AND INFORMATION REGARDING
KE FOREST AVON PAI
Model South Florida Enterprises.
WITH A CHAPTER OF
O. M. CROSBY,
OFFICE, 99 FRANKLIN STREET, NEW YORK.
BRANCHES IN FLORIDA,
SOUTH PUB. CO., PRINTERS AND ENGRAVERS, 76 PARK PLACE. N. Y,
I -^ ..
COMMON SENSE ABOUT
AND INFORMATION REGARDING
LAKE FOREST AND AVON PARK.
MODEL SOUTH FLORIDA ENTERPRISES.
WITH A CHAPTER OF
0. M. CROSBY,
OFFICE, 99 FRANKLIN STREET, NEW YORK.
BRANCHES IN FLORIDA.
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TO THE INTERESTED BUT SUSPICIOUS
WE take it for granted that the reader belongs to that nu-
merous class who dread the Northern winter's cold, and who,
upon the approach of frost and snow, cast a longing eye to-
ward sunny Florida, meanwhile reading everything relating to
the land of orange groves, pro and con, with interest and per-
haps with increasing bewilderment, as statements so often con-
flict. We also recognize a well-earned suspicion regarding
anything relating to the sale of land in Florida in the read-
er's mind, as our great winter resort has suffered by the mis-
representations of unprincipled land concerns as few States
have, and yet prospered. But, without fulsome self-praise, we
beg the reader to search carefully for evidence of fraud or de-
ception in the following pages, and if he would invest and is
still suspicious, let him candidly write us for further explana-
tions. No matter how direct or pointed the questions, we will
cheerfully answer them, as PERFECT CONFIDENCE and co-oper-
ation is the germ of success in Florida town building.
C. H. Mallory & Co., Pier 20, E. R., New York.
Ex-Gov. J. L. Chamberlain, 179 Broadway, New York.
Hamilton Disston, 305 Walnut St., Philadelphia, Pa.
A. N. Wildman, Pres. Nat. Pahquioque Bank, Danbury,
Bank of Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Florida.
Bank of Ocala, Ocala, Florida.
EXTREMES-CHEAP PAPER CITIES VS. HIGH
To make a successful town in a new country, something
more is necessary than a highly colored prospectus or attract-
ive map. There is also a happy medium between one or five-
dollar lots and those sold on fictitious values at so much per
front foot in booming" young villages. The first attract only
a speculative class, who purchase lots as they would tickets
in a lottery, with a careless "may-be-something-will-come-of-
it-never-mind-if-it-don't" air, which is devoid of the solidity
or earnestness necessary to insure success. Hundreds of
twenty-five-foot fronts, when sold in a body, do not make a
thrifty town. Either they are owned by non-residents as a
speculation, who readily let them be sold for taxes as soon as
an immediate raise is not assured, or, if occupied, they are too
often by a deluded class of poor people, who, after arriving on
their city lot," and erecting a shanty, find their slender means
exhausted, and no income or prospects of one; for man cannot
live on "climate" alone, even in Florida. Again, we cannot
see the wisdom of investing in town lots at prices demanded in
cities of ten times the population farther north. The bottom
must surely drop out of such artificially inflated values, and
great will be the fall thereof. THE BASIS OF VALUES IN
FLORIDA REAL ESTATE is not as it is in a manufacturing or
mining country, but is purely horticultural. Ten to forty-acre
orange groves or farms will be the rule, with natural CENTERS
or grove-embowered villages, with stores, hotel, and post-office
at a convenient locality. Closely.built brick cities seem repug-
nant to taste in our "lotus-eating" climate.
For an ideal, newly-forming, model Florida town, we invite
attention to the following:
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LAKE FOREST, MANATEE COUNTY, FLORIDA,
is situated in Section 22, or about the center of Township 33,
Range 28, known as Avon Park, an exceptionally fine tract of
high pine land overlooking deep clear-water lakes of great
beauty, said lakes having, as a rule, white sandy beaches and
gracefully sloping shores-ideal building sites. The center of
the proposed new town is elevated forty to fifty feet above two
lakes, overlooking them, while the high, dry soil insures good
drainage, excellent water from deep wells, and perfect health--
facts attested by our settlers and the natives round about.
PRICES OF LOTS 50x Ioo FEET.
We map out and survey tracts of forty acres, beginning near
the center of Section 22, with a park 140 x 720 feet, in the
center of each forty.
On Lot 20, Block D, of our first plotted forty acres (see
map) is being erected an attractive, large building, designed
for a combined store and hotel.
Advertisements offering SOMETHING FOR NOTHING ALWAYS
IMPLY FRAUD; and we do not believe successful, attractive
towns can be established on desirable locations, with wide (60
and 80 foot) streets and parks, and lots be sold on the "cheap
John plan. Again, rather than grade prices---igh about the
center, and lower as lots run back-we give our early custom-
ers the advantage of the rise of value that follows rapid sales
and settlements, and offer ANY LOT 50x 00 feet IN PLOT
SHOWN, not already sold, at the uniform price of FIFTY DOL-
LARS ($50) EACH. Thus, when lots around or near the park or
center are sold, and those further back are selling, at $50, those
first selected will be worth $Ioo to $200 each, the increase
being made by the first investors, as it should be. We do not
reserve alternate lots for our profit.
