A winter at Fort George

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A winter at Fort George
Fort George Island Company
Place of Publication:
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
[4] 32 p. : illus., map. ; 17cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Fort George Island (Fla.) ( lcsh )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
024418264 ( ALEPH )
01682501 ( OCLC )
AAP8413 ( NOTIS )

Full Text

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evergreen isle, 0, isle of the sea,
My heart in its longing turns ever to thee.
O, wonderful isle, with glimmering sheen,
The rarest and fairest that ever was seen."




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"A picture of perfect loveliness "- Scr uhr's MeMikAy.-
"One of the loveliest and most striking prospects of Fort George Island. The woody Loint ter-
minates in three sentinel palms. and at one's feet are the yellow sands and the surf perpetua rollin
on the bar, whose rhythmic roar is faintly wafted upon the air, fragrant with the odor of many dower.
- Harr's MM Mywt


A PECULIAR charm has ever hung about the islands of the sea, and a
universal sentiment has inspired the poets of all times to find in them their
ideals of peace and felicity. Pindar sang in sweetest numbers of the
"Islands of the Blest," and our own Whittier,-
I know not where His islands lift
Their fronded palms in air," etc.

Little did Ponce de Leon dream, as he sailed past the beautiful Fort
George Island, just where the mighty St. John flings itself into the sea, that
the fabled fountain of eternal youth was there, and that this was one of the
islands about which the poets had so long dreamed and sung.
It is the most southern of that chain of Sea Islands so famous before the
war for the production of long-fibre cotton.
"The view, as one'enters the Island, is one of the most enchanting in the United States.
Nothing can exceed the delight, approaching intoxication, with which one accepts the simple fact
of existence, as he breathes the exhilarating air of this magical Island, and revels in the volup-
tuous luxuriance of its vegetation, the splendor of the sunrise over the sea, the solemn pageantry
of the sunset over the rolling velvet of its forests."- Harfer's Monthly.
"To Fort George Island nature has been very bountiful. About friy kitds of lres grow upon
the Island. The palm is found here in an abundance unknown in Southern Florida, and gives to
the scenery its peculiar tropical appearance. It recalls scenes and stories of Oriental tales, and
we dream of those bright, enchanted islands of the sea which poets tell ns no storm can reach,
sad where life is ever beautiful and young.

"A soft, Mild warmth is in the air. It is early March by the almanac; but what care we for
almanacs? At home, the north wind is howling: snow, perhaps, is drifting: bare limbs of trees
are tossing and creaking in the blast. But what care we for wind or snow ? We have forgotten
what they mean. It is summer; strawberries are a part of our daily fare; violets are blossoming.
and stately palms lift their stems against the sky, crowned with royal plumage, through which
the winds whisper soft and low. Yet the air is not warm enough to enervate; with all its soft-
ness mingles still the fresh breath of the sea."--Sesris3r'Ms A toy.


1 Beigftful Sail

of an hour and a half from Jacksonville, down the winding St. Johns River,
through most romantic land and water scenery, past Yellow Bluff, Red Bluff,
and St. Johns Bluff, and the steamer lands us at the beautiful little village
of Pilot Town, composed mostly of families of pilots who guide vessels over
the bar. On the opposite shore is the summer resort, Mayport.
Passing over a rustic bridge, we enter the Island by the famous Edgewood
Avenue, a magnificent shell road, which for two and a half miles winds along the

edge of the highlands, in many a graceful curve, through natural forests of
palmetto, myrtle, holly, bay-mahogany, live-oak, water-oak, and a score of other
semi-tropical trees. Here the eye is struck by the sight of immense

ntbian Sounbos,

composed entirely of oyster shells. These wonderful mounds-the study of
which would well repay a visit to Fort George -cover forty acres to a depth
of many feet! In them are found concentric layers of human skeletons,
stone implements, and bits of pottery. The shells are very valuable for
fertilizing purposes, are also burned for lime, and used in making the shell
roads so famous at Fort George. Hundreds of years must have elapsed since
the Indians had their wigwams here and begun to build up these immense
mounds, upon the summits of which full-grown oaks and cedars, draped with
long Spanish moss, now stand, as sentinels, over the sleeping Indian.
Upon our left we pass several picturesque residences and the old "Ghost
House," about which still lingers many a romantic tale. After passing the
EPISCOPAL CHAPEL, we come to the Fort George Hotel, which is beautifully
located upon the bluffs of the ocean. A short distance from the hotel, near
the ocean, and from the center of the beautiful Magnolia Park, rises

Jlount Cmrdia,

the highest land on the Atlantic coast for x,Soo miles south of New Jersey High-
lands [U. S. Coast Survey]. We ascend the high tower at the Signal Station
upon its summit, and here, one hundred and fifty feet above the ocean, we look
out upon the tropical panorama below us. To the north is the all-encircling sea,
of celestial, luminous blue; with its ever-varying line of white, where the breakers
dash themselves into foam upon the shallow bar. Yonder, a school of porpoises
sport in the sea; above the bar thousands of sea-gulls screech and fly in every
direction; the gray and bald eagles circle about in search of prey, and now and
then swoop down upon a fish-hawk, and snatch the prize which it had plucked
from the sea. Thousands of aquatic birds congregate upon the bar. Flocks of -
pelicans, like soldiers at drill, parade the beach. Scores of canvas-back and
mallard ducks, cranes, herons, and wild geese stand upon the shore. The light-
house, upon the opposite bank stands out sentinel-like against the deep-green
background of the glossy forest; while up and down the river move the scores
of steam and sail vessels, bringing their loads of hopeful health-seekers, happy

"A group of tall, round-headed cabbage palms lift their slender sinuous trunks far above all sur-
rounding objects, and stand out distinctly in the uncertain moonlight, recalling scenes and stories of
Oriental tales. Between two palns. which stand like mailed sentinels, guarding our forest avenue, we
look across a bit of glittering sand-beach, out upon the still, blue ocean, and dream of those bright,
enchanted islands of the sea which the poets tell us no storm can reach, and where life is ever beau-
tiful and young." -Julia B. Dodgv.

