• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Copyright
 Table of Contents
 The re-discovery of Florida
 Speculator versus developer
 What about Florida real estate...
 When will the bubble burst?
 Who is trying to discredit Florida--and...
 What are Florida's population...
 What about Florida's sports...
 Has Florida agricultural oppor...
 What are the Florida Everglade...
 Has Florida industrial opportu...
 Has Florida opportunities for business...
 Florida pictoral
 Has Florida opportunities for business...
 What about Florida's income and...
 What about Florida's finances?
 Has Florida adequate transportation...
 What about Florida's school...
 What about Florida's climate and...
 What means has Florida taken to...
 What about Florida's future?
 Is Florida a venture or a...
 1925 county index
 The new real estate law of...
 Florida carload shipments,...
 The 1926 Florida county map
 The 1926 state road map of...
 The 1926 railroad map of Flori...
 Florida pictoral














Group Title: truth about Florida
Title: The truth about Florida
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00053466/00001
 Material Information
Title: The truth about Florida
Physical Description: 1 p. l., v-vi p., 1 l., 260 p. : plates, maps. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Fox, Charles Donald.
Publisher: Charles Renard Corp.
Place of Publication: New York city
Publication Date: 1925
 Subjects
Subject: Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Charles Donald Fox.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00053466
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01711248
lccn - 25027752

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
    Title Page
        Page ii
        Page iii
    Copyright
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
    The re-discovery of Florida
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Speculator versus developer
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    What about Florida real estate values?
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    When will the bubble burst?
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
    Who is trying to discredit Florida--and why?
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    What are Florida's population centers?
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
    What about Florida's sports opportunities?
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
    Has Florida agricultural opportunities?
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
    What are the Florida Everglades?
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
    Has Florida industrial opportunities?
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
    Has Florida opportunities for business and professional men?
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
    Florida pictoral
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
        Page xvii
        Page xviii
        Page xix
        Page xx
        Page xxi
        Page xxii
        Page xxiii
        Page xxiv
    Has Florida opportunities for business and professional men?
        Page 121
    What about Florida's income and inheritance tax laws?
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
    What about Florida's finances?
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
    Has Florida adequate transportation and highway systems?
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
    What about Florida's school system?
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
    What about Florida's climate and its relation to health?
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
    What means has Florida taken to protect the investor?
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
    What about Florida's future?
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
    Is Florida a venture or a certainty?
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
    1925 county index
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
    The new real estate law of Florida
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
    Florida carload shipments, 1924-1925
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
    The 1926 Florida county map
        Page 261
    The 1926 state road map of Florida
        Page 262
        Page 263
    The 1926 railroad map of Florida
        Page 264
    Florida pictoral
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
Full Text










































































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THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA








THE TRUTH ABOUT

FLORIDA

2By
CHARLES DONALD FOX


CHARLES RENARD CORPORATION
PUBLISHERS
15 East 40th Street New York City
1925










COPYRIGHT, DECEMBER, 1925, BY
CHARLES DONALD FOX
























POINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA









CONTENTS
CHAPTER PAGB
I. THE RE-DISCOVERY OF FLORIDA ... I
II. SPECULATOR VERSUS DEVELOPER .. 13
III. WHAT ABOUT FLORIDA REAL ESTATE
VALUES? .. ........ 19
IV. "WHEN WILL THE BUBBLE BURST?", 28
V. WHO IS TRYING TO DISCREDIT FLORIDA-
AND WHY? ... .
VI. WHAT ARE FLORIDA'S POPULATION CEN-
TERS? ...... 41
VII. WHAT ABOUT FLORIDA'S SPORTS OPPORTU-
NITIES? .. ...... 69
VIII. HAS FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL OPPORTUNI-
TIES? . . .. 75
IX. WHAT ARE THE FLORIDA EVERGLADES? .. 92
X. HAS FLORIDA INDUSTRIAL OPPORTUNITIES? 103
XI. HAS FLORIDA OPPORTUNITIES FOR BUSINESS
AND PROFESSIONAL MEN? .. 116
XII. WHAT ABOUT FLORIDA'S INCOME AND IN-
HERITANCE TAX LAWS? . 122
XIII. WHAT ABOUT FLORIDA'S FINANCES? .. 130
XIV. HAS FLORIDA ADEQUATE TRANSPORTATION
AND HIGHWAY SYSTEMS? .. .. 138
XV. WHAT ABOUT FLORIDA'S SCHOOL SYSTEM? 153
LVJ






CONTENTS
CHAPTER A PAGE
XVI. WHAT ABOUT FLORIDA'S CLIMATE AND ITS
RELATION TO HEALTH? ... 157
XVII. WHAT MEANS HAS FLORIDA TAKEN TO PRO-
TECT THE INVESTOR? . .. 168
XVIII. WHAT ABOUT FLORIDA'S FUTURE? 178
XIX. Is FLORIDA A VENTURE OR A CERTAINTY? 190
APPENDIX I. 1925 FLORIDA COUNTY INDEX 223
APPENDIX II.' THE NEW REAL ESTATE LAW OF
FLORIDA . . 241
APPENDIX III. FLORIDA CARLOAD SHIPMENTS,
1924-1925 ..... .253
1926 COUNTY MAP OF FLORIDA, INCLUDING THE LO-
CATION OF THREE NEW COUNTIES . 261
1926 STATE ROAD MAP OF FLORIDA 262-263
1926 RAILROAD MAP OF FLORIDA . .. .264
A GALLERY OF NINETY-FIVE SCENIC SNAPSHOTS OF
THE NEW FLORIDA GROUPED UNDER THE GENERAL
HEAD OF "FLORIDA PICTORIAL"


Evil















THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

CHAPTER I

THE RE-DISCOVERY OF FLORIDA

SCHOOL histories credit Juan Ponce de Leon with hav-
ing been the discoverer of Florida. The Spaniard had
heard marvelous tales of the gold to be obtained in the new
land, and these stories, coupled with the pretty legend of
the existence of a spring whose magic waters would bestow
eternal youth upon all mankind, proved so strong a magnet
that the soldier-adventurer fitted out an expedition and set
sail for the golden land in the New World.
The early dawn of Easter Sunday, March 27th, 1513,
brought the explorer within sight of the shores of the
Florida peninsula.
Landing at what is now St. Augustine, he saw about him
a magnificence of floral splendor, and since this day of
discovery was Easter Sunday-in other words the Pascua
F.' ida or Feast of Flowers-he named the land "Florida."
,' nting the banner of his native land on the beach of
the newly-discovered country, the explorer, eager in his
quest of the fabled spring and the fabulous wealth he be-
lieved the new land possessed, struck boldly into the semi-
tropic jungle which rose about a mile distant from the
shore.
His efforts in locating gold or spring unrewarded after
a long and fruitless search, de Leon abandoned his pur-
pose and returned to Spain.
E11J1








THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

Four years later, bound upon the same mission, he again
set sail for Florida. Upon his arrival he met with powerful
resistance from the Seminoles, and suffering a dangerous
wound from a redskin arrow, he again took his departure,
passing on shortly after in Cuba, where he landed en route
to Spain.
In 1565 the Spaniards, under the leadership of Pedro
Menendez D'Aviles, founded St. Augustine, and it is from
that first group of settlers that the city-now a gem of
antiquity-gained its name.
Thus we learn that while Florida is being heralded on
all sides as the "newest" state, she is in reality the oldest
state in the Union, one indeed which already boasted of a
flourishing colony when the "Mayflower" sailed into
Plymouth harbor.
Florida has had much history since the day it was
sighted by the de Leon expedition. Perhaps it is impossible
to find such a variety in any other state in the Union. But
since it is not the purpose of this volume to deal extensively
in the absorbingly interesting story of early days in the
state, we will bridge the gap of time over the centuries
that have intervened between that Easter Sunday when
the peninsula was first discovered and the present time,
contenting ourselves with setting down the interesting
record of the various occupations of Florida by nations
other than our own. That record shows that:

Spain had it from 1559 to 1718.
France had it from 1718 to 1723.
Spain again had it from 1723 to 1763.
Great Britain had it from 1763 to 1781.
Spain again had it from 1781 to i818.
United States had it from 1818 to 1819.
Spain again had it from 1819 to 1821.
United States had it from 1821 to x861.
Southern Confederacy had it from 1861 to I865.
United States again had it from 1865 to present time.
E2J








THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
And now, after three hundred years of near-oblivion, this
much fought over state leaps suddenly into the limelight
focusing upon itself the attention of a nation, in turn
amazed to know that it has harbored within the boundaries
of its shores such a land of romance and legend, incredulous
to take it at its face value.
Stripped of much of the glamour with which hundreds
of her well meaning press agents have clothed her, Florida,
just as she really is, presents a pleasant enough appearance
to make her most attractive-indeed one of the finest of all
the states in the Union.
Bathed in the caresses of the southern sun and embrac-
ing seas, wooed by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, this
land of enchantment sl $uld long since have reached the
zenith of its glory, the achievement of which it is now
accomplishing.
Whatever attractions Florida presents to-day, aside from
the shelter which the hand of man has provided, existed in
Florida since the day the peninsula was discovered.
Whatever Florida had accomplished from the time
when the foresight of such pioneers as Henry M. Flagler
and Henry B. Plant provided systems of transportation
within her borders, to a period of approximately ten
years ago, can only be likened-when compared to what
she has accomplished in the last ten years-to the efforts
of an infant striving to scale the restraining bars of an
iron crib.
Hampered in her growth by the ingrown belief among
the residents of her sister states that Florida presented
only a winter playground for the wealthy; hindered in
her development by lack of transportation and by lack
of understanding of her resources, the rise to fame and
fortune which Florida should have achieved generations
ago has been delayed until the present era.
Now, with the tide turned in Florida's favor, with de-
layed recognition of the economic possibilities of her
climate and soil, Florida is forging ahead so rapidly that
E3







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

already the state is riding on the crest of a tremendous
wave of development, bidding fair one day in the not
distant future to take her place beside those of her sister
states whose power, wealth and influence as a command-
ing factor in the affairs of this nation have long since been
recognized.
Florida is America's last great frontier. Its conquest
invites the sons and daughters of those whose accomplish-
ments in sister states have made the nation what it is.
There is a tremendous task in Florida for those willing
to bend their energies toward useful and constructive en-
deavor. Nor is it too late to begin now, for those who
come at this time will be looked upon ten years hence as
pioneers.
A rich reward awaits those who, among the thousands
who migrate to this land each year, are far sighted enough
to establish themselves in either legitimate industrial, com-
mercial or agricultural pursuits.
So much for the Florida of the moment. Her praises
have been sung by thousands upon thousands of willing
throats. Her fame is far flung and her attractions familiar
magnets which have drawn to her cities great hordes of
people.
What interests those who are neither in the state, nor
of the state, is the cause of this sudden migration to this
land of flowers and sunshine,, and the identity of those
who have participated in this movement.
There have been so many contributing factors to
Florida's boom that it is impossible to answer that oft-
asked question, "What started Florida's boom?" without
giving many reasons. And, because the reasons for the
boom are so varied, thus causing the boom to make its
appeal for life to all types of people, it is but natural
that every class has been attracted to Florida and that
their presence in the state is their answer to the particular
magnet which drew them.
It is the belief of this writer that of paramount sig-
1:43






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
nificance in pointir; a reason for the boom, or at least
in analyzing its earliest conception, is the interest dis-
played by the United States government some years since
in the agricultural possibilities of the peninsula.
Just as soon as government experts had proven the
possibilities of Florida soil, local growers began to send
finer fruits to northern markets. Then came the realiza-
tion that all manner of garden truck could be most
profitably raised in Florida, and when farmers of the
north and west learned that their southern brethren of
the soil were getting as many as three crops per year,
and sometimes even four because of the soil productivity
and because of the short growing season, interest awakened
in this new field, and while many came to see for them-
selves what was going on and only some stayed or came
back, the fact remains that when this process had been
repeated for a number of years, thousands of northern
farmers were tilling the soil of their newly-found Florida
farms.
In an effort to acquaint those they left behind with the
possibilities of the land, Florida's new citizens sent forth
enthusiastic letters, the tenor of which beckoned to the
recipients to come to this land which promised limitless op-
portunities.
And so they came. And so they spread the fame of this
state and the boom was under way!
Thus it was that with Florida's fame surely if slowly
penetrating to the remotest corners of the country, cap-
italists and those commanding capital saw in the state,
which hitherto had borne the label of "Playground of the
Rich," possibilities of sufficient value to warrant invest-
ment in huge tracts of land, and development of the
property in and adjacent to the larger cities.
Thus we see another reason for the boom.
With the coming of the real estate men, those cities
which boasted of a Chamber of Commerce became active
in advertising the especial virtues of their community.
[5sJ







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

With the first advertisements appearing in print, every
city, town and hamlet in Florida finally awakened to the
fact that a new day had dawned for the state.
Subscriptions for publicity purposes were taken from
merchants, landowners and residents of practically every
community in the state. Much of this money was spent
wisely-some of it was spent unwisely-but all of it
achieved the purpose of advertising the state.
And so another chapter in the cause and development
of Florida's boom was written.
It is a fact that ever since post-war days America has
known great prosperity. Money is in freer circulation than
ever before in the history of the country and people have
learned how to play as well as how to work. With pros-
perity on the upgrade, those of newly acquired financial in-
dependence have been quick to ape those who always pos-
sessed wealth.
One of the natural consequences of the desire of those,
whom the prosperity wave has made independent to follow
the leadership of society and club folk, has been to seek
out the haunts of the rich.
What better chance was there to give free rein to this
desire than to spend a portion of the winter in Florida?
With literally thousands who had not been in the habit
of doing this actually doing so in recent years, many new
friends were made for Florida.
And since countless stories telling of fortunes made with
almost lightning-like rapidity have come out of the state,
what more fertile ground for the further accumulation of
wealth could be imagined than Florida?
Known then, to many thousands, Florida had but to
become known as the seat of a great boom to find many
of these thousands hastening to her beckoning confines.
General prosperity then, too, must be given credit for
the part it has played in making the present boom pos-
sible.
And now comes what to the mind of competent judges
[6 ]






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

is probably the most important reason for the real suc-
cess of the present boom, for successful, and highly so,
this boom of booms has surely been.
What after all can make a boom? The answer is sim-
ple. The ability to get to the scene of the boom and the pos-
sibility of drawing upon a close-at-hand population to
add momentum to the boom-ball once it has started rolling.
To the writer it seems fortunate for Florida that her
boom came just when it did. Had there been any desire
among the people of the United States a few generations
ago to participate, as they now are, in the development of
Florida, that development could never have reached even
the first step on the ladder of fame and fortune which
Florida has climbed so rapidly that already her hand is
searching for the topmost rung.
And why, you question? Because what is probably the
greatest single contributing feature back of the reason for
Florida's coming into her own is not merely the belated
recognition of her economic possibilities, nor her tropical
climate which makes her so desirable a winter rendezvous.
These elements might have been recognized years ago,
but the same results that have been achieved in this gen-
eration could never have been recorded then, because gen-
erations ago there was no such thing as individual trans-
portation. Individual transportation, in other words, the
automobile, has most certainly played a peculiar r61e in
assisting Florida to the position she now occupies.
Even from the earliest records of the beginning of the
boom, many thousands of people visited Florida each
winter in automobiles. To the stories they brought or sent
back to their home towns can be traced much of the free
advertising Florida has had for the past ten years.
All manner of people, and all types of automobiles, have
visited Florida. And there again Florida has been for-
tunate, for what has happened within her boundaries
could never have been brought about by any one group
in our national life.
1731






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
In other days prosperous farmers in Ohio, Pennsylvania,
Michigan, Illinois, New York and many other states
would prepare for winter and the long period of idleness
by making everything snug about their places and in gen-
eral doing everything that would defy the rigors of the
long winter season.
But that was before the automobile came. With the
advent of low-priced cars and their introduction in rural
sections, farmers began to travel about the country, and
when the fame of Florida as an agricultural state first
spread, thousands of farmers locked the doors of their
homesteads in defiance of the first flurry of snow and
migrated to Florida in their automobiles so they could
see at first hand what was going on.
With them went all types of workers who had heard of
opportunities in the "new" state, and many were accom-
panied by their families. Most of these migrated in the
early winter months. It was their purpose to see Florida
at the height of the "season," and so great was the con-
trast between their own bleak winters and the glory of a
mid-winter day in Florida that it was not a difficult task
for many of them to decide upon a permanent residence
beneath Florida's smiling skies.
So they came in ever-increasing hordes, until now, with
statistics available, it is seen that the migration to Florida
easily outstrips in numbers and speed the many previous
migrations of Americans to other parts of the country.
The most picturesque part of the country's history is
written about previous migrations of note, and now in
Florida there is taking place a living drama of migration,
the counterpart in many respects, if not in appearance, of
those former movements which are so symbolic of the
glorious traditions of the American pioneering spirit.
It is not, however, difficult to understand why this
newest of migrations has assumed such huge proportions
if one will consider Florida's proximity to the great eastern
18]







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

centers of population, and the luxury of modern methods
of travel.
In California, whose gold rush in 1849 was probably
the most spectacular of all, we find that the census figures
for 1850 reveal the fact that only 92,597 people populated
the state, while in I86o-ten years later-the Pacific
coast state had a population of but 379,994, or, in actual
figures, only a few more than have settled in Florida in
the last two years.
The same holds true of the Oregon boom in the 1840's
when, in almost ten years, less than 40,000 inhabitants
were attracted to the state. The opening of Oklahoma-
the Klondike-the famous "Pike's Peak or Bust" Colorado
boom in 1858-and other migrations of lesser note, failed
to attract even as many people as some of the cities in
the state of Florida have attracted exclusively to them-
selves.
With hundreds of thousands of new residents of the
state seeking new homes, or sites upon which to build
them, there arose a tremendous demand for Florida prop-
erty. Where demand exists there you will find conditions
booming, and who is there who will say that the major
portion of this demand was not created because of the
ease with which people could come to Florida?
Because of the location of Florida as compared to the
seat of Pacific Coast and Northwest migrations of former
years, the railroads make a transportation rate to any part
of the state which must immediately strike the tourist
as being far less than the cost of travel to those more,
distant points.
Coastwise steamship companies offer to transport one
from as far north as New York City to as far south as
Miami for between $50 and $60, and this sum provides
for a comfortable berth in a stateroom, as well as excel-
lent meals en route and the added attraction of either a
two or a three-day ocean voyage, depending upon the route
selected.






