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monumental history

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history Commemorative monuments and plaques are located in several parks and recreation properties throughout the City of Winter Park. They memorialize significant people and events that have truly defined the community to be the “best place to live, work and play.�


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central park There are a number of memorials and monuments throughout Central Park that have permanently marked many of Winter Park’s most notable contributions. As the city’s crown jewel, Central Park has numerous plaques that commemorate the events or donations that have taken place since the park was deeded to the city April 6, 1906.


Charles Hosmer Morse This plaque honors the life and generosity of one of Winter Park’s early residents, Charles Hosmer Morse. It was donated to the park by the Friends of Central Park on November 20, 1986. It reads, “Charles Hosmer Morse was born in 1833 in St. Johnsbury Center, Vermont. From 1883 until his death in 1921, he considered Winter Park his second home. His vision and generosity are responsible for much of its beauty today. The park which surrounds you is one of his benefactions. Morse was one of the pioneers who gave this community the character which brought so much happiness to so many. Dedicated by Friends of Central Park, November 20, 1986.”


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Veterans Memorial Fountain On April 11, 1920, a fountain was donated to the city by Howard G. Lindsay in honor of the veterans in all wars. He created this fountain and at least two others that are still in use in the city. One is located on Osceola Court and the other on Golfview Terrace. The inscription on the fountain reads, “Winter Park honors her sons who served in the World Wars, Korea and Vietnam.” It was refurbished and rededicated April 12, 2012, by Lindsay’s grandson, Kent McKee. It is the centerpiece to the southern section of Central Park.


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Whites Building In the south portion of the park lies this plaque embedded in a large boulder that marks the former location Whites Hall, the first recitation building of Rollins College in 1885-1886. It reads, “Whites Hall, Built in 1884 on the site directly opposite by Robert M. White, Jr., first Mayor of Winter Park. This building was used as the first recitation building of Rollins College in 1885-1886.” The city’s first mayor, Robert M. White, Jr., built a white wooden structure in 1884 to house his general store. It went on to house the Pioneer Store, Hough’s Food Store, the town hall, and the first United Methodist Church of Winter Park. It was also a classroom, library, and offices for Rollins College – shown in photos, above left, in 1946 and 2009.


Original Train Depot This plaque is located on the east side of the railroad tracks near the Winter Park “sign” that is created out of foliage, near Morse Boulevard. While small in size, this plaque is particularly significant to the history of Winter Park as it honors the site of the first building in the city. The plaque reads, “Site of original depot, South Florida Railroad. First building in Winter Park, dedicated March 18, 1982”


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Eve Proctor Morrill Located on the north end of Central Park, these columns and plaque honor Eve Proctor Morrill, who was revered as the patron saint of Park Avenue. She owned the Proctor Shops, which later became Jacobson’s at the corner of Canton and Park avenues. She spearheaded beautification projects such as the brick planters along Park Avenue that continue to be appreciated today. The plaque is inscribed with lines from a poem by her late husband Logan Morrill: “Love quietly and greatly. Seek immortality in those around you where we live eternally. In each day’s striving justify the lives we have lived.” Morrill died in January 1998 and she is buried in Palm Cemetery.


Major General Joseph Bradley A 10' holly tree was planted a few days after former City Commissioner Major General Joseph Bradley’s death January 17, 1961. The plaque notes the placement of the tree and reads, “This tree planted Arbor Day, Jan. 20, 1961, in memory of Major General Joseph Sladen Bradley in recognition of outstanding civic service. City Commissioner 1959-1960.” Born in 1900, Bradley entered West Point in 1921 at the age of 17. His tours of duty included Instructor and Assistant Commandant of the Infantry School, 31st Infantry Philippines, 15th Infantry China, the 32nd Infantry in World War II South Pacific, and 126th Infantry in New Guinea. He also went on to serve in the Korean War and as Deputy Director for Strategic Planning, office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the Pentagon. For his service, he received multiple awards, including two Distinguished Silver Crosses and six Silver Stars. Bradley selected Winter Park as his retirement home and began involving himself in the community. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, served as a city commissioner, acted is interim city manager, and was named the 1959 Winter Park Man of the Year. Major General Bradley is buried at West Point.


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Crane Rose Garden The plaque in the Central Park Rose Garden memorializes the generous donation from Mrs. Catherine Crane in honor of her late husband Howard Crane. The plaque also preserves the history of the rose gardens starting from the 1880s planting of a rose bush, Friendship Rose Garden of the 1920s, and Fanning Memorial Rose Garden of the 1960s. Mrs. Crane made her donation in 2003 and the rose garden was expanded to include the pergola and stepped brick planters. A resident of Winter Park since the late 1970s Mrs. Crane was often seen downtown wearing red, white, and blue. She served in the U.S. Coast Guard in London, Connecticut, before becoming a grammar school principal in Kearney, New Jersey. Her husband Howard Crane passed way in 2000 and was an auditor with the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company.


Time Capsule An interesting plaque, also in the Central Park Rose Garden, marks the location of a time capsule. Buried December 30, 1976, the time capsule is scheduled to be opened July 4, 2076.