A MAP OF LAKE FOREST,
A SAMPLE BLOCK OF FORTY ACRES,
Mailed free on application.
Lots 50 x IOO feet, $50 each, where not already sold.
O. M. CROSBY, 99 Franklin St., N. Y.,
Return this and mail as above, marking X your selection-
several of them, in case one or more should be sold-of which
we will inform you by return mail, and, on receipt of check
($50), will return your warranty deed.
The settlement of Avon Park-the township surrounding
Section 22-was begun eighteen months ago by parties now
interested in building Lake Forest.
In this tract of 20,000 acres nothing less than ten acres was
sold to each, and the result is an increasing community of
orange growers and horticulturists, who will make Lake Forest
their natural trading-place and post-office, providing the neces-
sary backing or outside trade to the new town.
OPENINGS FOR THE RIGHT KIND AT LAKE FOREST.
We have seen the evil effects of urging a visionary and pov-
erty-stricken people to emigrate to Florida simply to purchase
and live on these lots, and we wish it distinctly understood we
will encourage no more than there is business to support, or, if
we know it, parties without the qualities necessary for success
in a new country. Not one in one hundred, we sometimes
think, of those wishing to emigrate to Florida have the neces-
sary qualities for success. Hence the sometimes dismal or
homesick reports of "ne'er-do-weels."
Aside from the always welcome class of parties of means
who go to Florida for health, or to escape the cold, we have
openings now for men who can work about a saw-mill, a good
storekeeper or merchant, boarding-house proprietor, surveyors,
carpenters, masons, and laborers in groves; this list to be en-
larged as our population increases and wants multiply.
A man with taste for horticulture should start a nursery
stocked with every variety of fruit, tree, or flower that will
grow in Florida. There is sure to be a demand for these as
the country fills up.
LAKE FOREST ON THE BACKBONE.
It is a well-known fact that through the center of the Florida
peninsula runs a ridge of elevated rolling land very different in
character and healthfulness from the desolate, flat woods that
give so unenviable a reputation to much of the State. The
great freeze of January, 1886, in the upper half of the State,
taught us the advisability of getting FARTHER SOUTH than we
would have done once.
The Avon Park Township, in which Lake Forest is situated,
is on the lower end of this BACKBONE ridge, here only about
five miles wide; and just below us the land slopes off into the
flat woods, until, further down, The Everglades are reached.
So IF high pine land is desirable, as it Is, for healthfulness; and
IF getting far south is necessary to escape severe frost; and IF
you enjoy CLEAR-WATER LAKES for scenery, boating or fishing,
we have these claims to emphasize, for many disinterested par-
ties affirm that in no portion of Florida can such a large body
of strictly rolling, high pine land be found, or such clear-water
lakes, so free from swampy or malaria-breeding shores.
The Tavares, Apopka and Gulf Railroad, destined to be
one of the great trunk lines of the State, is already completed
from Tavares to Kissimmee, and is projected south, through
Avon Park, directly to the Gulf. It is yet too early to say just
which section of Avon Park it will penetrate, but naturally it
would seek the center of population. At present a drive of
eighteen to twenty miles is necessary from Fort Meade, for
most of the way over a hard (not sandy) flat woods road.
As TO FROST.
The Florida frost line is a myth-does not exist, unless it be
a half inch BENEATH the surface. The region free from INJU-
RIOUS frost, even, is a small territory lying below the twenty-
eighth parallel. The small region, then, that is to produce
tender vegetables in the winter, as tomatoes, snap beans, cu-
cumbers, etc., is, consequently, very limited, and must become
the most valuable portion of the State, must it not?
Then, again, even in this latitude, slight frost will occasion-
ally blight tender shoots on the flat woods, when elevated
tracts escape entirely. Here in Florida, as in New England,
frost seeks low lands first. TOMATOES and other tender gar-
den vegetables were grown without check all the past winter
in Section 22 (Lake Forest), and, with quick transportation, a
profitable business will be developed in truck gardening.
PARTIES VISITING LAKE FOREST
and Avon Park note the absence of all undergrowth. The un-
sightly black jack and the troublesome saw palmetto are con-
spicuous by their absence. Instead, tall and stately pines
stretch away on every side, under which a carriage can be
driven for miles in any direction, unfettered by roads, fences,
or bounds. The pine trees are not thick together, but open, so
one can look frequently a mile or more through them. Close
to the lake shores they are drapedin the swaying Florida moss,
but a short distance back the trees are entirely free of this para-
site. The absence of undergrowth is a net saving of at least $5
per acre in the cost of clearing; besides, the land is much more
readily and quickly prepared for planting for this reason.
How TO REACH LAKE FOREST.
From New York take Mallory Line steamship, buying tick-
ets to Jacksonville, Fla., saving nearly half over railroad fare, if
meals and sleeping-car berths are added to the regular fare.
Arriving at Jacksonville, call on our agent, who will accompany
you to the railroad ticket office and secure you a SETTLER'S
TICKET, at a saving of about ONE-HALF the regular rates, to
Fort Meade, Florida (see engraving), where you may either
meet our superintendent on stated days, or secure a livery
team to take you out. You can drive alone, as sign-boards
mark the way to AVON PARK at every diverging road or path.
