Towns and Cities

[Source: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/32894


The vigor of the growth of Polk County is well shown by the number of busy towns that are springing into existence, in the most favorable and delightful of locations and now that this section is well provided with railroads, which are being rapidly extended, its development is one to greatly exceed anything heretofore seen in Florida.

Haines City is no chance growth, but the result of the deliberate premeditation of several of the most active and far-seeing men, whose influence is felt throughout the State in its development. It is located on the South Florida Railroad, about half way between Sanford and Tampa, the town plat occupying the east half of Section 29, Township 27, Range 27, it being in the beautiful Lake Region of Polk County. The elevation of the railroad bed here is 210 feet, whichh is claimed to be the highest on the line from Sanford to Tampa. The country is rolling and interspersed with beautiful lakes and airy, delightful elevations, from forty to sixty feet above their pure crystal waters, affording very favorable sites for sanitariums, residences, etc.

The prevalent growth is pine, interspersed with large quantities of live, water, willow, post and other oaks, while along the lake shores are frequent hickories. India rubber and paw-paw trees are also found growing wild, proving conclusively that severe frosts or freezes have had no place here. The ground is covered with a dense growth of grass, the timber is very thrifty, and the soil in many places is of a chocolate color, underlaid with the yellow subsoil so necessary to the best development of the orange and other citrus fruits. It is underlaid with clay. In fact, all kinds of vegetation thrive here.

The town was laid out last January, by Frank J. Hinson, a man of thorough experience, who is now the resident agent and manager. Harrison Jones, who has had eighteen years experience in four of the counties of Florida, also has extensive interests here, where he has made his home, greatly prefering it to all other localities.

Haines City is building up very rapidly, the advantages of the location becoming readily apparent to any one who will take the trouble to investigate. Lands can be secured at very reasonable prices, and are being taken quite rapidly.

Though so short a time has elapsed since the survey, there is already a post-office, a hotel, a saw and planing mill, general merchandise stores, boarding houses and elegant cottages. Building and clearing is the order of the day. Quite a number of families have already located in this desirable and healthful location, and a public school is to be opened in the autumn. The opportunities for boating, fishing, hunting, gardening, or making a fortune, are most excellent, while the lake views are delightful.

In addition to the incorporated towns mentioned, there are many localities throughout Polk County where a beginning has been made, as well as numerous others yet unheard of, that will no doubt soon assume importance. Each section has its own special advantages that can be best determined by personal observation. The people of Polk County are content, feeling assured that of all localities they posses the most superior advantages.

[Source: Homeland; a description of the climate, productions, resources, topography, soil, opportunities, attractions, advantages, development and general characteristics of Polk County, Florida. By Sherman Adams, 1885.; Tigner, Tatum & Company, Bartow, Florida. Transcribed by Sheila Pitts Massie, Coordinator.]

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