- Hometown stories that count from people who care

By Cynthia J. Turner
Staff Writer 

An Oasis of Beauty and Peace Celebrates 90 Years


Last updated 2/25/2019 at 11:57am

Traveling by car in Central Florida in 1929 wasn't easy. In the late 1920s, many Florida roads were clay. Yet, thousands of cars full of curious people headed to Lake Wales to see the President of the United States and to see Edward Bok's Bird Sanctuary. On Feb. 1, 1929, President Calvin Coolidge dedicated the Mountain Lake Sanctuary and Singing Tower, now known as Bok Tower Gardens.

It was a very rare occasion to see the President in those days. To have the opportunity to see him in Lake Wales was indeed a rarity. It was even more rare for America to receive such a magnificent gift of gra...

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