Floral City, Heart of Phosphate Belt
 A 1913 Sketch

     Floral City, Dec. 13…The beautiful little village of Floral City is located on Asaia Opapka Lake. It is surrounded by farm, truck and citrus land. The streets, homes and many public buildings are lighted by electricity.
     The main street is densely shaded by gracious liveoak trees, which were set out by Senator Austin Mann, who is now a resident of Jacksonville.
     The school house would grace a city. There are four teachers doing splendid work. There are two churches, Methodist and Baptist. Both have flourishing Sunday Schools.
     The handsome brick bank building is situated between the stores of L. J. Edwards and W. M. Laurie, the two leading merchants. J. M. Jenerett, the cashier, has a valuable orange grove on Duval Island.
     E. W. Graham’s bottling works supply the surrounding country and also Inverness with cold drinks. Mr. Graham also has a livery stable and a garage. He is now clearing land preparatory to putting out a grapefruit grove.
     M. M. Smoke’s blacksmith and repair shop would be an asset to any town or city.
     Rev. George Martin moved from Calhoun County, Miss., two years ago and invested in property here. He went into the watermelon business this year on a small scale, planting about twenty acres and was so successful he made a trip back to Calhoun County and brought several families back with him. They will locate here permanently. All will plant a large acreage in watermelons in 1914. The Floral City lands are finally adapted to watermelons and the cheapest in the state.
     D. A. Tooke is a large and successful orange grower. On Duval Island he has fifty acres in a grove, thirty-five of which are bearing. Mr. Tooke says that his oranges are paying him and that none of his property is for sale.
     S. D. Moon who has never lost a cent on a foot of land he ever bought in Floral City, also has possession on Duval Island, fifteen acres of which are in oranges. He has an extensive nursery which is very remunerative.
     Callie Johnson has a lucrative grove of eight acres on Boswell Island.
     June Love received $6 net a box for his grapefruit this season. They sold for $8, but as they were shipped by express, the expense per box was higher than by freight.
     Jim Hampton believes in Oranges. He thinks that money grows on orange trees and that an orange tree is not only the richest tree, but also the most beautiful tree in all the world. He loves his grove. “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it,” and so he has never had his confidence shaken in the orange business. Mr. Hampton is the orange king of this whole country.
     Floral City is the best market in the world for cabbage, potatoes, cauliflower, English peas, peaches, pecans, eggs and poultry of all kinds.
    In the heart of the richest phosphate region of the State, Floral City leads the world in hard-rock phosphate. 

Original Article written by Mrs. George Nelson

Source: Tampa Tribune: 12-14-1913
Transcribed, Formatted and Submitted by Linda Flowers By Linda Flowers

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