The Sunshine Republic
The Sunshine Republic
Rediscovering Florida: A Historical Guide to the Southernmost State’s Wonders

Rediscovering Florida: A Historical Guide to the Southernmost State’s Wonders

Welcome again to the Sunshine Republic Podcast where we explore all things Florida, with a focus on activities that benefit both the mind and the body.

Today, we will be revisiting part two of the guide to southern mode to the southernmost state, which is a 1929 publication written by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Basically the federal government back in the 20s funded guidebooks for each of the 50 states and the one about Florida is actually one of the most fascinating so without further ado, let's continue on with part two of the guide to the southern most state. And while we're in the general information section, our next section is climate and equipment. So the weather of Florida is usually warm from April to November and variable from December to March.

There are periods of cold weather, seldom lasting more than three days during the during the winter months of June. In June, July, August, September are the months of the heaviest rainfall. The dry season comes in winter. ocean breezes cover all parts of the peninsula. September is the month when hurricanes can be expected. top coats are often needed in winter. All sport clothes and light linens are suitable for the rest of the year. information for the motorist? non resident owners or operators of motor cars have full use of Florida highways. Florida registration laws extend reciprocal privileges to the motorist of any other state. But the motorists must purchase a license plate immediately bacame upon becoming gainfully employed, engaging in any trade or profession, or placing children in school. Licensed tax tags can be purchased at county courthouses or branch license bureaus in various cities.

The registration authority for the state is the Commissioner motor vehicle department in Tallahassee and a driver's license in Florida cost the grand total of 50 cents. As far as legal speeds 15 miles an hour is the speed limit in business districts 25 Or as driven residential districts and 45. Elsewhere. Motorists habitually drive faster than 45 on the open road when traffic and road conditions are satisfactory. You In addition, the state highway police most counties have Highway Patrol's general rules of the road. The first rule of Florida road is for motorists to access exercise caution when approaching livestock, particularly cattle which roam most of the state's principle highways in case of injury or death to livestock. Florida law enables the owner to collect damages from the motorist equal to the value of the livestock passing another motorist on a hill is illegal.

There are also prohibitions against parking on highways, coasting in neutral passing stopped streetcars and the use of windshield stickers. Some municipalities have ordinances governing hitchhiking the use of spotlights is permitted. A motorist is required to use a rear reflector to dim his headlights when passing another motorist on the highway are also local ordinances against driving under the influence of intoxicating liquors, driving with an open muffler and using sirens. As a caution to tourists, there was a note that states do not enter bushes at sides of the highway in rural districts, as snakes and red bugs usually infest such places. Do not eat tongue nuts for they are poisonous. Do not eat green pecans because in the immature, immature stages, the skins have a white film which contains arsenic. Next, in our guide to the southern most state is a list of festivals. So commencing in January Miami has the Orange Bowl football game. St. Pierburg has a kumquat bowl football game

Fort Myers as an as a New Year's Regatta. There's a Greek epiphany ceremony in Tarpon Springs, a national freshwater Bass Tournament in Leesburg, the Florida art festival in Winter Haven, South Florida fair in Tampa Strawberry Festival in Bowling Green and Harding County. An air show in Miami. A trapshooting tournament the winter Vidalia shrimp trapshooting tournament in Eustis, a sailfish Derby in West Palm Beach and the American motorcycle races in none other than Daytona Beach. In February, Miami hosts the midwinter trapshooting tournament. St. Pete has the state shuffleboard Association tournament. Fort Myers has Edison de Lake Wales has the St. Anne pilgrimage. New Smyrna has the winter regatta St. Pete as another trap shooting tournament. Orlando hosts the Central Florida exhibition. Tampa has a cigar city trap shooting contest will mine beach the South Atlantic women's golf tournament. Key West holds Cuban Independence Day. Bel Air has a golf tournament. Clearwater has international sniper boat races. Orlando has a lawn bowling tournament both state and international competitions in Orlando as the national shuffleboard tournament. Typically scheduled in February button but not with any particular dates. Are regattas. in Winter Park. There's an animated magazine for founders week. Regardless and choruses in Palm Beach Flower Show in Palm Beach, Southwest Florida ferret Fort Myers. In St. Pete There's a lawn bowling tournament. Sanibel has a seashell fair. Miami has the Miami Nassau yacht race. Lakeland has outboard motor regardless. And Palatka has an azalea festival. Then as we move into March, we have a Strawberry Festival Plant City, a national midwinter pistol meet in Tampa, I tobacco Fiesta in Tampa. We have the tomato festival in Ruskin a horror show in Tampa a midwinter sailing regatta in Miami.

