Front Cover
 Back Cover

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Mountains of Florida : Hunting and Fishing at Mohawk (973)
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00008471/00001
 Material Information
Title: Mountains of Florida : Hunting and Fishing at Mohawk (973)
Physical Description: Book
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA6736
System ID: UF00008471:00001

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
        Frontispiece 1
        Frontispiece 2
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text


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m The Mountains

of Florida.

Among the many places reached by the
Seaboard Air Line Railway, where game is
plentiful and the hunter finds his heart's de-
light, none is more attractive than the Jolly
Palms, a resort at Mohawk, in what are called
the Mountains of Florida. Mountains is
rather a dignified term to apply, but they
are known locally as the Apopka Mountains.
They are a chain of high hills in the southern
part of Lake county, central Florida, about
twelve miles long from north to south, and
six miles wide. Nestling among them here
and there are many clear-water lakes and
running streams, which flow northward,
emptying finally into the mighty St. John's
These hills rise from 100 to 300 feet above
the level of the lakes, are clothed with long-
leafed pine and oak and carpeted with wire-
grass, wild flowers and patches of saw Pal-
metto, the pretty fan-palm of the lower
South. The woods are open, with little or
no underbrush, and horse and wagon can
be driven anywhere by going around an
occasional log or fallen tree. Scattered about
in low-lying points are densely wooded tracts
of live oak, hickory, bay, magnolia, cabbage
palms, and other hard wood trees. These

wooded tracts are known as hammocks, and
are the homes of bear, wild cats, foxes, rac-
coons, opossums, eat squirrels and other
wild creatures, while the deer, rabbits, fox
squirrels, quail, doves and other timid quarry
live on the hills in the open woods.
The clear-water lakes and streams abound
with fish and other water life. Black bass,
pickerel, perch, bream, cat-fish and other
specimens of the finny tribe are found in
most of them, and, in their season, alli-
gators, otter, two or three kinds of turtles;
while ducks, snipe and water fowl help to
make up the wild life of the country.
This hill and lake region is very sparsely
settled and is practically unknown to the
general tourist, .,ii .... it is easily reached
from Jacksonville, via the Seaboard Air Line


This is a little bit of a place of four or five
houses built on the hills, in the open pine
woods, overlooking Lake Juanita, a pretty
clear-water lake one-half mile across by
three-quarters of a mile long. From this
lake black bass (big mouth) have been taken
weighing ten pounds and over. Two railroads
run through Mohawk, bringing a daily mail
and giving good connections North and
South. All trains stop on signal. Mohawk
is twenty-six miles south of Tavares, the
county seat of Lake county, forty-two miles
southwest of Sanford, and three miles west
of Lake Apopka, which is the second largest

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lake in the State, being twenty-six miles
long and fourteen wide.
One and a half miles west of Mohawk is the
little village of Minneola (the telegraph
station for Mohawk), which has a good gen-
eral store, drug store, church and school.
There is a good doctor near Mohawk itself.
Minneola is built on the east shore of Lake
Minneola, which is three miles wide and one
of the most charming lakes in the State.
Two miles beyond Minneola and on the south
shore of the lake is the village of Clermont,
wnich at one time had the reputation of ship-
ping more early vegetables North than any
other station in the State. The large
majority of the settlers in this hill region
are from the North and West. One mile
south of Lake Minneola is Lake Minnehaha,
four miles wide and rivaling the former in
beauty. Still farther south, another mile, is
Lake Louise, seven miles long and the
largest of the chain. Connecting these lakes
is a very crooked and picturesque waterway
known as the Palatlakaha River, the waters
of which find their way into the St. John's
River via Lake Harris and the Ocklawaha
River. A little steamer plies the lakes and
river, making a pleasant day's outing for
the sportsman, fisherman or idler.
Three miles south of Lake Louise lies a
vast region known as Green Swamp, the
source of the Palatlakaha River and the
home of bear, panther, wild cats, deer,
turkey, sandhill cranes, wood duck and other
swamp life. The swamp is filled with cypress
timber, has a hard bottom, which can be

safely waded, the water being from shoe to
ankle deep. Scattered about in the swamp
are low-lying islands covered with pine and
oak. There are also open ponds of varying

The Jolly Palms
is a sportsman's resort at Mohawk, built on
a hillside overlooking Lake Juanita, the
grounds running down to the sandy beach.
Here lives Mr. C. H. Stokes, who says: "We
are plain people who live in a plain house,
plainly, but comfortably furnished, middle
aged, originally from central New York,
twelve years in Florida. I am a photographer
by profession. We keep Northern servants,
aim to serve the best of well-cooked food,
Keep Jersey cows, good horses, three to five
or more hunting dogs, two boats, tent and
camp outfit. I have a laboratory and dark
room for those photographically inclined, and
a boat and bath house in the lake one hun-
dred feet from shore. We try to entertain
and take good care of our guests. Our
grounds are very interesting to Northern
eyes, being filled with a variety of palms,
oranges, bananas, pineapples and other
tropical fruits, vines, plants and flowering
shrubs. Besides the main house we have a
little cottage annex of four rooms."