It is not difficult for an intending settler to learn of the ad-
vantages of any new country (trust the real-estate men for
that), while it IS a hard matter for the seeker for truth to find
what the disadvantages are. That they exist he knows by
pure instinct; for if such a heaven were to be found as the rose-
colored writers would have you believe, the country would not
be great enough to hold the would-be settlers. Every country
has its drawbacks. Even sunny Florida is no exception. Yet
they are not what are generally supposed, or at least as serious
as many think.
Perhaps SAND ought to come first on the list, for there is
no disguising the fact that a la. -ortion of the State is of
light sandy or loamy soil that easily pulverizes and takes away
much of thi pleasure of driving or walking. That this sand"
is not what it appears to be is shown by the stately pines and
orange trees that grow from it. In flat pine woods the soil is
heavy and dark and the roads hard. After a summer shower
the sand packs firm, while no mud ever forms; and, if we re-
member the mud or hubs that hinder travel so great a portion
of the year at the North, we would not exchange. Besides,
this open, potuus soil allows the great fall of water to pass off
readily. If Florida were as rich as Africa, it would be as un-
healthful for white people.
And here I allude to the second drawback, MALARIA, which,.
at its worst, in the hammocks, is not as fatal or tedious as ex-
ists to-day on Long Island, and many other regions. Florida
malaria is usually an affection of the liver during the summer
or early fall months. It is easily broken up, unlike its New
England namesake, and NEED NEVER BE TAKEN if water free
from limestone, from deep wells, is secured, and fat meats es-
chewed. Rather freely take the acid fruits-limes, grape. fruit,
etc., that Nature provides as antidotes.
Every well-read person knows SNAKES AND ALLIGATORS
form no part of our drawbacks, but are still used with great
effect among the ignorant. The chances are you may never
see a poisonous snake, nor any but captive, baby alligators. Int
new countries like Florida, however, there are, more or less pri-
vations incident to founding a society. Remember, all is new,.
rough, and wild outside the town; the roads are yet to be:
made, bridges built, fences constructed. Home comforts andi
luxuries come after the necessities; but how greatly lessened!
are the discomforts in a climate so mild that living outdoors
for eleven months of the year is a luxury! Pioneer life in
Florida is far more enjoyable than' in the wild West.
THE LONG SUMMERS are not the least of the drawbacks,
though you will be agreeably surprised that days in the shade
are not as hot as you are used to, while the nights are de-
liciously cool, requiring, usually, a blanket to sleep in comfort..
But eight months of summer is apt to prove tedious and try-
ing, but there is no need of the excessive haste and worry inci-
dent to the Northern planting and harvesting, and the impul-
sive Northerner must learn to take it easy." Winter is the
season of planting and work; summer of rest.
Again, Florida can never compete with Westchester or
Orange County, N. Y., as a dairy country; but this is no rea-
son why Bermuda and alfalfa should not be sown, cows fed,
and milk and butter be plenty. But the native Cracker cow
is a poor dependence if forced to depend on native grasses and
feed her calf as well.
The new-comer in a new country feels the LACK OF FRESH
VEGETABLES at first, or until he learns how to grow them in a
soil and climate so different from that he is accustomed to. He
will be agreeably surprised to find MOSQUITOES less trouble-
some than in New York or Jersey, if located on high pine land,
away from marshes. A little gnat similar to that that annoys
the farmer in the hayfield North insists on exploring your eyes
or nose on quiet days, but cannot stand a breeze.
Cockroaches are sometimes annoying, as are fleas to thin-
skinned people who persist in having cats or dogs in the
Now you know the worst. Compare it to blizzards, catarrh,
pneumonia, rheumatism, high rents, extra fuel and clothing-
bills you save by coming to Florida.
DESCRIPTION OF AVON PARK BY SECTIONS.
(A section consists of 640 acres, being one square mile.)
SECTION NO. I.-Consists of high rolling pine land, with a
beautiful lake at the northeast corner, not shown on the map.
Surveyed in forty-acre blocks.
SECTION No. 2.-Also very beautiful, high and rolling, free
-of undergrowth, and sloping beautifully toward Lakes Damon
arid Pythias, whose banks are elevated, affording a beautiful
lake scene. southh half of this township has already been sold.
iNorth half is surveyed in forty-acre blocks.
SSECTION NO. 3.-Also a beautiful tract sloping southward
toward Damon and Pythias. Most of the lake front here is
a' lso high and very desirable.
SECTION NO. 4.-Fronts on three lakes, mostly very fine;
even Lake Nimo, at the southeast, is very beautiful, and much
larger than is realized by the map. The fronts on Lake Virgo
.are also very beautiful.
SECTION NO. 5.-Is already largely sold. Several good
forty-acre tracts, however, remain. Land of the same charac-
ter, excepting it has more undergrowth.
SECTION No. 6.-Is mostly sold. The lake fronts here, how-
ever, are of poorer quality of soil, with large patch of scrub
land in the center.
SECTIONS NOS. 7 and 8.-Same general character as above,
with patches of good land. Mostly sold.
SECTION NO. 9.-A much better quality of land, not so roll-
ing, but with plenty of Turkey oak, and one or two small lakes
in southern portion, not noticed on map.
SECTION No. io.-All sold.