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

It must now be apparent to the reader that transporta-
tion played the stellar role in bringing about the boom con-
dition in Florida. Inaccessibility caused Florida's recog-
nition to be delayed only until transportation mediums
were provided for the masses, and until low-priced cars
made their appearance.
Thus far I have referred to the remarkable growth of
Florida as a boom, because it is the accepted term by
which those who live outside the state think of conditions
within Florida's borders. Is this word "boom," however,
the proper term to use when one desires to speak about
the tremendous activity going on in Florida?
I hardly think so.
I have seen entire city blocks of new and substantial
steel and concrete buildings rise upon ground which only
a few years ago possessed very little value. Where
miniature jungles defied trespass a short time ago, mam-
moth hotels of fire-proof construction, solidly built for
permanent use, now stand.
Packing plants, port and railroad extensions, double-
tracking railroad lines already in the state, scores of new
telephone and telegraph wires, and large terminals and
thousands of miles of newly-paved highways are surely
not symbols of a mere boom.
Certainly all of this activity, representing the invest-
ment of hundreds of millions of dollars by far-sighted
American capitalists, is not associated with a boom, in
the sense in which the word is commonly used.
On the contrary, this writer sees in the interest financiers
are taking in Florida the final recognition of the virtues
of the nation's most southernly state by the monied powers
that be.
There is reflected in the great migration to Florida the
natural result of the knowledge, that here, within thirty-
six to forty hours' train travel of sixty millions of our
population, lies a land of upwards of thirty million acres.
Two-thirds of this immense area is capable of agricultural
EC o






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

development, and because Nature has cast her favoring
smile upon it above practically all other sections of our
country, it is capable of producing enough foodstuffs of
a score of varieties to satisfy the demands and needs of
half the population of the United States.
Knowing all these facts as we now do, and desiring
to obtain a truthful picture of the Florida of to-day, is it
consistent with that desire to continue to refer to it as a
"boom" state, or does it not behoove those who are
seriously thinking of locating in Florida to realize that the
state is growing by leaps and bounds?
Is it not well for people interested in the state to realize
that what is happening here is no different from what
happened in other sections of our country, where wilder-
nesses have been turned into thriving communities in the
process of creating great wealth for the landowner?
Draw upon your memory or upon history as it is re-
corded and you will discover that if the development of
Florida is to be likened to a boom, then the development
of our whole country is simply the result of a series of
booms.
Florida would long since have been one of our ranking
states had she been possessed of even half the transporta-
tion facilities which other states in the Union boast of.
What she has to offer to-day she has always had. It
required the knowledge of what she has to become public
property for the present great interest in her possibilities
to be awakened. And public property this knowledge did
become just as soon as transportation facilities were pro-
vided. Not, mark you, transportation by railroads now
traversing the state, and which in reality were the last in-
stitutions to awaken to Florida's real worth, but individual
transportation as provided by the automobile.
And now with the development of the state well under
way, people who are not familiar with happenings in
Florida are asking, "How long will the boom last?"
Again I believe the answer is simple. There is no reason
l II







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
to believe that the development of Florida will ever cease.
Railroads, now recognizing Florida's future, are double-
tracking their systems, new extensions are being made, and
new highways laid, all of which will open millions of acres
of land to settlement which has hitherto been inaccessible.
Florida's climate is a permanent fixture, and the pro-
ductivity of her soil is being increased each day as drainage
engineers are solving the problems confronting them. Peo-
ple will come to Florida in ever-increasing numbers now
that she has finally attracted the notice and attention of
the masses.
Therefore, I believe the so-called "boom" will last for-
ever, for there can be no let-up to the development of a
state which offers so much to so many classes of people.
So let me record once again-there is no boom in Florida.
The state is merely doing in a few years what it would
ordinarily take decades to do. It is doing all this on a
permanent basis. It is building for the future. It is turn-
ing the tables on the usual development procedure-it is
speeding up the future and making it the present.


C 12











CHAPTER II


SPECULATOR VERSUS DEVELOPER

M UCH has been written and said about the migration
to Florida, but when such a phenomenon occurs,
gossip adds to actual fact so that those who wish only truth
are confused.
People are pouring into Florida. That is an actual fact.
As I write these lines sitting by my window in a room in
the San Juan Hotel in Orlando, I see beneath me pavements
literally jammed with people. And this is November ist!
The season has not yet begun. Those hordes I see are
merely the advance guard-an indication of what Florida
may expect when winter sets in.
Nor do we have to depend upon idle rumor for an esti-
mate of the crowds that are flocking to Florida. The rail-
road men themselves, those keen observers of the current
of human travel, give corroborative testimony to the num-
ber of people who are headed southward.
An official of the Florida East Coast Railroad, which
is but one of the many roads carrying passengers to Florida,
has recently stated that:

"The greatest number of southbound passengers
handled in one day over the road in the winter of
1924 was 2,206. During one day in September, 1925,
the number of southbound passengers totaled 2,650,
and on a Sunday in October, 1925, a new high mark
was established at 3,039. The greatest number of
trains operated over a single division in one day during
last winter was 56. One day in September we operated
1 I3 J








THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

62 trains in one division. With ample facilities, the
maximum capacity for operating trains satisfactorily
on a single track railway is placed at 40 trains per
day. With this greater number of trains that have
been handled, it can be easily seen how remarkable
our operating performance has been. As the south
grows the southern railroads must keep pace. Freight
traffic of the southern roads has nearly doubled in ten
years. In this regard I will say that the freight busi-
ness handled by the Florida East Coast Railway during
June, 1925, was 104 per cent greater than was handled
in June, 1924, and, conservatively speaking, we are
handling 60 per cent more freight now in October,
1925, than we did a year ago. Certainly our freight
business has more than doubled in the past two years."

So we know that the railroads are freighted with human
cargoes, all eager for a glimpse of the newest golden state,
with the majority of them likely to succumb to the varied
attractions of her flowered acres.
But what is the real magnet attracting them, and how
many of their number will settle permanently in Florida?
Probably the great majority of these masses of people
who are streaming into the state in ever-increasing numbers
have made the migration because of the lure of easy money.
Stories of fortunes to be acquired almost overnight
brings many of them to Florida, while some, of course,
are merely idly curious. Others, perhaps, are enjoying a
vacation planned long before the boom and now being
intently pursued, since there is the possibility of combining
business with pleasure.
But, if my recent close-at-hand view of every section of
the state is to be recorded truthfully, I must say that those
who did not come to speculate in Florida's golden acres are
very much in the minority.
Probably less than o1 per cent of the people in Florida,
on the November day I write these lines, did not come to
E 14








THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

buy land either for their own use or for speculative pur-
poses.
At least 90 per cent of the people now in Florida are
intent on land speculation, and they are purchasing Florida
property for the sole purpose of reselling it at a profit.
Nor need they wait long for buyers, with the majority
of those crowding into the state seeking an opportunity to
purchase their land.
Everyone is intent on profiting by the boom and de-
termined to grow rich, and, if possible, to do this over-
night.
So few of the present buyers of Florida land seek it for
development purposes that people are daily buying property,
the location of which they know nothing about.
A blueprint suffices, for other buyers, as ignorant of the
land's location as they themselves are, await the opportunity
to purchase their holdings.
Land that has an immediate resale value-land which will
produce an overnight profit-that is what the mob is eagerly
seeking.
Title to the property, either actual, or the option equiva-
lent to potential ownership, is all that is being sought, and
it does not matter much where the parcel is located, or
whether its soil be of one kind or another, if only the land
possesses a resale value.
Unfortunately, the foresight of capitalists, who are un-
derwriting ,P antic programs of land development and ex-
pansion of\established utility and shipping services, has
been a magnet to attract a class of real estate agents and
brokers who are making no effort to participate in Florida's
actual development. To them, the boom means nothing
more than a mad scramble for easy money.
There are two distinct classes operating in Florida to-day.
One class is composed of the gambling element which is
seeking a fortune, but which is unwilling to work for it-
the other represents the monied men who have honestly
financed the splendid developments they are sponsoring.
1 15s








THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

The former class are staging a new kind of gold rush,
for theirs is a rush without the gold-an oil bonanza without
the oil.
We have known gold booms in Colorado, California and
the Klondike. But these booms were based on tangible
assets, for there was actually ore that could be taken from
the soil.
Oklahoma, Texas, and again California, have known oil
booms. These booms also were based on actual possi-
bilities, for development of the lands produced highly
profitable gushers.
Those who participated in these booms were no less
anxious for easy money than are those who are participat-
ing in Florida's boom.
) The difference, however, is that those adventurers of
nore stirring days of the past were willing to bend their
energies in constructive efforts-in other words, they were
willing to work for the easy money they hoped to earn.
Your modern adventurer knows none of the hardships
of the "Forty-Niners." Transportation has developed tre-
mendously since those pioneer days, and anyone with just
a few dollars and a few hours' patience can arrive at the
scene of the new boom.
Naturally, with the hardships of travel of olden days
unknown to-day, the sturdy stock those other booms at-
tracted has been supplanted by a polished, suave, well-
dressed mob. Calloused hands-the symbol of participation
in booms of old-are supplanted by diamonds and bank
accounts fattened on Florida climate and sunshine, for
Florida "pioneers" are dealing mainly in little slips of
paper-those precious contracts which give one land to
sell.
In Florida there are no ores to be mined in the search
for gold, no wells to be sunk in the quest for gushers. Land
only is dealt in, and that is being sold and resold at ever
increasing prices. So rapidly have prices for Florida land
advanced that the actual value of much of the land has long
[:60]







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
since ceased to keep pace with the gambling value of it.
To those who are gambling in Florida land-and they
are in the majority of those who deal in land in the state-
the land is worth what it will bring.
So few stop to consider the land's actual value-what
it will earn when the present gambling wave shall have
subsided-that those who offer halfway desirable lands
for sale find their offerings snapped up, in many instances
on the day of publication.
The price asked for the land is of little importance, for
there is an hysterical belief that regardless of what is paid
for a tract, it has a greater resale value.
None of these purchasers are seeking home sites. Only
land that can be sold at an advance in price appeals to
the gambler, and he will pay any price to secure it.
Because of the tremendous activity of the gambling
quota, the true significance of what is going on in Florida
to-day has been almost entirely lost sight of.
Other chapters of this volume will illustrate some of the
many reasons why capital was attracted to Florida in the
first place. Just now I am concerned about directing the
reader's attention to the second class that is operating in
the state.
In and about well populated communities having ade-
quate economic reasons for being, and also in the direct
path of development plans the immediate future will see
launched, highly reputable and thoroughly legitimate land
development companies have founded new cities.
In some of these developments, many thousands of peo-
ple are already residing amidst a beauty of surroundings
unknown in their former home cities. Here honest endeavor
has resulted in creating values where none existed before.
This is the class of Florida real estate men who are hon-
estly trying to attract those buyers who are interested in
the legitimate growth of the state.
Following chapters will tell of what has been done to
safeguard the investor in Florida land and how legitimate
E171






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

Florida realtors and the organizations they support have
combined in their efforts to drive the undesirables out
of the state.
The time when speculation will cease is not distant.
Prices for land have been forced to such high levels that
they will of their own accord be compelled to tumble from
the dizzy heights they have achieved.
Thousands of residents of the state, truly representative
of Florida's true spirit-the spirit which stands for safe and
sane growth and development-are looking forward to the
time when speculation shall have ended and prices seek
a normal level.
Once Florida is ridded of the army of speculators which
is now swarming over the state, the steady progress that
has been made during the past five years in actually im-
proving the land with habitable building and business blocks
will amaze those very people who see in Florida's boom
of to-day only a wave of speculation.
The program of development of which Florida's present
building activity is a part will continue indefinitely. There
is no reason why it should ever cease.
Though much publicity has been given the remarkable
building activity going on all over the state, the spectacular
stories of fortunes acquired overnight, which the press of
America has broadcast in its pages, have served to draw
a veil over building records.
But it is these building achievements and what they
stand for that will endure long after the speculators have
left the state.


S18s]













CHAPTER III


WHAT ABOUT FLORIDA REAL ESTATE VALUES?

FLORIDA is known as the Peninsula State. The greatest
length of the state north to south is 450 miles; the
greatest width is about 400 miles; and the average width
of the peninsula is about 95 miles.
The area of the state is 54,861 square miles of land and
3,805 square miles of water, the gross area being 58,666
square miles. Florida has x,250 miles of coast line, which
is more than any other state possesses. The Atlantic Ocean
stretches along the entire east coast of the peninsula, the
Gulf of Mexico is on the west, and the Straits of Florida
are on the south.
In 1821 the United States paid the Kingdom of Spain
$5,000,000 for this vast area. Thus we learn that Florida's
present day golden acres cost our government just 62 cents
per acre.
Within the boundaries of this state there are approxi-
mately 30,000 lakes, a great majority of them privately
owned and of negligible proportions. These are mainly in
central Florida and add greatly to the scenic attractions of
the state. Lake Okeechobee is the largest of Florida lakes,
this vast expanse of water covering an area of 696,320
acres. It is 32 miles wide and 34 miles long, with an
average depth of but 20 feet, and is, incidentally, the
second largest lake in America.
The inland waterways of Florida add greatly to her
present transportation facilities and future possibilities, the
many rivers of the state being for the most part navigable.
The principal rivers are the St. Johns, Oklawaha, Kissim-
[ i9]







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
mee, Indian, St. Mary's, Suwanee, Apalachicola, and
Manatee, and the waters of most of the streams are alive
with shipping.
From December to March the weather in Florida is
generally ideal. Within forty hours' ride or less from the
most rigorous climate of the north in the winter months,
Florida is situated at the threshold of almost 60,000,000
people who may enjoy here the advantages of spring-
like climate and out-door activities during the winter
months. There is no lack of variety of things to do and
to see. Tropical verdure, the wonderful sunshine of the
far south, blue skies, ocean breezes, sparkling lakes, dense
jungles, wonderful ocean beaches, all manner of sports-
they are all here for the enjoyment of those who seek
them.
Is it any wonder then that with these facts known and
with easy and inexpensive transportation at hand, hun-
dreds of thousands of people have been drawn to Florida?
And with their coming was it not natural that a great de-
mand for Florida real estate should have been so spec-
tacularly asserted?
To-day, Florida resembles a checker-board. Wherever
one goes-east, west, all over the state-the land is cut up
into town sites. Some have a future, but many are
destined to become nothing more than the seat of opera-
tion for shrewd real estate men.
Forbes Magazine, in speaking of gambling in Florida
real estate, says:

"Florida has made money for those who had
money, and is making money for those who have
money. But victims of the get-rich-quick mania who
are sending money to Florida or going to Florida to
buy lots in the expectation of reselling them over-
night at a dazzling profit will be disappointed. Brains,
effort and foresight have yielded, and are yielding,
many fortunes in Florida, but blind speculation is
C20]







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
little likely to reap anything but loss and sorrow.
"Investigate before you invest."

Investigation proves that it is the "high pressure" class
of real estate salesman who is responsible for present con-
ditions in many Florida realty markets. Their glib
tongues have ascribed a sales and purchase value to the
land which it is doubtful it will ever have in reality, and
it is against their operations that the newcomer to Florida
must be warned.
Such tremendous fortunes have been made by realtors
in Florida, both legitimate and otherwise, that to-day finds
practically everyone in the state dabbling in land. No
other subject has a chance in Florida. People in every
walk of life talk nothing but real estate, think nothing but
real estate, and I dare say many of them dream nothing but
real estate.
Business men and women, lawyers, doctors, scores of
school teachers, even policemen, are in the realty game, so
great is the demand for land. One cannot blame them
for deserting their former activities, for they are making
considerably more in their new field of endeavor.
In the previous chapter it has been stated that pub-
licity has played its part in causing Florida to be enjoying
such unparalleled development and prosperity. If adver-
tising is one of the causes of this development and pros-
perity, what is the foundation of such advertising?
Plainly speaking, is such advertising based on truths which
really justify it? The answers to the above questions are
readily found if one will but take the time to investigate.
Agricultural experts are agreed that almost 95 per cent
of Florida's vast acreage is tillable, and yet only a little
over 2,000,000 acres of the peninsula's unmatchable soil
are now in cultivation.
With such a small percentage in actual production,
Florida produces and ships more citrus fruit than Cali-
fornia. Within five years, from the trees already planted,
[21







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

Florida will double its output of these fruits. Already
the income to the present inhabitants of the state from
agriculture, horticulture, livestock, fishing, and mining in-
dustries is over $500,000,000 a year.
To-day Florida has a population of approximately 1,250,-
ooo inhabitants, yet experts who have examined this area
are convinced that she could support with no difficulty a
population of 20,000,000 if she would develop her agri-
cultural possibilities.
The credulous public, eager for an opportunity to pur-
chase Florida land, come to the state fully expecting to
find gold upon the streets, and even though they do not
find it there, so certain are they it must be secreted in the
ground, that many who arrive at their Florida destination
in the morning are land owners by nightfall. Not enough
time is allowed by thousands of investors to analyze the
situation and make certain that they are buying fairly and
wisely, and from legitimate developers and realtors.
Forbes Magazine, which acts as a mentor to thousands of
business men, warns the public against a hasty purchase of
Florida land. With the headline, "Even Florida Is Not
Fool-Proof," in its October Ist, 1925, issue, this publication
says editorially:

"Sometimes a fool rushes in blindly and makes a
fortune in the stock market. But it takes a shrewd
student of economics to make money in stock specula-
tion over a period of years. Neither Bernard M.
Baruch nor Jesse Livermore made millions in Wall
Street without expending intense mental application.
Florida is to-day rivaling Wall Street as a magnet
for speculators. Unquestionably, many excellent real
estate investments have been made in Florida and
doubtless many more will be made, for undeniably
there are in Florida wonderful opportunities for the
discerning, just as there are in Wall Street.
"But throughout the country the delusion has de.
E22 ]







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
Veloped that any fool, utterly ignorant of intrinsic
values, can gamble blindly in Florida real estate and
overnight reap a fortune. 'Investigate before you in-
vest' is the maxim always followed by prudent people.
It is just as necessary to follow this rule in Florida as
in Wall Street. There are times when any stock can
be purchased and a profit realized-when the whole
market is booming gayly. Florida, from all that one
can gather, has enjoyed a similar period. But such
conditions do not last permanently in Wall Street
and neither will they last permanently in Florida.
If you are wise, you will investigate before you invest
even in Florida, full of promise though it be.
"In many othe-'parts of the country a boom is vigor-
ously under way in real estate. Indeed, real estate
speculation throughout the United States eclipses any-
thing witnessed in years. Even the stock market has
not boiled as violently as the land boom. Watch your
step!"