Terms for Board.
Board is $14 a week, or $10 a week for the
season. These prices include a reasonable
use of dogs, boats, horse and Mr. Stokes's
services as guide. Extra guides can always

be had for $1.50 per day and extra horses
for $1 a day. Only a limited number of
guests are taken, and never consumptives,
drunkards or other objectionable persons.
Prominent among those entertained here the
past two seasons are Captain and Mrs. L. G.
Billings, U. S. N., Brooklyn, N. Y.; Ex-State
Senator Clarence Lexow, New York City; Ex-
State Senator John Lewis Childs, Floral Park,
N. Y.; the Hon. and Mrs. A. P. Brewer, Law-
rence, Kansas; Col. J. Payson Bradley,
Boston, Mass.; Col. J. N. Thornberry and Dr.
John A. Lewis, Georgetown, Ky.; Prof. and
Mrs. W. N. Pike, Floral Park, N. Y.; Maj.
Geo. Shorkley, U. S. A., New York City; the
Hon. James Allwood, Kingston, Jamaica,
W. I.; Mr. S. L. McAfee, Toledo, Ohio, and
Maj. F. L. Chase, of the Chicago & Alton
Railway, Atlanta, Ga.
This is not a society resort, and people who
want noise and excitement should not come
to Mohawk; but for those who love the gun
and rod, the woods and nature, it is a good
place to spend a vacation, rest and get well.

Game Season, Laws and Hunting.
The deer season opens October 1st and
closes January 31st. For turkey, quail and
other game birds, the season opens November
1st and closes March 1st. There is a non-
resident license fee of $10. No law on fish,
but game and fish "hogs" are not wanted.
The shooting here is as good as in any
other part of the State. A man and two dogs
will raise from five to ten coveys of quail in
a day's hunt of eight or ten hours, depending

on weather and dogs. Quail shooting begins
just outside the fence-they often come into
the yard-and there is no posted land. Gen-
erally quail are hunted from the wagon, the
hunter getting out to shoot when the dogs
point. Four miles away, on the shore of Lake
Apopka, there is a very good snipe marsh.
Frequently there are camp-hunts to Green
Swamp, which lies twelve miles south, where
there is good shooting of deer, turkey, wild
cats, raccoons, sandhill cranes, wood duck
and other denizens of the swamp. On these
hunts native guides and their dogs are neces-
sary; their charges, $1.50 per day, are extra
and shared by the party. Mr. Stokes himself
is the leader of these parties. These hunts
are very interesting and novel to Northern
sportsmen. The strange cries of water-fowl,
snarling of wild beasts, bellow of alligators,
call of turkey, hoot of owl and odd vernacular
of the guides make an impression which is
not quickly forgotten.
At other times the sportsmen take a boat
or wagon and go to fish in some untried
lake, taking frying pan and coffee pot along
to help out the lunch. Articles have appeared
from time to time in different sporting jour-
nals, written by grateful guests, describing
the place and some of the hunts. They may
be of interest to those who are thinking of
coming to Florida. See FIELD AND
STREAM, New York City, November, 1900;
SPORTS AFIELD, Chicago, January, 1901;
RECREATION, New York City, November,
1901; FIELD AND STREAM, February, 1902;
RECREATION, May, 1902.



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There is no question about the healthful-
ness of this section; these high sandhills,
with their perfect drainage, can harbor no
malaria or infectious diseases. There are
no mosquitoes or other pests to bother during
the winter months. The water is soft and
pure, from a deep well bricked and lined
with Portland cement.
Snakes, the great bugaboo of Northern
tourists, have no abiding place in the hills.
In twelve years of Florida life-winter and
summer-Mr. Stokes has never seen a live
rattlesnake and only one moccasin, which he
killed. It is true, however, that there are
a few in this region, but they are never seen
during the winter months, which are their
dorment period. However, Mr. Stokes always
carries a hypodermic syringe and formic
acid-the best known antidote-to allay the
fears of timid persons.

How to Get There.

