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Frostproof Historical Trail



(From Interstate 4, drive south on US 27, east on CR 630, south on Scenic Hwy. (SR 17, Alt US 27) and east on Wall St. to its end to park by the little league ball fields. Walk west to the intersection with Lake Ave.)(0.1 mile so far) Northwest corner of Lake Ave. and Wall St. (137 E. Wall St.)


Fire Station

The present fire station sits on the former site of an Indian burial mound from the 1600s. A skeleton found with glass beads and silver ornaments identify it as pre-Seminole. (Walk north and northeast on Lake Ave. and west 100 feet on B St.)(0.3) South side of B St., between Lake Ave. and Chesney Blvd.


Woman's Club

This club was founded on July 23, 1924. Mrs. C.B. White served as its first president. (Look north across the street.)(0.3) North side of B St., between Lake Ave. and Chesney Blvd. (333 E. B St.)


First Assembly of God

This church erected a gospel tent in October of 1949 on E. Wall St., at the later site of the General Telephone building. Rev. J.R. Purvis of Kentucky served as its first pastor. In 1950, it bought this land on E. B St. and completed a sanctuary in January of 1951. A parsonage was built immediately to the east in 1953 and a Sunday school annex was built in 1959. The present brick sanctuary was built in 1971. (Continue west on B St., then walk north on Chesney Blvd. and unmarked Mark Way, west on F St., north on Scenic Hwy., and west on SR 630 to the intersection with Palm Ave., and look to the west.) (1.0) On CR 630, approximately 1 mile west of Scenic Hwy.


Road to site of Fort Clinch

A fort was built alongside a cove of Lake Clinch on January 13, 1830. Among those men who once served there were generals A.P. Hill, George C. Meade and Jackson.

Just to the northwest of the fort site was the homestead of Dosier Keen and his family. The home burned down on January 23, 1939. In the 1950s, the land was owned by Iva Langford.(Walk south on Palm Ave. to the intersection with A St.)(2.0) Northwest corner of Palm Ave. and A St. (101-125 N. Palm Ave.)


First Presbyterian Church

This church was founded on March 20, 1905, in the home of Mr. and Mrs. C.W. Brown as the Church Among the Lakes. Its first building was erected on Scenic Hwy. near 1st St. in 1912-13 for $1,500, and the name was changed to the Union Church. It became the First Presbyterian Church of Frostproof in 1915. The present brick Colonial style building was erected in 1949. (Walk west on A St. until it ends.)(2.2) West end of A St. (370 W. A St.)


Little House

This meeting place for the Girl Scouts was constructed in 1942 partly of logs felled by the Boy Scouts. (Walk east on A St., north on Magnolia Ave., east on B St., and south 115 feet on Scenic Hwy.) (2.7) West side of Scenic Hwy., between B and A Sts. (221 N. Scenic Hwy.)


Former Post Office

W.H. Overocker applied for the first post office here in 1892, with a name of Keystone City. Postal authorities disallowed it because there was already a Keystone Heights in Florida. Joseph Washington Carson suggested Frostproof as a substitute name, but Overocker instead chose Lakemont. Carson's choise of Frostproof was based on the town's relatively minor damage from the freeze in December of 1894 which ruined much of the state's citrus crop.

Carson volunteered to deliver the application to the post office in Fort Meade, and on the way changed the name from Lakemont to Frostproof, which was approved. Overocker, to his surprise, was appointed the postmaster of Frostproof. The early post office was located on the corner of Wall St. and Carson Ave. (Continue south 200 feet on Scenic Hwy.)(2.7) West side of Scenic Hwy., between B and A Sts. (205 N. Scenic Hwy.)


Suprex Market.

This store was built in 1949 by R.H. Futral, who moved his business here from its previous location on Wall St.(Continue South on Scenic Hwy., then walk west on A St. to the intersection with Oak Ave.)(2.8) Northeast corner of Oak Ave. and A St. (40 W. A St.) 9...Church of Christ. The members of this church first met in the uncompleted Brantley Building in 1922. They next met in a tent at the later site of Citizens Bank. A frame building on Oak Ave. was bought and used by the church, and later was Carl Phillips' home. Later, they acquired this site and built the present Colonial style block building seating 200. (Look across to the northwest corner.)(2.8) Northwest corner of Oak Ave. and B St.