SECTION NO. I I.-A beautiful tract of our best pine land
the northwest corner fronting Lake Pythias and is elevated
and choice. All divided into ten-acre tracts.
SECTION NO. 12.-In all respects like the above, without
lake front. The extreme east boundary is near a large bay
SECTION NO. 13,-In all respects like the above, every acre
very choice, high pine land free of all undergrowth.
S CTION NO. 14.-In all respects like the above, with beau-
tiful lake fronts on western boundary, one or two of which are
SECTION NO. 15.-One of our very choicest. Fine, clean,
high pine lands without undergrowth, but beautiful clear-
SSECTION NO. 16.-School Section, not for sale or controlled
SECTION 17.-O-f the nature of flat woods interspersed with
grassy pond and bay heads. Fit only for pasturage unless
SECTIONS NOS..i8, 19, and 20.--Of the same general char-
SECTION No. 2 .--Slopes toward the east approaching the
high pine region. Western edge, a large patch of scrub, and
huckleberry bushes. Eastern half more desirable, especially
the southeastern quarter, on which is an elevation known there
as the Red Hill, on which are signs of former habitation.
SECTION NO. 22.-Now being surveyed and plotted as our
town site, or Lake Forest, already described. Very attractive
section, almost without a drawback as a place of residence.
Finest lake fronts on the eastern and southeastern borders.
SECTION NO. 23.-Nearly every one of its ten-acre lots in
the western half and southeastern quarter are already sold.
(Many orange groves and other improvements are being made
SECTION NO. 24.-The southern half of this tract is largely
sold, and improvements under way, including thirty-acre orange
grove, houses, and other clearings.
SECTION NO. 25.-Over a mile of lake front on Lakes Lotela
and Angelo, the northern ones being already sold.
SECTION No. 26.-A full mile of lake front on Lotela; the
balance a fair quality of pine, with more or less palmetto and
SECTION No. 27.-Beautiful fronts on Lake Tulane and
Lake Lelia, with an elevated land between.
SECTION NO. 28.-The eastern half a good quality of high
pine, though not rolling, with more or less black jack and
other undergrowth. Very desirable lake fronts on Lake
Anoka. Western half sloping toward flat woods region.
SECTIONS NOS. 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33.-Heavily timbered
flat woods land, though without much swamp. (Good pastur-
age and yellow pine timber, their only value unless drained.)
SECTION NO. 34.-Much saw palmetto undergrowth, but a
Srich quality of land suitable, when cleared, for strawberries
'S """ -" '. "
S and truck gardening. Lake fronts northern and southern por-
SECTION NO. 35.-Lake fronts on the northeastern bound-
ary (on Lake Lotela) are somewhat of the nature of hammock
or mixed land, some very fertile, and would grow oranges and
vegetables without much fertilizer. Not as beautiful or desir-
able for residence, however, as the pine lands above de-
SECTION NO. 36.-Similar to 35 except a bay head at the
outlet of Lake Lotela, between lots 3 and 4. The northeast
portion is high, beautiful pine land, overlooking the lake, and
the southeastern portion borders on a large lake running into
the next township, not shown on the map.
(The above is, as near as possible, a correct description of
the Avon Park township by sections in few words.) It will be
seen all is not glowingly described as beautiful," first class,'"
etc. Our only excuse for the land named as flat woods, scrub,
etc., is that we are not responsible for its creation. Neither
shall any one buy them of us without knowing their true
character. We have no fear of any purchaser locating or in-
vesting in the high pine sections that will ever regret his
choice, and will gladly and honestly answer further pointed in-
quiries regarding these lands.
CLASSES BEST FITTED TO LOCATE AT AVON PARK.
We are not narrow-minded enough to claim that there is
nothing desirable in Florida outside the 20,000 or so acres em-
braced in our township. The name of thrifty, prosperous
settlements is legion. In this plan we propose to make another,
after profiting from mistakes and embodying virtues as far so
possible. Our extensive correspondence shows us that three-
fourths of the people intending to invest or locate in Florida
prefer to do so on "ild, unimproved land at low prices, rather
than pay the often exorbitant prices demanded where towns
have begun. In short, the classes most to be benefited on our
Ist. Vigorous, plucky young men who do not object to
roughing it for a time. Such can purchase ten to one hun-
dred and sixty acres at a small price, get a portion cleared
and planted in orange or other fruit trees, be in advance of
all others, and always have a property commanding more
than its otherwise real value, because of its advanced state.
2d. Men with families who are now immersed in business
from which it may take months or years for them to extricate
themselves. Such can purchase ten to forty acres, have an
orange or lemon grove planted and cultivated for them, and
when the time comes for them to remove to their property it
will be so much nearer yielding its golden harvest, while the
land itself will, in all probability, have risen in value in an
3d. A limited number of single men, with small means, wish-
ing to own and improve a little real estate in Florida, and at
the same time earn a living outside while their groves are
growing. Such, if capable, strong, and courageous, may find
employment in planting and cultivating non-residents' groves
in our charge, or groves of their friends.
4th. Men with money drawing small interest can invest in
our lands and reap the benefit of the rise in value sure to come
With settlement and improvement.
S5th. Those wishing to escape the Northern winters, as well
Sas the fogs, sharp frosts, or northers of northern Florida, will
'do well to secure one of our beautiful lake fronts with an idea.
