOHNS RIVER, NEAR ASTOR. Twilight scene. Fishing water and a dream of beauty.
SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES
We have two public schools, one at Astor and one at Astor
Park; have one. church at Astor Park and have church services
at Astor and Astor Park twice each month by visiting Metho-
dist and Presbyterian ministers. As the population increases,
the school and church advantages will be increased accordingly.
FISHING AND HUNTING
With two large lakes on each side of us connected by the St.
Johns River, and five inland lakes to the south of us, makes this
one of the most superior fishing points on the St. Johns River,
and no one can dispute the value of fish and the fish industry in
In addition to the above, there are large quantities of duck,
quail and deer, all of which has made this part of the State
renowned for its fish and game, and the party who desires out-
of-door sports in connection with his winter home can not do
better than to locate on the Manhattan grant. It not only
furnishes a large supply of food for the table, but it makes life
worth living (the writer being one of those fellows who likes it
and knows whereof he speaks).
St. Johns River is the backbone of waterways in Florida, and
with a good launch a greater part of the State is accessible;
therefore, Astor is unsurpassed as a location for the lovers of
The real sport in catching fish is with hook, line and rod, with
a real game fish that is awake and alive on the hook. There are
many game fish worthy of consideration, but every fisherman
knows, after all things considered, that the wide-mouth black
bass, which grows to weigh from 8 to 15 pounds in the fresh-
water streams of our Southland, outclass all other game fish and
furnish more sport than most all other varieties found in
Southern streams and lakes.
The river at Astor has an actual current which develops the
fish's muscular power, and, with a good food supply, the bass are
nearly twice the weight of the same length as those found in
lakes; double as strong, fighting three times as hard, giving the
fisherman a thrill not generally experienced with those caught in
the still waters of the lakes, where the food supply is limited.
We have just remodeled the old "Arron House" and renamed
it "The Manhattan," spending $6,000 on its improvement and
equipment, and have it now fitted up with baths, hot and cold
water, comfortable and convenient, and will be in position to
accommodate fifteen to twenty guests. Rates reasonable.
We caught these and others in St. Johns River, near Astor, and we put no fish-tale
up to you to impair
We have established telegraph and telephone communications,
via Eustis, Florida, to all points. Have a good post-office at
Astor, and have arranged to build hard roads from Astor to
Umatilla, Florida, and already have good roads from there to
Eustis, Tavares, Orlando, and other points, which will give an
ideal auto outing or ride, spending the day at either of these
towns and returning the same day to Astor via auto.
ARTESIAN, OR FLOWING, WELLS
On the hummock and low pine lands, flowing, or artesian,
wells can be had at a depth of from 75 to 250 feet, giving a
strong flow of water for irrigation and other purposes. These
wells can be put down at an average cost of about $50.00 each
by a contractor on the ground. These wells are characteristic
along the St. Johns River, being indispensable in raising celery
and other vegetables; in fact, a majority of experienced truck-
raisers prefer to have these wells ready for irrigation as a safe-
guard against losing their crops by reason of dry weather. This
is one of the great advantages in farming along the St. Johns
River, and in years to come this will prove to be the only real
valuable vegetable land in Florida, is the prediction of a great
many men who are thoroughly familiar with the agricultural
conditions of the State. Therefore, you do not want to buy any-
thing until you see it. We advise you to be shown this property
and its conditions and advantages before you purchase.
PRICES AND TERMS
Prices of valuable lands in Florida are increasing very rapidly,
and we are now offering our hummock lands at $50.00 per acre:
low pine lands at $25.00 per acre, and the high pine land (which
is good, except flowing wells can not be obtained), at $20.00 per
acre; and we have other high lands which are suitable for
peaches, pears, melons, etc., we will sell at $10.00 per acre.
Therefore, it is to your interest to make a visit to this land,
and we will assist you in making a good selection. If the pur-
chaser so desires, we will accept one-third cash payment and
give one and two years on deferred payments, with interest at six
per cent until paid.
LAUNCH CRUISE ON THE BEAUTIFUL ST. JOHNS.
BEFORE SUNRISE, SHOWING MIRROR WATERS OF
ST. JOHNS RIVER.
We have spent during the last four years the sum of $20,000
in cutting ditches .to properly drain the property, drilling wells,
building roads, putting up buildings, boat landings, etc., by which
the purchasers will be largely benefited. We expect to continue
the road construction, using shell on the main thoroughfares,
which makes the best roads in the State.
If you will read all the information on the map you will find
the property has been laid off in sections one mile square, with
a forty-foot road around each section, and a thirty-foot road
crossing the section, giving a road frontage to every lot and half
lot on the property, and these roads lead to the best boat land-
ings on the river front, and also to the railroad, where every
land-holder will have the advantage of both railroad and water
You will also note from the map that there are several streams
running through the property. The hummock lands lie along
these streams and the river, which are noted by the oval charac-
ters on the map. The low pine lands lie adjacent thereto, which
are not marked by characters but left blank.
On opposite side of Manhattan map you will find map of town
HOW TO REACH MANHATTAN
If you are in Jacksonville, take the St. Johns River Steamer
(Clyde Line), leaving Jacksonville in the evening, and arriving
at Astor the next morning. Should you be in the southern part
of the State, take the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad or connect-
ing lines via Eustis to Astor, or via rail to Sanford, thence by
boat to Astor. Owing to change of schedules we do not give them,
as it would be misleading.
SHELL ISLAND IN ST. JOHNS RIVER OPPOSITE MANHATTAN GRANT, BEAUTY SPOT AND FISHING WATER.
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