tourists, and eager investors, to this land of tropical scenery, sunshine, and flow-
ers. But what pen can describe the sea of bewildering green below us, flecked
with flowering trees and infinite variety of shade, scattered over the unbroken
repose of a semi-tropical forest! What consummate art! What wealth of
wooded beauty! The vegetation of two zones here unite in almost bewildering
grandeur and loveliness. A wonderful mass of verdure, draped and festooned in
the most enchanting manner with wild grape-vines, trailing honeysuckle, yellow
jasmine, and resurrection ivy, oaks, pines, palmettoes, magnolias, myrtles, holly,
all inextricably interwoven, and as regular in their rounded outlines as the clipped
groves of Versailles. Here and there ensconced in this tropical forest, amid
luxuriant orange groves, century plants, and banana-trees, are the picturesque
residences of Northern gentlemen who have been attcted to this Paradise of
the sea" by its wonderful natural attractions, its fertile soil, and its well-known
To the westward, in the midst of orange and lemon groves, and covered with
jasmine and honeysuckle, is the old plantation homestead, for a century the
home of the slave-lords of the Island. Six hundred slaves were kept upon this

Six hundred slaves were kept upon this famous King Kingsley plantation.

famous plantation. This beautiful mansion is now the residence of Mr. J. F.
Rollins, a Northern gentleman, who has made the Island his permanent home.
Parts of old slave cabins and drivers' houses are still standing. Of the greatest
interest to all are these relics and reminders of slavery days. Here may be seen
the remains of the prison, where a female slave starved to death, and also the
" stocks." Over these deserted and disappearing ruins nature has thrown a
kindly veil of trailing ivy, honeysuckle, and soft gray moss.
On the extreme end of Mt. Cornelia, and overlooking the ocean below us, is
the famous

point Isabel.

What vistas of exquisite beauty are framed by the interlacing arches of the
huge live-oak, cedar, or magnolia, festooned with the wild grape-vine and honey-
suckle! Through palm-guarded vistas we look out upon the cerulean sea, fading
off toward the purple horizon, serrated with white sails.
Stretched like a huge snowbank for miles along the shore, is a beautiful white
beach of coralline sand, upon which the breakers dash themselves into foam.
About forty feet below, nestled in an exquisite frame of tropical verdure, we
look down upon a

Seastsbe ake,

across which a cardinal-bird has just flashed his gorgeous plumage. Tall rushes
fringe its deep-green banks, while tropical grasses, of varied tints, and stately
palmettoes mirror themselves in its glassy surface. Here and there upon the
shore, gazing into the water, stands a demure crane and a heron, white and blue.
We hear at intervals the notes of the mocking-bird, as he adds his song to the
grand symphony of nature. The rhythmic roar of Old Ocean is wafted upon the
gentle breeze, fragrant with the odors of the orange-blossom, peach, and jasmine.
Meadows, green and golden, decked with tall, feathery grasses and wild-flowers,
line the river-banks. The sun, sinking behind the evergreen woods of Florida,
casts a rosy tinge across this very sea of tropical forest, and adds the last touches
to a picture already perfect.
When completed, the avenues of this Island will have an aggregate length
of twenty-seven miles. A glance at the cuts which we insert will give the reader
a faint idea of their picturesque beauty, but no words can describe them.

bte SbeU ioabts of fort 6eorgt.
Fort George is noted for its beautiful drives over the hard, smooth, and mar-
ble-like roads made from the oyster-shells, of which mention has been made.
Florida has but few good roads; it is not strange that these fine avenues
should be the pride of all Fort Georgians, and the delight of guests at their fair



jalmetto Abmnut.
This beautiful avenue, pictures of which are familiar to every Florida visitW"'
is composed entirely of stately palmettoes, fifty to sixty feet high, and there is
nothing to compare with it in America. It was laid out about one hundred and
twenty-five years ago by a slave-overseer, and is widely known to-day as a marvel
of grandeur and beauty.
An avenue has also been cut through the forest to the top of Mt Cornelia, in
the center of the beautiful Magnolia Park.

Fine horses and elegant carriages of every description have been furnished for
the guests, and it is the intention of the Company to make a great feature of the
magnificent drives at Fort George. Guests wishing to bring their own horses
and carriages, will find good stabling at reasonable charges.


Sea=Beacdj oulebarb.

A magnificent boulevard of coralline sand, so hard that wheels scarcely leave
a trace upon it, extends for miles along the shore of the ocean at the mouth of
the St. Johns, and makes one of the finest beach-drives to be found on the entire
coast, affording a most enchanting view of land and water scenery.
The magnificent drives of Fort George cannot fail to attract the wealthy
families from the North who spend their winters in Florida, and are greatly dis-

appointed in the poor and sandy roads generally found. The Commissioner of
Dural County, in his official report, says: -

"The hard, smooth, and practically level roads of Fort George Island, made entirely of oyster-
shell, maLe a drive unequalled in the State. This system of excellent roads has a total length of
twenty-seven miles, and penetrates the Island in every direction."

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Florida is not heaven; Fort George is not a paradise. .Unfortunately the
elixir of life has not been found, here or elsewhere A thousand diseases still
knock for admission at the human citadel, but wherever we go, over the wide,
wide world, consumption is still king. No potency of drugs, no physician's skill,
no discovery of science, no pleading of loved ones, can stay the progress of this
merciless tyrant. One out of every four of the human family must be sacrificed
to this monster. No race is exempt, no blood is untainted.
Fortunately, however, for poor humanity, a few spots have been provided
where the sufferers afflicted with this scourge may be directed by the kind physi-
cian who has exhausted every means in his power for their relief. We wish to
call the especial attention of the medical fraternity to the peculiar advantage of

lje Climate of Jort teorge

for all patients with a consumptive tendency, or any disease of the respiratory
organs or heart, as well as for all renal and nervous affections of any nature.
It is a well-established fact that the climate of sea-islands is far more invig-
orating than that of the main-land, and hence much more beneficial to a large
class of invalids. They are less subject to severe and sudden changes in temper-
ature. The surrounding salt-water, absorbing all poisonous gases and impuri-
ties, acts as a powerful antiseptic. Statistics show that residents of sea-islands
are of greater longevity, and are less subject to pneumonia, diphtheria, scarlet
fever, or epidemics of any nature, than dwellers upon the main-land. The resi-
dent physician of one of our Atlantic coast islands publishes some interesting
facts in regard to island climate. He says:-

In four years I have had but one case of pneumonia in I,3oo inhabitants. Block Island is noted
for the longevity of its inhabitants. The death-rate here is less than eight tenths of one per cent, and
at the last census only three out of z,3oo inhabitants were under the physician's care."