Often a piece of property has had the eighth owner within
thirty days. That being the case, the most rabid Florida
booster must admit that the price being paid for that
piece of land by the ninth owner is out of all proportion to
the value of the land.
The writer has spoken to a dozen of these "ninth owners,"
and in every instance they have laconically replied that
they did not mind the price they paid for their land as
they did not expect to hold the land very long, and when
they sold out their holdings a good profit would be added
to their purchase price.
Encouraged by greedy realtors to take quick profits on
their holdings, thousands of newly-arrived Florida land
owners are taking part in one of the greatest gambling
spectacles ever witnessed in this country.
It is most certainly not the purpose of this writer to in
any way deny the fact that Florida presents a splendid
[ 23 J







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

opportunity for future profit regardless of what the nature
of one's investment may be.
There is every reason for Florida's rapid growth and
development, but what is deplorable about the whole situ-
ation are the methods used by many of the active realtors
of the state in disposing of the property they have for sale.
Attracted by the influx of people desiring to purchase
land and well aware of the fact that where there are many
people there is much money, scores of unprincipled persons
masquerading under the protecting cloak of legitimacy, have
come to the state in the hope of making a fortune.
To them Florida's future means no niore than their pres-
ent opportunity to earn profits in the form of commissions,
but this class is usually neither resident of the state nor
representative of it. It is this type of realtor that the
reader must be warned against. He urges his clients to
resell their property almost on the day of purchase. The
bewildered client, dazzled by the opportunity for a quick
profit, does as he is bid and the slick realtor earns many
commissions on the sale of the same piece of property.
Typical of that situation is a conversation I recently over-
heard in a Miami bank where I had come to cash a check.
Directly in front of me stood a sleek-looking chap, while
back of me was a man well advanced in years. The older
of the two greeted the younger as follows: "You here again,
Bob?" At the sound of the old man's voice Bob wheeled
about, and grinning, waved a certified check toward his
friend saying, "Yes, Dave, I'm here again. I'm just about
tired of banking my commissions on that Stanley lot. This
is the fifth time I've sold it this month."
A healthy condition indeed for a salesman's bank account,
but a most unhealthy one for the fifth owner of the Stanley
lot.
Too much of Florida's splendid land is being used as a
pawn in the game which is sweeping the state. The actual
earning power of a piece of land in too many instances has
been entirely lost sight of, because too many people are
[ 24 1






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

willing to base its earning power upon its sales value from
the gambling angle.
In Miami business property sold as high as $I8,ooo a
front foot and in St. Petersburg property that sold in Sep-
tember, 1924, for $I,ooo a front foot was quoted a year
later at from $6,000 to $7,000 a front foot.
Why should property in Miami or any other city be
worth more, in proportion to the size of the city and its
development, than property similarly located in any north-
ern or western city where the value of the property has
actually been demonstrated on the safe and sane basis-
twelve months a year-for many years?
Yet, though it must become a difficult task for anyone
to prove such Florida property not only more valuable but
actually as valuable as property similarly situated in other
cities, the fact remains that many Florida realtors who
encourage land gambling are selling their lands at consider-
ably higher prices than the same land would cost anywhere
else in America.
Subdivisions are being promoted in every corner of the
state, and often by people wholly unfitted for such under-
takings. Their success is possible because they sell on
what are alleged to be easy terms. They appeal to those
people who have no immediate use for the land, but who,
influenced by the stories of tremendous profits which have
been made in Florida, are buying now in the hope that
their property may be eagerly sought after by purchasers
in years to come.
Many of these purchasers are buying land sight unseen.
They are paying huge profits to slick promoters who have
created a subdivision with a fancy name by merely drawing
a lead-pencil through what should be an acreage proposi-
tion.
It is against these individuals and the too small unit of
subdivision that the writer is endeavoring to warn the reader.
They are a risky proposition and caution must be used
before an investment is made.
S253j






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

I have been asked hundreds of times what I think of
Florida land values and how long they will continue to
rise. The answer is quite simple, for the fact remains
true of Florida land as it does of any other commodity in
which people traffic-it must withstand the test which only
time itself can make.
If those parasites masquerading in the guise of real estate
brokers-and there are hundreds of them in Florida-are
permitted to operate as freely as they have in the past,
then Florida faces a time when she will have to recover
from the hysteria attending these pioneer days in her de-
velopment-the time when gambling in her precious lands
will have ceased because of man's unwillingness to pay
higher prices as well as his inability to do so.
The greatest possibility for future success in Florida lies
in either the industrial or commercial worlds or in agricul-
tural fields. This is apart from the opportunities of those
who cater to a tourist public. As these fields of endeavor
gain force, real estate speculation; not, mind you, the pur-
chasing of desirable lands for home-sites from reputable
developers, but the wildcat type of speculation, will be
superseded by a tremendous business and agricultural de-
velopment, for when all is said and done, when pros and
cons have all been summed up, the fact still remains that
there is probably greater opportunity for success, for health,
wealth and prosperity in Florida than there is in any other
part of the globe to-day.
Some day, and there are many well qualified judges who
concur in that opinion, land in Florida will have to be
returned to its proper valuation. Soaring prices must bring
it down sooner or later, and the man who is caught "hold-
ing the bag"-in other words, those "ninth owners"-will
suffer heavily.
But to the entire credit of the organized and legitimate
Florida realtors it must be said that they are doing every-
thing that can be done to bring the selling of land within
[ 26






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

lawful restrictions. Their activities must fast put a stop
to this sort of practice.
If the gambling value of much Florida land were sud-
denly wiped out, thousands of people who have purchased
land would be forced to suffer a considerable loss. And
that is exactly the situation which these same thousands
of people are facing, for values of undeveloped land in
Florida, in many instances, are now much too high. Florida
land is distinctly worthwhile, but the valuation some
realtors, interested only in commissions, place upon it must
be questioned by this writer.


[27











CHAPTER IV


"WHEN WILL THE BUBBLE BURST?"

AGREAT many people who have never visited Florida
and are therefore entirely unfamiliar with conditions
in the state are asking of everyone who can claim the
distinction of a sojourn on the peninsula, "When do you
think the bubble will burst?"
When will the reaction to the present wave of realty
speculation set in? This is a question heard less in Florida
than elsewhere. It is also a question which indicates clearly
that those who ask it believe the boom in Florida is in
reality only a bubble, likely to burst at any time.
In Florida they don't think the tremendous activity
going on in the real estate market is in any sense a bubble.
Some are so sanguine as to believe that there is not even a
boom in progress.
These individuals-and they are many in number-are
substantial business men, and they are pleased to believe
that the present activity is merely the result of a very
rapid fulfillment of a destiny which should have asserted
itself in their state long since.
These solid men expect a reaction, sure enough, for they
admit that in many cases prices for land are economically
wrong. They realize that the inevitable readjustment will
force many to suffer losses.
Indeed these "safe and sane" operators have told me
they would welcome this reaction immediately, for with
its arrival, trading would slow up and the undesirable
realtor who dealt only in lands in which much speculation
had been going on, would be forced out of business.
But to expect this readjustment when the tide of new-
E:28







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

comers to Florida is steadily rising, and the flood of new
money is rushing merrily on, sweeping aside bank de-
posit records almost as soon as they are announced, only to
replace old totals with steadily mounting new ones, is out
of the question.
Records show how rapidly bank deposits are mounting in
Florida. Millions are added almost daily, so we may expect
trading activity to show no abatement, at least until money
ceases to pour into Florida.
Who is there who can tell when that time will come, or
presuming one could actually predict with accuracy the date,
who would venture to say at what general level prices for
Florida land will stabilize?
Miami's hopes are for a population of close to a mil-
lion. The entire east coast is becoming known as the
playground of America. It is predicted that the long
stretch of ocean frontage from Palm Beach to Key West
will one day be thick with hotels and resorts, residential
parks, sporting clubs and splendid estates.
The interior of the state is bidding for the development
of its cities and the growth of already great citrus and
truck farms which supply the winter markets of the nation.
The west coast demands that attention be focused on its
industries and its fishing and shipping activities. The claim
is also advanced that this territory possesses a combination
of all of Florida's attractions and will make progress more
rapidly than any other section.
If enough people continue to come to Florida and if
enough money comes with them, who can say that what
Floridians hope to accomplish will not be accomplished ere
the break comes?
And both people and money continue to pour into the
state.
But economic laws will finally prevail. A leveling of
and stabilization of land values must come. Mine is no
doubt as to the certainty of Florida's continued growth and
the certainty of its sustained prosperity, but I am firmly
S29]








THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

convinced that its ultimate destiny will have to be worked
out on a safer and saner plan than now prevails.
To that portion of those people-and they are countless
in number-who have never been in Florida who shall read
these pages in their printed form, I answer that there is no
good reason why the development of Florida should ever
cease. This is but another way of saying that the boom
will last, and I am confident were those of my readers who
have asked this question here in Florida as I am, they
would be quick to see the truth of what I say.
There is so much to do in Florida, and there are as yet,
so few people here to do it, that what millions of people
are pleased to call a boom-but what in reality is only a
sudden realization of Florida's possibilities-can never really
end.
The feverish condition of land speculation now rampant
in many sections of Florida will eventually die of its own
accord. Indeed, the activity in land speculation, which is
a boom entirely apart from Florida's present day develop-
ment, has just about reached its peak.
If the rapid development of the land itself is to con-
tinue, attention must soon be focused on the investment
feature of Florida land rather than on the speculative
opportunities.
With the state settled down to a concentrated expansion
and development program from both an industrial and
agricultural standpoint, this writer is bold enough to pre-
dict that it will not take Florida long to ride abreast of
those of her sister states who are already strong links in
the chain which goes to make up the power of the Union.
Of course all booms in land-in other words, rapidly
rising land values-must sooner or later come to an end.
It is that fact which makes it imperative for the seeker of
truth about Florida to learn to differentiate between what
is a boom, in every accepted sense of the term, and what
is really a sudden awakening of a state and the consequent
advance in her realty values.
E 30o







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

In other words, if you wish to appreciate the true value
of Florida land, you must realize that this state is doing
in a few years, nay, more accurately speaking, in a few
months, what should have taken generations to do. And
for that fact she deserves much praise.
Each day Florida's fame is spreading, each day more
people are learning of the real worth of the land in this
state.
The widespread publicity coupled with the desire of all
humans to enjoy life to the full-and that can surely be
done in most parts of Florida-is causing more and more
people to join the trek southward.
This great trek is the biggest migration since the days
when the covered wagons sought the old Oregon trail. And
this hegira south will continue, for there is a lure about the
vast area which is Florida.
The state is most fortunately situated. Hugging her
eastern shores are the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, that
mysterious stream of inky black water which rises out of
the depths of the Caribbean Sea, courses through the chill
Atlantic, and finally disappears along the coast of Norway.
I have heard people say that if the Gulf Stream did not
rush by the east coast of Florida as it does-there would
be no Florida.
My answer has been that this might be quite true, but
by that same token there remains the fact that the Gulf
Stream does course by Florida's east coast, sending its
beneficial influence over the state, and will always continue
to do sol
Thus Florida is assured of her climate and of her floral
beauty. These attributes insure her ultimate develop-
ment and her power to attract to her cities in ever increas-
ing numbers, hordes of people bent upon recreation as well
as business and agricultural opportunities.
Even with the knowledge of Florida's previous handicaps
because of poor transportation and the inbred thought in
most Americans that the state was simply a rich man's play-
C31]








THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

ground, people still ask why was it not developed before
this. Only ignorance of the amazing history of this state
is reflected in this question.
In the first place, under Spanish rule colonization was
never encouraged. Few know that when Florida had passed
to British control prior to the Revolutionary War, the terri-
tory experienced what was even a greater boom than it is
now enjoying.
At that distant time upwards of 25,000 people emigrated
to Florida, but when Florida was ceded back to Spain and
denied religious freedom the territory's newly-acquired citi-
zens crossed the border line into the United States.
When later the state became part of the United States
it was a slave territory, and that made it unattractive to
northern settlers.
Then came the great treks to the west and northwest,
and so, as the paths of the empire builders led to those
sections of the country, homeseekers seldom thought of the
south and its great advantages, for though the Civil War
was but a memory, it required time to heal the wounds of
the internecine conflict.
With her growth and development entirely retarded,
with the state unable to keep pace with her more aggressive
northern and western sister states, Florida, denied the bene-
fit of railroad transportation, denied even regular inter-
communication between her settlements because of lack of
highways, was compelled to eye the panorama of nationwide
development going on all about her while she herself sat
idle.
Even when pioneer spirits spent much of their fortunes in
laying the first railway tracks, early exploitation featured
the new state as a land of impassable swamps whose waters
were alive with alligators and kindred life dangerous to
human safety.
And so Florida had another handicap to overcome, for
the public believed the wild stories about this state which
were freely circulated in all American centers of population.
E32]







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

To-day, the truth being circulated to every corner of the
universe, Florida is coming into her own, not only because
of her intrinsic value as a place to live, but also because
thousands who have found a kindly haven within her vast
boundaries are contributing generously to her upbuilding.
With the lowering of the waters of Lake Okeechobee, the
fertile Everglades are being reclaimed, and what was only
recently thought worthless land is rapidly being turned into
the most valuable soil in all the world.
With this reclamation of millions of acres of Everglades
land through the state's comprehensive drainage scheme,
the foundation for a magnificent agricultural empire is being
laid.
Industrial giants in the making are springing to life in
almost all sections of Florida, with the result that already
many millions of dollars are invested in manufacturing pur-
suits not only in the peninsula cities where all manner of
commodities are manufactured, but also in the open country
where millions of feet of lumber and millions of dollars'
worth of naval stores are prepared for market each year.
Slowly but surely people are beginning to realize that
there is but one Florida; and if we are to judge Florida's
future by the intense interest manifested in the state in
millions of homes both close by and far removed from her
inviting acres, then it is safe to predict that, in the immedi-
ate future, Florida will enjoy such a migration as will dwarf
the present one in size and importance.
For some years past, Florida's east coast has developed
her facilities for caring for the winter visitor. Now these
facilities have been developed on a never before dreamed
of scale extending to the west coast, where St. Petersburg is
rapidly forging to the front as a tourist mecca.
Permanent homes in the state are certain to be founded
by hundreds of thousands of families, while no one will
deny that several other millions will each winter come to
Florida in an effort to escape the rigors of northern winters.
We know that business opportunities will be found where
1 33 1







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
many people live, and many people will continue to come to
Florida. Add to these the millions who are unable to tear
themselves loose from local ties, but who do find time for a
winter vacation in Florida, and it is not difficult to perceive
that the new Florida offers manifold business opportunities.
I do not wish to cast the impression that Florida is any-
body's land and that anybody can journey there and immedi-
ately win fame and fortune. Nothing could be further
from the truth. It is well to remember that the state is in
a newly found and most welcome pioneer era, and that
now, as in all other such eras, living costs are comparatively
high. This is to be expected when hundreds of thousands
journey to a land equipped to care for only thousands.
Florida offers no particular advantages to ordinary labor.
Only skilled workers are needed. Florida must present a
cold welcome to the man without funds.
Success must be won here as elsewhere; what I contend
is that the opportunity for success is greater here than any-
where else in our nation, and for those who come equipped
by right of some special training to assist in the upbuilding
of the state, a golden opportunity exists. Multiplied in-
stances of rewards won on merit prove that opportunities
exist here if you are prepared to work hard and earnestly.
If you have sufficient funds to see you through the
experimental stages, if you know the soil, or if you are
equipped by right of successful business experience to grasp
one of the many commercial opportunities existing in Florida
now-come to Florida unfearingly and unmindful of ill-
timed and poorly substantiated derogatory statements one
can hear all over the country about this state.
The opportunity to wed fame and fortune, to attract
health and happiness, to gain a secure foothold in Florida
awaits you now.
To those who are really qualified for the migration to
this state and who see the handwriting on the wall, Florida
beckons with wide-open arms. Hers is a generous welcome.
For those who are seeking new fields and greater oppor-
C343









THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

tunities and yet who do not possess the imagination to
prompt them to leave old ties and sally forth to this new
land of opportunity, I have a deep sympathy, for if ever
opportunity sang her siren song to the great mass of the
people now is the time, and the voice one hears singing
is the voice of Florida, begging for just recognition.
If you are coming to Florida to participate in the wave
of actual development now going on despite land specula-
tion-if you are intent upon making a home for yourself or
if you are seeking a legitimate business affiliation in this
rapidly growing state-then you need have no concern
about the "bubble" or its threatened bursting.
Once you arrive in Florida you will realize that the state
is in the throes of two booms. One is confined to ordinary
gambling, with land as its basis. The other is a develop-
ment boom of tremendous proportions. The results of this
latter boom will be reflected in the future wealth and stand-
ing of the state, and the benefits of this legitimate boom
will be shared in by all who come to Florida with the in-
tention of assisting in her growth.


