have had many dear friends living in
especially in the long ago, and have had many invitations to visit
first one thing and another prevented and all the while,
has been fleeting and the shadows
lengthening across “the great divide,” so when we
an invitation to
attend the barbecue and picnic there on the 30th,
at the end of the busiest week of the busiest month of the year (to us)
down nolens volens and was amply rewarded for doing so.
were told that Crystal River was a
charming spot and
possessed wonderful possibilities and we found that these statements of
enthusiasts were not overdrawn. Were it possible to duplicate a wizard
west coast the same as the east coast and again one for the middle,
indeed could be made a fairyland.
David L. Yulee, and others as
noteworthy, early saw
the possibilities of the west coast, but unfortunately untoward
intervened and the west coast has been more or less a neglected
section, but is
still throwing out its beacon lights of beauty and the time will come
Columbus or Flagler will discover it and make it vie both in opulence
splendor with the east coast section.
town of Crystal River is
beautifully situated at the
head waters of the river of the same name. The river is formed by
same as Silver Springs and loses itself in the gulf at a distance of
miles.The banks on either side are lined with the historic cedar, more
beautiful than those of Lebanon, we dare say, because they are
protected with the tall and graceful palmetto and have a dense pine
a background, which, altogether, form an exquisite picture of tropical
luxuriance rarely seen.
as lovely as the landscape is, its
beauty is not its
sole attraction, for the cedar, the palmetto and the pine are becoming
more valuable as trees of commerce and the
banks of the river and the nearby tributaries will
of supply for many years to come.
is already at Crystal River a big
lumber mill, owned
by the Camps, capable of sawing 100,000 feet per day. There is also a
crate mill, owned by Mr. Baum, which employs 100 hands and the Dixon
Mills has been largely the warp and woof of the little city for a long
and promises to remain a fixture and bids fair to count its years as
Methuselah of old. Its reputation has grown world-wide.
factories for the utilization of
the palmetto are
becoming more and more abundant and it is being discovered that every
of the tree can add to the demands of our hungry civilization.
the factories already named
there are two large fish
and oyster companies and an ice company at Crystal River, which are
large and growing business and the people in all walks of life are
progressive citizens carried us to
the mouth of the
river and hear and there along both shores are the residences of winter
visitors, the summer cottages and also the permanent homesteaders.
passed the home of Mr. Tilley, a
prominent Virginian, who
spends his winters with his daughter on the shores of this lovely
has a conspicuous home and grounds and an orange grove of several acres.
also passed the home of Mr. George
H. Stratener, who also
has a fine grove of many acres and we noticed other homes hidden here
beneath the cedars and palmettos.
passed “The Rocks,” a
lovely eminence, where the late
Capt. Samuel Agnew and Water Agnew, of this city, were encamped during
Nic Barco of Crystal River, was a
member of Capt. Agnes
company and became so entranced with the beauties of that section that
been living there ever since and although one of its pioneer settlers,
youthful enough to be at the head of every movement that promises to
also passed a tributary stream known
as Salt River. Col.
Barco said that it has been reserved for a summer and winter habitat
defeated candidates and that they were anticipating a visit from Mr.
other national republican dignitaries sometime after the results of
elections are made known and were making all necessary arrangements to
them in a becoming and fitting manner.
River is a wide and opulent
stream and the
expenditure of only $17,000 by the federal government gave it a depth
feet of water at the bar.
is estimated that by expending
$20,000 more it will give
it a depth of twelve feet and anything like an appropriation that has
given to some of the other rivers in this and other states would easily
a depth of twenty or more feet.
Sparkman was one of the
party and he was shown
the few shallow places that need excavating by federal aid and he
he would use all of his influence in having this work accomplished and
soon Crystal River will have an ample depth of water to magnify its
many times over and its citizens have a right to rejoice over their
of deep water and an increasing traffic.
returned to town at eleven
o’clock after a most
delightful trip and found waiting the largest gathering we have seen
speeches were made by Mr. R.
L. Turner by
superintendent of public instruction in that county and a candidate for
reelection; Mr. E. L. Grace, candidate for the legislature from that
fervent and eloquent address by Mr. C. L. Bittinger, editor of the
a few remarks by the editor of this paper and a speech by Hon. S. M.
the best we have ever heard him deliver.
the speeches there was a
sumptuous dinner, fish and
oysters in all styles, furnishing the chief attractions of the spread.
were supplemented with cakes, pies hot coffee and other condiments.
ladies of the Crystal River Village
also served ice cream and cakes on the grounds, and their booth was
River has an active board of
trade and a Ladies
Village Improvement Society and both are earnestly at work beautifying
in every way and bringing its claim to the attention of the outside
town has several splendid stores,
an elegantly equipped
bank, a splendid local newspaper, lodges, churches and other
Dixon Crucible Company, the crate
factory, the fish and
oyster companies, ice plant, etc., make weekly payments, which keep a
amount of money in active circulation and give lone and activity to
all its ramifications.
River has a number of beautiful
residences, a fine
public school, good hotels and boarding houses and a spirit of activity
optimism that is commendable and inspiring.
our visit we were guests at the
Stratheon Inn, a
splendidly kept hotel and the Florida tourist will find it a splendid
which to pass the winter season.
We are under especial obligations to Col. Nic Barco, Mr. George Hyde, Mr. John Juhan and others for favors and attention and shall always retain a pleasant impression of this ambitious little city.
Transcribed , Formatted and Submitted by Linda Flowers
Source: Ocala Banner