A Gem of the Gulf
Mr. Lansford Tells of His Visit to Port Inglis

If you want to see hustle and get-up, if you care for genuine hospitality and an all round good time, take a day off and run down to Port Inglis. As most Ocala-ites know, the little island town is exclusively the property of the Port Inglis Terminal Company, and is situated at the mouth of the Withlacoochee river on the Gulf, being reached by boat from Inglis, which is ten miles up the river and is the terminus of the Standard and Hernando railroad. The intervening territory is an impenetrable swamp, passing through which the writer got several shots at alligators, which were in some cases so lazy as to allow us to approach within a few feet. The fishing is fine and the writer regretted to see that with many the sport comprised the Sunday pastime. Many of the people have launches and other craft and with them the order of the day is going up and down the coast, or out to the lighthouse, or the government dredge and many other places of interest. The prettiest of the small craft is a steam launch owned by Mr. R. A. Alfred, which he has fittingly named after his charming daughter, Miss Bernice. This boat is 35 feet long and four feet; four inches long beam, draws about 22 inches and goes at the rate of 20 miles an hour. We easily passed every craft we came up with. Among the larger craft is a beautiful yacht, the Tuna, owned by Capt. Inglis. Recently he was cruising some 25 miles down the coast when he had the misfortune to run aground on St. Martin’s reef, where he lay in distress till rescued by Mr. Morris who in answer to a telegram, went to the Tuna’s aid.She is now in dock for repairs.

Mr. Alfred who, as everyone knows, is general supervisor for the company, told me they moved 200,000 tons of phosphate per year. This product goes to supply every part of the world. Several ships are soon due and this means a busy streak for P. I. T. Co. More than a hundred people, all living on the island, comprise the working force of this company.

You will be pleased to know that mine host at the hotel is none other than the genial C. E. Foy, formerly of Ocala. He is also post master and is an interesting gentleman in all ways.

The thing that most impressed me during my visit was the good fellowship I met with on every hand. Capt. Inglis and Mr. Alfred have a way of handling their employees that causes each individual to feel himself an integral part of the company. They are much like a large family.

The treatment that your correspondent had at Mr. Alfred’s home was perfect. Mrs. Alfred is a most gentle hostess and our beasted southern hospitality may sit up of this northern lady’s matchless kindness to her guests. 

Source: Ocala Evening News: 1-27-1909   

Author: A. M. Lansford

Transcribed, Formatted and Submitted by Linda Flowers

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Copyrighted 2015- Linda Flowers
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