1351









CHAPTER V


WHO IS TRYING TO DISCREDIT FLORIDA-AND WHY?
PERHAPS thousands of people are being dissuaded from
going to Florida because of the belief in the word of
their local bankers, brokers, business men and newspapers.
In many cities throughout the country, leading business
and banking executives and even daily newspapers are
alarmed at the number of their population who either are
already in Florida or who have signified their intention of
migrating there this winter.
It is not difficult to understand, therefore, why the urge
of self-preservation should assert itself in the form of warn-
ings to their citizenry against migration to Florida.
For stressing the attractive opportunities existing in their
own communities both through the medium of the printed
word and by word of mouth, no one can blame these execu-
tives; but unfortunately there are bankers and brokers,
business men and newspaper writers, who, in their zeal to
defend the special virtues of the localities they represent,
have gone so far as to be deliberately unfair in their attacks
on Florida.
In more than one instance of which I have, conclusive
proof before me, large daily newspapers with splendid:
records for integrity and absolute honesty have either de-
liberately printed untruths about Florida or have permitted
their alleged investigators to publish stories about the state
which aside from being deliberate contortions of the actual
facts, are so silly that to this writer they appear humorous.
The State of Florida is part of the United States. It has
a government in keeping with all the sacred traditions for
E36]







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

fair play with which our national government is associated.
It is a state whose development has always been handi-
capped because of ignorance of her true worth. Now that
she suddenly leaps to the center of the stage in an effort
to secure her share of America's applause, Florida finds her
long-delayed and hard-won favor envied by many of her
sister states.
I have lived for years at a time in New York, in Illinois,
and California. They are great states, each firmly estab-
lished. To each of this trio I owe a debt of gratitude, for
each has provided me with a stepping stone up the ladder
toward the ultimate.
But though I have always experienced a feeling of loyalty
to each of these three states, mine has been a greater feel-
ing of loyalty to all the states of the Union as typified by
the United States. Therefore, I personally rejoice over
Florida's good fortune, for Florida is after all a part of
these United States I am pleased to call my own. Her
good fortune is mine too, for she is part of the land I love,
and, as such, should be treated with the fairness all we
Americans, and all American communities, like to associate
our daily activities with.
In contrast, however, to the principles and ideals of fair
play for which our nation is famed, many communities and
individuals-and their mouthpieces, the newspapers-have
risen in the spotlight of their local importance to decry
Florida's amazing growth and development, blindly strug-
gling to so phrase their warnings that they would not give
the impression that it was their belief that the progress of
one part of the nation was harmful to other parts.
And yet that is exactly the thought their petty imagina-
tions are combating with and it is striking terror in their
hearts.
To me the really amazing thing about this whole situa-
tion is, that these very people who are so quick to denounce
Florida and the opportunities she offers to the newcomer,
are supposed to be leaders in their communities, people with
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THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

more than average intelligence and possessed of a broad
understanding of human nature. If this is not the case,
how have they arrived at the important positions they hold
in their communities?
And yet with all their knowledge of human nature they
have been so lacking in foresight as to overlook the fact
that the American people are the most curious people in
the world. Either they have overlooked that interesting
fact, or they have attached so much importance to them-
selves, that they believed their simple assurance that op-
portunity did not exist in Florida was all that would be
required to stem the tide of migration from their cities and
states, Florida bound.
One of these gross errors they must be guilty of, and
their punishment, humorously enough, is that instead of
checking the rush to Florida they have so roused the
curiosity and so stirred the imagination of their citizens
by causing their beliefs to appear in the public prints, that
to-day finds more and more people intent upon seeing for
themselves just what Florida really is like.
So it is that their unfair and ofttimes untruthful allega-
tions have actually defeated their own purpose, and Florida
has received additional publicity.
It is regrettable that Florida should have aroused the
ire of so many of her sister states by the unparalleled suc-
cess she has achieved in an unprecedented space of time.
Her success was honestly obtained, and she is deserving
of the same measure of fair play from her sister states that
she has meted out to the sons and daughters of those very
states who are now trying to discredit her. When news-
papers take the trouble to misstate facts in an endeavor to
injure or mislead those who would take up their residence
or invest in another state, their action is prompted by
jealousy, and as a general rule the "knocks" act as a
boomerang. It is a habit of the average American not to
take too much for granted.
Utica, New York, newspapers recently printed disparaging
C38]






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

statements about Florida, while a Columbus, Ohio, paper
went so far as to carry a full page advertisement, evidently
paid for by the banking interests of the city.
The text of this announcement aimed to discourage
Ohioans who were depositors in the institutions represented
in the advertisement, from withdrawing their savings for
investment in Florida. People were urged to keep away
from Florida and particularly not to invest their money
there. The attractions of Columbus were pictured and in-
vestment in the city's properties was urged.
Such propaganda is ridiculous, and Florida need not fear
it. On the contrary, it must benefit the peninsula greatly,
for when staid and unemotional bankers are prompted by
either fear or hysteria to use newspaper space in their puny
efforts to halt a great national movement to a new land
within our own land, then it is certain that curiosity, which
is a characteristic of the American race, will assert itself
and people will do just as their own judgment dictates. And
what that judgment is can be seen on all sides in Florida.
Recently a great chain of newspapers centering in Ohio
and western Pennsylvania primarily, has accepted for pub-
lication in its columns a series of articles alleged to relate
conditions in Florida.
To this writer; who has spent many years in association
with newspaper men, it is unbelievable that such articles
could find their way into the columns of such a chain of
newspapers. Each and every one of the articles, without
exception, has been written so, that what are isolated in-
stances, such as can be found almost everywhere in the
country, have been held up as examples of what the general
conditions in Florida are.
These articles represent a deliberate attempt to discredit
this state. If the facts they purport to relate truthfully
were in reality soundly stated, they would not be offensive
to the intelligence of the reading public, but when, as is
the case, they are not only poorly written but stress at
139






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

great length poorly substantiated facts, they must needs
appear ridiculous.
No defense of Florida is intended by the foregoing. What
I am endeavoring to do is to acquaint my readers with the
truth about the whole situation here, and I believe that
probably the greatest indication of the opportunities Florida
presents is attested by the many attacks which have been
made upon her.
Individuals may be possessed of the "wanderlust" in suffi-
cient degree to cause them to abandon comfortable homes
and well-paying employment. Such individuals, however,
are exceptions to the rule, and lack of conservatism prompts
them, more often than not, to yield to the desire to move
about the country.
Multitudes, however, as represented by masses of people,
are far more conservative than individuals. Therefore
when almost half a million people pull up stakes and make a
pilgrimage to a given section of the country, it is certain that
some sound reason caused the move.
Not only can that reason be traced to a dissatisfaction
with conditions at the point left behind, but as well, the
particular benefits of the new land must have been known
to the pilgrim.
Therefore it must be apparent that it is futile for or-
ganized attempts to be launched in northern and western
states to stop the exodus to Florida.
Florida's advertising focused the eyes of the dissatisfied
on this state. What Florida has to offer was stated simply,
albeit attractively. But surely advertising does not pos-
sess the power to cause a contented citizen to leave his
home.
And by that same token, advertising, in the form of
specious and malicious propaganda, will never result in keep-
ing a dissatisfied citizen in one locality when he knows he
can do better in another.


1 40 o









CHAPTER VI


WHAT ARE FLORIDA'S POPULATION CENTERS?

T HOUGH all cities in Florida are certain to develop
tremendously for the next five years at least, I see
four distinct centers of population which will come to be
recognized as the most important in the state.
Indeed communities in these four centers are already
Florida's leading cities. What I see for them is not only a
greatly increased population, but their gradual transition
from their present status to the rank of class "A" cities,
and by that I mean not only Florida cities but representa-
tive American cities.
In the northern section of the state there is Jacksonville,
in the southern section Miami, on the west coast, Tampa,
and inland Orlando, with Sanford close by.
Jacksonville is the gateway to Florida, and though very
much a southern city so far as a mellow climate is con-
cerned, the commercial and industrial atmosphere of the
place breathes of the mercantile north. It is splendidly
located on the St. Johns River and accessible to the Atlantic
Ocean by a thirty-foot channel. Five trunk line railroads
enter Jacksonville yards. This city is probably the leading
industrial center of Florida, and possesses many miles of
paved streets and roads, many churches, schools and public
buildings.
There is a spirit about the citizenry of Jacksonville which
has earned much goodwill for the city. When recently I
talked with Mayor John T. Alsop, Jr., he said to me, "Here
in Jacksonville we have a slogan, 'Pull with us or pull out.'"
There you have in a few words the spirit of the city, and
that this slogan represents the spirit of the people is imme-
diately evident once you have come in contact with them.
E 411







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

A neighborly reception awaits the newcomer to Jackson-
ville. It is a different reception than that accorded visitors
further south in Florida. Here you are expected to stay
permanently and make your home. In Miami, for instance,
you are looked upon as a visitor, a tourist, come to bask in
the hot southern sun and play on sandy beaches.
An outstanding feature of Jacksonville is, that with the
exception of Glasgow, Scotland, this city has more public-
owned utilities than any other city in the world. There is a
municipal power plant which not only earned in the fiscal
year of 1924 more than $600,000, but furnished cheaper
manufacturing power than any other similar plant in the
world.
This and other earnings of Jacksonville's public utilities
form a considerable element in the reduction of city taxes.
Jacksonville owns its own golf course, docks, water sys-
tem, street car system, athletic stadium, broadcasting sta-
tion, swimming pool and horticulture nursery, which dis-
tributes hundreds of thousands of plants each year to
citizens who wish to beautify their premises.
A park system of over three hundred acres of improved
ground and public playgrounds as well as a proposed yacht
basin in the St. Johns River are other public advantages
in this progressive city.
The United States War Department in its port series
No. 8, issued in August, 1925, stamps its approval on the
port of Jacksonville in the following unmistakable lan-
guage:

"Jacksonville is a progressive port. Its city admin-
istration and its Chamber of Commerce are alive to
the importance of modern facilities and coordinated
management. Due undoubtedly to the combined
influence of the facilities provided by the city and the
publication of import and export rates through the
port, there has been a decided change in the character
of the business going through it. No longer is this
L 42 J







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

business confined to a few crude commodities. While
the developments have been too recent to revolutionize
conditions, there has been a conspicuous increase in
through traffic. The most southerly of the prin-
cipal South Atlantic ports, Jacksonville has advantages
in competition with Gulf ports because of its lower
ocean rates to European points. Due largely to private
enterprise, Jacksonville during the past five years has
outdistanced its competitors in the handling of naval
stores, for which, indeed, it has become the most im-
portant depot in the United States."

Recognized as the lumber capital of the south, Jack-
sonville handles enough lumber every year to build an
eight-foot board walk around the world at the equator.
In other words, over a billion feet of lumber passes through
Port Jacksonville every 12 months, or 60,ooo cars. At
the mill this approximates a valuation bf $35,000,000.
These shipments consist chiefly of southern pine, Gulf red
cypress and southern hardwoods. As a cross-tie center
Jacksonville leads the world, shipping during the past year
over three million ties at a valuation of three million dollars.
The heart of Florida's pine forests in the form of naval
stores, transferred in barrels and stored for shipment over-
seas is the story of Commodore's Point-the largest single
point of concentration of naval stores in the world. Of
twenty-five million dollars' worth of naval stores annually
exported from the United States ten million dollars' worth
leave from Port Jacksonville. With the passing of the
wooden ships, the term naval stores has lost its original
significance, but the volume of this Florida product remains
in the fact that it is the all-important product in the manu-
facturing of such universal commodities as soap, paint,
paper, printers' ink and a thousand lesser every-day utili-
ties. In the making of so small an item as fly-paper alone
one American concern uses as many as 15,ooo barrels a
year.
[ 43 3







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

Jacksonville is primarily an industrial community, and
the city leads the state not only industrially, but also com-
mercially and financially. There are 430 manufacturing
plants of 127 classifications with an annual production of
over $Ioo,ooo,ooo.
Of interest to parents whose children are still of school
age is the fact that the public school system of Jacksonville
and Duval County has kept abreast of the times and ranks
with the best in the country, from the standpoint of trained
teachers, curricula, buildings and equipment. The citizens
have always shown an active interest in the schools and
when called upon to vote bonds for building and enlarging
have always responded wholeheartedly. In February, 1925,
an additional bond issue of $2,500,000 was passed with
which to erect and equip new buildings and to enlarge and
reiquip buildings already in use. The system includes
elementary, junior high, senior high, continuation and night
schools, each thoroughly supervised. All the standard col-
leges and universities of the United States have placed
Duval Senior High School on the accredited list.
In 1900 Jacksonville had a population of 28,429. By
1910 this had increased to 57,699 and ten years later 91,558
were the official figures. The latest census figures, avail-
able in November, 1925, show that 136,663 persons now
reside in greater Jacksonville and from my own observations
I feel free to say that the population will continue to grow
for some years to come.
Bank clearings in Jacksonville indicate that a healthy
financial condition and a steady growth is being recorded
year after year. The official figures are:
1900 ..................................$ 12,733,048.64
1910 .................................... 124,657,071.62
1920 .................................... 625,635,096.94
1924 .................................... 808,093,771.44
1925* .................................... 814,453,005.55

Includes Jan. 1st to Aug. 26th only.
E443







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

1915 1925
Bank Deposits .............$23,193,254 $106,507,459
Bank Resources ............ 31,089,593 104,238,406

Though 377 miles north of Miami, Jacksonville enjoys
an equable climate. The average monthly mean tempera-
ture for 1925 was 51.7 degrees, minimum, and 86.4 degrees,
maximum.
Thirty miles south of Jacksonville is St. Augustine, the
oldest city in America.
I have heard it called "The Mother City of America"
and called it that myself, so like a child did I feel under
the spell of its age.
A city of reserve and fine dignity, with time-scarred land-
marks standing defiantly alongside modern structures, St.
Augustine wears quite gracefully the mantle of distinction
won by being the most ancient point of European habitation
in the New World.
Long, dreamy streets, rich in a luxuriant growth of multi-
colored flowers, wind like ribbons through the old city.
There is a charm to St. Augustine so unmistakable that its
force is felt almost the moment the visitor alights at the
railroad station.
Anxious hack drivers shout their offers to show you the
historical points if you will but entrust yourself to their
doubtful looking conveyances.
Two historic spots claim the major portion of the visi-
tor's interest. One usually goes first to the old city gates
-erected four centuries ago-and having filled the eye
with a picture of their antique beauty, a visit to Fort
Marion follows.
If by this time the dreamy spirit of the city has gripped
you as it did me, you will see once again as I did, in fancy,
the old fort alive with the swashbuckling buccaneers who
so many years ago fought their battles in and around the
place.
Founded on the site of an old Indian village, St. Augus-
[45








THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
tine knew many a period of warfare between the whites and
the aborigines, until on July 12, 182I, the yellow banner
of Castile and Aragon was replaced by the Stars and
Stripes.
Secure in the knowledge that each year many thousands
come to gaze with awe and reverence on her ancient land-
marks, the little city of heavily scented odors and languor-
compelling air dreams away the days amidst her many his-
torical landmarks.
Complete relaxation may be found here in abundance
should that be the magnet drawing you to Florida, while
the visitor seeking entertainment will find his every desire
anticipated in any of half a dozen splendid hotels situated
in the heart of the city.
Tinkling waters from many fountains make music for the
ears of tourists, all seeking a glimpse of the fabled Foun-
tain of Youth from which, it is alleged, Ponce de Leon
drank.
But though one would suspect that this fountain and its
surroundings would be one of the beauty spots of the city,
it is in reality a most ordinary place, inconspicuously lo-
cated about a half mile from the city gates.
Other interesting historical spots are the old Spanish
administration building, now used as the postoffice; the
cathedral: the Plaza de la Constitucion, a quaint and beau-
tiful greensward in the center of the city; the mission
building and the Franciscan monastery.
One could go on almost endlessly in speaking about this
and other Florida cities. But that is not my purpose. I
desire only to give the reader a brief outline of the cities
mentioned herein.
Just 179 miles southwest of Jacksonville is Orlando. All
about this inland metropolis are acres of growing things
which stretch as far as the eye can see. It is only just at
the present time that the truth about the fertile fields of
the hill section in the center of the state is becoming known.
Orlando, a fast growing city of more than 23,000 people,
[46






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA


is typical of the new day in Florida. Here one finds ten-
story hotels like the one I am writing these lines in, and
ten-story banks, one of which rises across the street from
my window, a silent testimonial to the progressiveness of
this junior metropolis.
Five banks, one hundred miles of brick-paved streets over
many of which stately old oaks arch their twining branches,
thirty lakes within the city limits, department stores whose
splendid buildings speak quite eloquently of the importance
of the city as a shopping center, many smart little specialty
shops, always the certain sign that a city has reached the
stage of luxurious living, all add to Orlando's attractiveness.
More than sixty commodities are manufactured in Or-
lando, and the industrial plants of the city have a $I,ooo,ooo
per month payroll.
Commercially, Orlando occupies a strategic position in
Florida, situated practically in the exact center of the penin-
sula, the hub of the brick-road development of central Flor-
ida through which passes the bulk of travel and traffic and
of commercial supplies. Orlando is Florida's largest inland
city, the sixth of the state, and it is growing at a substantial
rate.
Orlando can well boast of a splendid climate, the ter-
mometer rarely registering lower than 64 degrees during
the six winter months, while the average for the six summer
months is less than 80 degrees.
There is everything in and about Orlando to satisfy the
most exacting, and this writer states freely that the future
of this city is rosy indeed. Opportunity lurks all about
the section of which Orlando is the center. It is in the
heart of the citrus belt, and young enough in actual develop-
ment to offer countless opportunities to all who come here
seeking a homeland.
The population of Orlando has gained 600 per cent in
the last fifteen years. In 19io the present city was a village
of some 3,894 people. Ten years later the census showed
1 47







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

9,282 people residing in the growing city and the August,
1925, figures have jumped to almost 23,000.
Building permits issued in the city during the six years
ending with October I5th, 1925, are listed as follows:

1920 ....................................$1,800,007.00
1921 ...................................... 1,596,118.00
1922 .................................... 3,002,468.00
1923 ...................................... 3,271,799.00
1924 ...................................... 3,033,139.00
1925 (To Oct. 15th, 1925) ................. 5,715,478.00

The city tax rate for the current year is 21 mills on a
60 per cent valuation, which is equivalent to $12.60 on
every thousand dollars.
As an indication of how city property has increased in
value and has been developed, the following table of valua-
tions will prove illuminating. They are computed on an
approximately 60 per cent basis:

1900 .....................................$ 1,088,793.00
1910 ..................................... 2,113,653.00
1920 ..................................... 11,650,792.00
1924 ..................................... 20,784,455.00
1925 ..................................... 27,633,396.00

Postoffice receipts have jumped in fifteen years from
$20,608.23 in 1910 to $181,532.83 in 1925, while bank
resources exceed $21,000,000.
Twenty-five miles north of Orlando is Sanford. This
city is in the heart of what is probably the most intensively
developed agricultural section in the state of Florida. In
1925 the city produced 5,874 carloads of celery, which
makes it easily the largest single celery producing section
in the world.
Sanford has a system of sub-irrigation which the Depart-
ment of Agriculture at Washington has pronounced the best
method ever devised for applying moisture to plant growth.
People interested in this method can secure an interesting
C 48 J