The best way to reach Mohawk from the
North and East is via the Seaboard Air Line
Railway. Through trains can be taken at
New York City without change for Jackson-
ville, Florida, where the passenger enters
another division of the same road for Ta-
vares, the county seat. There are two trains
a day connecting with the trains from the
North and leaving Jacksonville for the South
at 9:35 o'clock A. M., reaching Tavares at
3:46 P. M., and at 7:45 P. M., reaching Ta-

vares at 4:23 A. M. The latter train carries
a sleeper. At Tavares a change is made to
the Tavares & Gulf R. R. This road has but
one train a day, leaving Tavares at 6:30
A. M., arriving at Mohawk and the gate of
the Jolly Palms about 10 A. M. To come by
the daylight train is the most pleasant way,
but makes a stop over night in Tavares
necessary. The visitor may stay with Mr.
Geo. Butler, at the Osceola Hotel, one of the
best kept hostelries in the State. In coming
from the West, take the Seaboard Air Line
at Atlanta, Montgomery or Jacksonville.
Mr. Stokes writes:
"A great many times my people are
wrongly advised to come via the Atlantic
Coast Line, which will take them around by
Sanford, over a narrow-guage line, more than
often late, reaching here sometimes in the
small hours of the night.
"Persons wishing to stop at the Jolly
Palms must always write in advance, saying
about when they will come and how long
they expect to stay, as our accommodations
are limited, every season we being obliged
to turn people away.


"We receive many inquiries from would-be
settlers, invalids, investors and others who
are more or less interested in Florida. To
such we would say: If you are doing well
where you are, and your health is good,
better not make a change; but if you want a
warmer climate, if you have consumption,

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bronchitis, asthma, catarrh, the grippe or
rheumatism, there is no better place for you
than Florida. Florida is a good poor man's
country; yet we do not advise poor people
to come here. If you are poor where you
are you will be poor here; if you are a
hustler where you are you will make money
here. We do, however, advise those who
have lung troubles, rheumatism, etc. elderly
people and those who have means, to spend
at least six months of the year in Florida if
they wish to prolong their lives and escape
the rigors of a Northern winter with its
attendant grippe, pneumonia and bronchial
"Florida is not what you might call a gen-
eral farming country, though it is getting to
be more so every year. We believe that it
will be a great stock country and are going
into the raising of stock a little ourselves.
This was the Orange Belt previous to the
big freeze of 1894-95, and while the growing
of oranges above the frost line is a risky
business, we believe it will pay in the end
to those who have the courage to persevere.
We have a small grove ourselves which we
expect to see bring in handsome returns;
for there is no orange like the Florida
orange, after all. Still we cannot advise peo-
ple to go into the orange business unless
they have the means to back it up.
"Many farmers in this section grow vege-
tables during the winter and spring months
and ship to Northern markets. Tomatoes,
egg-plants, celery, parsley, Irish potatoes,
squash, cabbage, cucumbers, water melons,

musk melons and strawberries are some of
the things grown. During the summer
months we grow corn, sweet potatoes, pea-
nuts, hay and other things. Our fruits are
oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, pine-
apples and bananas in limited quantities,
pears, plums, peaches, grapes, guavas, Japan
persimmons, and some other tropical fruits,
all of which we have growing at The Jolly
Palms. We believe that poultry will pay-
there is always a demand above the supply
for chickens and eggs.
"We have a rainy season from the first
of June to the first of September generally,
with enough rain at other times to keep
things growing nicely. The summers are
long and during the middle of the day it is
hot in the sun, but the temperature is modi-
fied by the daily showers and sea breezes
which sweep across the narrow peninsula.
Sunstrokes are unknown. We have light
frosts every winter and some winters a light
freeze. The price of land is very reasonable,
lumber is cheap, fuel costs nothing but the
gathering, taxes are light, we have good
schools, worthy county officials and one of
the best Congressional delegations of any
State in the Union.
"Here at Mohawk we are trying to build
up a little community of congenial Northern
people. We have control of all the land in
sight and aim to keep out objectionable per-
sons. We have no other inducements to
offer except that it is high and healthy. Mo-
hawk, however, is not 'the only pebble on the
beach'; Minneola and Clermont are both

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nicely situated, and invalids and others can
find board at either place on reasonable
terms, and there are many bargains in real
"We have personally not a foot of land for
sale, but we are sufficiently interested in
this section to give any information pos-
sible, and if we cannot take care of you, will
refer you to those who can. In writing for
general information please send self-
addressed, stamped envelope and make your
questions to the point.

"I am sincerely,
"C. H. STOKES, P. M.,
"Mohawk, Lake County, Florida.

Mr. Stokes omits any account of his
numerous hunting exploits and triumphs, but
those who have been his guests tell in-
teresting stories of the field, the woods and
the stream. He is a true sportsman and
those of kindred spirit will find here every
condition to make an outing an uninterrupted


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