AVON PARK, FLORIDA
MAR 4 9 Part A---General Information
Avon Park, the northern most city in Highlands County, is located almost
at the geographical center of Peninsular Florida, amidst the rolling
hills and clear, blue lakes of the famous Ridge Section, one of the
heaviest producing citrus areas of the state. It is within easy driving
distance of the principal cities of South Central Florida, being only 80.
miles southeast of Tampa, 80 miles south of Orlando, 125 miles northwest
of Palm Beach and about two hours driving time from either coast. It is
also within easy driving distance of such famous fishing waters as
Arbuckle Creek, Kissimmee River, Lake Istokpoga and Lake Okeechobee.
Visits to the following nationally known tourist attractions can be made
within a few hours; Bok Tower, Cypress Gardens, Dupree Gardens, Edison
home, Eureka Springs, Highlands Hammock State Park, Hillsborough River
State Park, Homosassa Springs, Inness paintings, Monument of the States,
Myakka River State Park, Ocala National Forest, Rainbow Springs, Ringling
Circus Winter quarters, Sarasota Jungle Gardens, Silver Springs, Sponge fleet
and Weekiwachee Springs. The elevation is 145 feet.
Florida Highways 17, 25, and 64 pass through Avon Park and Florida Highway
25 affords the most direct route from central Florida to Niami, 180 miles
from Avon Park. The city is served by the Seaboard.Air Line Railroad and
the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad with 7 passenger and mail trains daily,
each way. Daily direct service to New York, Tashington and other major
cities is provided by through trains such as the "Silver Meteor", "Sun
Queen", and others. Florida Greyhound Lines provide inter-city bus service
with nine buses each way daily to all connecting points.
Highlands County has a population of approximately 20,000. The population
of Avon Park is 5,500.
Normal Normal Normal Ncrmal
Temperature Rainfall Temperature Rainfall
January 63.2 2.22 July 81.5 8.18
February 64.5 2.43 August 81.8 7.83
March 68.4 2.17 September 80.3 6.67
April 72.4 2.37 October 75.3 4.04
May 77.0 4i52 November 68.2 1.56
June 80.1 8.13 December 63.8 2.10
Annual 73.0 52.22
Avon Park was founded in 1886 by Oliver I. Crosby of New York. After ac-
quiring a large tract of land, then virgin territory, he went to England for
the purpose of interesting substantial citizens in his proposed settlement.
At Stratford-On-Avon he met Mr. and Mrs. WJilliam King, who became so in-
terested that they left their fine home, returned with Mr. Crosby and became
the first settlers of Avon Park. Mr. Crosby was sc impressed with the beauty
of Stratford-On-Avon, which he compared with the wild beauty of his Florida
Forest, begemmed with its many clear, gleaming fresh water lakes, that he
called the new, settlement Avon Pork.
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AVON PARK, FLORIDA
6. Major Sources of Income:
Citrus growing, packing and canning provide the main sources of income.
Cattle raising is an extensive and profitable business in Highlands County
which now ranks third in beef production in the state. Tourists also
contribute substantially to the economy'of the city. Commercial bulb grow-
ing is fast becoming a major industry. Avon Park also has one of the
largest and best known hatcheries in Florida. Baby chicks are shipped to
many Central and South American 'countries from here.
Part B---Recreation and Entertainment
1. Special Events:
The American Legion Regatta held annually, Armistice Day, on beautiful Lake
Lotela, is one of the outstanding motor boat races in the state. The annual
Woman Club Halloween party and Children's parade is a. very festive and
colorful event. The Highlands County Fair is held annually at Sebring during
February or March.
2. Athletic Events:
The Avon Park High School, a member of the Ridge Conference, ranks high
in all scholastic sports including football, basketball and baseball, and a
full schedule of each sport is maintained. The Junior Baseball Team,
sponsored by the American Legion has twice won the State Championship. The
city sponsors a ball team each year in the Orange Belt League, playing two
games weekly. The city maintains a field lighted for night playing.