In cases of pulmonary troubles, the great value of Florida's climate is too
well known to require discussion; but we claim that the climate of Florida is
surpassed by that of her islands.
Truly there is a certain life-giving, health-restoring power in the sea, which
does not exist upon the land. The Gulf Stream, which converts bleak Scotland
into a garden, gives to Fort George Island one of the most equable and salubri-
ous climates in the world. It is the invigorating tonic of the ocean mingled with
the healing odors of the tropical forest, which gives the wonderful medicinal prop-
erties to the climate of this Paradise of the Sea." The Southern sunshine is
filtered through air light and buoyant, yet permeated with the sulphates of mag-

nesium and potassium, chlorides of sodium, bromine, iodine, and other of
Nature's great remedies, distilled fresh from the ocean laboratories. The tem-
perature at Fort George is thirty to forty degrees warmer than that of New York
in winter, and actually two to ffteen degrees cooler in summer.
The climate at Fort George Island, owing to its complete encirclement by
waters tempered by the Gulf Stream, is fully equal to those places situated 2so
miles farther South in the interior of the State. This is attested by the compara-
tive exemption from frosts, and the nature of its forests and vegetable produc-
tions, which are as remarkably tropical in their character as those found in
Southern Florida.
"Death-rate in Massachusetts, in aS4: in New York, in 473; in Florida, s in 1.447." U. S.
S*rr e-Gnral' j Reprt.
We beg to submit the testimony of a few prominent physicians and others in
regard to the wonderful climate of Fort George Island:-
GAImmSvLLx, FLA., Nov. 0, t885.
Do. : y dear Sir,-Yor letter of the sath inst. at hand. In regard to the climate of Fort
George, I will say that it possesses qualities not often found together, and which are due to its loca-
tion and the character of its surface. Together with the mildness and comparative equability which
it enjoys in common with other portions of this delightful land, it has the advantage of being perpetu-
ally fanned by the invigorating sea-breeze, which comes, pare and uncontaminated, directly from the
glorious Atlantic, whose breakers murmur along its beautiful beach. It is this touic and sthig char-
acter of the climate which renders it so excellently adapted to the cure of so large a proportion of the
ills which flesh is heir to. The poor sufferer, worn out with the hopeless fight against a double enemy.
-his disease and the cold, cheerless weather,-instead of being at once stimulated and goaded into a
struggle for life and health, a struggle in which he too often rapidly succumbs, finds here agentle ofist
in the soft, dliciem air, which soothed his irritability, cools his feverish blood, and lures him to a quiet,
drvamyforg tfgfmus of his condition. But while lapped in this delightful calm, the salty air, rich in
ozone, is doing its work of purifying and restoring his broken-down system. Soon he finds his appe-
tite returning, and with it a gradual measure of strength; and not until then does nature rouse him to
the fight. Strong enough to keep about, his interest is soon aroused by the wealth of exquisite and
novel beauty around him, and each day finds him making longer and longer excursions through the
matchless forest avenues which dersect At Island in every direction, and whose tropical beauty can
never grow stale by familiarity.
I will refer to certain advantages which Fort George Island possesses over nearly every other
place in the State. Next to the salt air, I consider the maa( U.t skhull-reads of Fort Gerre. together
with its smooth, hard-packed beach, as the greatest sanitary features of the Island, for the simple rea-
son that they render exercise in the open air easy and delightful Instead of toiling through the deep
sand, as in many other places in Florida, the invalid here finds a smooth, hard pavement, equal to the
finest concrete, winding for miles along the edge of the Island, often within sight of the sea, and always
within hearing of the sound of its breakers, overarched by magnificent live-oaks, hickories, and mg-
nolias, whose picturesquely twisted branches are twined with exquisite vines, and often bear a heavy
crop of ferns; while in other places long rows of palms give a tropical aspect to the scene, and remind
the grateful lounger of the great distance separating him from the snowy landscape of the north.
Having been restored to health myself by a winter and summer residence on the Island during
the past year, I may be excused for speaking with some warmth of the beauty of its scenery and li-


mate, and I do not wish to mislead any one into the idea that the climate is Perfect. There are some
chilly days, generally in December, but these are few; and after deducting these, there still remains,
to the credit of this Island, a very astonishing number of mellow, golden days, of which the winter is
mainly made up, when mere existence is a pleasure to the healthy, and which whisper hope in the ear
of the invalid just arrived from the regions of snow and chilling winds. Here we have fresh air, night
and day, of a balmy softness, and yet with all the invigorating qualities which it acquires as it blows
softly over thousands of miles of salt-water. This is the true antiseptic, and will find its way into
every vesicle of damaged lung, soothing the invalid's cough, and yielding up its store of oxygen to
bring fresh life and strength to the enfeebled body.
But I must not allow myself to say all that my enthusiasm and gratitude would prompt. I would
only say, that in all my ramblings over Florida, I have found only one Fort George Island. In the
beauty of the tropical scenery, and the sublimity of its ocean views, it stands unrivaled. High above
the sea-level, with scarely a spot of wet, low land within its limits, and bathed in the pure, ever-chang-
ing currents of sea air which come in from the vast expanse of Old Ocean, and which find their way
through all the recesses of its grand old forests, it is secure from all danger of malaria. I never
spent a pleasanter summer, nor one so freefrom extreme heat, as the past summer spent here, and I
see no reason why Fort George should not be made a grand success, both as a winter and summer
Very truly yours,

The salubriousness of the climate of Fort George is scarcely equalled anywhere else on our
coast." mo. S. G. W. Benjamzi (late U. S. Persian Mi"iser).
"There is no place in Florida its equal for health." -J. F. Roeiams, S. Land Agn, Gaimes-
wil7e, Fla.

nature's Stubio--gbe artist's Varabize.