Sof a winter home.
CONTRACTS FOR IMPROVEMENTS.
We have no expectation of getting rich upon contracts from
our patrons for making their orange groves, as any one familiar
with the cost of clearing aid planting in Florida can bear
v -' -
witness after reading the figures we present. These figures
are nearly the same as we have adopted in our successful Dan-
bury colony, where men, provisions, tools, and trees were easily
secured; and yet the prices charged at Danbury have proved
to be at or below cost.
COPY OF CONTRACT.
CLEARING.-We hereby agree to cut down, remove, or burn
all pine trees necessary to be removed (we always leave a few
for protection from wind, etc., and for ornament) at $15 per
acre. If oak or blackjack roots encumber the ground, we have
to charge $5 extra per acre for grubbing.
FENCING.-We agree to fence, using light wood (seasoned
pine) posts, and four strands barbed wire at 75 cents per rod.
Or we will put up a stout four-board fence at $i per rod.
PLANTING GROVES.-We agree to furnish and plant out
choice budded orange and lemon trees-one-year-old buds on
three-year-old stocks, all set-at $i per tree, or $50 per acre of
50 trees set 30 feet apart each way.
CULTIVATING.-We agree to hoe, plow, prune, and care for
these groves at $25 per acre for the first year.
FERTILIZING.-This in this region should consist of sowing
and plowing under cow peas and other green crops, and will
cost $io per acre.
Payment for improvements will be arranged with each pur-
chaser on a satisfactory basis.
We are by no means anxious to secure these contracts to
carry out ourselves, as they add very greatly to our cares and
contribute nothing to our pockets.
One of these pamphlets goes into the hands of each person
who has written to this office for Florida information. If we
have learned nothing since previous pamphlets were prepared
-as in a majority of cases-nothing is heard from the recipient
further. It is heart (as well as purse) rending to think of the
money spent in advertising, postage, and printing thus wasted.
Is it, then, too much to ask the reader, ere he throws this little
work aside, to kindly fill out the form on the last page, tear
out the leaf, and mail us, with remarks, that your name may
be classified on our books accordingly, when you will from time
to time receive pamphlets and papers to suit your needs.
As General Manager of the Florida Bureau of Information,
we have many other duties, and properties to dispose of beside
Avon Park, and will do our best to start our patrons on the
Road to success in Florida, if they but give us a chance.
MORE ABOUT AVON PARK.
That popular book, "Florida: Its Advantages and Draw-
backs," describing Florida in general, and Avon Park in par-
ticular, is nearly out of print, and applicants for the same will
have to be content with this pamphlet as a substitute. So a
few pages devoted to Avon Park here may not be out of place,
and if some sentences sound strangely like those from the ear-
lier book, it is because we do not know how to better the ideas
therein expressed by re-writing.
The Florida Legislature of 1887 decreed that various counties
were altogether too large, and the new counties of Citrus,
Pasco, Lake, and De Soto are the result. Avon Park, Township
33, Range 28, is now in DE SOTO COUNTY, instead of Manatee
County, with the county seat at Pine Level, as before, but a
probability of its being soon moved to a more central town.
Luckily, changing the name has not altered our location, and
Avon Park still is quoted as "the most beautiful township in
South Florida;" and, since the time when the writer, with a
Guide, first explored its uninhabited pine-covered slopes, many
-residents and others, who visited only to fall in love with it
| and invest there, have echoed our words. So it is no longer
difficult to convince those who have never been there of our
peculiar attractions, as in the mouth of two or three wit-
nesses every word shall be established." (See testimonials
from investors and residents.)
Please understand we do not claim ALL of the Avon Park
Township to be beautiful or desirable. Indeed there are some
tracts therein the purchaser might consider himself "sold" at
$1.25 per acre, the Government price, albeit were these bay
heads, flat woods, scrub, or cyprus swamp, near Northern set-
tlements, they would be far more valuable for the timber upon
them. Generally speaking, the eastern half of the township is
by far the most desirable. In this portion are twelve. (not all
on the map) beautiful clear-water lakes, of from one-half a
mile to five miles in circumference. We have OVER TWENTY
MILES OF LAKE FRONTS, mostly high and desirable for resi-
dence. It seems as though every visitor to Avon Park immedi-
ately became possessed to own one of these, and ere we knew
it many of the choicest were sold, one visitor selecting one and
a half miles at what we thought prohibitory rates as compared
with adjoining high pine lands. Some of these we have
bought back at an advance, and shall cut up into residence
lots, and cannot longer sell our choicest by the acre, as the
supply is not equal to the demand.
A gentleman just arrived at Avon Park, having DRIVEN
through from central New York, declares in all his trip he saw
no country so beautiful.
We now ask the level-headed reader if it is not better to in-
vest in such a country at the start, or ON THE GROUND FLOOR,
getting the benefit of the rapid rise in value sure to follow sub-
stantial settlements and improvements.