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

booklet on application to the Sanford Chamber of Com-
merce.
In 1920 Sanford's population was 5,588. Census figures
for 1925 place it at o1,5oo, an increase of 86 per cent.
The assessed valuation of the city computed on a 60 per
cent basis jumped $3,750,000 in 1920 to $II,550,648 in
1925, a gain of 207 per cent.
In 1920 Sanford's building permits totaled $130,095,
while for the first ten months of 1925 more than a million
dollars had been added to the above sum.
On September 30, 1925, bank deposits were over
$6,000,000.
An excellent graded school system and an accredited high
school provide educational facilities of a high standard.
In comparing Sanford with other cities in Florida, the
subject of population should always be considered. With
this thought in mind, it can be conservatively stated that
few towns of a similar population throughout the state can
show more modern development than is found in Sanford.
Further down the eastern coast of Florida is Miami, situ-
ated just 377 miles from Jacksonville. Miami is probably
the most amazing city in America. Since figures do not lie,
we see at a glance that this is America's fastest growing
city.
A few short years ago an Indian trading post skirting the
outer hem of an unknown wonderland, Miami to-day is a
city of almost 1oo,ooo population.
Between 1910 and 1920 Miami led the entire nation in
increased population, with a gain of 440 per cent. Nor is
there a diminishing in Miami's growth, for in the five-year
period just ended since the 1920 census Miami has regis-
tered another 250 per cent population increase.
Miami's greatest claim to fame will not, however, in the
opinion of this writer, be attributed to its rapid growth.
It is because this city takes unto its friendly bosom hun-
dreds of thousands of visitors each winter that it shall be-
come known as the greatest resort city in the world-one
C 49








THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

indeed which will one day boast of a winter population of
at least half a million people.
This is a city of pleasure and sport whose facilities for
play are not excelled by any other city in the world. Polo,
golf, fishing, hunting, horse-racing, surf and pool bathing,
boating, in fact all manner of outdoor sports life may be
indulged in every day of the year.
A new deep-water harbor project will, when completed,
make it possible for large trans-Atlantic ocean liners to
make Miami a port of call.
Already this city is taking rank as an important seaport.
Half a dozen ocean transportation lines serve Miami with
both passenger and freight service between important north-
ern points like New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Bos-
ton, while the Clyde Line announces a new addition to their
already broad Florida services in the form of a tri-weekly
service between Cuba and Miami.
To-day Miami is a bedlam of construction. There are
dozens of splendid hotels and other dozens in the making.
Stores, apartment houses, dwellings of all kinds are spring-
ing up on all sides in an effort to care for the demands of a
population which is growing faster than man-made shelter
can care for it.
Milling crowds jostle each other good-naturedly on
Miami's too narrow streets. Yet there is a spirit of hail-
fellow-well-met about the whole scene.
When eventually the building program of the city catches
up with the demand for business, office, and living quarters,
doubtless conditions in Miami will take a change for the
better, but until that time arrives the visitor to the city
must expect many inconveniences, and since by coming to
the city he courts these inconveniences, he should accept
them with a smile, realizing that he is witnessing the rare
phenomenon of a city being born.
Symbolic of the spirit of permanence which is typical of
most of Miami's stupendous building program is the new
home of The Miami News and Metropolis, the leading eve-
s 50







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

ning newspaper of the state, which is owned by former
Governor Cox of Ohio.
This man has caused to rise on Miami's waterfront one
of the most handsome buildings it has ever been my good
fortune to see. When dusk approaches and the floodlights
about the cornices of the building are released, there is
presented to Miamians a spectacle of architectural beauty
of which the city may well be proud.
Here indeed is a monument which tells at once the story
of the idealism reflected in the superb buildings which
greater Miami is building and planning to build, as well as
of one who has considerable foresight and faith in Miami.
Millions of dollars in free publicity that could not be
bought have aided in attracting people from all over the
world to Miami. The remarkable part of the story is that
Miami lives up to its advertising.
Reports that are stupendous in their magnitude concern-
ing building projects under way, or planned, and real estate
transactions are sent out of the city daily. They are so
astounding that many newspapers will not print them before
complete verification has been established. Before confirma-
tion can be sent another larger development has been re-
ported and the remarkable thing about this is the fact that
the last six months' growth of the city proves many of these
seemingly wild tales are not wild at all, but are founded on
absolutely truthful facts.
The Commercial Bank and Trust Company of Miami,
officered by men who came to the city from Atlanta, Ga.,
announced on September 5th that its deposits had increased
approximately 1700 per cent in less than a year. This is
not only phenomenal but is probably the greatest growth
ever shown by any bank anywhere. In September, 1924,
deposits aggregated $850,000. This September they are
more than $15,000,000.
Skeptics may say, "But this is only one bank that had
unusual growth." The answer is that the 8 leading banks
of Miami increased their deposits from approximately $36,-
S51]







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

ooo,ooo in June, 1924, to $128,000,000 in June, 1925, and
the percentage for July and August deposits was very much
greater than these figures would show for the same named
months last year. An amazing gain of 570 per cent has
been recorded in the very latest bank deposits of Miami.
These are $210,000,000 for November ist, 1925, as against
$37,000,000 for November Ist, 1924.
Bank clearings for the week ending August 22, 1924,
amounted to less than $3,000,000 compared with the corre-
responding week in 1925 when they exceeded $30,000,000
while the total for the first six months of 1925 amounted
to $380,641,072.98, or an increase of 377 per cent over the
1924 figures for the same period of time.
It is impossible to estimate the growth in population for
the last six months. In 1920 it was.placed at about 22,000
and preliminary estimates of 1925 gave the population as
71,000, an increase of 141 per cent. Since this last census
thousands of people have come to live in Miami, additional
territory has been annexed making it "Greater Miami," and
some persons go so far as to claim that the greater city has
a population of 200,000 all-year residents.
Building permits in 1924 totaled about $17,000,000oo. In
July, 1924, they were a little less than $2,000,000. In
greater Miami the total building in 1924 was above $30,-
ooo,ooo. In July, 1925, Miami headed the list of 25 leading
southern cities by showing more than $4,000,000 issued in
building permits, while for the first eighth months of 1925
the total was approximately $34,000,000.
There is so much talk of real estate in Florida and par-
ticularly in Miami that many people fail to realize there
are eighteen diversified industries in Miami, and it should
not be overlooked that some of the richest soil in the
country is close to the greater city.
There are fifty industrial plants and a $I,500,ooo sugar
mill on a 200,000-acre plantation near the city, coastwise
tonnage of 450,000 tons and Dade County, in which Miami
is situated and of which it is the county seat, has farm,
E52






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

grove and dairy products valued at eleven million dollars
a year.
Surf bathing may be enjoyed in Miami 365 days in the
year and more than 600 varieties of fish in the waters about
Miami lure countless anglers to test their fortune and skill
with rod and line.
The city is an international airport, Bimini, in the Ba-
hama Islands being but forty-five minutes distant. Nassau
can be reached in two hours, and Havana, Cuba, in three
and a half hours.
No port in the nation is growing more rapidly than Miami.
Shipping is increasing. Each year new water lines are
established. There is now eighteen feet of water in the
channel from the municipal docks to the sea, the channel
being only four and one-half miles in length. Upon its har-
bor, docks, and channel the city of Miami has spent more
than $2,000,000 and the Federal government has expended
$i,ooo,ooo. The United States Army Board of Engineers
has approved deepening Miami's channel to 25 feet and
doubling its width and recommends an appropriation of
$1,605,0oo for this work, all of which has secured the
unanimous sanction of the Rivers and Harbors Committee
of Congress.
Miami will be the seaport for the vast tonnage from
some four million acres of the fertile Everglades, and its
winter vegetables, grapefruit, oranges and tropical fruits,
lumber and manufactured articles will be carried by steamers
to the ends of the earth direct by water.
Miami Beach is connected with Miami proper by a splen-
did causeway. On the north end of the beach where society
holds sway the visitor may view an immaculately garbed
throng bent in a more or less furious way on entertaining
itself.
Miami Beach was once a barrier of said upon which rose
a dense mangrove jungle. Within the last five years it
has been converted into a winter playground of sufficient
E 53 :






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

lure to attract thousands of people who come intent only
on playing.
Each group or clique has its own outlet for activity.
Polo is played extensively, while golf, too, has plenty of
attention and is played on what are probably among Amer-
ica's most beautiful links. Water sports have both the
ocean and the Roman pools for exhibition purposes, and
during the season the waters of Biscayne Bay, fronting on
the Miami Beach side, are alive with yachting, sailing and
speed-boat racing parties.
Broad avenues invite the motorist and cyclist, and clay
courts lure tennis "fans" into strenuous exhibitions of their
skill.
Dancing in palm-lined open spaces or on splendid ball-
room floors is popular, despite what are frequently high
temperatures, and bridge parties hold sway on shaded
verandas.
But Miami Beach is not the paradise Palm Beach is-
life in the elegant hotels on the north end of Miami Beach
is a strange contrast to the tawdry picture presented on
the south end of the beach where the "hot dog," favorite
of the masses, barks his appeal.
Even plebeian boarding houses have sprung into existence
here and undraped bathers parade the streets with utter
abandon.
It is perhaps fitting that in such a chapter as this some
mention should be made of Palm Beach.
Palm Beach! What a magic sound that name has! Here
is a resort that has been advertised as has no other resort
in America.
To me, the sea at Palm Beach has always seemed bluer,
the sky fairer, the sun more golden. There is a dazzling
white beach and many magnificent avenues bordered with
rows of palm trees and Australian pines which afford a fair
measure of shade for the pedestrian.
This is the resort of the lite. Here one can see the pano-
rama of life unfold itself in true magnificence. Everything
E 54 1







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

is done on a lavish scale-even the size of the hotels amaze
new visitors.
At eleven-thirty every morning the beach is populated
with a throng of society folk who play about for an hour
and then retrace their steps to hotels and homes in search
of luncheon.
The afternoons are given over to social and sports ac-
tivities of all kinds with dinner usually at eight o'clock.
There are many exclusive clubs and casinos, of which
Paris Singer's Everglades Club, and Bradley's, where for-
tunes change hands at the gaming tables, are the best known.
Society, wealth and fashion from all over the world have
been drawn to Palm Beach not alone by its beautiful hotels,
magnificent golf links and the most wonderful expanses of
sandy shore, but by the loveliness of nature, and the lure of
the climate. The stately royal palm and cocoanut palm,
the traveler's tree, the royal poinciana, the poinsettia, the
flaming hibiscus, the banana, the beautiful varicolored cro-
tons, flowers, and climbing roses and vines, the green lawns,
have made Palm Beach a semi-tropical paradise with gor-
geous, riotous masses of color, flowers that like the tropical
birds and butterflies show themselves in gayest tints.
Lake Worth, a beautiful inland lagoon, borders Palm
Beach on the west; while the Atlantic Ocean with the blue
Gulf Stream is on the east.
Many of the social functions of Palm Beach are famed
the world over. Such is the tea and dansant in the cocoanut
grove on the grounds of the Hotel Royal Poinciana, in the
late afternoon. The setting might suggest a tea and dance
given by a Rajah of India. The smoothest of dancing floors
draped by the graceful fronds of palms; white-spread tables,
and trained waiters attentive to every wish, bringing in the
refreshments before the dance. Then, the inspiring dance
music of a noted Broadway orchestra; men in correct
sports clothes; women in the loveliest gowns that the
most famous costumers in the world can provide. Then,
the approach of nightfall. The setting sun, glowing like a
C 55







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

ball of fire, tinges the fleecy clouds with hues as delicate as
the lining of a shell of pearl, with purple, gold, and magenta,
and vagrant tints. Then, the colored incandescent globes
illuminate the cocoanut grove as a fairyland, while the
figures moving to the strains of the orchestra seem to the
distant observer who has drawn away for a better perspec-
tive, as though the fairies themselves are dancing.
While there is a great variety of sports and pastimes every
moment of the day at Palm Beach, one, also, can get away
into the quiet. There are scores of beautiful drives and
quiet waters and beach sports, and within three-quarters of
an hour's ride one may be in the primeval wilderness.
The vast Hotel Royal Poinciana is more than ,oo000 feet
in length and affords sumptuous accommodations for more
than 1,500 persons. In season more than 700 waiters serve
the table. In its lengthy halls some of the most noted shops
of Fifth Avenue show elaborate styles for every occasion.
Lake Worth is crowded with beautiful yachts and house
boats, some of them veritable floating palaces. Speedy
motorboats, sailing yachts, and beautiful fishing launches
for venturing out into the Gulf Stream are found here.
Palm Beach, despite its multitude of other attractions, is a
noted fishing resort and experienced fishing guides are at
the call of the guests.
Outdoor life at Palm Beach is a constant source of health,
whether the day be spent on the links of the Palm Beach
Country Club or the Palm Beach Golf Club; in the
surf or Roman baths of the new Casino; on the spacious
verandas of the Royal Poinciana, or dancing and watching
the bathers at the Dance de la Mer; motoring on the mag-
nificent boulevard along the Atlantic Ocean, or on the wind-
ing drives through the jungle; upon the broad verandas of
the hotels or on the sandy beaches, or in all these spots at
different times of the day.
Directly across Lake Worth is West Palm Beach, a thriv-
ing city connected with Palm Beach by two bridges and a
ferry.
C 56 '






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

In contrast to the life of ease and luxury lived at Palm
Beach, life in this city presents a bustling picture of activity
associated with other Florida cities, where development is
progressing at a rapid rate. The city is the county seat of
Palm Beach County and the market town of what promises
to be one of the most famous agricultural and sugar sections
of the country. The lands lying west of the city are fertile
and suitable for all kinds of fruits and vegetables. Eight
hundred thousand acres of upper Everglades land lying in
the western part of Palm Beach County is tributary to West
Palm Beach. None of this land has an elevation less than
seventeen feet and 0oo,ooo acres are now ready for culti-
vation. With the completion of the West Palm Beach
Canal and the Connors' Highway, the products of this won-
derful land will be marketed in West Palm Beach. The Con-
nors' project is designed as a part of the cross-state highway
beginning at Fort Myers and ending at West Palm Beach.
Alfred H. Wagg, president of the Greater Palm Beach
Chamber of Commerce, recently acquainted me with the
following facts about the Palm Beaches.
In 1920 the permanent population of the Palm Beaches
was something less than 9,000; in 1923 it had grown to 16,-
ooo and to-day it is very conservatively estimated at a
little more than 30,000 with a daily increase that promises
to make next year's figures even more impressive. Build-
ing permits for 1924 aggregated $8,851,360 and showed a
ioo per cent increase over 1923, while permits for the first
seven months of 1925 total $10,321,136, and in this con-
nection it must be remembered that the structures erected
under these permits average in cost approximately 50 per
cent more than the face of the permit.
Postoffice receipts showed an increase in 1924 of 331/3
per cent over the previous year-and July, 1925, showed
a 98 per cent increase over July, 1924, while bank deposits
of $1I,o11,689 in 1923 have grown to more than $30,-
000,000.
Actual valuation of property is hard to arrive at but the
E 57






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

assessed valuation for 1924 showed a total of $42,705,266,
and for 1925 more than $75,000,000 for the Palm Beaches.
With dredges at work carrying out a harbor-deepening
project to make the Palm Beaches a port of call of ocean
steamers in the trans-Atlantic and North American coast-
wise services; with a newly opened cross-state railroad just
becoming popularized and with numerous similar trans-
portation improvements the Palm Beaches are being made
even more easily accessible both for winter visitors and for
the handling of the products of its rich back country which
pass through this natural distributing point, the future of
the Palm Beaches is in reality as bright as the most en-
thusiastic might wish to paint it.
Key West, America's Gibraltar, the southernmost city in
the United States, and important army and navy base, has
a charm and atmosphere all its own. For it is located on
an island surrounded by semi-tropical depths and shoals
that reproduce every color in the rainbow and whose mar-
velous hues and shades rival those of the Grand Canyon of
Arizona. It is, perhaps, the quaintest city in the western
hemisphere, and were the visitor not connected by railroad
within 48 hours of New York or Chicago, he could well
imagine himself in some far-away and distant clime.
Not to have seen Key West is to have missed the most
picturesque center of marine life in the world.
Until completion of the oversea extension of the Florida
East Coast Railway in March, 1912, Key West could be
reached only by steamer. But, to-day, trains from the
north after passing over the great viaducts and trusses,
some of which rise out of thirty feet of ocean, glide into
the modern terminals of the Florida East Coast Railway
where forty steamships, each four hundred feet in length,
could be berthed at one time.
A roadway is also being constructed from the mainland
to Key West by means of filling in the shallow spaces be-
tween the Keys, which extend out into the Gulf waters in a
chain of which Key West is the most important.
Es58







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

Coral rock from the bottom of the sea is being used as
the basis for the construction of the overseas Key West
highway. This giant causeway will join the mainland of
Florida not only with Key West, but with practically all
of the worth-while Florida keys.
Upon its completion it will join the Dixie Highway, and
the motorist will be able to drive to Key West. The new
roadway across the sea presents one of the most costly
and extraordinary road building projects undertaken since
the motor car has become a vehicle of common use. To
gain a clear idea of the stupendous project now being com-
pleted, just consider the fact that the highway will extend
across the Gulf of Mexico where the Gulf waters mingle
with the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, for a distance of
over i25 miles.
Key West is noted for its cigar manufactories, its varied
commercial fishery aggregating more than $400,000 an-
nually, and its sponge and turtle fisheries. The city has 25
miles of shaded, surfaced streets with several interesting
automobile drives to various parts of the island. Beautiful
flowers, tropical shrubs, and palms, and the many vari-
colored crotons ornament the residence section.
The climate of Key West is ideal. There has never been
a frost. The lowest temperature ever recorded was 41
degrees on January 12th, 1886. The highest recorded in
25 years was 93 degrees, occurring only twice, on August
IIth and September 2nd, 1902. The average yearly normal
temperature is 76.9 degrees.
The magnificent harbor of Key West is capable of berth-
ing all the navies of the world. It is 25 miles long. With
a channel from I22 to 2 miles wide and with not less than
32 feet of water and large areas over 40 feet deep, it is
practically the largest deep-water harbor in the country.
This harbor is sheltered on the north by low keys and shoals
which form a complete protection of that side, whereas seven
miles south of this line of keys there is a parallel line of
E 59






