Area Information

Lake Osceola c. 1906 booher area info1

HISTORY
The site was first inhabited by Europeans in 1858, when David Mizell Jr. bought an 8-acre (32,000 m2) homestead between Lakes Virginia, Mizell and Berry. A settlement, called Lake View by the inhabitants, grew up around Mizell’s plot. It got a post office and a new name—Osceola—in 1870.

The area did not develop rapidly until 1880, when a South Florida Railroad track connecting Orlando and Sanford was laid a few miles west of Osceola. Shortly afterwards, Loring Chase came to Orange County from Chicago to recuperate from a lung disease. In his travels, he discovered the pretty group of lakes just east of the railbed. He enlisted a wealthy New Englander, Oliver E. Chapman, and they assembled a very large tract of land, upon which they planned the town of Winter Park. Over the next four years they plotted the town, opened streets, built a town hall and a store, planted orange trees, and required all buildings to meet stylistic and architectural standards. They promoted it heavily.[3] During this time, the railroad constructed a depot (1882), connected to Osceola by a dirt road.

In 1885, a group of businessmen started the Winter Park Company and incorporated it with the Florida Legislature, Chase and Chapman sold the town to the new company. In a land bubble characteristic of Florida history, land prices soared from less than $2 per acre to over $200, with at least one sale recorded at $300 per acre.

booher area info2


The Hotel Alabama in c. 1922

In 1885, the Congregational Assembly of Florida started Rollins College, the state’s first four-year college. The following year saw the opening of The Seminole Hotel on Lake Osceola, a grand resort complete with the luxuries of the day: gas lights, steam heating, a string orchestra, a formal dining room, a bowling alley, and long covered porches.

[edit] Presidential Visits

The first president to visit was Chester A. Arthur he reported to the papers that Winter Park was “the prettiest place I have seen in Florida” [4] President Grover Cleveland visited the area and was given a huge reception at the Seminole Hotel on February 23 of 1888. He enjoyed the Bounding Horse Cart ride and stated that it was the most pleasant diversion of his Florida Trip. The New York Times reported on his visit and stated that, ” The Philadelphian and Bostonian founders had done a good job with the town”. The following four years both hotel and the town became a fashionable winter resort for Northern visitors. The next President to visit the area was Franklin D. Roosevelt in March 1936. He was conferred an honorary degree in literature at Rollins College

EAST WIND THERAPIES
MICHAEL BOOHER AP, HEIDI REGIER AP and TOM CARAWAY AP
1954 Howell Branch Road Suite 112
WINTER PARK, FL 32792
OFFICE: 407-677-9993