We wish to call special attention of artists to Fort George Island as possess-
ing rare studies for the pencil and brush. Nowhere else have we seen such
exquisite combinations of varied beauty, such mingling of shade, such blending
of tints. Every object seems fresh from Nature's touch, and is so placed as to
heighten the grand effect of the whole. With a consummate art, Nature has com-
bined the ocean, the river, Mount Cornelia, Point Isabel, the adjacent islands, and
the grand old forests, into one magnificent harmony of perspective and color.
She seems here to have fairly outdone herself. How she has revelled in her
tropical profusion! What interweaving of matchless ivies, wild honeysuckle,
vines, tropical flowers, and exquisite feathery grasses! What inspiration to
genius! What exquisite music from Nature's orchestra-the roar of the breakers
on the beach, the mocking-bird's song and the eagle's screech, the wind playing
upon her harp of ten thousand strings in the old pine forests! We would espe-
cially recommend artists to read the beautifully illustrated articles in Scritner's,
September, 1877, and Harper's Monthly, November, x878. See, also, The World's
Paradises, by Hon. S. G. W. Benjamin.

e I1 jdl's neimpe. *

And the pale health-seeker fideth there
The wine of life in its pleasant air."
SMalaria is unknown, and the extreme healthfulness of Fort George is noted."- Oflid Refrt of
Commsio*r of Da. a C ty.
If Florida is the rich man's paradise, it is also the invalid's hope. Nine tenths
of all the deaths in the United States are premature, and one fourth of these are
from consumption. How many thousands of those who annually die of this ter-
rible disease, as well as heart, kidney, and nervous diseases, might be saved by a
residence in Florida.
How many thousands of invalids, in all the fifty States and Territories of the
Union, from the bleak and rock-bound shores of New England, from the blizzard
region of the great lakes of the north, from the broad prairies of the great West,
from the Central and Southern States, turn with longing eyes toward sunny Flor-
ida. We would call special attention of all invalids to the article headed To
Physicians," in this pamphlet
A charming climate all the year. Warm in winter and cool in summer.
The climate is most delightful, summer e d winter, and no place in America can be more
healthy." Cat. Chas. Hlmes, Fort Gorge, Fla.
It seems incredible to Northern people that the temperature at Fort George
should be 30 to 40 degrees warmer in winter, and actually to to z5 degrees cooler
in summer, than in most places in the North; but such is the fact. Oranges ripen
and flowers blossom all winter at Fort George, while in August the mercury
remains most of the time in the seventies. It does not seem strange that the
physicians and Northern gentlemen who own residences at Fort George, should be
so enthusiastic over its wonderful climate. A prominent physician from Minne-
sots, who went to Fort George for his health, writes: "I never spent a pleasanter
summer, nor one so free from extreme heat, as the past upon this Island."
Experience has shown that an equable average of 75 temperature and a hu-
midity of about 70 (ioo representing saturation) are most conducive to human

irm HArau's MAssAM.
comfort. When temperature is much below this, artificial heat is required; when
temperature is much above, it is enervating and relaxing. When, on the other
hand, the atmosphere is too dry, it does not contain electricity enough to keep it
pure and healthy, and we always have greater and more sudden changes of tem-
perature. For instance: with a humidity at 7o, only ten degrees depression gives
us the dew point; whereas the mercury runs much lower in a very dry climate
before the dew point is reached. After this is reached the further fall of the mer-
cury is exceedingly slow, because of the latent heat which it contains. Hence the
absence of sudden changes and cold nights, and exemption of sea islands from
frost. A climate too dry to keep the skin moist and active, throws a great strain
upon the kidneys (since these functions are vicarious); hence one reason for the
comparative exemption of islanders from kidney diseases. The air is not damp
at Fort George, but soft and balmy. It has also been found that man is capable

of greater physical and mental exertion- near the sea-level, as there is much less
strain upon the vital organs. Hence, people with heart disease should keep as
near the sea-level as possible, to reduce the action of the heart to a minimum, and
relieve the strain caused by high inland altitude. A glance at the map and tem-
perature record of Fort George Island will show that the above conditions are
wonderfully met upon this semi-tropical Island. During a large part of the. year
the mercury rarely goes out of the seventies, and there is scarcely fifteen degrees
variation between summer and winter.
Besides, the ocean does not absorb the sun's heat as rapidly, nor does it allow
it to radiate off into space so quickly, as the soil of the main-land; hence another
and very important cause of the wonderfully even temperature of sea islands.
We compare, below, the temperature, as taken from Fort George Hotel register,
of August and September with that of two of the most trying months (in the
North) in spring, beginning from the middle of February.

August 8S degrees.
2,84 "
3. 83 "
4,78 "
S. 78 "
6,80 "
7,78 *"
8,78 "
9,76 "

S* s, 7 "
14,78 U
S '1,80 "
53.78 "*
4,78 "
1 ,5 78 "
x" 6,76 "
17,78 "
,. 75 "
S21,78 "
22. 74 "
23, 72
24.7* "2
S5.,74 "
26.74 "
7, 78
s8,74 "o
** 31. 78

September 7s degrees.
78 "
3. 74 "
4.72 "4
5.78 "
6, 78 "
7, 75 "
8,78 "
9, 78 "
S 76 "
Ii, 74
S 12. 74 "
13, 78 "
14, 78 "
1 5s75. "
6 1, 76
17. 78 "
18,.77 "
9, 75
2" 0,74 "
24, 78 "

** 23,7 5 i
4, 78 "

5 75 "
7, 76 "
28, 75 "
0 72 "
S 30. 74 "

February, is, 70 degrees.
16. 69 "
19, 68 "
o, 6f "

3.6 "
4. 7 "
sS, 64 "
s6, S9 5
27. 70
8, 69 "
March i 7 degrees.
6 "
3. 70 "
4.66 "
S 70 "
6,73 "
7 7 "
8.74 "
9, 74 *
so, 76 "

S 3*. 74
3" 3.70

March 14, 8 degrees.
Is,80 "
16, 72 "
17, 81 44
S 14.64 "
'" 19. 0 PI
so 75 "
2" 1, 72 "
*, 66 "
23,68 "
24*. *'
2 zS,8s 2
s6, 8z "

69 "
29 83 "
830.8 *.
31,76 "
April I, 70 degrees.
2, 74 "
3. 6o "
4. 69 .
5. 68 "
6, 6o "
7.8o "
8,73 *4
9,69 *

It 0





Think of this, New England people,---a June climate in February and March!
Peach and plum orchards in fill bloom I Orange-trees loaded with golden fruit;
strawberries, blackberries, and delicious vegetables ripening during these months
of terror to the Northern people I
The magnificent surf-batiing nearly the entire year is another great attrac-
tion of Fort George Island, especially to those remaining on the Island all the
The great advantages of a place which has such a remarkable climate all the
year, over scores of places in Florida, which must be abandoned in summer, are
too evident to need further comment.
We are glad to announce that the celebrated author, Hon. S. G. W. Benja-
min, late minister to Persia, has purchased four lots at Fort George, for the erec-
tion of a beautiful winter residence. Mr. Benjamin is very enthusiastic over the
beauty and climate of Fort George, and says it can be made the most beautiful
resort in the world.
-He has included this Island in his book, The World's Paradises."
He has also written it up in his book, "The Islands of the sea," and in Har-
per's (Illustrated), November, 878.