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

reefs and shoals, some of which are scarcely awash at low
tide.
Here is located the famous Martello Towers, Civil War
forts, built in 1862, when Key West was a federal strong-
hold; as well as the seventh United States naval district
station, United States naval air station, a two-and-a-half
million dollar submarine base, and Key West barracks, and
Fort Taylor, marine barracks, United States naval base
hospital, and coast guard patrol base.
Nothing could be more quaint than the municipal wharves
where the fishing boats gather after venturing the colorful
seas thereabout. From Key West run the only ocean-going
freight car ferries in the world. They ply to Havana, 90
miles distant. One of them will carry from 18 to 24 loaded
freight cars at a time. Over this ferry line comes heavily
loaded freight cars, bound from Cuba to the northern cities,
carrying tropical products.
The artistic soul at Key West will find that Mother Na-
ture is the greatest painter in the world. Strange and mar-
velously colored fish dart among the fantastic shelters of
the reefs. Beautiful sea birds are seen in great variety.
The island itself is surrounded by beaches whereon bathing
is indulged in every month in the year. Sea bathing here
is a delight. The broad bathing beaches are protected from
heavy seas by shoals and reefs.
Yachting, motorboating, motoring, tennis, and the various
functions connected with the army and navy posts make
Key West an active social center, while the city is also alive
with many tourists passing to and from Havana who stop
to see the once remote and always fascinating Key West.
Many Americans are now settling in the lovely city which
has the gay social life characteristic of Manila and other
colonial centers. The fact that Key West is one of the lead-
ing cities of export in the United States is resulting in many
permanent developments. There is a fine streetcar system
and plans are under way to create a modern Venice by the
reclamation of a square mile of shoals and tidewater land.
[60o








THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

Deep-sea fishing in Key West waters is unrivaled any,
where in the world. It is not infrequent to see the fishing
launches come in with from ten tons of fish upward, for
shipment to northern points and to Cuba. The United
States Government maintains at Key West a biological
laboratory for the collection and identification of marine
fauna and flora. Many of the tropical aquariums of the
north obtain their supplies of rare and beautiful fish from
Key West.
And now if we will speed in fancy to the west coast of
Florida we will come upon Tampa, which is growing steadily
and rapidly into one of the south's leading metropolises.
Though now enjoying a great wave of development,
Tampa is and has been for many years an important port
and manufacturing city.
It is difficult to gaze upon Tampa's skyline and remain
unaware of the city's importance. There is a stable all-
year-round growth going on in Tampa. Its industries and
general business activities make the city an important.busi-
ness center.
Tampa is the world's greatest Havana cigar producing
center. More than 6oo,coo,ooo cigars are made in Tampa
every year. In 1924 Tampa cigar manufacturers paid the
United States Government more than $5,000,000 for rev-
enue stamps.
The present population of Tampa represents a 1oo per
cent increase over what it was about four years ago and the
city is gaining new population very rapidly.
More than $35,000,000 per year is represented in Tampa's
payroll.
Splendid graded schools and high schools offer ample edu-
cational facilities for the city's student body.
Tampa is a combination of busy metropolis and ideal win-
ter resort on Florida's west coast, though all-year-round
business and investment opportunities are to be found in
abundant measure in the city.
[6i ]







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

Six miles across Tampa Bay is St. Petersburg, rightly
termed "The Sunshine City."
The Gandy Bridge, one of the outstanding engineering
feats of Florida and the longest concrete bridge in the world
has reduced the actual distance between St. Petersburg and
Tampa to nineteen miles and that part of the distance which
is not covered by the bridge is traversed by splendid boule-
vards.
Nature has made possible the remarkable growth of this
city as a recreational and health-giving center.
With an average mean temperature from November to
April of 66.3 degrees and with dry, sunshiny winter days,
St. Petersburg offers an ideal climate for healthful relax-
ation.
The city is located on the southernmost point of Pinellos
Peninsula, 270 miles south from Jacksonville. This penin-
sula, a fringe-like projection, thrusts its thirty-odd miles of
length into the balmy waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Thirty-two miles east of Tampa lies Lakeland, a city of
more than 20,000 year-round inhabitants and center of citrus
production in Florida.
Lakeland is situated in Polk County, which is among the
richest counties in America, the per capital wealth of the
county being exceedingly high. The city is situated on a
hill, a very unusual condition in Florida, its elevation be-
ing 227 feet.
The surrounding country is such as to attract both tourist
and farmer. For the former there are the two big i8-hole
golf courses and the 15 lakes all within the city limits
which are responsible for the community's name. For the
latter there is the record of agricultural achievement in the
past and the prospect in the future that whatever happens
to Florida's present extraordinary real estate development,
the farming industry will undoubtedly continue to advance.
Lakeland is in the center of the Florida truck farming
district, but the rich surrounding soil is suited not only to
this variety of agriculture, but to horticulture as well. It
[ 62







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

is claimed that from Polk County's acres some 45 per cent
of the world's phosphate output is mined.
The census of Polk County's farm production shows
70,000 acres of citrus fruits, producing 4,500,000 boxes,
worth $1o,coo,ooo; 9,000 acres of grain, 500 acres of de-
ciduous trees, 470 acres of sugar cane, 30,000 acres of tim-
ber and about 1oo,oo0 acres in grazing. Poultry and live-
stock raising are also important industries.
The city is no less proud of its school system than of
its physical and financial well-being. Approximately 5,000
children are enrolled in the public schools. The eight
schools already built are being supplemented by two new
grammar schools and in addition Lakeland is the home of
Southern College. In Polk County there are 93 schools and
an enrollment, white and negro, of about 15,000 pupils.
Beyond peradventure, the chief thing which has placed
the name of Florida high in the halls of fame has been the
exceptionally fine citrus fruits which it sends forth to all
parts of the United States-even to California, where the
Pullman diners feature on their menus "Florida Grape-
fruit."
To a greater extent than may be commonly known the
credit for this distinctive fame belongs to Polk County.
Away back in 1850 the first settlers in this county started
the first groves in what is now Polk County; and some of
the original groves are still in good condition, though seventy
years have since passed into history. Just what is the
span of life for a citrus tree is not yet determined.
Even before the first railroad was built into the county,
which was in 1884, citrus fruit was produced in quantities
sufficient to justify hauling it fifty to seventy-five miles to
Tampa in wagons laboriously pulled across the sandy trails
by oxen. From Tampa it was then shipped by boat.
With the coming of the first railroad in 1884 the industry
received a new impetus and from that time to the present
day has been always on the increase.
Thus we have learned briefly something about Florida's
E 63 J








THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

important centers of population. Of course there are other
communities to which a certain amount of importance must
be attached and which will surely enjoy a splendid growth
in the years to come.
Prominent among these are the following cities whose
estimated population and gains in population are now accu-
rately known because of the state government's fifth state
census, the result of which was announced August ist,
1925, by Nathan Mayo, Commissioner of Agriculture, under
whose auspices the census was taken:

Population of Florida cities and towns of more than i,ooo
inhabitants with a comparison of present figures and those
of 1920:
In-
Name County 1925 1920 crease
Apalachicola-Franklin .......... 3,003 3,066 -63
Apopka-Orange ................ 1,005 798 207
Arcadia-DeSoto ................ 4,185 3,479 706
Auburndale-Polk ............... 1,574 715 859
Avon Park-Highlands ........... 1,534 890 644
Bartow-Polk ................... 4,593 4,203 390
Blountstown-Calhoun ........... 1,101 863 238
Bonifay-Holmes ................ 1,185 1,230 -45
Booksville-H-ernando ............ 1,745 1,011 734
Bradenton-Manatee ............ 7,306 3,868 3,438
Carrabelle-Franklin ............ 1,584 1,055 529
Cedar Keys-Levy ............... 963 695 268
Chipley-Washington ............ 1,553 1,806 -253
Clearwater-Pinellas ............ 5,004 2,427 2,577
Cocoa-Brevard ................. 2,216 1,445 771
Coconut Grove-Dade ............ 3,377 1,396 1,981
Crescent City-Putnam .......... 1,484 838 646
Dade City-Pasco ................ 1,776 1,296 480
Dania-Broward ................. 1,473 762 711
Dayton-Volusia ................. 9,592 5,445 4,147
Daytona Beach-Volusia .......... 2,129 825 1,304
DeFuniak Springs-Walton ........ 2,359 2,097 262
DeLand-Volusia ................ 5,799 3,324 2,475
Delray-Palm Beach ............. 1,469 1,051 418
Dunedin-Pinellas ................ 1,342 642 700
Dunnellon-Marion .............. 1,103 1,185 -82
[641










THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA


Name County
East Ft. Myers-Lee .............
Eustis-Lake ....................
Fernandina-Nassau ..............
Flora Villa-Polk ................
Florstproof-Polk ................
Fort Lauderdale-Broward .......
Fort Meade-Polk ...............
Fort Myers-Lee ...............
Fort Pierce-St. Lucie ............
Gainesville-Alachua .............
Graceville-Jackson ..............
Green Cove Springs-Clay ........
Haines City-Polk ...............
High Springs-Alachua ...........
Homestead-Dade ................
Indian Beach-Sarasota ..........
Inverness--Citrus ................
Jasper City-Hamilton ...........
Jacksonville-Duval ..............
Key West-Monroe ..............
Kissimmee-Osceola ..............
Lake City-Columbia ............
Lake Helen-Volusia .............
Lake Wales-Polk ...............
Lake Worth-Palm Beach ........
Lakelaid-Polk ..................
Largo-Pinellas .................
Leesburg-Lake ..................
Live Oak-Suwannee ............
Little River-Dade ...............
Lynnhaven-Bay ................
Madison-Madison ...............
Manatee-Manatee ...............
Marianna-Jackson ..............
Melbourne-Brevard .............
Miami-Dade ...................
Miami Beach-Dade ...........
Millville-Bay ...................
Milton-Santa Rosa ..............
Monticello-Jefferson .............
Mt. Dora-Lake .................
Mulberry-Polk .................
Murry Hills-Duval ..............


C65 J


1925
, 1,376
2,435
3,078
928
1,035
5,625
2,480
6,674
3,319
8,466
1,005
1,605
2,026
2,107
2,114
1,151
1,271
1,724
95,450
13,701
3,833
4,279
1,017
2,747
4,617
17,051
961
3,030
2,837
2,977
996
2,234
3,114
3,069
1,245
69,754
2,342
1,958
2,190
1,776
1,179
1,464
1,279


In-
1920 crease

1,193 1,242
5,457 -2,379


2,065
2,029
3,678
2,115
6,860
840
2,093
651
1,719
1,307
86
1,132
1,260
91,558
18,749
2,722
3,341
978
796
1,106
7,062
599
1,835
3,103

874
1,952
1,076
2,499
533
29,571
644
1,887
1,594
1,704
725
1,499


3,560
451
2,996
1,204
1,606
165
-488
1,375
388
807
1,065
139
464
3,892
-5,048
1,111
938
39
1,951
3,511
9,989
362
1,195
-266

122
282
2,038
570
712
40,183
1,698
71
596
72
454
-35







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

In-
Name County 1925 1920 crease
New Smyrna-Volusia ............ 4,340 2,007 2,333
Ocala-Marion ................... 6,721 4,914 1,807
Okeechobee-Okeechobee .......... 1,920 900 1,020
Orlando-Orange ................ 22,255 9,282 12,973
Ormond-Volusia ................ 1,327 1,292 35
Palatka-Putnam ................ 7,208 5,102 2,106
Palm Beach-Palm Beach ......... 1,150 1,135 15
Palmetto-Manatee .............. 3,040 2,046 994
Panama-Bay ................... 2,134 1,722 412
Parrish-Manatee ................ 986
Pensacola-Escambia ............ 25,305 31,035 -5,730
Perry-Taylor .................. 2,479 1,956 523
Plant City-Hillsborough ......... 6,639 3,729 2,910
Pompano-Broward .............. 1,750 636 1,114
Punta Gorda-Charlotte .......... 1,635 1,295 340
Quincy-Gadsden ................ 2,771 3,118 -347
River Junction-Gadsden ......... 1,514
St. Andrews-Bay ................ 1,190 1,310 -120
St. Augustine-St. Johns ......... 10,458 6,192 4,266
St. Cloud-Osceola ............... 1,925 2,011 -86
St. Petersburg-Pinellas .......... 26,847 14,237 12,610
Sanford-Seminole ............... 7,262 5,588 1,674
Sarasota-Sarasota ............... 5,529 2,149 3,380
Seabreeze-Volusia ............... 1,792 571 1,221
Sebring-Highlands ............... 1,841 812 1,029
Silver Bluff-Dade .............. 2,350
South Jacksonville-Duval ....... 4,646 2,775 1,871
Starke-Bradford ................ 1,071 1,023 48
Stuart-Palm Beach ............ 1,154 778 376
Tallahassee-Leon ................ 6,415 5,637 778
Tampa-Hillsborough ............ 94,743 51,608 43,135
Tarpon Springs-Pinellas .......... 2,685 2,105 580
Titusville-Brevard .............. 2,081 1,361 720
Vero-St. Lucie .................. 1,442 793 649
Wauchula-Hardee ............... 2,688 2,081 607
West Palm Beach-Palm Beach.... 19,146 8,659 10,487
Winter Garden-Orange .......... 1,805 1,021 784
Winter Haven-Polk ............ 3,497 1,597 1,900
Winter Park-Orange ............ 2,360 1,078 1,282
Decrease.

Compiled with the above figures, which come from the
[66 J







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

office of C. J. King, editor of the Department of Immigra-
tion at Tallahassee, is the further information that the
state population figures for whites, negroes and Indians are
as follows:
Total white population ........................ 853,969
Total negro population ........................ 401,733
Total Indian population ....................... 516

Total state population ........................ 1,258,218

In 1920 the total state population was 968,470. Thus
we see that Florida has gained 287,748 new residents in
the last five years, which represents a gain of a fraction over
30 per cent.
Recent increases in the state's population have been even
greater proportionately than building increases, so that it
is natural to expect the building program will continue, or
be further augmented. Land values in several localities
have now increased to such a degree that many present
owners can no longer hold their properties without building
structures for rental return upon them.
Next to bank clearings and deposits in importance in
measuring the Florida situation are the building statistics.
Building statistics represent actual brick and mortar invest-
ments. The following figures show the high rate of build-
ing now in progress. A comparison is also made with the
same month in 1924:
Sept. Sept.
City 1925 1924
Bradenton .......... $478,698 $165,400
Clearwater ............ 653,700 63,988
Daytona ............, 1,384,600 220,345
Jacksonville ......... 1,720,970 403,361
Lakeland ............ 839,000 411,585
Miami .............. 5,803,989 1,426,529
Miami Beach ......... 3,049,700 408,900
Orlando ............... I, ,500 251,150
167








THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

Sept. Sept.
City 1925 1924
Palm Beach ......... 248,500 67,300
Sarasota ............ 1,600,680 154,215
St. Petersburg ....... 3,195,300 1,002,800
Tampa ............. 4,980,205 373,188
West Palm Beach .... 1,683,062 503,170

Recent figures show such large increases in business ac-
tivity as to make past records of but minimum value in
predicting the-future. Building permits, for example, of
17 leading Florida cities for the nine months ending with
August, of 1925, show a total of $118,182,538, as compared
with $30,827,865 for the same period in 1924. Existing
records prove that the 1924 figure is high in comparison
with the prevailing average of Florida building permits
being issued five years ago.


E 68









CHAPTER VII


WHAT ABOUT FLORIDA'S SPORTS OPPORTUNITIES?

