October 10, 1923 Highlander

Series: This Week in History | Story 13

Last updated 10/11/2023 at 10:04am

Courtesy Lake Wales Library Archives

The Lake Wales Highlander of 100 years ago reveals much about the history of our community. Each week the Lake Wales News will publish a front-page image of the former Lake Wales Highlander from 100 years earlier, tracking the growth of the community a century ago, when Florida was in the midst of a great land price boom and rapid population growth. The images are retrieved from the digital archives of the Lake Wales Public Library. The Lake Wales Highlander eventually became The Daily Highlander, and under several different names was published six times a week on Sunday mornings and Monday through Friday afternoons until 1995. The original Lake Wales News was a weekly broadsheet newspaper that also served the community for many decades, later changing to a tabloid format before closing six years ago. Lake Wales was among only a handful of small communities that supported two local newspapers, a mark of the level of literacy and community interest here.

Only 100 years ago the young town of Lake Wales was kept up-to-date by stories shared on the pages of The Highlander. This week the buzz was about a pair of men who had made the drive all the way from Indiana in only five days, covering a distance of 1,214 miles on "fair" roads, "with the exception of over the mountains," where no doubt things remained rather sketchy for automobile traffic, since most locals there preferred mules at the the time.

In other local news, local resident Joe Briggs had organized the installation of a new school bell at the rapidly-growing school, insisting that scholars needed to hear that sound to start their day.

An island discovered in Crooked Lake has led to the creation of the "Wade In" or "Knee Deep" club by a cadre of young men who plan to build a rough cabin on the narrow spit of land. One of the group laid a homestead claim to the land after finding it on an old surveyor's map. The spot is known today as "Rattlesnake Island" due the the presence of the pit vipers, and lies just south of the end of Thornburg Road along the north shore of the lake.

Meanwhile the Crooked Lake Yacht and Golf Club was finishing work on their new golf course, which was a short-lived feature of the area north of Babson Park, being abandoned during the Great Depression that would follow in less than ten years. The remains of the course can still be identified just north of Babson Park along Aldo Road.


Reader Comments(0)


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2023