Superior' uaulit of Islanb frftlmcts.

It is a well-established fact that both the animal sad vegetable products of
sea islands excel in quality those raised on the main-land. The surrounding salt
water exerts a marvelous influence upon the climate, Which is most even and
uniform. Sudden and severe changes in temperature rarely occur, and growth in
animal and vegetable life is steady and uninterrupted, and without the retarding
reverses of successive heat, chills, droughts, etc., incident to the main-land.
Especially is this true of Fort George Island, whose shores are in a perpetual sea-
bath, tempered by the waters of the Gulf Stream, which render it equal in the
peculiarly tropical character and the quality of its products to Southern Florida.
The rich, genial soil of this Island, with a semi-tropical sun to mature and
concentrate the juices without destroying the lively, aromatic flavor of the fruit,
imparts great quality value to its products. It was famous before the war for the
production of some of the finest long-fibre cotton in the world. The large amount
of oyster shells and other fertilizing elements which are found mixed with its soil
imparts a most wonderful stimulus to its crops.

1 s) Islard) of 1]Roses,

Where green the savannas, and ceaeles the flow,
Of the lovely St. Johns to the seaboard below:
Where the pine-tree its resinous odor distills,
And the scent of magnolia the atmosphere fills;
Where ripens the lime, and the orange-tree grows,
There grew into beauty the Florida rose."
At Fort George Island, above any other spot in America, one is impressed
with the fact that the hand of the Creator has lavished upon flowers all the
resources of his infinite skill. It is simply impossible to describe the beautiful
grasses, vines, and flowers which decorate and perfume this Paradise of the
Sea," where
"Gentle gales,
Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense
Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole
Those balmy spoils."
The beautiful rose, which blooms every day in the year, the fragrant orange
and magnolia blossoms, the yellow jasmine, the honeysuckle, the wild olive, the
wood-violet, the passion-flower, the Spanish-bayonet, the scarlet trumpet-creeper,
and numberless others chosen by the Immortal Planter," are found upon this
magical Island.
As we enter the Island through palmetto groves and under huge limbs of
live-oak festooned with Spanish moss, and clumps of mistletoe clinging to their
branches, the trees flecked with beautiful lichens, and their branches covered
with the exquisite feathery green of the resurrection-ivy-the avenue scarlet
with the gleaming berries of the thorny-leaved holly, and anon passing under
the beautiful, glossy-leaved magnolia, radiant with its splendid bloom-the
atmosphere fraught with pine, cedar, and citrine odors, mingled with the per-
fume of orange flowers, and the sweet sea-breeze laden with brominic odors,
producing that exhilarating effect which, to the Northerner, can only be com-

pared to the fragrance of the country air on a spring morning-we feel that
Arabia cannot boast
"- A fuller gale of joy, than liberal, thence
Breathes through the sense and takes the ravished soul."


The peculiar healthfulness of Fort George over other parts of Florida, is in
a measure due, no doubt, to the variety and luxuriance of its lora. The healing
properties of pine odors are well known, as also are the refreshing qualities of
citrine odors; but it is comparatively unknown that perfumes generally are jn the
highest degree prophylactic (preventing disease), and that the odors of plants are
all antiseptic (preventing decay). Those subtle emanations which engender
disease, whether derived from the malarious swamp, or as effete matter from the
lungs of a disordered person, are at once destroyed by the odorous vapors,- not
merely masked, as some assert, but neutralized by real chemical combination,-
while it is established by the highest authority, that in the oxidation by sunlight
of the odoriferous principle of plants, ozone is evolved in considerable quanti-
ties. In view of these facts, Mantegazza has recommended that malarious and
unhealthful districts be guarded by the cultivation of these very flowers that
Nature has so lavishly bestowed upon this Island.


piri0i)s of isfiguisbed Visitfes *


"That Fort George Island can be made the most popular resort in Florida, I have not the
shadow of a doubt, for it possesses, as you well know, every attraction that brings visitors to the
State, and possesses these attractions in a much greater degree than any other portion of the State.
You are aware how much has been written of the tropical luxuriance of the Land of Flowers."
How poorly the reality bears out the imaginary picture in most cases. What can be more disappoint-
ing, for instance, than the stretch of country between Savannah and Jacksonville, and how little of a
tropical character there is to be found in and around the latter city. Nor is it much better up the
river as far as I have been ; nor even in the high interior." After seeing all this, one can excuse
the disgust of the tourist who has thus far looked in vain for the Florida of his imagination. But let
him catch but one glimpse of Fort George, and his almost extinguished faith revives, and by the time
he has made the tour of the Island, he is as loud in his expressions of admiration as the veriest real-
estate agent in the State. And when people once learn that they can enjoy all this tropical beauty
within a short two hours' sail of Jacksonville, will they not be induced to visit us,- instead ofgoing off
in search of it to the wilds of South Florida, where they are out of reach of all comforts ? Should a
railroad shorten the time to less than an hour, the only trouble would be to accommodate the crowds
who would come to enjoy our advantages. Fort George deserves to be the best-known health resort
in Florida."-Reginad M. Reynolds, M.D.

The late U. S. Minister to Persia, Hon. S. G. W. Benjamin, says:-
The view as one enters Fort George Island, is one of the most enchanting in the United States.
It was with regret that I found the hour come when I must leave Fort George. Its lovely scenery, and,
above all, the salubriousness of its atmosphere, scarcely equaled anywhere else on the coast, fasci-
nated and urged me to linger. Fort George constantly suggests the tropics, by the luxuriance of its
vegetation and the amenity of its air."
Julia B. Dodge, in's Monthly, says: -
It would be hard to find a spot combining more advantages and delights than Fort George
Island. The scenery is more tropical in many respects than the upper St. Johns. The air and sea
teem with life in inexhaustible variety. The scene is one of perfect repose and peace. To Fort
George. Nature has been very bountiful "
There is no place n Florida to compare with Fort George Island."-J. C. Grly, Prw. lorida
Samir.g Bank.

