Communication Builds Our Community

100 Years Ago - The Highlander of December 26, 1923

As 1923 drew to a close the growing Lake Wales area was documented by the writers of the Lake Wales Highlander, led by editor and publisher J. E. Worthington.

A major topic of the time citrus fruit quality as some growers were picking the fruit too soon and shipping green fruit to northern markets, damaging the reputation of the state's product as a whole. The lack of enforcements mechanisms for quality standards was a hot topic for the burgeoning citrus industry, which was planting hundreds of new acres of fruit trees each month in 1923. The debate would eventually lead to the adoption of US Department of Agriculture standards for the fruit.

In other news, the first "Citrus Festival" was being planned to take place in Winter Haven, eventually leading to a county fair which would persist for almost 80 years.

Voters were being called to vote on New Year's Eve, Monday, December 31, to decide whether to issue a $100,000 bond to create a county hospital. The successful vote led to the establishment of a hospital that also last about 80 years before being closed by the county commission.


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