Correspondence with real-estate agents and land companies
in other portions of the State will convince the inquirer HOW
MUCH LOWER are our rates for lands than are asked in arti-
ficially "boomed or even so-called paper cities." We ask
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for nothing else but honest, legitimate transactions with busi-
ness-like investors or settlers, who will soon find our intentions
are honorable and generous. At the same time we feel greatly
HAMPERED by the fact that scarce a tenth of our customers do
or can SEE the tract they purchase before paying for it. To
, those who can spare the time and means to go to Avon Park
prospecting, we will grant every possible encouragement, secur-
ing them lowest possible rates, but we do not promise "some-
thing for nothing," or anything on the "gift enterprise "or lot-
We are also slow to chronicle plans for the future that cir-
cumstances beyond our control may prevent carrying out. A
saw-mill-the first need of a settler-is on the ground; Ioo,ooo
feet of lumber and a quantity of shingles are finished, most of
which go into a new store and hotel building that may be fin-
Sished ere these words are read. Ten houses already dot the
landscape, and, from our mail of thirty to fifty letters per day,
it is safe to count on Ioo families as settlers there within the
present year. How much work and worry, money and corre-
spondence this means, only those who have been in the business
can understand. We do not want or expect more than is le-
gitimately earned; but if he is a public benefactor who makes
two blades of grass grow where but one grew," what shall be
said of him who makes the "wilderness to blossom as the
rose?" Is it not a noble calling to take a wild, uninhabited
tract from the hand of Nature and make it a model, thickly-
settled community of temperate, law-abiding citizens ?
AVON PARK TOWNSHIP is yet without a railroad. The route
of the Tavares, Apopka and Gulf Railroad, now completed to
Kissimmee, and destined to be the trunk line of the State, lies
through Avon Park. Just which sections it will cross it is yet
tpo early to say, as the final survey here is incomplete.
SNaturally a rise in values will follow its building as every-
WI iere follQw5 rapid transportation, and he who is wise will in-
vest early, yet it is our policy to give settlers and early invest-
ors the lowest possible rates, NOT TO SEE HOW MUCH WE CAN
A township is a tract of six miles square, or thirty-six square
miles, containing over 23,ooo acres, numbered as in the follow-
ing diagram. Our township is known on all Government maps
as Township 33, Range 28.
30 29 28 27 26 25
31 32 33 34 35 36
The sixteenth section in each township, consisting of wild
land, is known as School Lands," the price of which, when
sold, goes to support the public schools. A few hundred acres
in the township in question were entered by p ivate parties
previous to our purchase. All the rest is owned or controlled
by ourselves, which, deducting the clear-water lakes, leaves
about 2,00ooo acres. This is now roughly divided into four
grades, as follows:
Ist. Low, flat woods.
2d. Higher pine, with some palmetto and patches of scrub.
3d. High rolling pine-best orange and fruit lands.
4th. Lake fronts.
Generally speaking, the two upper western rows of six sec-
tions, each north and south, comprise nearly or quite all of the
first class mentioned. The lower six sections of the two west-
ern rows are largely of the second class. The balance, or east-
ern two-thirds of the township, is almost wholly a charming
country of high, rolling piney woods, with clumps of live oak
and clear, fresh-water lakes one-half mile to five miles in cir-
cumference, furnishing ideal building sites and grove lots,
so greatly in demand.
PRICES OF LANDS IN AVON PARK.
We cannot now give a definite list of prices that we agree
to abide by for long in the future.
At present we sell Io-acre tracts in the cream of the town-
ship at $15 per acre, or $150 each, cash. Tracts of 40 to 640
acres all the way from $1.25 to $12.50 per acre, cash down and
warranty deed delivered.
To escape the Northern winter;
To escape pneumonia, lung fever, or consumption;
To grow tender vegetables in midwinter;
To grow oranges for profit and in safety from freezing;
To enjoy boating, fishing, and hunting;
To save rents, winter clothing, and fuel bills;
To invest where values rapidly increase;
To locate in the most desirable portion of the State,-
Buy a home at Lake Forest or Avon Park.
Apply to O. M. CROSBY, 99 Franklin Street, New York.
A JAUNT IN THE WILDERNESS.
From The South."
AVON PARK, MANATEE CO., FLA., March 17, I886.
A twelve hours' railroad ride from Jacksonville takes the
traveler from the busy city to a climate and scenery so differ-
ent that he can hardly accept the evidence of his senses. Nat-
ure has been slow to arouse this season, after the severe chill
in January, and in the northern part of the State yet shows few
signs of awakening, while at Fort Meade, where we alight at
the new depot, the air is heavy with the delicious odor of
orange blossoms, while the orange leaves and ripe fruit still
burden the trees, in vivid contrast to the leafless and half-dead
branches further up in the State, the consequence of the re.
After a restful sleep in the homelike and comfortable hotel,
we are awakened by the melody of numerous mocking-birds
among the adjacent orange trees, which puts us in good humor
at once, while the softness of the air that floats in through the
open window suggests the rare and exquisite charm of the
much quoted "day in June," in New England. At an early
hour we are off on our twenty-five-mile drive, crossing Peace
Creek, near Fort Meade, by a long, substantial bridge, spying
an alligator on his favorite log on the shore, and inhaling the
delicious odor of the yellow jasmines which hang in festoons
from the trees along the road. The beauty and fertility of the
great Deadening tract beyond, over which we roll, give new
ideas of the possibilities of Florida farming. Here thousands
of acres have been cleared of the omnipresent pine by some
abnormal occurrence, probably a violent hail-storm, a half cen-
tury ago, and thrifty settlers hre cultivating large fields of corn
and vegetables in a business-like manner. I should hav. stated
that our landlord at Fort Meade purchased several quarts of
luscious ripe strawberries of a gardener last night, but we left
too soon to enjoy the shortcake that followed.