"Fort George Island has the highest land on the Atlantic coast for soo miles south of New
Jersey Highlands."- U. S. Cstl Suray.
Having visited all the places of interest in Florida, I can say with pleasure that Fort George
Island is the most beautiful of them all My first impression cannot be described. The scenery and
climate make one feel as if they were oat of the United States entirely, and wanted to stay there.
Yours truly,
JAmas R1 TaHOsom,
I ss Market Street, Philadelphia.
Extract from letter by Dr. R. M. Reynolds.
ForT GonGes I&.AND, Dec. sy, aIS5.
"I think it needs no prophet to predict the future of Fort George Island. Combining so many
advantages, it must fulfill its manifest destiny of becoming the most famous seaside resort of the
South. The beauties which elsewhere are scattered far apart, are crowded together within the various
limits of this poet's isle, and gives to its fairy-like scenery a completeness and fascination peculiar to
It is hard to understand why Fort George Island should have been endowed with a wealth of
tropical beauty so far surpassing that of points much farther south; but the fact remains that nowhere
else in the United States can be found a landscape so thoroughly tropical in appearance. While
gazing upon all this loveliness, our faith in the cold evolution theory is shaken; for if intelligent
esthetic design was ever indicated anywhere, it is here, where every object that meets the eye seems
to have been introduced into the picture merely for its artistic effect.
From the top of Mount Cornelia a view can be obtained unequaled probably in America for
tropical luxuriance and coloring. Fort George can be called, without fear of dispute, the kAme of t
aljm, so noble and majestic are the specimens of this noble tree. Through these lovely woods wind
the famous shell roads of Fort George, forming a pavement hard and white as marble, over whose
smooth surface the carriage-wheels glide without a jar, and which would tempt the most timid to
mount the frisky bicycle. What can be imagined more delightful than a six-mile run on the wheel"
over such a track, through the mazes of the semi-tropical forest, with the salt breeze blowing up from
the ocean, the song of the mocking-bird, and the soft thunder of the distant breakers for an accom-
paniment I
But perhaps the best feature of Fort George Island is the salubrity of its climate. Exposedas
it is to the full influence of the sea-breeze, and being composed almost entirely of high and dry land, it is
free from any taint of malaria, and one can, without danger to health, live here winter and summer.
While affording a delightful retreat from the cold winters of the North, it does not enervate and
weaken the constitution, for the salt air of the Atlantic has a tonic property which counteracts the
softness of the climate, and renders the atmosphere of Fort George most conducive to health and
Fort George is the loveliest spot on earth. I would not exchange my home here for anything
less than heaven. I never tire of its varied scenery, the beautiful avenues, the dense forests, and the
orange-groves, now laden with golden fruit. The island is full of beauty, the climate is most delight-
ful summer and winter, and no place in America can be more healthy. We never have frost here to
injure oranges."-Ca&t. Chab. Hruus.
"Fort George Island is the most beautiful and attractive resort in Florida for both winter and
summer. There is no place in the State its equal for health and beauty. I have had my home at Fort
George for over sixteen years, and know-whereof I speak, for I have, during that time, given its
character careful study."- He. J' F F. Reogmi.

A Boston lady writes us from Fort George Hotel: -
"I don't think you have said half enough for Fort George in your hand-book. It is a perfect
Another lady writes from Fort George to a friend in Boston: -
I suppose you would like to know how I like Fort George Island: well, it is the lowliest stj
as earth,- a perfectfatylaud, such as I have read about."

J~n .4


1 unique Seaibe 5ettlemenmt.

Fort George Island, from its delightful location at the very gateway of
Florida, its marvelous natural attractions, and wonderful climate summer and
winter, must inevitably become a popular seaside settlement for the better classes
of Northerners and Southerners alike.

(The favorite spot for artists.)



tbe Rrf (Gieeie Isl1. EempeW *

Of all the places of resort in Florida, only two or three are calculated to attract
the wealthy classes. This is due to the great lack of drives and to the cheaj and
mushroom appearance of many of the new places. The marvelous beauty, mag-
nificent drives, the wonderful climateand the great possibilities of Fort George
Island, led to the purchase of the larglBpart of this Island by Northern capitalists,
for the purpose of building up .arst-class winter resort for the wealthy classes.
The lots will all be sold with-p-trictions, and no inducements will be offered for
the building of cheap holes. The Company's purchase includes the beautiful

JRount Cornlia Vark,
of nearly 30 acres (including Point Isabel), about i5o acres of extra orange land,
for groves and gardening purposes, several thousand acres of marsh-meadow
land, and over a thousand building-sites.
The purchase of the Company also includes the enormous oyster-shell
mounds of many acres, which are exceedingly valuable for lime, fertilizing, and
making of the beautiful shell roads so famous on this Island (it is estimated that
there are 20,000,000 bushels of these shells, or enough to make a shell road from
Boston to Fort George), the Fort George Hotel, with its fifteen acres of grounds,
and a small hotel on the bathing-beach. The

forestt of fort 6eorge,
which belong to the domppapy, no pen can describe. There are nearly fifty differ-
ent kinds of beautiful semi-tropical trees festooned in the most exquisite manner
with vines and mosses of every description. These forests would well repay a
visit to this lovely Island.

The building-lots front on beautiful broad avenues; several hundred of them
overlook the Ocean, St. John's River, and Fort George Inlet. Each lot is
abundantly large enough to allow plenty of building-room, with enough land
left for a good-sized garden, fruit-trees, etc. Many lots have semi-tropical trees
upon them, which will make magnificent shade-trees without waiting for them
to grow: this is a very great advantage in buying on this Island. No buildings
allowed within twenty feet of any avenue, except on business streets, and no lots
will be sold for saloons or gambling purposes.


The idea is to make Fort George a delightful winter home for cultured and
refined people without the objectionable features usually found in new commu-
nities. One has only to examine the beautiful residences already built upon the
Island, such as The Oaks," The Bend," The Moorings," and The Rollins'
Mansion," to be convinced of the Company's policy.
It is also proposed to greatly extend the amount of shell roads upon the
Island, and to improve and beautify the avenues in every possible way.

