100 Years Ago this Week is New Feature of Ridge Life Section

July 4, 1923 Highlander Featured First Baptist Church


Last updated 7/4/2023 at 12:15pm

Courtesy Lake Wales Public Library

The July 4, 1923 issue of the Lake Wales Highlander featured the laying of the cornerstone of the First Baptist Church on Central Avenue. A copy of the Highlander was among items included in a time capsule.

Starting this week the Lake Wales News will begin publishing historic reproductions of the Lake Wales highlander newspapers from 100 years ago. The images, retrieved from the digital archives of the Lake Wales Public Library, will portray the front page of each week's newspaper, and will be published in a new subsection of the Ridge Life section.

The 1923 Highlander was a weekly publication that tracked the growth and progress of the fledgling community, which had only recently exceeded a population of 500. At that time it was poised for incredible growth during the Roaring 20's, with the ongoing development of the boom-time downtown. The construction of the Walesbilt Hotel and Edward Bok's Singing Tower were unimagined. Recently-built structures included the 1919 Bullard Building on Stuart and Jimmy Rhodes' Alcoma Arcade.

The Hesperides Road toward the east coast of Florida, today's State Route 60, was under construction with a bridge to cross the Kissimmee River.

The News will seek to publish a new feature front page each week so that our readers can follow the history and growth of the city.


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