The South's Sweet Success: Post-Reconstruction Florida

The South’s Sweet Success: Post-Reconstruction Florida

The South’s Sweet Success: Post-Reconstruction Florida

 

 

 

 

 

Marker Yellow Winter Park, FL South Florida Train Depot 1890
Marker Black Winter Park, FL South Florida Train Depot 2014
Marker Dark Blue Winter Park, FL Map of the town of Winter Park, Orange County
Marker Purple Winter Park, FL Two Locomotives on the Dinky Line
Marker Green Winter Park, FL The Alfond Inn 2014
Marker Light Blue Winter Park, FL Old Winter Park Hotel
Marker Brown Winter Park, FL Rollins College Catalog
Marker Red Tallahassee, FL Encouragement to immigrate – Tallahassee, Florida
Marker Grey Tallahassee, FL Steamboat Documents 1885, 1887
Marker Bright Green Tallahassee, FL Map of Tallahassee area showing railroads, lakes, and communities
Marker White Orlando, FL Fountain at Eola Park Orlando, Florida

 

In the late nineteenth century, Florida’s New South stability depended on advertisement and resources of the state. The New South was a region where progress and industrialization were as profitable as the Northern states, and an area that was able to recover from damages of the Civil War. Progress towards this New South ideal was difficult to establish due to an unbalanced economy and the perception that most of the Northerners knew little about the South except that these states believed in slave labor. Before the war, the South relied heavily on slave labor and agriculture for economic profit, but since slavery was abolished at the end of the war, the South needed a stable economy to jumpstart progress. In addition, this region needed to eliminate the idea that the South still cherished Confederate values in order to move towards the New South ideal. As a result, a balanced economic system of agrarian and industrial aspects emerged with the growing promotion of railroads, the warm climate, and immigration. Railroads connected Florida to the rest of the nation, and allowed small towns such as Winter Park to develop. The warm climate attracted Northerners in large numbers, thus generating money for the hotels. Some of these new immigrants decided to settle in Florida permanently, and therefore encouraged future settlement while also acting as a replacement for the labor force that was eliminated with the abolishment of slavery.

The following spatial photo essay was inspired by a history engine episode, http://digital.library.ucf.edu/cdm/ref/collection/CFM/id/26557

South Florida Train Depot 1890

South Florida Train Depot 1890 [1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally incorporated by Edward W. Henck in 1878, the South Florida Railroad largely contributed to the success in the development of Winter Park, Florida. Railroads acted as a vehicle for immigration and settlement, which both led to success of Florida in the post-Reconstruction period.[2]

 “Map of the town Winter Park, Orange County, Florida” c1882 [3]

“Map of the town Winter Park, Orange County, Florida” c1882 [3]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In combination with the railroads, the detailed plans Chase and Chapman made for local roads also acted as a catalyst for the town’s development in terms of permanent settlement. There were specific sections in town for Northern settlers to look at if they were considering buying a plot of land to build a house.[4]

“Map of Tallahassee area showing railroads, lakes, and communities” 1865 [5]

“Map of Tallahassee area showing railroads, lakes, and communities” 1865 [5]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of the Civil War, the South began a push to rebuild. By the 1880s, the railroad system was a popular mode of transportation and connected people together across the nation. By the late 1890s, the railroads linked the North to the South, which was important for industrialization.[6]

“Steamboat Documents 1885, 1887” [7]

“Steamboat Documents 1885, 1887” [7]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steamboats were also a mode of transportation in the mid-nineteenth century, but the industrialization that came with progress in the South made railroads ever more present in Florida. As a result, the steamboat business began to decline, as it could not compete with the rates of the railroads.

 

“South Florida Train Depot” 2014 [8]

“South Florida Train Depot” 2014 [8]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eventually, railroads replaced steamboats as the major form of transportation from one place to another. This transformation developed Winter Park into the town that it is today. The Sun Rail train stop is widely used to travel from Winter Park to other cities throughout Florida.

“Two Locomotives on the Dinky Line” [9]

“Two Locomotives on the Dinky Line” [9]

 

 

 

 

After the development of the South Florida Railroad, the town of Winter Park saw the need for a passenger train that traveled to areas near Winter Park. As a result, the Dinky Line was built and ran its first train in 1889.[10]

“Fountain at Eola Park Orlando, Florida” [11]

“Fountain at Eola Park Orlando, Florida” [11]

 

 

 

 

 

Brochures for the various hotels emerging in Florida at the time were meant to appeal to wealthy Northern settlers, and used fountains as well as other photographs of the landscape in hopes that people would flock to the warm climate, and begin to think about permanently settling in Florida. [12]

“The Alfond Inn 2014” [13]

“The Alfond Inn 2014” [13]

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the modern era, Winter Park recently built the Alfond Inn in order to compensate for growing demand for another hotel. As hotels in the late nineteenth century advertised luxury, the Alfond does the same.