Have fun festival of states and outdoor bridge tournament in St. Pete rifle and pistol shooting in St. Pete. Stock Car races in daytona and additional golf tournaments in Daytona boat races in Miami golf golf tournaments in Miami fishing tournaments as well in Miami. Moving into April, which is getting into low season Tampa hosts some high school music festivals Cypress Gardens has a gardenia festival regardless again in Orlando. And St. Pete panamerican de is hosted in Miami.

And St. Augustine has a pilgrimage to the shrine of Nuestra Senora della Lakeisha. In May there's May Day celebrations in Tallahassee and Fort Ogden. There's that tarpan tournament in Sarasota. In June there's a tarp and round up fishing tournament in st P and some regatta is in Pensacola and rodeo in Labelle in August our tobacco festivals in Quincy and live oak, Florida. In October jumping all the way to October. There is a checklist of Locky in Independence Day. Tampa has an old timers picnic and in November, we have the University of Florida homecoming day and in Dade city, a fairly unique Tin Can tourists homecoming celebration. Then lastly as we move into December in Arcadia, we also have the tin can tourist Yuletide celebration. Clearwater hosts a freshwater Bass Tournament. In Mountain Lake. There's the buck tower recitals, which are special recitals on the evenings of Easter, Christmas and New Year's than in Miami, the Biltmore Hotel hosts the Miami Biltmore open golf tournament. And in Orlando, there's Florida field trials. So you can see that the winter seasons quite busy. In the summertime it trails off here in the late 1920s in Florida. So let's move on now to actual part one of of our book The contemporary scene of Florida To be across the wide strip of its upper area from the Atlantic to within a short distance of the Mississippi border. Florida is at once a continuation of the Deep South and the beginning of a new realm in which the system of two party politics reasserts itself. Narrowing a bump abruptly to a peninsula. It drops through five degrees of latitude and a constantly accentuated tropical setting. Until the tip of its long Roman nose pokes very nearly into the confines and atmosphere of Latin America.

equatorial waters move up from the south along its coasts, to temper its climate and confuse its seasons. Every winter a tidal wave of tourists moves down from the north to affect its culture, its economy, its physical appearance throughout more than four centuries from Ponce de Leon and his caravels to the latest Pennsylvanian, his Buick, Florida has been invaded by seekers of gold and or of sunshine. Yet it has retained an identity and a character distinctive to itself. The result of all this is a material and immaterial pattern of infinite variety, replete with contrasts, paradoxes, confusions and inconsistencies. politically and socially. Florida has its own north and south, but its northern area is strictly southern. And its southern airy, area definitely Northern. In summer, the state is predominantly southern by birth, and adoptions and winter it is northern by invasion. At all seasons, it is divided into old and new Florida, separated by the Suwannee River. The political fault that controls it originates in a united minority above the Swanee and reaches down into the more populous peninsula to impose a diminishing theory that Florida should be preserved for Floridians rather than exploited for visitors. Religious intolerance marked the conquest and early settlement of Florida, but the state has long since embraced practically all Cults and Religions and licenses the occult and the supernatural. Yet it's melting pot is a brew of conflicting ideas, which enables the native to dictate state policies and politics. And so the Florida cracker runs the courthouse and assesses collects and spent the tax money. The background traditions of Florida are of the old South and though the Republican Party regularly appears on the ballot, only once since Reconstruction days has the state switched from its democratic allegiance. In 1928, when prohibition and religion confused the issues the electorate supported Herbert Hoover to the visitor, Florida is at once a pageant of extravagance and a land of pastoral simplicity. A floodlight and stage of frivolity and a behind the scenes struggle for existence. For the person with a house car is a succession of trailer camps and a vagabond social life. For the Palm Beach patron. It is a wintertime Newport made of the same society, servants and pastimes. From migratory agricultural labor, it means several months of winter employment in the open under pleasant skies and for the Negro temperate time worker an unvarying job in the pine woods. The derivation of the name Florida has not been overlooked in publicity literature, the rhetoric of which has lent itself to a major misconception. Nature the lavish has not been flamboyant enough to make the great variety of native flowers and plants, notably obvious except to naturalists, scientists and botanists. Spectacular settings have been devised by man, but since Florida remains primitive in many respects, the splashes of color are comparatively isolated, and in some cases hidden. swamps and jungles have been enclosed and converted into Japanese Cypress, oriental and many other kinds of gardens to which an admission fee is charged. Here have been assembled extensive collections of native as well as exotic plants.

