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.
The Highlander from 100 years ago noted the rise in fruit shipments from area groves, noting that more than 11,000 railcars of fruit had been shipped north.. At that time mostly only fresh fruit could reach northern markets aboard the two railroads that served the area. Canning and sectionizing fruit was a new process.
The fruit business was a growing industry as noted by the sale of the Thullberry's grove management business to Jay Burns Jr.
Meanwhile the Lake Wales Woman's Club heard from a speaker who advocated preserving parks along state highways, noting that only one-sixth of the state's native timber remained standing. She advocated creating a large park between Lake Wales and Bartow.