First Baptist Church

This congregation organized on January 13, 1907, as the Frostproof Baptist Church, meeting in the Union Church building. In 1918, they built a sanctuary on S. Scenic Hwy., replaced in 1956-57 by the present educational building and in 1964 by the new sanctuary. (Walk south on Oak Ave. and west on Devane St. to the intersection with Magnolia Ave.) (2.9) Northeast corner of Devane St. and Magnolia Ave. (150 Devane St.


Frostproof United Methodist Church

This congregation was founded in 1910 by individuals who had been attending the Union church. An early preacher was Rev. J. Lawton Moon. A wooden church was erected in 1912 at the corner of Scenic Hwy. and 1st St., costing $2,000. It burned down in February of 1913 and was rebuilt of red brick a block south in 1914. The present sanctuary was built in 1957-58. (Look across the street to the west.)(2.9) West side of Magnolia Ave., across from Devane St.


Latt Maxcy Memorial Library

The library moved into this building in 1978. (Walk south on Magnolia Ave. to the intersection with 1st St.)(3.0) Southwest orner of Magnolia Ave. and 1st St.


Site of School

The school erected here in 1905 was the first county-owned school building in Polk County. It consisted on one room with Nina Carson as its first teacher. On the site later was the home of D.E. Davis. (Walk west on 1st St. and southwest 250 feet on Clinch Blvd.)(3.1) Clinch Blvd., between Palmetto and Palm Aves.


Site of Hendry Cabin

George Washington Hendry constructed the first cabin between the lakes near here. He named the area Keystone City.


Just to the south was a waterway known as "the drain", which emptied Clinch Lake into Reedy Lake, which was 27 feet lower in elevation.

In 1871, Stephen Washington Carson and his family homesteaded two miles east of Fort Meade. There, they planted corn, cotton, cassava, watermelons, beans, potatoes and peas. In 1886, they moved to a new homesite here, and planted the first citrus groves in Frostproof. His was the only citrus from Florida entered in the Atlanta Fair in 1897, as it survived the severe freezes of 1894 and 1895.(Continue Southwest on Clinch Blvd., then walk east 200 feet on 3rd St.)(3.4) South side of 3rd St., between Clinch Blvd. and Palm Ave. (309 W. 3rd St.) 15....Gammon House

In 1933, Lee and Bertha Luella Kipp Gammon moved into the Citrus Exchange Apartments located near the railway station. In 1944, they purchased this property from the Jacques family. (Continue east on 3rd St., then walk south on Magnolia Ave. to the intersection with Simmons St.)(3.5) Intersection of Simmons St. and Magnolia Ave. 16...


Simmons Street

This street was named after Varnum Paine Simmons and his wife, Gertrude. They lived in a home near here called Lantana Cottage, located just north of their packing house.(Continue south on Magnolia Ave. 150 feet past 4th St.)(3.6) East side of Magnolia Ave., between 4th and 5th Sts. (409 S. Magnolia Ave.)


Brown House

Behind this home was a feed house where Mrs. Brown made beds for railroad workers when the town was full in 1905-10.(Continue south on Magnolia Ave., then walk east on 5th St. and north on Scenic Hwy. to the intersection with Church St.)(3.9) Northwest corner of Scenic Hwy. and Church St. (314 S. Scenic Hwy.)


Southside Baptist Church

This church was formed as Central Baptist Church in February of 1956. Rev. Tom Cappell served as its first pastor. They bought and occupied the former First Baptist Church building.(Continue north on Scenic Hwy. 300 feet past 3rd St.)(4.0) West side of Scenic Hwy. between 3rd and 2nd Sts. (210 S. Scenic Hwy.)


Frostproof Historical Society

The library began in 1921 when a book collection housed in the Presbyterian Church was donated to the school. That year, the Frostproof Library Association was founded and this library building was built in 1922. It was designed by Leo Elliott of Tampa and built by W.C. Roberson at a cost of $3,500. The historical society took it over when the library moved out in 1978.(Continue north on Scenic Hwy., then walk west on 2nd St. and north on Oak Ave. to the intersection with 1st St.)(4.2) Southwest corner of Oak Ave. and 1st St.


School

Built in 1923, this was originally Frostproof High School. It later became the City Hall. (Continue north on Oak Ave. to the intersection with Wall St.)(4.3) Southeast corner of Wall St. and Oak Ave. (47 W. Wall St.)