On the other hand, florid rhetoric has not exaggerated the states much publicized sent the perfume from a half million acre bouquet of citrus groves. A border region of localized smells, however, suggests that all is not fragrance in the Land of Flowers. From sponge and trim fleets, Manhattan fertilizer factories And the stacks of paper mills drift malodorous films that laid the sea breezes with unsalted vapors. A neutralizing incense the aromatic smoke from burning pine woods has steadily steadily lessened with the expansion of forest fire control. But occasionally there was a Paul as well as a moon over Miami from Everglades muck fires. Attempt to romanticize Florida's playground features have resulted in an elaborate painting of the Lilly. Coast resorts have been strung into a bee jewel the necklace that sparkles on the bosom of a voluptuous see all this glamour and superficiality. This superimposed glitter diverts attention from Florida's more characteristic native life. The Pioneer settler came from the same stock as the Appalachian Mountain dweller and long existence in the flat pine woods tended to perpetuate his original pattern of thought. He knew little of life beyond his own small clearing, and saw only a few infrequent visitors until a network of highways left him exposed to many persons in motorcars. This traffic affected his economy and arouse his instinct to profit. He set up a roadside vegetable display that installed gasoline pumps and he barbecue stand and finally with the addition of overnight cabins, he was in the tourist business. The Highways even mechanized his mountain music to attract patronage. He installed a juke organ that would dispense Bronx composed records of hillbilly laments at the drop of a nickel. Really hillbilly bands that regularly come to Florida. Score in the rural areas and become st minstrels in a larger towns or playing bars and nightclubs for collections to their music is added a sidewalk overtone from guitars zithers accordion and harmonica is played by Menda cats who follow the tourist crowds 10,000 miles of roads now criss crossed the state and have streaked it with what might be described as road side culture. And commerce, with each session revealing a characteristic quality in the state plantation territory of northern Florida placards on gateposts chastely admit guests accepted and tourist camps offer cabins for travelers only. Everywhere are dine and dance places, which as the highways extend southward into the established tourists belt, more and more resemble Midways vegetable stands at citrus fruit and then about everything likely to catch the motorists I carved coconuts polished concrete shells, marine birds made of wood or plaster, cypress knees, pottery bouquets made from tinted seashells or dyed sea oats and an endless assortment of other native and imported handicraft. agrarian preoccupations turn from corn, cotton and tobacco to alligator and lion farms. Reptile ranches, botanical gardens and Indian villages. Here and there are the pitches of palm readers and astrologers. But to maintain the contrast, long stretches of uninhabited pine woods intervene with warning sides, stating open range beware of Taos and hawks. In one notable instance, where the United States Army and 100 years of persuasion failed a highway has succeeded.

The Seminole Indians surrendered to the Tamiami Trail from the Everglades. The remnants of this race emerged soon after the trail was built to set up their palm factory villages along the road and to hoist tribal flags as a lure to passing motorists. Like their white brethren. They sell articles of handicraft and for a nominal fee will pose for photographs. This concentration of the Seminole, however, by no means represents the extent of their influence. Seminole names are more numerous and widespread in Florida than that are the living members of the race. Such names were even more plentiful before the railroads interceded in behalf of train callers. As one example among many, the Jawbreaker itchy pakka Sesa was changed to Plant City.