Five hours' riding over a hard road, through a monotonous
flat-woods country, and the scene suddenly changes-so sud-
denly, indeed, that perhaps we are apt to give it the more
credit for its peculiar beauty after the level tract passed over.
The ground rapidly rises, becoming free of undergrowth, only
majestic pines remaining, among which we drive without a
track and with only a diminutive compass to guide us. At the
crest of the hill we look down upon a scene so lovely that ex-
clamations of delight burst from the party. A beautiful clear-
water lake flashes in the sunlight, like the diamond it is, while
a group of four deer have suddenly perceived our presence and
bound away within easy shot, of which fact, however, we take
no advantage. They seem the embodiment of grace and speed
as they leap over the fallen logs.
On reaching the lake, we alight before a roomy tent and half-
completed log-house of the first pioneer who has secured a
quarter-section of what he declares is the gem of all Florida.
While two of us unharness, picket, and feed the hungry horses,
the other makes a camp fire, and we are soon dining on fresh
bread and butter, oysters, canned beef and coffee, meanwhile
enjoying the wondrous beauty of the clear-water lake at our
feet. After dinner a walk is in order, giving the horses a rest,
which exercise extends to a tramp of six miles, encircling in
this distance four lakes, among the incidents being the sight of
an occasional alligator. So clear is the water of these lakes
that the bottom can be plainly seen sixty feet from the shore,
and beautiful trout swim slowly in plain sight, ready to snatch
our bait instantly on the throwing of the line. It is to be re-
marked that the shores of these lakes are very generally ele-
vated, and that there is nothing like swamp or marsh around
them. The lands here are being rapidly selected by Northern
people for winter homes.
As we wander on we become more and more enthusiastic,
coming constantly upon lands that would furnish choice loca-
tions for homes. With appetites marvelously whetted by this.
exercise, we sit down to our evening meal, and, as darkness
approaches, by the light of the camp-fire we swing up our ham-
mocks in the tent, and soon after are enjoying the sweet rest
of the wearied woodsman.
Early dawn finds us on a lake shore, determined on a break-
fast of fresh fish. First a minnow is captured and tossed into
the water on a hook. Before he reaches the bottom he is
snatched by a beautiful trout, which is landed after a gallant
fight. The writer of these lines follows the example of the
first experimenter with the same result, except that the fish is
larger and more gamy. So, in thirty seconds we have two fish,
larger than we can eat, and they are soon fizzing over the fire,
and we prove how good fish can be when taken from the
water to spider and table. An hour later we find new lakes-
and scenery, excelling, if possible, all we have met before, and
we spend the day driving over the hills and among the lakes of
this wild, beautiful region. The writer has no fear that any
person lured to this region by this description will say that its
attractions have been exaggerated.
LETTERS FROM RESIDENTS AND VISITORS.
AVON PARK, MANATEE Co., FLA., Sept. 27, 1886..
I settled in Avon Park last February with my young wife,
both being from Warwickshire, England. We are both
charmed with this country, with its hills and beautiful, clear
lakes. From a lake in front of my house I landed a trout
weighing ten pounds, which was royal sport. Deer and tur-
key are very plentiful, the latter being far superior to the do-
mesticated species; besides, we have lots of quail, fox, squiirel,
etc., and duck in the fall of the year.
I can heartily recommend this tract for health and climate.
Having lived here constantly through the summer, I have had
.an opportunity to test the climate at its so-called "worst," and
have been most agreeably surprised. The frequent showers
during the summer months greatly cool the air, and nights are
cool enough for refreshing slumber. Though lakes are so nu-
merous, no swamps are near, and mosquitoes are not trouble-
some; indeed, we now scarcely see or hear them, and do not
:need or use bars or nets. With high land, large bodies of
,deep, clear water, and a location so far south, delicate fruit can
be grown without fear of being damaged by frost. All parties
who have visited this spot have been simply delighted. We
have American, English, Scotch, and Irish settlers here now,
.and all are thoroughly satisfied. A prettier or more healthful
spot is not to be found in all Florida.
Here is an illustration of what this climate will do: About a
month ago I was introduced to a fellow countryman who has
settled in this part, and during our conversation he said:
'" What do you think of my experience ? Last Christmas I was
in England, nearly half dead of consumption. Now see what
Florida has done for me after only a few months' residence. I
am perfectly strong, and can do any amount of work." With
his bronzed face and arms he certairfly looked a picture of
health." WM. KING.
SBRADFORD CITY, PA., Sept. 20, I886.