Former City Hall

This building served as the City Hall. Later, it was the home of a real estate agency and the City Hall Marketplace. (Walk east on Wall St. to the intersection with Scenic Hwy., cross to the southeast corner, and walk south 175 feet.)(4.4) East side of Scenic Hwy., between Wall and 1st Sts. (19-23 S. Scenic Hwy.)


Brantley Building

Before it was complete in 1923, this building was the meeting place of the members of the Church of Christ. (Walk north on Scenic Hwy. to the intersection with Wall St.)(4.5) Southeast corner of Scenic Hwy. and Wall St.


Citizens Bank

This bank organized in 1920 with John Maxcy as its president. This building was erected in 1925 on the site of the previous one-story Palms Cafe, which formerly housed a doctor's office and post office. The building cost $100,000 plus $25,000 for furnishings. In the arcade were located a drug store and other businesses.(Look across the street to the north.)(4.5) Northeast corner of Scenic Hwy. and Wall St. (1 E. Wall St.)


Milton Store

Joseph Milton bought this land and built a store with living space upstairs. He sold it to John Burleigh, who covered it with brick and moved his retail business here from 8th St. This was the home of the All American Store, bought in 1935 by R.H. Futral, who owned and operated it until 1949. (Walk east 90 feet on Wall St.)(4.5) South side of Wall St., between Scenic Hwy. and Carson Ave.


Site of Flood Hotel

E.O. Flood built a two-story hotel by June of 1912 on this lot. Landford's Drug Store was located on the first floor, and Dr. McArtan also had an office in the building. Also located inside was the town's first telephone switchboard. In 1914, the hotel was moved a block to the east, then burned down. In its place was built Frostproof's first brick building, a bank constructed in 1914 for E.E. Skipper. As the McCormick Bank, it had been established in 1912. (Look across the street to the north.)(4.5) North side of Wall St., between Scenic Hwy. and Carson Ave.


Ramon Theater

This was the site of a tent in which were shown silent movies. In 1925, Mr. and Mrs. Frank C. Thompson erected the $100,000 theater and named it after their youngest son, Ramon. It was also used for live shows and concerts. It closed during the 1960s and was sold to Eddie Elyaman. (Continue east on Wall St. to the intersection with Carson Ave. and look north across the street.)(4.5) North side of Wall St., across from Carson Ave. (25 E. Wall St.)


Thompson Building

This building was erected in 1916-17 by Frank Thompson, and contained businesses on the first floor and rooms to let upstairs. (Continue east on Wall St. to the railroad tracks.)(4.6) Southwest corner of Wall St. and the railroad tracks


Site of Railroad Depot

The first railroad to reach Frostproof arrived in 1912 and the depot was built that year. Clarence Dempsey was the Atlantic Coast Line depot agent from 1912 until 1919. (Look north across the street.)(4.6) North side of Wall St., between Carson Ave. and the railroad tracks


Site of Lake Reedy Hotel

J.E. Gantt built The Gantt Hotel here in 1914 with electricity, running water and indoor bathrooms. It was acquired in the early 1920s by Daniel W. and Bertha Lovell Stokes and renamed as the Lake Reedy Hotel. Its dining room was the town's only restaurant serving the public. (Continue east on Wall St. to the point of beginning.)(4.7)


Bibiography

The Best Small Towns Under the Sun,by Robert J. Howard (EPM Publications, Inc. 1989)

Century In the Sun: A History of Polk County, Florida, by Ed McNeely and Al R. McFadyen (Polk County Centennial Committee 1961)

Crooked Lake - Babson Park Rediscovered, by Louise Quinn (Cody Publications 1990)

The Early History of Frostproof, Vol. I, by Doris Lewis (Frostproof Historical Society 1996)

Florida Historic Markers & Sites, by Floyd E. Boone (Gulf Publishing Company 1988)

History of Polk County, Florida, by M.F. Hetherington (The Mickler House 1971)

History of the Frostproof United Methodist Church, by Virginia w. Lyles (1993)

There's Only One Frostproof, by Mattie B. Duncan (Frostproof Historical Committee 1976)

Yesterday's Polk County, by Louise K. Frisbie (E.A. Seaman Publishing, Inc. 1976



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