The Indians themselves have made the most of one profitable name, since they discovered that the story of Osceola is popular among tourists, that fiery warchief has acquired many descendants and most of the present day Osceola this display their names along the Tamiami Trail. Although signboards ruin many beautiful stretches of country, they are in fact, a significant part of the Florida scene. In rural upper Florida. One sees crude notices of patent medicines, or for mules for sale in the vicinity of St. Augustine. A great deal of early history is presented on roadside signs and farther south. The flora and fauna are similarly publicized for commercial purposes.

Nearly everywhere, gastronomy and distance are combined in directional markers that announce 11 miles to guava paste or 13 miles to tip Hello, honey. The name of a popular brand of malaria medicine appears on 10 signs attached to 1000s of trees, but the manufacturer complains that business has been terrible since mosquito control became effective. The sideboards play an important role in that introduces the yanking to the cracker, and quickly establishes the fact that the two have much more in common, although their customs differ. The native Floridian may offer specious replies 20 considers over simple questions but he is likely to be puzzled at the abysmal ignorance that causes a Yankee to refer to orange groves as orchards. Sand spurs as sand burrs and sand flies as sand fleas. Neither does he see any reason to exclaim over a bullfrog chorus in February, or the coal of the whip or will I Twilight in early March. In his own behalf, he is fluently persuasive on the virtues of his particular locality. But the Yankee in Florida has become a roving visitor determined to see the entire state regardless of regional blandishments. The first time visitor is primarily a sightseer.

He is the principal customer for the admission places along the road. He learns very soon how far Florida is supposed to project from the old South. By the discovery that a turpentine still, with its Negro quarters has been turned into a tourist attraction and advertised as a survival of bygone plantation days. clockwise and counterclockwise. The sightseeing newcomer makes the circuit of the state filling the highways with a string of two way traffic. If traveling southward by the Gulf Coast route, he stops to partake of a Spanish dinner and a Latin Quarter of Tampa to sit on the green benches of St. Petersburg to view the Ringling circus animals and Art Museum at Sarasota. And to admire the Royal Palms at Fort Myers. Vince he follows the Tamiami Trail through the ghost lease rub Cypress and primitive silence of the Everglades to encounter at LASC the theatrical sophistication of Miami.

As a side trip to the latter city, he may proceed down a long Overseas Highway to Key West wants the state's most populous city and an important defense base. But since its recent rehabilitation by the federal government, something about public curiosity, a place favored by artists and writers and noted for its green turtle stakes. On his return up the Atlantic coast the traveler may concede that the publicity word pictures of the resorts Miami Beach northward have not been greatly exaggerated, but he is impressed by long intervening stretches of woodland, suggesting that Florida is still a very largely an empty state from Palm Beach, which has long been the earthly Valhalla of financial achievement. He may detour inland to discover the hidden winter vegetable kingdom on the muck lands along the southern shore of Lake Okeechobee, where Negro workers harvest 1000s of cod loads of beans and other fresh fruits and flies are farther north. He may swing inland by way of Orlando, through the great citrus groves of the hilly Lake region and the thriving strawberry country around Plant City.

Then up to a column where he can look through the glass bottles on boats at water life and the depths of the Crystal Clear Springs. Returning to the East Coast, he inspects the far famed natural Speedway at Daytona Beach, and the old Spanish fort at St. Augustine, before he reaches the northern terminal city of Jacksonville. Frequently at the end of this tour, the visitor announces that he has never coming back. And with that, we'll conclude part two of the guide to southernmost state and we hope to see you again on our next edition which will come which will begin with our visitors second visit to Florida. So thank you very much for joining us today on the sunshine Republic podcast and we hope to see you very soon. Thank you very much


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Florida: The Outdoors, Culture, History, Adventures & More... Things You Might Not Know By Heart