WE all know that "All work and no play makes Jack
a dull boy," so if you would come to Florida to
play, banish the thought that Jack will be dull, for you will
find here every opportunity and facility for play regardless
of what your favorite sport may be.
Mine is a love of all sports. I cannot own to a liking
for any particular one of the varied sports which one may
enjoy in Florida.
If, however, I were pinned down to give my opinion of
what sport offers the greatest opportunities for pleasure
down in the land of smiling skies, I would say that deep-
sea fishing attracted me most.
The disciples of Izaak Walton will find that the waters
of the east coast of Florida comprise one of the finest game-
fishing regions in the world.
The entire coast line from Palm Beach to Key West is
truly a fisherman's paradise, for more than 600 species of
food and game fish are found in this area.
Giant denizens of the sea can be captured in the blue
waters of the Gulf Stream. In these waters is the home of
some of the gamiest fish known to mankind. Though I,ooo
miles wide in some parts, the Gulf Stream attains its nar-
rowest limits off the coast of southern Florida, where it is
only forty miles wide. It is here, also, that this warm
stream comes closer to land than it does elsewhere along
its serpentine course. Off Miami only five miles separate
it from the shore, while off Palm Beach it is but three miles
from the shore of this famed resort.
Being so close to shore, the hunting of game fish which
[69]








THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

swarm through the Gulf Stream waters has become not
only one of Florida's most exciting sports, but as well, one
of the most interesting.
Experienced guides, bronzed by years of angling in these
waters, await the chartering of their swift, practical little
sailing vessels, and so handy are the fishing grounds that
often a half day suffices to fill the fish box and send the
happy fishermen home with their trophies.
I have seen many of these compact little vessels tie up
at the old Miami docks after a day on the fishing grounds,
and it has not been uncommon to see them loaded with
specimens of giant rays, ponderous sunfish, huge devilfish
and' turtles. These are landed with the aid of a harpoon
and a stout line. This is no sport for those not willing
to "work" for their catch.
The rod-and-reel fisherman will delight in capturing
beautiful sailfish, tuna, dolphin, swordfish, the battering
bonito and many others of this ilk who are in the class of
the hard-fighting fish.
Closer to shore, along the Florida reef, kingfish and
Spanish mackerel are to be found in profusion, and while
landing these does not present the same difficulty as the
Gulf Stream fish, their bringing to time will furnish plenty
of sport.
Here, too, one may sight the "tiger of the sea," that
ferocious fish, the barracuda, lying in wait for trolled bait.
The ponderous Jew-fish, many of which weigh more than
500 pounds, are also caught in these waters.
Red snapper, one of the most palatable of Florida fishes,
is another specimen to be caught close to shore. But all
of these fish require heavy tackle to land.
If yours is a desire to use a lighter outfit, you may put
in to Hillsboro Inlet, Boco Raton, or other points about
thirty miles north of Miami, and land delicious channel
bass, bluefish, and even barracuda, which roam the shore
seeking their prey and are easy victims.
Fresh water fishing enthusiasts have a myriad of smaller
E 70 J







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

fishes awaiting their baited hooks. Among these are black
bass, catfish, perch and bream. These populate the lakes,
streams and canals that lie in all sections of Florida.
The Tamiami Trail canal is filled with bass, and I have
heard experienced fishermen proclaim this region as pos-
sessing some of the best bass fishing in the world.
In Miami, the Anglers' Club has a cozy little clubhouse.
I have had many a chat with George W. Moore, former
Boston capitalist, who is president of the club. He has
told me that fishing is one of southern Florida's greatest
sports and that each year sees countless new devotees of
the sport coming to Florida.
Almost everyone I have talked to about Florida has been
certain to make inquiry about the alligators. The impres-
sion practically everyone1 has of these reptiles is that they
are a ferocious lot and will devour one on sight. On the
contrary, the only way to capture an alligator is to chase
him. Unless annoyed, they will pay no attention to peo-
ple, and only the older and larger specimens will fight
even then.
The Florida Keys lagoons and inlets are thickly popu-
lated with the reptiles, and they may be hunted either in
the night or day. It is a fact that places where they are
unknown by day swarm with the small and medium sized
specimens by dark.
In November, 1925, I sailed up the St. Johns River from
Sanford to Jacksonville and saw scores of them swimming
about in the water or dozing in the mud and shallow water
of sequestered nooks which abound all along the route.
Though they have been hunted for years for their skins,
there still are untold numbers of them ranging from nine
to twelve feet in length and hundreds of years old to be
found in Florida waters. These are captured by use of a
shotgun, while smaller ones can easily be caught alive
by taking a firm grip of their closed jaws and holding them
so until they can be placed in a bag.
Capturing huge turtles furnishes a fair measure of sport
S71 J







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

to many fishermen out in the waters of the Gulf Stream.
Harpoon throwers and deep-sea fishermen often sight im-
mense trunkback turtles. I have seen such a specimen
hanging on the exhibition stand along Miami's waterfront.
He was almost nine feet in length and width and weighed
close to half a ton.
When the warmth of spring days is felt along the coast
it is a common thing for 300-pound turtles to come ashore
to lay their eggs. This is done in the sand, and always by
the light of the moon. It is an easy matter to capture these
turtles. All that is necessary is to wait until she has fin-
ished laying her eggs. Then creep up upon her and turn
her on her back.
In Florida, they talk of fish in tons. So huge are many
of the specimens that often tons at a time are brought
ashore from specially chartered fishing vessels which en-
gage only in fishing for sport. Imagine, then, what a para-
dise these Florida waters must be for the commercial
fisherman.
Tarpon fishing is a sport royal. The waters on the
west coast are popular for this sport. These fish are to
the water what the lion is to the jungle, and they are just
as difficult to bag. To land one means to engage in a
thrilling duel and ever the skill of the fisherman is pitted
against the prowess of a mighty fish.
West coast fishermen are found in profusion in the
bayous and the passes in and on the Gulf of Mexico. Sara-
sota is the fisherman's headquarters on the west coast, as
the Gulf is so easily accessible from this point.
Florida has long been famed for its fishes. "The total
varieties of fishes known, from Florida, are about six hun-
dred or about one-fifth of the entire fauna of America,
north of Panama," according to a noted ichthyologist.
Launches and pilots for deep-sea fishing trips are available
at all the principal resorts. There are numerous fishing
boats affording fishing excursions at popular prices.
While each locality has its champions, Fishermen's Para-
S723








THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

dise, in reality, extends from St. Augustine to Key West,
and in all this vast expanse the varieties of fish range from
the humble pan or bottom fish to the leaping, fighting
monsters of the deep, with almost every conceivable varia-
tion in between.
To give visitors to Florida an opportunity to enjoy the
famous fishing of the Florida Keys amid unconventional
surroundings the Florida East Coast Railway Company
maintains a large fishing camp on Long Key, about sixty
miles north of Key West, on the line of Oversea Extension.
Here fishermen and their families are cordially welcomed.
Accommodations are provided by many comfortable bunga-
lows and a fine main eating hall, as well as a large fleet of
launches in charge of experienced pilots.
The fish listed for competitive prizes at Long Key Fishing
Club are tarpon, amberjack, king fish, barracuda, sail fish,
and bone fish. Buttons of three classes, gold, silver, and
bronze, are awarded for these fish at the following weights:

Buttons Bronze Silver Gold
Tarpon ...... 75 lbs. ioo lbs. 125 Ibs.
Sail fish ..... 40 Ibs. 55 lbs. 65 lbs.
King fish .... 25 lbs. 35 lbs. 40 Ibs.
Barracuda ... 25 lbs. 35 lbs. 40 lbs.
Amberjack ... 30 lbs. 45 lbs. 65 lbs.
Bone fish .... 4 lbs. 6 Ibs. 8 lbs.

Long Key, itself, is a long strip of white coral sands
shaded with green cocoanut palms, rising out of the bril-
liantly colored waters of the Florida reefs.
But perhaps I have said enough, or even too much, about
my favorite sport. Yours may be golf. If so, you may
be assured that Florida presents abundant opportunity for
you to indulge in this great sport. It would be folly for
me to attempt to say one word about the game's popularity.
But I cannot refrain from drawing attention to the fact
that practically every Chamber of Commerce booklet going
E 73 3







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

out of Florida contains advertisements about local golf
links. Every city and many towns have courses. Take
Palatka, for instance. Here is an inland city with a
population of a little over 7,000 people. This city possesses
a beautiful eighteen-hole public course, its surface blan-
keted with a beautiful green carpet.
The opening of the 1926 season will find fifty new
courses ready for winter visitors. Every Florida city knows
that it must have at least one good golf course, while cities
like Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville and St. Petersburg have a
dozen courses each, in and about the territory they cover.
Speed boat racing and yachting, canoeing and proa rac-
ing enthusiasts will find a greater water area in Florida
for their especial sport than can be found in any other
state in the Union. Regattas are held every winter in the
waters close to numerous Florida cities, and competition is
keen for the handsome prizes offered the winners of events.
Swimming records have been shattered time and again
in many splendid pools along the east and west coast.
Hard-surface beaches at Daytona and Ormond offer long
stretches for motor racing, while thousands of miles of
hard-surfaced highways make motoring actually a pleasure.
Devotees of the turf will find the Sport of Kings holding
sway in Miami on the beautiful course of the Miami Jockey
Club, where sixty days each winter are devoted to horse
racing and where some of the finest horses in training com-
pete for rich stakes.
The state is rich in recreational opportunities, and since
sunshine holds sway practically all of the day, especially
in the winter season, each new dawn serves as an invitation
to play.


E 74











CHAPTER VIII


HAS FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL OPPORTUNITIES?

AFTER all is said and done, agriculture has ever been
the world's basic industry. Whenever catastrophes
have visited the earth those communities which met with
disaster have asked for clothing and shelter, but first of all
they asked for food!
The really vital question of civilization is, "What will
the soil produce?" And so far as that question is concerned
and its direct relation to the pages of this volume, the
question is, "What will Florida's soil produce?"
It is my purpose to go deeply into this subject, not only
because of its importance, but as well because thousands
of people all over the country are interested in it.
It is not so many years ago that the people of Florida
were actually fighting the soil, glad to wrest a meager living
from it. What prosperity there was amounted to so negli-
gible an item that, compared to the lack of it, all trace
of it was lost sight of.
Then the Federal Government stepped in and began the
work which has gradually brought about Florida's trans-
formation.
New uses for the land were discovered and farmers were
taught the value of their soil, actually so wonderfully pro-
ductive that it would be difficult to find its equal anywhere
in the world.
Then endeavor looking toward intensive cultivation of
their land brought Florida farmers a full measure of suc-
cess. Imagine then, if you can, the effect upon the farmer
when he suddenly realized his land was paying-that it
C 75








THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

was actually yielding a profit which represented a greater
sum at the end of the year than the land he tilled was
selling for!
The sudden turn of fortune caused him to spread the
state's fame. News travels faster and by more means of
communication to-day than history has yet recorded. So
it was not long ere Florida's story began to be known
to farmers throughout America, for after all there is nothing
that spreads so fast as the news of money-making.
Incredulous at first even when confronted with the facts,
farmers whose curiosity had been aroused and who had
journeyed to Florida to see for themselves finally yielded
to the temptation to try their own luck.
When their efforts were rewarded as handsomely as were
those of the native farmers, their voices were raised in the
loudest praises of the state's agricultural opportunities.
A 1925 statement of the farm census records 59,217
farms in the state, of which 47,205 are operated by white
farmers and 12,012 by negroes.
Forty-five thousand six hundred and eight farms were
operated by farmers who owned their premises, while 1,829
had managers and 13,639 were tenant farmers.
Farm acreage in Florida in 1925 was 5,940,220, of which
only a trifle over one-third is in actual cultivation, and the
average acreage per farm is just over 1oo. Total value of
farms and buildings is estimated at $430,321,268, while
land values of $417,215,172 are recorded. The value per
acre of the average farm was computed at $80. 30,938
horses and 43,007 mules were used in 1925, while the
total number of cattle is 662,215, and swine 505,768.
Florida's basic wealth must ultimately lie in the phe-
nomenal productivity of her soil. Nowhere else in the
United States can land be found that will produce so
abundantly three to five crops a year, nor in any other state
can there yet be procured land that will yield crops of net
annual value of $200 to $1,ooo per acre, that can be bought
for $50 an acre and up.
C76








THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

Soil surveys made by the Federal department of agri-
culture demonstrate that Florida has more than ioo dif-
ferent kinds of soil. These soils are qualified to produce
any food crop, fruit or livestock feed which will grow in
any other tropical or semi-tropical country. The penin-
sular climate prohibits the successful cultivation of the
leading bread grains, but at present, more than eighty dif-
ferent commercial crops are raised in this state. There are
as many other crops that are raised to a limited extent.
Truck crops of two-score varieties are cultivated success-
fully. The Florida field crops include practically all the
agricultural staples of the southland-with the exception
of wheat, rye, barley, and the like-as well as many plant
aliens which have been imported from tropical climes and
acclimated in the state.
Agriculture is the backbone of the state and the nation.
And because her agricultural resources are prodigal, the
farming future of Florida is almost as well guaranteed as a
government bond.
History records that Uncle Sam paid Spain about $5,000,-
ooo for Florida. Last year the farming products raised
in our most southernly state were worth twenty times this
purchase price.
And at that, according to the last census, only 2,297,271
acres of land in Florida are intimately familiar with the
civilizing influences of plow and planter. Only approxi-
mately one-sixth of the total land area is in farms. Less
than four-tenths of this area has been improved. Briefly,
Florida has thus far been doing little more than scratching
the surface of the almost boundless agricultural mine with
which nature has endowed this vast territory.
The state marketing commissioner reports that during a
recent year Florida producers raised 84,000 cars of fruits
and vegetables, 15,000,000 bushels of cereals, beans and
peas, 125,000 tons of hay, 115,000 barrels of syrup, 4,500,-
ooo pounds of tobacco, 2,000,000 pounds of pecans, 12,-
ooo bales of cotton and $25,000,000 worth of livestock,
I 77







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

dairy, poultry and apiary products. These foodstuffs for
man and beast are valued at about $90,000,000 and indicate
that Florida has production potentialities, when all the
farming land is harnessed for service, upward of the billion-
dollar-a-year mark.
In a word, Florida farmed intensively and efficiently,
could produce enough food to feed one of every seven of
the inhabitants of the United States.
Soil, sunshine, seed and rainfall combine in Florida to
produce bumper yields. The state leads the entire country
in winter-grown vegetables, grapefruit, winter tomatoes,
cocoanuts, watermelon seed, diversity of food products, va-
riety of crops and propitious growing days.
The average precipitation record ranges in the neighbor-
hood of 60 inches.
No other farming section can produce more crops in a
single season than Florida. Two hundred and fifty va-
rieties of crops, nuts, fruit and vegetables are harvested
regularly. Few know there are only 80 crops produced in
the entire United States which are shipped in carload
quantities and that 62 of these are produced annually in
Florida, and the fact should not be ignored, that these
products reach the markets when they are practically bare
of supplies from competing points, and so command the
highest prices.
Is it not reasonable, then, to presume that, with such
astonishing records already created and with still more im-
pressive ones looming up in the immediate future because
of the progress being made in draining the Everglades,
thousands of new farmers will be attracted to the state in
the near future?
Millions of acres of agricultural lands are still available
in Florida. Late in October, 1925, I was the guest of
C. J. King, Advertising Editor of the Florida Bureau of
Immigration. During one of our many chats, Mr. King
said to me:
1 78 1








THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
"There are more than ten million acres of productive
land in Florida that never has been touched agricul-
turally, and it has been demonstrated by those already
tilling the soils of this state that a farmer who is will-
ing to work, and to learn nmre about farming as he
goes along, can make money on from five acres up.
There are many recorded instances of unusual incomes
from less than five acres.
"Those farmers who already are cultivating Florida
lands tell us that what they are doing can be done by
others-and Federal census figures show that 70 per
cent of them are cultivating less than 50 acres, and 20
per cent are tilling less than 20 acres."

The vast acreage available for farming purposes is not
confined to any particular section of Florida, but may be
found from one end of the state to the other. On much of
the ten million acres from two to four crops a year may
be grown, especially in the southern part of the state, and
equally as good land may be found in the northern tier of
counties.
Yet, although 80 crops are grown on a commercial scale
in Florida, the state is annually importing many millions
of dollars' worth of foodstuffs.
Like all other states in the Union, Florida is both an
exporter and an importer of the necessities of life. The
extent of the trade at the present time may be judged from
the following figures.
There is consumed annually $20,427,650 worth of beef
and veal, of which only $6,623,544 worth is produced in
the state and $13,797,106 worth is imported.
$25,579,400 worth of pork products are required to sup-
ply Florida's yearly demand of which only $6,176,179 worth
is raised in the state and $19,403,221 worth is imported.
Florida consumes each year $4,266,230 worth of lard, of
which $1,066,562 worth is produced within the state and
$3,199,668 worth comes in from the north. $1,740,000
U 79_1







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

worth of lamb and mutton is used each year. Only $40,000
worth of this is produced in the state while $1,700,000 worth
is imported.
The people of Florida consume $31,125,000 worth of
dairy products, of which only $7,089,819 is produced in
Florida, so $24,035,181 worth must be bought outside the
state.
Florida consumes each year $11,250,000 worth of poul-
try. Only $3,750,000 worth of this is grown in Florida,
which compels dealers to send $7,500,000 out of the state
per annum for poultry. $9,000,000 worth of eggs are con-
sumed in the state each year, $4,500,000 worth of which are
produced in Florida, and $4,500,000 worth of which are
shipped in.
Florida is importing not less than $50,000,000 worth of
grain, hays, condensed feeds, flour, meal, canned goods and
fruits and vegetables not grown in the state.
The total value of the meats, lard, dairy, poultry, grain,
bread, feeds, canned goods, and fruits and vegetables con-
sumed in Florida and not grown in the state is approximately
$I00,623,070.
This would cause quite a deficit in the state's finances
if nothing was shipped out in return, but Florida farms
and groves yield $85,000,000, the output of her factories
and sawmills amount to from $180,ooo,ooo to $215,ooo,ooo.
Her naval stores add $20,000,0oo0 to her income. Her
fishermen swell her bank account $15,ooo,o0o. Her minerals
add $16,ooo,ooo to her annual receipts. It is estimated
tourists will spend $125,000,000 to $150,000,000.
With a total income of from $450,000,000 to $500,000,-
boo annually and with people outside the state spending
more than a million dollars a day for Florida property, with
an average of more than 260 carloads of fresh fruits and
vegetables going out of the state daily, Florida is gaining
ground financially.
It is known that millions of acres of highly productive
soil for farming purposes, and also other millions of acres
[8o]







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

suited to livestock and dairying activities are waiting for
development.
That fact, coupled with the above figures, which have
been secured from L. M. Rhodes, who is Florida's State
Marketing Commissioner, indicate clearly the splendid op-
portunity awaiting farmers, dairymen and cattlemen, who
need look no further than local markets for the consump-
tion of their products.
SCultivation of Florida's golden acres could supply many
of the foodstuffs now imported into the state as well as
permit of a tremendous exporting of her products.
Experts have figured that if all of Florida's fertile land
not needed for towns, cities, home sites, parks, playgrounds,
tourist camps, roads, railroads, churches, schools, timber
and hunting reservations and grazing lands were in truck
gardens, farms, orchards and groves, the state could feed
itself and export $500,000,000 worth of agricultural, horti-
cultural, livestock, dairy, poultry and apiary products each
year, and not exceed the present production per acre.
Amazing as these figures must sound they are neverthe-
less true, and prove rather conclusively why Florida's acres
should be brought under cultivation.
Too many people think of Florida as a tourist's mecca.
My recent inspection of the state has convinced me that
Florida is essentially an agricultural state.
It is not difficult to understand why the tourist trade
has probably developed above everything else. It is easier
for the railroads to run lines close to the coasts and drop
people off at convenient spots. Until now agriculture has
waited because the tourists were easier to handle.
But the double-tracking of Florida railroads and the lay-
ing of new lines which will open hitherto shut-in sections
of the state is going to do much towards enlarging Florida's
agricultural activity.
In an article in Suniland Magazine, Roger W. Babson,
internationally known statistician, wrote that one of the
prime reasons why Florida's future as an agricultural em-
S81 ]






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

pire was assured was because the state led all others in
combining the four fundamentals of agriculture.
Sunshine, phosphate, sufficient moisture and proximity
to markets will one day bring to Florida a full measure of
agricultural importance.
In reference to phosphate, of which Florida produces 85
per cent of the world's supply, Mr. Babson has said:

"As the years go on all agriculture will be abso-
lutely dependent upon phosphate. The automobile has
practically made the horse extinct, and synthetic milk
may likewise make the cow extinct. Our grandchil-
dren will use reindeer meat instead of beef. Hence
not only will our ground become more and more in
need of fertilizer, but fertilizer will be limited to
phosphate and chemicals with which we combine it.
"Florida has not only the sunshine and the phosphate,
but it is nearer the great consuming centers of the
country. Central Florida is only 750 miles from the
center of population of the United States-thirty hours
by rail. It will soon be an overnight trip by airplane.
Moreover, the Seaboard Air Line and the Atlantic
Coast Line Railways realize this and will some day
greatly profit thereby.
"Perhaps the most valuable of all, Florida has an
abundance of rainfall and this rainfall comes at the
right season.
"Natural resources, however, of themselves are not
sufficient to make prosperity. The heart of Africa
possesses great natural resources; Mexico and Russia
are both rich in natural resources, but it is not enough
just to possess great resources-they must be used to
advantage.
"These natural resources are being used in Florida
to a very large extent. Every year more and more
agricultural development is evidenced. The growth of
the citrus industry reads almost like a fairy tale, and
S82 ]






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

it has not yet begun to reach its peak. I believe in
the citrus industry, but Florida should not put all her
agricultural eggs in one basket. Truck farms, vine-
yards, banana and sugar plantations should be en-
couraged. The grape vineyards which are being planted
will not only add wealth to Florida, but serve also
as an insurance."