“Old Winter Park Hotel, 1890” [14]

“Old Winter Park Hotel, 1890” [14]

 

 

 

 

 

Hotels began to emerge in popularity around Florida, but Chase and Chapman knew more were needed to accommodate the flocking Northerners who came to escape the harsh winter months in the warm climate.

“Rollins College Catalog, 1885” [15]

“Rollins College Catalog, 1885” [15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the late 1890s, education became a major part of industrialization of the New South and so Florida encouraged the growth of universities in order to achieve the goals of the New South. As a result, Rollins College was set to be located in Winter Park, Florida to provide “the New England idea of education, with the New England professor to elucidate it.”[16]

“Encouragement to immigrate – Tallahassee, Florida” 1898 [17]

“Encouragement to immigrate – Tallahassee, Florida” 1898 [17]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Numerous cities and counties in Florida were printing pamphlets and newspaper ads to attract new settlers from the North, the West, and even other countries. Florida needed anyone who would contribute to the economic benefit of Tallahassee, so immigration was highly encouraged in this time period.[18]

In conclusion, Florida promoters used various resources to attract tourists and new settlers in order to create the ideal New South. As new people began to immigrate to Florida, industrialization started to truly occur with the increasing establishment of railroads and other new institutions such as universities. The South needed to create a balanced economic system of agrarian culture and industrial progress, which did occur in Florida with the obsession many Northerners had with the citrus industry and with the development of towns that were connected by railway to other places. Brochures and pamphlets advertising the luxurious hotels were widely distributed and as a result generated a large amount of economic profit for the state. Railways allowed for national trade between the South and the North, as well as immigration. In the late nineteenth century, the exploitation of Florida’s resources contributed largely to the success of the South in the post-Reconstruction period.

 

Works Cited

[2] Gayle Prince Rajtar and Steve Rajtar, Winter Park Chronicles (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2011), 11-12.

[4] Gayle Prince Rajtar and Steve Rajtar, 12.

[6] Gannon, Michael, The New History of Florida. Gainesville: University Florida Press, 1996, 60.

[9] Gayle Prince Rajtar and Steve Rajtar, 41.

[12] Gayle Prince Rajtar and Steve Rajtar, 24.

[16] Gayle Prince Rajtar and Steve Rajtar, 34.

[18] Pozzetta, George E., “Foreigners in Florida: A Study of Immigration Promotion, 1865-1910.” The Florida Historical Quarterly 53.2 (1974): 164-180. Web. 2 Nov. 2014.

 

Photo Citations:

[1] Caroline E. Legg, contributor. “South Florida Train Depot”, photograph. Winter Park, FL c. 1890. Winter Park: Rollins College, 2007. From Archives and Special Collections, Olin Library, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida: Winter Park Vertical File.

[3] Chapman and Chase, author. “Map of the town Winter Park, Orange County, Florida,” map. Winter Park, FL: Franklin Press c1882. From Orange Country Regional History Center, University of Central Florida Libraries, Orlando.

[5] Scott, George Washington, illustrator. “Map of Tallahassee area showing railroads, lakes, and communities,” Reference Collection: RC12807. Tallahassee, Florida: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory.

[7] Hart, Hubbard L., author. “Steamboat Company Documents 1885, 1887,” Baltimore, MD c. 1887, Papers 1850-1918: Collection M81-7. Tallahassee, Florida: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory.

[8] Johnson, Maren, photographer. “South Florida Train Depot 2014.”

[9] Johnson, Maren, photographer. “Dinky Line” From Winter Park Chronicles by Gayle Prince Rajtar and Steve Rajtar, 41.

[11] “Virginia Inn,” postcard. Winter Park: Rollins College, 2007. From Archives and Special Collections, Olin Library, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida: Winter Park Vertical File.

[13] Johnson, Maren, photographer. “The Alfond Inn 2014.”

[14] Bertrand C. Pike, contributor. “Old Winter Park Hotel, 1890”, photograph. From Archives and Special Collections, Olin Library, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida: Winter Park Vertical File.

[15] Guild, Louise Clara, contributor. “Rollins College Catalog, 1885,” Chicago, IL: J.C. Benedict, Printer c. 1885. Winter Park: Rollins College, 2004. From Archives and Special Collections, Olin Library, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida.

[17] “Encouragement to immigrate – Tallahassee, Florida,” c. 1898, General Collection: N034135. Tallahassee, Florida: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory.