100 Years Ago: The Highlander of January 16, 1924

Series: This Week in History | Story 22

Last updated 1/22/2024 at 4:53pm

Courtesy Lake Wales Public Library

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 concern of local residents in 1924 was the widening of Scenic Highway, not to four lanes, bu to four rods, enough to allow two motor vehicles to safely pass each other.The project to widen that road, then SR No. 8, required the right-of-way to be at least 66 feet wide the entire way, Since part of the ROW was only 60 feet wide, a local committee was set up to see about obtaining the necessary land to widen the road, which was considered essential for the growth of commerce.

A second story on the front page at that time reminded every eligible voter to be sure their poll tax was paid up. Those taxes were applied by counties across the nation and are now recognized as a way to prevent voting by those who were not part of the landed "gentry." The Supreme Court has since banned them as unconstitutional.


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