Florida ships one-tenth of the fresh fruits and vegetables
that are grown in the United States. During the twelve
months ending with October, 1925, Florida shipped a car-
load of vegetables or fruit across the state line every five
minutes. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Florida
farm property has increased in value 132 per cent in a
decade and also why less than 2 per cent of the state's
farm lands are mortgaged.
In southern Florida, crops grow and ripen every day in
the year. It is no wonder then that the state leads all
her sister states in growing winter vegetables.
Her grapefruit, celery, winter-grown tomatoes, cocoanuts,
and watermelon seed crops rank first in America, while
records show the state to be second in importance in the
production of oranges and watermelons, third in lettuce
and fourth in cabbage.
There are three counties in the state, Seminole, Marion
and Suwannee, producing more than $2,000,000 worth of
field and truck crops annually. Eleven counties produce
more than $i,oco,ooo worth of such commodities.
St. Johns County produces over $i,ooo,ooo worth of po-
tatoes a year, while three other counties are producing more
than $200,000 worth.
Sugar-cane is grown in six counties in excess of $ioo,00o
worth annually.
The fruit production of Polk County is more than 4,000,-
ooo boxes each season, while there are five counties, DeSoto,
Volusia, Pinellas, Hillsborough and Orange, that ship i,ooo,-
ooo boxes each.
E 83 3






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
The dairy products of Dade, Duval, Hillsborough and
Polk Counties are in excess of $500,000 each, annually.
Eleven counties produce more than $ioo,ooo worth of dairy
foods each year.
Yet despite this splendid showing, for it must not be
forgotten that this enormous amount of foodstuffs is har-
vested from a little less than two and a half million acres
of land, the real beginning in developing Florida's agri-
cultural possibilities has not been launched.
If the present cultivated farm acreage were doubled, the
added supply of foodstuffs would still be insufficient to
meet the demands of the state alone.
Consider then the further demand made by northern
markets and you who are interested in the development of
the soil will realize the possibilities of tilling Florida's
golden acres.
Nor will it be many years before these facts, having
become public property, will have attracted thousands of
new farmers to Florida.
Progress is being made towards that end. Each day
the Department of Agriculture at Tallahassee answers
scores of inquiring letters from farmers and others inter-
ested in farming.
These letters come from all sections of the country, and
the gist of many of them is that the stories the writers have
heard about the marvelous productivity of the soil are so
amazing that verification of their truth is desired from the
state officials.
The per acre production records which Florida farmers
boast of and which the press every now and then announces
are true. I have seen in the Department of Agriculture
office at the state capitol hundreds of statements and much
other proof which make me certain of that fact.
But to the entire credit of the state officials, let me record
here, lest I forget to do so, the fact that in no instance
is the inquiring farmer or layman encouraged to hurry to
Florida by the agricultural department.
E184






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

First of all the department warns all farmers to pur-
chase no land sight unseen. A trip of investigation is sug-
gested, and the farmer is advised under no conditions to
sell his land in his native state until he has thoroughly
investigated the Florida situation and satisfied himself that
he can woo success there.
It is not sufficient that a farmer is willing to sell out
his holdings and come to Florida hopeful of finding a good
location.
He should come first and look the ground over. Every
effort is being made, both by advertising and personal let-
ters, to impress this fact upon those who seek informa-
tion from the department.
While there is considerable activity in farm land sales
in Florida, nothing even slightly resembling the mad
scramble to buy home sites and business property exists-
but the situation as it now is will not continue indefinitely.
In the opinion of this writer, who has spent much time
actually on the ground, and who has been cordially wel-
comed by all government departments in Tallahassee, much
credit is due Nathan Mayo, the Commissioner of Agricul-
ture, and his able lieutenants, Messrs. C. J. King and T. J.
Brooks, for the splendid way in which their departments
function.
These gentlemen are rendering the state and those de-
sirous of coming to it a great service, and in line with the
"safe and sane" policy I saw on all sides in Florida where
legitimate efforts are being exerted to attract new popula-
tion, they are proceeding cautiously and requesting those
they communicate with to do likewise.
The very fact that I have seen fit to give credit to a
branch of the state government for doing its duty-which
in any event it must and should do-must instantly prove
to the reader the unfavorable reaction this writer has had
to some of the methods used by scores of others who have
something for sale in Florida.
For after all, the Department of Agriculture has some-
E 85s






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

thing very definite for sale in the form of the agricultural
possibilities of the state.
The marvelous productivity of Florida's soil needs noth-
ing but proper transportation systems so that every tillable
acre can be properly served.
Instead of importing foodstuffs as she now does, Florida
should not only feed herself, but she should continue to send
1oo,ooo carloads of foodstuffs over her border line every.
year-yea, even double that!
Florida has a great diversity of soils. There are 10,520,-
ooo acres of flat woodland, 8,640,000 acres pineland, 3,840,-
oco acres hammock or hardwood land, and 6,876,000 acres
of surface water and lowland prairies. Millions of these
acres have a clay subsoil.
In the past decade Florida has quadrupled her output of
grapefruit, Irish potatoes, celery and cabbage; tripled her
crop of tomatoes and hay, more than doubled her crop of
oranges, watermelons, lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, oats
and cowpeas.
A schedule of the car-lot production of vegetables and
watermelons, cantaloupes, strawberries, pineapples, and
peaches, makes interesting reading. Here are the 1925
figures which have been estimated by the Florida State
Marketing Bureau. The value of the crops according
to prices current at the time of shipment is also included:

Product Carloads Value
Beans ..................... 2,197 $2,218,970
Cabbage .................... 1,898 797,160
Cantaloupes .......;.......... 9 10,718
Celery ..................... 8,143 9,928,575
Cucumbers .................. 2,087 2,994,845
Lettuce ...................... 1,561 959,015
Peaches ..................... 4 3,360
Peppers ..................... 1,209 797,448
Pineapples .................. 318 333,900
Potatoes ..................... 5,054 6,208,629
[ 86 ]







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

Product Carloads Value
Strawberries .................. 883 1,525,828
Tomatoes .................... 7,634 7,387,269
Watermelons ................. 6,668 1,553,644
Mixed vegetables .............. 3,206 2,582,800
Miscellaneous vegetables shipped
in local lots ......................... 626,021

40,88I $37,928,163

Besides these figures there are the 1925 total valuation
figures for the following field crops-corn, sweet potatoes,
tobacco, peanuts, sugar cane, cotton, pecans, velvet beans,
cowpeas, rice, oats, and hay.
The total valuation of these crops is placed at $31,534,-
125, which gives us a grand total of $69,462,288 for the
1925 growing season, and makes a total of almost 1oo,ooo
carloads of foodstuffs shipped out of the state during 1925.
We all know how that the Florida boom must attribute
a goodly measure of its reason for being to the belated
recognition of the economic possibilities of the tropical
climate and exceptional soil.
These factors leave no doubt that Florida will eventually
become one of America's ranking agricultural states.
During 1924 the Florida acreage devoted to truck pro-
duction increased not less than 20 per cent as compared
with the previous year, and it is highly probable that an
even greater increase will be noted in 1925.
The development of Florida farm lands is only now being
begun on a real scale. A great influx of northern and
western farmers seeking new fields to plow is certain to
go on henceforth.
But though I have gone to great lengths to tell the
reader how exceptionally productive Florida soil is and
what splendid prospects the new farmer in the state has,
I feel a word of warning to those who are about to migrate
to the state will not be amiss.
[ 87 j








THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

Before making a purchase of Florida farm lands be cer-
tain the land you have selected will produce the crop you
are interested in. Make sure that your crop can be mar-
keted when it is harvested-in other words, ascertain care-
fully what means of transportation are at your disposal.
Do not permit your enthusiasm to blind you to the actual
value of the land you intend to purchase and the actual
possibilities of that land. Remember that, though the land
boom has not as yet enjoyed extensive stimulus in the
farming regions, the fact remains that, where farm lands
sold a few years ago for $25 per acre-to-day's price is
likely to be more than $75 per acre, and in many instances
even higher than that.
I do not contend that this new valuation is inflated. The
land in many instances can probably earn a return war-
ranting its cost. But be certain that it can before you
buy it.
After all, the purchase of Florida land merely because it
is desirable land, is not justified. The reason for the pur-
chase must of necessity be the possible money return when
it is developed. Thus, be certain that the land you buy
can be developed in the way you wish to develop it.
Don't think there is no speculative risk attached to the
purchase of Florida farm lands merely because we know
that such lands can produce highly profitable crops.
There is a speculative feature about such a transaction
after all, because, with the actual value of Florida's farm-
ing acres now known all over the world, much of this land
has been gobbled up by people who have no intention of
cultivating it.
Theirs is only a desire to reap a rich reward from the re-
sale of the land. Avoid buying from such people and con-
sult the Department of Agriculture in all events, no mat-
ter where or when you buy.
Then it is well to know that to-day some Florida farmers
are not as successful as the fertility of the soil and the
virtues of the climate would lead one to believe they were.
s88 J






THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

There are some excellent reasons for this, though of prime
importance is the fact that not sufficient progress has been
made in cooperative marketing and packing.
Take for instance Florida's fruitgrowers. Because they
are as yet not sufficiently united to make cooperative mar-
keting profitable in the measure that it should be profitable,
they are not receiving as satisfactory prices for their product
as they should. Nor is their product received in the large
northern markets as regularly as it should be.
This condition is the natural result when individual grow-
ers make shipments without first acquainting themselves
with what their neighbors are doing. When, as is often
the case, too many shipments arrive simultaneously, the
market is over-burdened and the price realized declines from
the standard it should enjoy.
There is a wonderful opportunity for a capable and
highly experienced organizer to band Florida agriculturists
together along the lines adopted by the fruitgrowers of
California and the northwest. A start has been made along
these lines but the work being accomplished is hardly keep-
ing pace with the state's production of fruit.
There are in Orlando twelve packing houses for citrus
fruit, and from them fruit is shipped to all parts of the
United States and Canada. Fruit buyers from all the large
northern markets, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cin-
cinnati, have headquarters in Orlando, during the winter
buying their fruit from the packing houses or direct from
the growers.
The Florida Citrus Exchange, whose membership num-
bers over 5,000 Florida growers, controls the marketing of
more than 5,000,000 boxes of citrus fruits annually, having
a central clearing house in Orlando. The Orange County
Citrus Sub-Exchange, which handles more than a million
boxes and packages of fruits and vegetables each year, also
operates from this city.
Thus it is evident that though a good beginning in this
direction has been made, the following tabulation, giving
[89]







THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

production of oranges and grapefruit by years for the past
seven seasons, shows how inadequate the present facilities
are:
Oranges Grapefruit
Season (Boxes) (Boxes) Total
1924-25 ............ 13,400,000 8,600,000 22,000,000
I923-24 ........... 12,40, 8 20,400,000 8,o, 2,4,
1922-23 ............ 9,300,000 7,600,000 16,900,000
1921-22 ............. 7,300,000 6,000,000 13,300,000
1920-21 ............ 8,700,000 5,100,000 13,800,000
1919-20 ........... 7,000,000 5,500,000 12,500,000
1918-I9 ........... 5,700,000 3,200,000 8,900,000

There are at present 6,096,861 young orange trees and
7,305,672 of bearing age. 68,909 young lemon trees await
their first bearing season, while 84,273 are now of bearing
age. 960,909 grapefruit trees have not yet reached the
bearing age, while 2,971,9o0 already bear fruit.
SBananas and grapes will soon become leading products
of Florida, if experiments now being conducted in the
state, in an effort to find the soil best adapted to the
growing of each, mean anything.
And that these experiments do mean something is very
evident, if one is to judge from the keen interest exhibited
in them by hundreds of people.
Probably no opportunity presents greater possibilities for
future success and wealth in Florida than the opportunity
for men of the soil. The world is just coming to an in-
telligent appreciation of the unparalleled advantages which
Florida has to offer in its soil and climate, and its favorable
location with regard to the great consuming markets. The
result must be a greatly increased appreciation of 'the
value of all Florida land, for there is no land in Florida
which is not possible of being put to some profitable use.
Florida needs, first of all, farmers to farm her great
agricultural lands. It is surprising that in a country where
as many as four crops can be produced in one year, there
[ 90









THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

are fewer farms per square mile than in any other country
in the world.
For those men and women who possess the hearts of
pioneers, who appreciate the marvelous fertility of Florida
soil and are willing to help in developing it, there exists
to-day in Florida an opportunity of limitless possibilities.
(For further and detailed information relative to the
number of carload shipments of agricultural products sent
out of the state during the season of 1924-1925, attention is
directed to the Appendix, where a complete record will
be found.)


E91







CHAPTER IX


WHAT ARE THE FLORIDA EVERGLADES?

HOW many of us are there who really know what the
word "Everglades" means? Mention of this word
usually brings a mental picture of an immense tract of
black swamp and marshland mostly under water, cov-
ered with tall saw-grass-so named because it cuts like a
knife-and infested with alligators, reptiles, and serpents
of all descriptions, while wild birds hover overhead.
Even the Encyclopedia Britannica's definition of the
glades is likely to mislead those who refer to this splendid
reference work.
The British publishers, in speaking of the Everglades say
of them:

"An American lake, about 8,oco square miles in
area, in which are numerous half-submerged islands."

But the Everglades are not a vast inundated waste as so
many believe.
In fact, they are an almost limitless plain as level as a
skating rink, almost entirely devoid of trees, with mellow
soil laid over a porous lime rock foundation.
Only recently I crossed the Everglades in an automobile
and I saw sugar plantations and mills already in operation.
As a beef-raising and dairy land nothing finer could be
found in the world. Year-round natural forage of luxuriant
grasses typical of the region assure feed for all manner of
cattle. Hogs thrive on it.
r[92








THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA

Add to all this the absolute fact that wherever the land
has been drained and farming operations have been
launched, crops to astonish the northern farmer have been
produced, and you can secure at a glance the tremendous
possibilities of the Everglades.
Reclamation work is being vigorously rushed, both by the
State and Federal government. Once it is effected there
will be rendered available an enormous acreage, of which
at present only the fringe is being worked.
But perhaps the best way to acquaint the reader with
what the Everglades really are, is to quote in part from a
pamphlet distributed at the state capital in Tallahassee by
the office of F. C. Elliot, chief drainage engineer in charge
of the vast undertaking upon which Florida has already
spent many millions, and will continue to spend millions
until she has fully reclaimed her black gold.
To-day the immense possibilities of Everglades reclama-
tion have become apparent, and the work going on under
the direction of the chief engineer is recognized as the largest
project of its kind in America.
When recently I met Mr. Elliot and discussed his task
with him, I began to appreciate why the great submerged
prairie has begun to vanish and why farming operations are
already going on where not so long ago the feet of man had
never trod.
This man is doing as much for the state of Florida as
any other single individual, and it is characteristic of his
type that he should be quiet spoken and, on the surface,
unmindful of the importance attached to the great under-
taking of which he is the directing genius.
I made his acquaintance one Sunday afternoon late in
October on the links of the Tallahassee Country Club.
Immediately I met him I began to ply him with questions
about the Everglades and the work his department was
doing in reclaiming them. The gist of what I learned from
him is so well set down in the pamphlet his department
distributes that I have edited its pages for reprinting in this
E 93 1









THE TRUTH ABOUT FLORIDA
volume, eliminating such of the material as I deem not neces-
sary to be set down herewith.
The pamphlet states:

"There are few, perhaps, who ever formed a precon-
ceived idea of the Everglades and afterwards visited
that territory, who did not alter considerably their
original mental picture of the region.
"An expanse of land so level, so unbroken, so uniform
in its profile, and with those characteristics so vast as
to present in its natural condition a completely en-
circling horizon like that of the sea is not readily
imagined, yet such is the great level prairie comprising
the Everglades. Probably in all nature there is not on
this great scale another body of land s'o nearly perfectly
level as this region. So nearly level is this area and so
devoid of surface relief and change of contour, that
the rain which falls upon its surface and the water
which overflowed it from the great Lake Okeechobee
spread out in a broad shallow sheet and could not de-
velop sufficient current or velocity to erode channels in
the nature of creeks or rivers for the flow of water,
thus making it necessary for man to provide in the
shape of artificial waterways that which was omitted
by nature, in order that this area, rich in its potentiali-
ties for agriculture and other development, might be fit
for the uses and conveniences of man.
"The Everglades, with Lake Okeechobee at their
head, occupy the heart of the southern portion of the
Florida peninsula below the 27th parallel. The Ever-
glades proper comprises an area of 2,860,000 acres.
"The surface of the 'glades before drainage began was
approximately 21 feet above sea level through that
portion bordering upon Lake Okeechobee, which is the
most distant from the sea. The 'glades in the extreme
southern end of the peninsula merge almost imper-
ceptibly into tidewater of the sea. The sections bor-
E 94 J




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