I have traveled over Florida a good deal, making exam-
inations in regard to timber, soil, and healthful location for set-
tlement, and after a careful and extensive examination of the
tract known as Avon Park, I have no hesitation in saying that
it is an exceptionally fine country. I very much doubt whether
there can be found in the State another township with so large
a proportion of high, rolling pine land, and so free from low,
swampy, malarial land. In the township that I examined there
a~ere ten beautiful clear-water lakes, with clean, dry shores to
. .. ...
the water's edge; The usual wet and swamp land found on
the borders of nearly all the lakes in Florida were here strik-
ingly absent. The soil was a gray, sandy loam, in my opinion
well adapted to the cultivation of orange trees, or almost any
kind of grain or vegetables. I was surprised at finding that
there were so few flies, mosquitoes, and similar vermin in
Florida. I was in the woods there nearly a week, sleeping in a
tent at night, and in all that time did not see a solitary fly -r
mosquito. I kept a sharp lookout for snakes, but did not see
one until the day we got out of the woods, when I saw a little
harmless black snake by the side of the road. In my opinion,
all that is lacking to make this the richest part of Florida is
railroad transportation, or some other way to open up the
country, to let people know what is there. There are settlers;
working in the country now, while the only way of reaching it
is by teams. I talked with several of the new-comers, and in
every case they were very much pleased with the country. I
drank the best water I ever saw in Florida, drawn from a dug
well about fifteen feet deep. It was clear and cold, almost
like one of our Northern wells of water. I expect to spend
the coming winter in Florida, and may visit Avon Park again.
P. L. WEBSTER.
[From a Letter.]
Having heard so much of Fort Meade, we were especially
anxious to visit it and know for ourselves. Although we had
heard glowing descriptions, we were not altogether prepared
for the constant surprises that awaited us. We had pictured
Fort Meade as a place about a thousand miles from anywhere,
but to find ourselves in so nice a village, with such good hotel
accommodations, and so accommodating landlords, was an
agreeable surprise. We had been taken from the almost leaf-
less North Florida and landed in midsummer, all in less than
twetny-four hours. Here we found orange trees in full leaf and
blooh, filling the air with their fragrance; strawberries in abun.
N\% ; ,f
dance, selling for thirty cents per quart; cabbage, beans, and
other vegetables, all ready for the table or market. After a
good night's rest, and an early breakfast, we took 'our teams and
carriages for a twenty-mile drive to see the new town of Avon
Park, about which we had heard so much. Of all the surprised
that awaited us on our journey through this new country, none
was greater than we found at Avon Park. We had seen what
,we called beautiful lakes and good land surrounding them, but
-the dozen or more clear-water lakes, with their very high banks,
'which we found here, quite exceeded our expectations. In
many respects the sites around these lakes are not excelled,
iif equaled, in the State. The lakes, which we had imagined
would prove small and unimportant, we found to be of consid-
erable size-none less than one-half mile to a mile across, the
country surrounding being beautiful, high, and rolling land,
covered with a large growth of pine, and considerable live oak.
Avon Park has only to be seen to be admired. We were pleas-
antly entertained for the night by our friend Mr. King, at his
residence on the banks of Lake Tulane. As we retraced our
steps in the morning, all of the party expressed a desire to make
another trip to Avon Park next season. W. R. PRICE.
FROM THE LATEST ARRIVALS.
Messrs. F. K. E. Sperring and Mr. O'Connor DROVE all the
way from their home in Central New York to Avon Park,
Florida, over I,5oo miles. Mr. Sperring reached Avon Park in
December, 1887, and writes: In all my travels I saw no such
an attractive country as this, where the lakes were so clear,
with such high banks, or country about so rolling, clean of
undergrowth, and healthful." Mr. Sperring had a o1 acre
grove planted in advance of his arrival.
Space forbids further statements.
COME TO AVON PARK AND SEE FOR YOURSELVES.
.* .. " -
(Please fill out and return.)
ADDRESS......... ..... .. ... .. ..................
S NAME*. .. ............... .
DATE ............................... ... 88
I. Do you wish to invest in Florida? Ans.
2. Can you spare $Io per month, or upward, if assured of a
safe and profitable investment? Ans.
3. Have you $Ioo to $500 cash to spare, if assured of a safe
and profitable investment ? Ans.
4. Do you want a bearing orange grove that will yield an
immediate income? Ans.
5. Do you want ten acres, and young groves of one to five
acres ready planted? Ans.
6. Do you want 5 or o1 acres, and a house ready built for
you to occupy? Ans.
7. Do you want a large body of pine land, for timber or
investment ? Ans.
8. Do you wish to secure desirable hotel accommodation
or board in Florida ? Ans.
9. Do you wish to secure cheap transportation to or through
Io. Do you wish further information ? State books, maps, :
pamphlets, or newspapers.
SName......... ............ ... .. ..
..k A. P N.
a L:~ .pl
~ &. ~ ;,
DTH BRIGHT AND BLUE.
A NEW AND COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED FLORIDA BOOK.
BY OLIVER MARVIN CROSBY.
Two Editions-one of 144 pages, 36 engravings, 16 colored
plates, paper, illuminated covers. 50 cents;
One of 286 pages, 50 engravings, 16 colored plates, cloth
cover, and appendix by such resident experts as Helen Har-
court and J. G. Knapp. -$, postpaid.
Plain, unvarnished truth, without puffs or advertisements,
from 4 Northerner's standpoint. Contains information of
great value to all intending Tourists and Settlers; also a guide
to orange growing, winter gardening, and a description of all
the principal winter resorts.
SO. M. CROSBY, Author,
Bureau of Florida Information,
SNo. 99 Franklin St.,
New York City.