I spent a few days in Florida’s Polk County again several weeks ago. I was interested to see more of the area that I have become very fond of. The curious name of “Frostproof” got my attention. I also went to Lake Wales, and can confirm there are no whales in that lake.
According to Wikipedia:
The settlement in the area now known as Frostproof was established in 1850. This settlement, like many in central Florida at the time, was set up as a fort and was called Fort Clinch. The fort was named after the local Lake Clinch which was, in turn, named after the Seminole War commander Duncan Lamont Clinch. Prior to being named Frostproof, the town was named Keystone City. However, after being confused regularly with Keystone Heights, a city in North Florida, Frostproof was coined. The name was a marketing ploy to convince potential landowners that the town has never had, and never would have, a frost that could destroy the large citrus-driven economy. However, only a couple of years later, a frost during The Great Freeze of 1895 killed most of the citrus in Frostproof.
Here are several of my photos from Frostproof-
Frostproof, Florida, Banner celebrating city’s 100th anniversary in 2018, in front of the former Frostproof High School Building that has been converted to the Frostproof City Hall.
Ramon Theater, Frostproof, Florida, now a
Beautifully restored 1920’s era theater that hosts quarterly Murder Mystery Dinners.
My next stop was the city of Lake Wales. The land around the present city was surveyed in 1879 by Sidney Irving Wailes, who changed the name of a lake, then known as Watts Lake, to Lake Wailes. The city of Lake Wales was established near the lake in 1911–1912. The spelling Wales was used for the city, although the lake is still generally spelled Lake Wailes.
Lake Wales is home to Florida’s Natural Growers, an agricultural cooperative. It is currently owned by over 1,100 grower members. It is the only national orange juice maker that uses only US-grown fruit (grown by its cooperative members in Florida) in its products.
A giant tower with Florida’s Natural orange logo outside the plant at Lake Wales, Florida. Citrus World, Inc.’s Florida’s Natural advertise “WE OWN THE LAND.
WE OWN THE TREES.”
WE OWN THE COMPANY.”
Originally named the Dixie Walesbilt, the building now known as the Grand Hotel, a 10-story skyscraper, stands as enduring testimony to the spirited optimism of the Great Florida Boom Period. One of a small remaining number of historic skyscrapers constructed in Florida during the 1920s, the hotel, which originally cost $500,000, was financed through the local sale of stock in the enterprise. Its doors opened to the public in 1927, shortly after the boom had begun to collapse.
No visit to Lake Wales would be complete without a visit to Bok Tower and Gardens, a 250-acre contemplative garden and bird sanctuary located atop Iron Mountain, north of Lake Wales. Formerly known as the Bok Mountain Lake Sanctuary and Singing Tower, the gardens’ attractions include the Singing Tower and its 60-bell carillon.
Bok Tower Gardens is a National Historic Landmark. The 205-foot Singing Tower was built upon one of the highest points of peninsular Florida, estimated to be 295 feet above sea level, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Lake Wales’ Bok Tower, Built 1927-1929
Engagement Photo At Bok Tower
I thoroughly enjoy exploring the smaller towns around the southeastern United States with my cameras. I hope you will take a look at more of my photos at my website, “Photography by Allen Forrest.”
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