Thursday, October 13, 2011

Primary Source for RCC Research Paper

For my “RCC: Decade of Decision—the 1890s" research paper, I have chosen the topic of, “The development of Winter Park in the Gilded Age in relation to tourism in the era.” I visited the Olin Library Archive and examined a pamphlet that was written to entice people in the latter part of the 19th century to come to Central Florida, especially Winter Park: the pamphlet’s focus. This source can be addressed as, Florida, Winter Park, 1888, Orange County, Rand Avery Company, Printers, Boston. Edition, 10,000. This primary source’s significance involves its audience of people interested in learning more about Winter Park and all its various glories. This source highlights all that Winter Park had to offer in the time of its publication and appealed to many prospective home/land buyers and vacationers. The town originated in 1881 and was noted by, “… that well-known physician, Dr. Henry Foster of Clifton Springs, N.Y.” as, “As healthy a spot as can be found on the face of the globe…” (1) People who moved to Winter Park after hearing of its splendor and amenities that lead to a practically perfect quality of life, traveled there via railroad: “advent of the railroad in 1880 opened the region to travel; and now hundreds of first-class families, representing nearly every State in the Union, live hereabouts summer and winter…” (1) “Since the completion of the trunk-line of railway from Sanford across the state to Tampa, 125 miles, the tourist has been able to take in the beauties of the Highlands.” (4) Winter Park was described as existing in a “Highland” territory and was void of swamp. The advent of the community of Winter Park is described in the pamphlet: “…thousands of acres of beautiful high-rolling land, covered with magnificent Southern pines…rapidly cut up into 5 and 10 acre farms, and occupied by new families; and a splendid and permanent community is being rapidly built up.” (1) Mr. Loring A. Chase, who had originally come down to Central Florida to alleviate an ailment, and Mr. Oliver E. Chapman were the ones to survey Winter Park and plot this town. Five categories of purchasable lots are described in the pamphlet: Cottage, Garden, Business, Negro, and Lake-front lots; all lots are, “…within three-quarters of a mile of depot…” (4)A vital attraction of Winter Park lies in the pamphlet’s description of the goal of Winter Park’s developers, “…to have in the centre of this thriving community a beautiful winter resort for people who wish to escape from the cold and blustering weather so fruitful of colds, coughs, diphtheria, consumption, etc.; a collection of beautiful villas in the midst of orange groves, upon acre-lots running to the shores of crystal lakes; a dozen or more large, first-class hotels along the ten miles of lake frontage; a resort for the winter…” (1) The pamphlet focuses on the Seminole Hotel which attracted numerous guests with its beautiful, spacious lodging, amenities, and striking lake views. The lakes not only were magnificent to look at, but they also provided water-sport recreation such as rowing, boating, and embarking on a steam-yacht. The two public schools in Winter Park were good, as was Rollins College. The climate was not only pleasing to spend one’s leisure time in, but provided many health benefits. The pamphlet examines nearly every facet of life in Winter Park as its goal was to attract people to this magnificent town that remains a gem today.

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