3. Tourist Clubs:
The Winter Guest Club with approximately 300 members has a varied program
of interesting events during the tourist season. The club house is equipped
for buffet dinners, card parties and many indoor activities. Shuffle board
and tennis courts are located on the Club grounds.
4. Recreational Clubs:
Pinecrest Lakes Club located on Lake Lotela, has an excellent 18-hole golf
course. qther forms of recreation enjoyed by members and guests Pre fishing,
boating, swimming and water skiing. A modern youth center is sponsored by
the civic organizations of the city. A public Library of 5000 volumes is of
great cultural and recreational value. Highlands Fish and Game Club,
Wingmann Camp (summer recreational camp maintained by Episcopal Church), and
Lake Byrd Lodge (a conference center maintained by the Congregational Church),
are other recreational facilities.
5. Civic Organizations:
Active civic organizations include Rotary Club, Business & Professional
"WIoman's Club, Gar.den Club, Woman's Club, Junior Auxiliary; American Legion,
Chamber of Commer.ce, High School Athletic Association and Avon Park
6. Fraternal Organizations:
Order of the Eastern Star, Or.der of Rebecca, Poinciana Lodge, F. & A. M.,
Royal Arch Chapter, Knights Templar.
A, series of high school band concerts are given each Sunday during the
tourist season. Eddie's Nautical Club, open all year, affords tourists
and local people alike a congenial place for dinner and dancing. American
Legion Club for members and guests, dinners, dancing and bathing.
AVON PARK, FLORIDA
8. Recreational Facilities:
Beside the abundance of natural recreational facilities afforded by the
State Park Service and the many lakes and streams of this section, the
city provides a modern ball field lighted for night play, a lighted football
field with steel bleachers, tennis courts, shuffleboard courts, horseshoe
courts and bathing beach. A modern high school gymnasium is to be con-
structed in the near future.
Small game such as doves, quail, squirrels, foxes and raccoons are plentiful
in this area. Some deer and turkey are taken every season. The State Game
and Fresh Water Fish Commission estimates that about 200 deer are now in
the forests of the county. There are no hunting lodges, but hotels provide
adequate housing accommodations. Hunting guides can be obtained by local
Perch, bass, bream, shellcrackers and catfish are caught in great numbers
in the many fresh water lakes, of which sixteen are in or adjacent to the
city. A number of fishing camps supplying guides and equipment are within
easy driving distance of the city.
Assembly of God, First Baptist Church, Christian Science, the Church of
Christ, The Church of God, Union Congregational Church, First Methodist
Church, The Church of the Nazarene, The Church of the Redeemer (Episcopal),
South Side Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist.
Pinecrest Lakes Club on Lake Lotela, 18-hole golf course, boating, bathing.
Jacaranda Hotel, 120 rooms, all with private or connecting bath, dining
room open from Nov. 1st to April 15th. Verona Hotel, Main Street, 12 rooms;
running water in each room. Avalon Hotel, 12 rooms, 9 with private or
connecting baths; restaurant in same building. Avon Park Hotel, 19 rooms,
4 connecting baths, 3 apartments for light housekeeping, restaurants close
by. Mid State Hotel, 19 rooms, 1 with private and 2 with connecting baths,
restaurants close by. Poinsettia Hotel, 20 rooms, restaurants close by.
2. Tourist Courts:
Harris' Tourist Courts, housekeeping and transit cabins.
Collier Tourist Courts, housekeeping and transit cabins.
3. Guest Homes:
Sunset Lodge located on Highland Avenue. Many home owners rent rooms
during the tourist season.
4. Trailer Park:
Modern Trailer Park now under construction, should be finished not later
than April 1, 1948.
5. Specialized Eating Places:
Jacaranda Hotel Dining Room, open only during winter season, serves the best
in foods at moderate prices. Avolon Grill, specializes in home cooked food
and home made pies. Palms Restaurant, noted for its sea food dinners, with
shrimp the specialty. Avon Park Cafe, featuring steaks and chops, but with
a menu for every taste.