Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Research Paper Secondary Source

For my research paper on, “The development of Winter Park in the Gilded Age in relation to tourism in the era,” I have examined a few secondary sources so far. The one I have chosen to discuss in this blog post is a book entitled, Chronological History of Winter Park and Claire Leavitt MacDowell is its author. It was published in 1950 by “Orange Press.” This source contributes significantly to my research paper’s content because it goes through the development of Winter Park on a year-by-year basis spanning several decades. I focused on the decade from 1880-1890 in particular. This book discusses the creation of the town of Winter Park and how tourism played a role in its creation. The book discusses how the town of Winter Park was designed; in 1881, “The town was laid out with curves encircling special sites for a hotel, churches, schools and parks.” (20) “The hotel site was offered ‘to any competent reliable party who would build a large hotel for accommodation of winter guests.’” (20) This touches on a main reason Winter Park was created: as a tourist destination for winter visitors from the Northeast. This book also mentions the creation of Hannibal Square and we know many of its inhabitants helped to develop Winter Park as a tourist retreat. The book quotes a news item from South Florida Journal, Sept. 8, 1881: “One quarter of a mile west from the depot is located Hannibal Square, designed for a church for colored people, and surrounding it lots which will be sold to Negro families of good character who can be depended on for work in the family and in the grove…” (21). The Seminole Hotel was a product of tourism in Winter Park and was opened in 1886 on New Year’s Eve. Pertaining to the growth of Winter Park, which we know was fueled by tourism, the book mentions, as taken from the Prospectus of the O&WP RR., how, in 1887, “…Today there are hundreds of winter cottages, churches, schools, etc. The Seminole, the largest hotel in South Florida, accommodating 400 guests has been full to overflowing the two seasons it has been open—and Rollins College… is located here.” (36) In 1888, “The Florida Southern Railway offered any settler ‘of undoubted good character’ five acres of land and haul his lumber free to erect a house, any time in the next six months.” (39) The growth of the railroad into Central Florida most certainly affected tourism as it meant that more tourists could visit Winter Park. The book makes note of an item in Lochmede, “Our railroad (the South Florida) from a little 7 ½ ton engine running on 16-pound rail with a gauge of 3 feet has developed to a full grown standard gauge road with engines of 30 tons and over, running on 50-pound steel rails and pulling heavy trains of freight or first class passenger coaches.” (41) This secondary source provides information which will most definitely help me in my construction of my research paper.

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