~e *ffooings,"
known as the Commodore Cooper estate, has recently been purchased by Hon.
Nicholas Ball, and will be fitted up as his 'winter home.

The iev Rerft See6re efeel *

Is one of the unique features of Florida. There are a few hotels in the State
which may have cost more, but perhaps none upon which more care, fains, and
taste have been exercised. While the comfort, convenience, and enjoyment of its
guests have been the prominent idea in its construction, yet elegance and beauty
have not been lost sight of in building upon this picturesque and magical Island.
It is the determination of the Company to keep one of the finest hotels in Florida.
The Fort George Hotel is magnificently located on high ground, with the
ocean on one side, and on the other the beautiful Magnolia Park, from which
rises Mount Cornelia, terminating in the lovely Point Isabel.
Almost every room overlooks the ocean and magnificent tropical scenery.
The location is called by visitors the most romantic in all Florida. A superior
table, scrupulous neatness, prompt and efficient service, will be insisted upon by
the officers of the Company.

(%rantb Iotel Viala.

A magnificent piazza sixteen feet wide extends along three sides of the hotel,
affording the promenaders a grand panoramic view of the ocean. Hundreds of
palm-trees, beautiful red cedar, the live-oak, and other varieties of semi-tropical
trees too numerous to mention, Fort George River, Mount Cornelia, the Observ-
atory, hundreds of semi-tropical birds, the marble-like avenues, the romantic
walks, all make up a picture which can neither be described nor forgotten.
Mr. Benjamin, the late Persian Minister, says, "In all the world I have never
seen such a magical spot, nor one so fascinating."
A plank walk connects the piazza with the new boat-house on the beach, thus
affording the guests nearly i,ooo feet of promenade.
The hotel is thoroughly heated by steam. Large open fire-places in rotunda,
parlor, and many sleeping-rooms.
Every room in the entire hotel is lighted by the most improved system of
gas, and supplied with electric bells.

Hot sea, sulphur, and fresh-water baths will be introduced into the hotel.

Great care has been taken to secure perfect drainage for the entire house.
All waste goes to the ocean.


tonserbatorg parlor.
There will be a magnificent Conservatory Parlor, entirely inclosed in glass,
and fitted up in a very unique manner, opening directly from the Grand Salon on
the ocean front of the hotel. It is seventy-two feet long, and incloses a beautiful
palm still growing in the ground in its natural state. It will be furnished in a

1 it

novel manner, and will contain rare tropical plants and birds. It will be so
arranged that the promenade from the broad piazzas will lead into it.

Boating, fishing, anb Sbooting.
A new Boat-House has recently been built on the beach near the hotel, where
all kinds of boats will be kept for use of the guests. The boating on the Fort
George River is very fine, as it is never rough, and the scenery along its banks
and adjacent islands is very fine.
The ocean, the St. Johns River, the bays and inlets about the Island, are
thronged with many varieties of fish, and Isaac Walton's disciples may be seen
here almost every day in the year. For a century the waters surrounding the
island have been noted for their great variety and enormous quantities of fish.

(Half a million of dollars is being expended on these jetties at Fort George.)
Here we find the striped, black, red and sea bass, the sea trout, white shad, gamey
bluefish, mullet, black-fish, drum, sheepshead, etc., etc. Fort George has the
first shad of the season. Here, too, we find OYSTERS, clams, soft-shell crabs, etc.
The white shad begins to run at Fort George in December.
There is a great variety of birds along the banks of this river and along the
beaches. Thousands of the aquatic tribe may almost always be seen at the St.
Johns bar, near the Fort George Hotel--immense flocks of pelicans, sea-gulls,
canvas-back and mallard ducks, geese, curlew, heron, snipe, bald and gray eagles,
etc., etc. Quail and wild turkeys are also found.


1Reufes fe Rerf d(eere Isleayj.
Take any of the well-know mtes to Jacksoaville. Time reduced to 36 hours from New York,
sad 4x% hours from Boste. The new and fast steamer "Kate Spencer" makes two round trips
daily between Jacksoei and Fort George time, about two hours.
Any infomautlen gtadly given upon application.

ANDREW WASHBURN, igo State Street, Boston, Presidet.
O. S. MARDEN, 4o5 Washington Street, Boston (Tourists' Bureau), Treanur.
. H. Chadwick, Boston. R. K. Dow, New York. John J. Bright, Cambridge, Mass.
Joseph Davis, Boston. ohn L. Farwell, Claremont, N. H. Nicholas Bal, Block Island, a. .

We give below the names of a few of the many thousands of enthusiastic visitors to Fort George
Island, taken from the Fort George Hotel register. These names were registered every month in tie
year, except November.

Gen. Sherman.
Gen. Spinner, ex-Treas. U. S.
Senator J.J. Ingall, Kan.
SenatorP. Sawyer, Wis.
Senator C. F. anderson, Neb.
Senator C. W. Jones, Fla.
Senator Eugene Hale, Me.
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Conn.
Proc Calvin A. Stowe, Conn.
P. W. Briscoe, Ga.
Hon. Eph. Hampton, Va.
Hea. Frank Hiscock, N. Y.
Hon. W. M. Springer, III.
Hon H. Sargent, Ohio.
Ho C. B. Barr, Pa.
Hon. Joseph Gilbert, Pa.
Hon. H. Henderson, Va.
John W. Hendrie, Cal.
Ho. J. M. Frances, N. Y.
C. S. MacArthur, N. Y.
S. J. Paine, Constantinople.
A. D. Dillingham, U. S. A.
Lieut.-Com. P. H. Cooper.
Capt. C. Holmes, Ft. George.
G. P. Russell, England.
H. S. Prince, Engad.
Walter Paris, England.
Wm. T. Seymour, New York.
C. F. Adams, New York.
G. B. Scranton, New York.
J. McKesson, Jr., New York.
Townsend Harris, New York.
J. LDodge, New York.
Chas H. DeForest, New York.
J.R. Platt, New York.
William Astor, New York.
Wa. Blair Lord, New York.

