42 years ago last Jan my grandparents came to Fla bringing my father along who was 8 years old at that time. They wanted to see what Fla was like so they drove down the west coast staying a few days in several towns.
The diving for sponges was interesting along the gulf, very large turtles were on display & fish was [sic] was plentiful. Naples was a small village known for its good fishing along the coast.
Indians had several interesting places to visit along the Highway from Naples to Miami & was then known as the Tamiami Trail. The highway in places were not too good & not very wide in the Mt. district which made it dangerous driving if traveling fast. There were many curves & it took 3 to 4 days coming from Cin to L.W.
Coming up the East coast their [sic] were a few towns with Ft. L being the largest. When we arrived in L.W. the weather was perfect & being near the beach we like [sic] it very much & since our boy liked to swim & the town not large at that time we thought it safe in later years to let him get out on his own with a bicycle.
The next year when we came back for 3 months we lived in a cottage on 3rd Ave. No. between J & K sent our son to North grade [school] . At that time tourists were especially welcomed to L.W. with no tuition charged. As time went on parents were asked to buy Fla. license plates if a child entered school. Extra teachers were often hired to help in the school during Jan, Feb, March.
From 3 St North on the west side of K many lots were like a forest. My grandmother didn't like the idea of my Dad following a path & sometimes playing with others among the trees as growth for snakes had been seen there. Even west from town this side of Congress was simply a Fla growth with little cottages here & there with the families raising vegetables.
At first when homes were being built it was thought that no provision for heat was needed but in later years people found that it can get real cold in the southern part. But as a rule only lasts for a few days to a week. Now heat has been added to school & churches before when too cold no school for a couples of days or more.
We were told that Feb 22 was about the height of the tourist season & people always began to leave in numbers after the Heilea [Hialeah] horse racing closed. You would hear the natives say that the business section of towns was looking like the Fair grounds looked after the fair was over. In other words not many people around.