November 7, 1923 Lake Wales Highlander
Last updated 11/8/2023 at 1:02pm
The extension of a local rail line to reach the east coast of Florida was all the talk of Lake Wales residents in November 100 years ago. Many were undoubtedly hoping that the line would be the spur that already extended to Nalaca on the Kissimmee River. That line, which served logging, cattle, and mining interests, passed through Hesperides and Sumica before ending along the river. Today a portion of that former line is the Lake Wales Trailway on the north side of Lake Wailes.
In other news, local physician Dr. Tomlinson spoke to the Lake Wales Women's Club about deplorable conditions in the "colored quarters," calling upon the community to act to provide for the health needs of residents there. He was critical of property owners "whose sole idea is to make as much as possible out of these people without regard to their health." Dr. Tomlinson called upon the city to "bring about needed reforms."
County commissioner Hancock, meanwhile, agreed to loan a crew of convicts to Commissioner Prior to be used in his district to fill in holes in Scenic Highway north of Lake Wales. The road was the primary local route, but most freight, along with those traveling to any distant point, preferred the speed and comfort of the trains.
Most local stores had agreed to close at noon Monday to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of "The Great War," which concluded with a fragile peace on "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month," November 11, 1918.