H. K. Thurber, New York.
R. O. Allen, New York.
J. C. Atwater, New York.
Thos. A. Mayo. New York.
DeWitt C. West, New York.
N. H. Johnson, New York.
W. H. Bridgham, New York.
Geo. EdwinSeavy. NewYork.
E. A. Ford, New York.
F. W. Upham, New York.
Louis Wallack, New York.
. Milton Brooks, New York.
SH. Howard, New York.
. H. Fisher, New York.
W. Pillsbury, Ohio.
. 0. Trowbridge, Ohio.
Those. L. Wilkinso, Mo.
Dr. W. DeBarr, Mo.
Robt. B. Thorabuck, Mo.
W. B. Hale, Mo.
Geo. H.Heabrd, Mo.
Mrs. D. L. Moody, Chicago.
Chas. K. Wilson, Chicago
B. B. Chahield, Chicago.
Wm. M. Whitehead, Chicago.
D. M. Fisk, Chicago.
H. I. Norton, Chicago.
David Bradley, Chicago.
Geo. H. Daniels, Chicago.
David Gray. India.
C.. Spar, Bosto.
HOa. S G. W. Benjamin,
New York.
Mrs. P. Hazeltine, Boston.
H. D. Cushing. Boston.
W. F. Clain, Boston.
Chas. M. Cox, Boston.

Geo. B. Hecker, Boston.
A. W. Spencer, Boston.
Wm. Barrett Wrigt, Boter.
J. Osood Frost, Boston.
rs. H TwombleyBotn.
R. B. Wardwell, Boston.
A. B. Blake, Boston.
W. W. Warren, Boston.
Dr. H. Richardson, Boston.
W. H: Widgham Boston.
Dr. Gray, Boston.
F. C. Gray,-Boston.
Chas. F. Lord, Boston.
N. Sargent Duaklee, Batam,
E. P. Haskell, Boston.
Geo. W. Coleman, Boste.
L. T. Garrett, Phildlpia.
Geo. W. Barr, Philadephi.
Samuel W. Fort Phil pia
S. Edwin Megg, P
F. Bowan Pice, P il
Jas. A. Lealtroth Pl.
Edmund Allen =.
Henry Dwigt, Pi.
Josph H.0Pbi0 ade
AKeialrd KeenPildepia.
Aaron Teller,
Rev. T. P. Stevenson P
C. A. Blessing Phidelp a
Geo. W. BanksPhiadlphia
James M. Stokee, Phila.
Thoas P. Cope, Jr., PIhi.
Hery A. D in Phila.
Arched McIntyre, Phil.
Chas. Disston, Pildelphi.
David Clark Hartford, Co.



A SPECIAL OF'FE' -SUBSCRIPTION $4.00 per year; 88 t .
i. wt hth.auary. 8 per number. On and after this date, new yearly
subscribers, begmnig with the January, 1887, umber, can have the November and December, x886,
numbers FREE, if claimed when the subscription is sent. These two numbers contain the first in-
stalments of the LIFE OF LIXNCOLN, and the opening chapters of Mr. STOCKTON'S
,J NOVEL. All dealers take subscriptions on the terms given above, or remittance may be made to
the Publishers direct.



PARTICULARLY suited to families desiring a genteel, quiet, and not extravagant summer home.
It is located but a short distance from the harbor, bathing-beach, skating-rink, post-office, and
The sleeping-rooms are all arranged in suites, and newly furnished with ash sets, hair mattresses
and woven-wire springs. The public rooms are spacious and attractive. The table will be kept at a
high standard. Beautiful shade-trees adorn the grounds. Drainage is absolutely perfect, every par-
ticle of waste being carried to the sea.
Terms very reasmabe. Sendfor ilstrated hand-book.
We give below a few names, which will sufficiently indicate the class of people who are patrons of
the MANissES
Ss. NEW YORK. J t H. Bakr, Brooklyn.
Mra. Dr. t. J-se H. P. Bmlth, Cortland, Cortland Xr. &F rIa, Tonkle.
T. C. V Co. J. BK choonmaker, Troy.
A. H .es Smith. Bnghamton. W. W. Smith, StIllwter.
m J dge H. Duell Cortland, Cortlad
V SCharles H. F sh, a Congress Street, PROVIDENCE, R. I.
1%r L~ t-basugharg.
Fra W, ;4 t St K. H L, Sant 1180 Dns Street, Stephen BwnelL Dr. Am.
O Le .41st Street. Brooklyn. G. W. B. Churchb. W. Doeos.
c I 1 ( a StreeaB t. C.. Delre, Btaghamton. P. Y. BtMl. C. S. He
4 A. t a8rbrck, 2w W. d street. K W. Van Zant, ddleto, Orange Co. Mrs. Dr. 8. Smtth.
a L. t~esilr u a I4th Btrenk 8. T. Clark, Blaghmto.
Ga W. Dorrseee, U8.. 11 W. 18th8t. Wm. Burn. Bath, Steuben Co.
MLs Ii. O5. 18W. S H. Le C S, Csailseu. PHILADELPHIA, PA.
H.LW. Cempl, Pliem Street. W. Q. Pekhau, Adelphl Acadomy,
L Pardy, Bank of Svings, 67 Bleeker Brooklyn. Chu. E Lawrence.
SV sen. A. J. Ahleuder, Aubrn. Jamnes Budd.
S. M oe, Bseekmn Street, H. Twi, Cortland. L. A. Duhrng.
?M0114 Court. S. W. eoslue. aDne. Prot Wf. Hold-o, GIrd Collet.
Mr W. WW. Wakesin. Mr D. J.J.I tchel, Newburgh. Pro Hesry I. By, Girard College.
v. K L. C.rk, 111 S t 17th street. Be. J. C. Alln, Blebeth. Rb.L A. Hardy r
Ire QC.BL C0. s Blsom, Brooklyn. P. Kelly,H MD.


lo 5

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C.) U9 *


"A majestic avenue of Palms."-Harfer's MAonthly.
"A magnificent avenue, the boast of Fort George, and unequalled on the continent."

-Scribnur' Monthly.
"There earth is an Eden, the climate a balm;
Bright hues deck the fields, and aloft waves the palm;
O'er the hammocks its perfume the jasmine flings;
To the live-oak the solemn gray drapery clings;
Wide the cypress its vast leafy canopy throws;
And in loveliness blossoms the Florida Rose." k

Frank W-o1, Printer, Boston.