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A Description of the Climate, Productions, Resources, Topography, Soil, Opportunities, Attractions, Advantages, Development and General Characteristics of POLK COUNTY, Florida.

[PHOTO CREDIT: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/138356]

Adella and William Thomas Denham cooking cane syrup on their homestead - Homeland, Florida

The desirability of a home in this fair, fertile, balmy, healthful and progressive interior section of South Florida, in Polk County, where cold and stormy winter never enters; where plenty abounds, enlivened with bright and soul-cheering sunshine, fragrant and healthful breezes, overflowing with the balsamic aroma of the majestic pine forests and the perfume of countless flowers; the attractions and advantages of a home in HOMELAND will be considered in these pages.

Here can be made the true HOMELAND, for which the human race has ever sought. Here can be realized humanity's brightest dreams of an Eden upon earth, with no tempter serpent to awaken unholy desires, nor flaming sword to prevent the full enjoyment of the choicest delights that can be appreciated by the most refined, virtuous, intelligent and contented people, that may here make for themselves the most pleasant and delightful of homes.

In HOMELAND every one can sit beneath the shade of his or her own vine, fig and orange tree, with none to molest or make afraid, while bounteous plenty, like a fair and loving goddess, pours the contents of her overflowing cornucopias at their feet; the choicest products of the temperate and semi-tropic zones.

Here gaunt and ravenous want is unknown; pinched and shivering poverty has no place; fell disease is shorn of its most virulent power; flowers bloom all the year; fruits and vegetables ripen at all seasons; the feathered songsters make the air melodious with their tuneful notes of joy, love and praise; bright, sunshiny days impart bouyant health, strength and cheerful thoughts; delicious breezes, impregnated with the balsamic healing of the pine, and the quickening and inspiriting odors of delicious flowers refresh and soothe; the cool, tranquil softness of the nights invites to calm, grateful, restful, life-renewing repose; the days are warm, but tempered by fresh and genial breezes; while the mornings and evenings are inexpressibly delicious, calm and mild, possessing a rare inherent charm, that once experienced is never forgotten, though it cannot be adequately described.

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. Printed at The Times-Union Book Rooms, Jacksonville, Fla.

HOMELAND is an unincorporated community in Polk County, Florida. The community features a post office, a general store, and Homeland Heritage Park historical park. The history of Homeland predates the Civil War. At one time, Peace Creek and Fort Meade were the two largest cities in Polk County. Homeland was a stop midway in between the two cities, and gradually began to attract settlers. The original settlement was called Bethel, but the name was changed to Homeland at some point in time. A school and several churches were built in the area. The school was closed down in 1956 as Homeland became eclipsed by its neighbor to the north, Bartow. Today it is part of Homeland Heritage Park, an educational park for elementary school children of Polk County to learn about the history of Polk County.

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