PART TWO of TWO: Traveling in CitrusLAND Time:
Perhaps it’s merely an extraordinary coincidence, or possibly something about the lay of the two East Orange County parcels, but whatever the case, and despite a passing of 130 years of Central Florida history, an intriguing story of yesteryear is about to be linked to an extra-special event taking place this weekend in the community of Audubon Park.
This Sunday, December 13, 2015, from noon to 4 PM, Bookmart it Orlando will host its third annual Book Fair at East End Market. Forty (40) local authors, printers and publishers will converge at the market and show off their latest masterpiece(s), doing so on the very ground where, during the 1880s, writers, printers and publishers had joined in an effort to grow masterpieces. This land started out, as did much of Orange County, as a Citrus grove.
Long before the quaint community of Audubon Park, and long before East End Market, location of this weekend’s Locally Grown Words Book Fair, two daring young men, each having intimate ties to publishing words, laid claim to this very same acreage.
Orlando, despite celebrating 25 years as a city, was still very much in its infancy when Charles A. WIMER and Julius DREW arrived in 1882. Charles was a guest at an “extravagant” Thanksgiving Day dinner party that year, hosted by Tavares town founder and railroader, Alexander St. Clair Abrams. A reporter who attended the “three hour dinner” identified several of the “influential guests”, including, “Mr. Charles A. WIMER, of Washington, the District of Columbia.”
The journalist described Orlando as having a population of 1,000, “three-fourths of whom arrived in the city within that year”. The 30 years old WIMER counted among the newcomers, as did 26 year old, Julius DREW. A native of Jacksonville, the parents of Julius had relocated to Florida, from Washington, DC, prior to his birth.
South Florida Railroad had served Orlando for 2 years at the time Wimer and Drew arrived in town. Rail service was even extended further south that year, to Kissimmee. As far as travel east or west though, that still required a horse and buggy, traveling over sand rutted dirt trails.
Charles A. Wimer opened an Orlando print shop. In 1887, Wimer became Editor of the Orlando Record newspaper, and spent the remainder of his life in the newspaper business. Julius Drew was the son of Jacksonville’s Columbus Drew, the founder of Duval County’s, DREW Stationery Printing Company.
Writing, and printer’s ink, so it seems, flowed in the veins of both Charles A. Wimer and Julius Drew.
Both men settled in downtown Orlando, yet each also purchased 40 acres several miles from town, remote yet contiguous parcels. Julius DREW bought land that is now part of Audubon Park community, whereas WIMER bought land that is today the East End Market.
Wimer and Drew didn’t have a lot of luck growing Oranges, but both appear to have enjoyed successful life-long careers. And together, they both set the stage for a historic gathering of lovers of the written word, folks who, like those two 19 Century Central Floridians, have printers ink flowing through their veins.
I hope you will plan to attend Locally Grown WordsBook Fair this Sunday, a great place to wrap up your last minute holiday gift shopping. And please, stop in at my CitrusLAND table.
THE PERFECT GIFT FOR MYSTERY-HISTORY LOVERS
THE RUTLAND MULE MATTER
A novel based on actual historical events. Among Central Florida’s earliest residents, Statesman Isaac N. Rutland was erased from the pages of Florida history. Isaac’s son, OTHMAN, and daughter SARAH, want to know WHY! Supported by a 6 page bibliography, because this author recognizes that readers will want to verify the book’s accuracy. Missing for 150 years, Isaac N. RUTLAND’S disappearance is finally revealed!
Reviews: “You uncovered about the most interesting story, better than Barber shooting the Sheriff.” “Your research is so meticulous and your storytelling so captivating.” See also TWO5 Star Ratings online at Amazon.com)
THE HISTORY OF A CENTRAL FLORIDA’S FIRST ROAD
FIRST ROAD TO ORLANDO
A true history of the 28 mile ‘oldforts trail’, an inland dirt road that served as the main artery for Central Florida during its first 40 years of settlement. Now in Second Edition, this book has been expanded to also explore the multiple versions as to how ORLANDO was named. Discover the origins of this region’s earliest towns: Mellonville; Fort Reid; Rutledge; Maitland; Orlando; and Fort Gatlin – towns along the First Road to Orlando!
Reviews: “Your work was no needed and well done. Exhibits were wonderful. Your research is astounding! With that detail you figured out questions that have lingered for years.” See also TWO5 Star Ratings online at Amazon.com)
THE PERFECT GIFT FOR THE RAILROAD ENTHUSIAST
GHOST TOWNS & PHANTOM TRAINS
A novel based on real-life pioneers, and the true calamity that ended the hopes and dreams of America’s 19 Century Paradise. Climb aboard Orange Belt Railway, ride the rails of 1895 to OAKLAND, and visit Sylvan Lake; Paola; Island Lake; Glen Ethel; Altamont (a/k/a Hoosier Springs & Palm Springs); Forest City; Toronto; the twin towns of Lakeville and Clarcona; Crown Point; & Winter Garden, then arriving at Oakland, Orange Belt’s headquarters. (See 5 Star Rating for the First Edition at Amazon.com)
CURSE of FLORIDA’S PARADISE: Farming Citrus, developing LAND, two constants in the struggle to tame a remote wilderness known today as Central Florida. This first book, together with ALTAMONTE SPRINGS of FLORIDA, explores the true story of the earliest pioneers, both men and women, and their challenges while attempting to establish America’s 19 Century PARADISE. (Five ratings; FOUR(4) 5 Star; (1) ONE4 Star at Amazon.com)
RICHARD LEE CRONIN, See my AUTHOR PAGE
Richard Lee Cronin Books * 5380 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Suite 105, * Longboat Key, Florida, 34228