Centennial A similar looking marker that is located in front of the main stage commemorates the city’s 100th anniversary {1882-1982}.


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Peacock Fountain Dedicated December 18, 2014, this fountain with life-size peacock is a limited edition design by Lloyd Leblanc, from England, who is known for his outside bronze sculptures. The fountain is the result of an Eagle Scout Service Project by John Michael Thomas, a sophomore at Bishop Moore Catholic High School, created in memory of his late friend Elizabeth Buckley.


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James Carter This plaque is in recognition of Central Park Jimmy Carter who worked in the park for 52 years. He began his employment with the city May 1, 1945. Mr. Carter was born as an only child in Cordele, Georgia, and in 1925, moved to Florida with his grandmother. He served under 12 mayors and still holds the record for the longesttenured city employee. Mr. Carter was very well-known throughout the community and affectionately nicknamed the “Mayor of Winter Park.� He was the ultimate ambassador for Central Park and cared for it as if it were his very own. Mr. Carter retired from his employment with the Parks & Recreation Department December 8, 1994. The city held a retirement celebration for him March 14, 1995, and commemorated the occasion with his permanent marker in his beloved park. Mr. Carter passed away July 5, 2009, at the age of 88 and was laid to rest in the city’s Pineywood Cemetery.


Central Park Bandstand This plaque recognizes the contribution of the Winter Park Rotary Club for their donation that funded the Central Park “Bandstand� {1982}.

Red Pepper Garden Club The Red Pepper Garden Club donated a small podacarpus bush in the 1950s which has grown to over 30 feet tall. Located just west of the railroad tracks near Morse Boulevard, it is one of the signature trees for holiday lighting in Central Park. The Red Pepper Garden Club was an offshoot of the Dirt Daubers Circle and was established in 1951. In 2001, it was disbanded on its 15th anniversary. As of 2013, the tree is still decorated by the Winter Park Garden Club.


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Emily In 1964, world-renowned sculpture artist Albin Polasek donated to the city a bronze sculpture named for his second wife Emily. The sculpture is a fountain and remains a focal point of Central Park. It reads, “‘Emily’ by Albin Polasek 1879-1965, presented to the City of Winter Park in Commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. Albin Polasek Foundation – Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, March 11, 1964.” In 1879, Polasek was born in Moravia, now called the Czech Republic, and was initially a woodcarver. In 1901, he received formal art training after immigrating to the United States. Polasek created his worldrenowned “Man Carving His Own Destiny” and “Eternal Moment” in 1907 and 1909, respectively, while still a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Also in 1909, he became an American citizen. Polasek went on to prove excellence in sculpture and instruction. For almost 30 years, he was head of the sculpture department at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1950, Polasek retired to Winter Park at age 70. He designed and built the home that is now a museum on Lake Osceola. He had a stroke that year, paralyzing him on his left side but he continued his art with his right hand. Later that same year, Polasek married his first wife, Ruth Sherwood, and she died just two years later. Then in 1961, Polasek married Emily Kubat. In 1965, Polasek died and was buried with an impressive headstone beside his first wife in Palm Cemetery. Emily died in 1988 and she, too, is buried within the Polasek family plot.


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kraft azalea garden Located along Alabama Drive and the southwestern shore of Lake Maitland, Kraft Azalea Garden is a picturesque, 11-acre park. The park has several monuments but two of them honor men who were most significant to the property.


Leonard J. Hackney Leonard J. Hackney was an Indiana State Supreme Court judge. He was known for writing the majority opinion in the case of Antoinette Leach, which reversed the court’s opinion that barred her from becoming an attorney because, as a woman, she did not have the right to vote. The opinion was celebrated as a victory for women’s rights and his reputation greatly elevated. Hackney later became an attorney for the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago, and St. Louis Railway Company. Curiously in 1888, he became a judge by election without attending college or law school, according to an article by an Indiana court historian. In 1925, Hackney moved to Winter Park and lived in a large home located at 1461 Via Tuscany. The home was called Sandscove, which later became the residence of the Showalter family. The house still stands and is quite beautiful. He also had a home located at 1420 Via Tuscany, which he sold to actress Annie Russell in 1929. This home is also still around today.


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Sandscove had a view of an overgrown, unnamed park on the south western shore of Lake Maitland. It was later named Alabama Park, as the home of William C. Temple across the road was named Alabama. Hackney was on the board of the railroad but also a director of the Union State Bank in Winter Park. After the 1929 stock market crash, George Kraft and Irving Batcheller used their own money to save the bank and renamed it the Florida Bank of Winter Park. He then joined a campaign to improve the park on Alabama Drive. In October 1938, Hackney died and the following year, a plaque honored him as the “creator of the gardens.� The City Commission at that time declared that no other memorial plaques would be allowed in the park.


George Kraft George Kraft was a merchant with many small stores in the Midwest. His company, the George Kraft Company, owned a chain of five-and-dime stores which he sold to the F.W. Woolworth Company. Upon his retirement in 1927, he and his wife Maud moved to Winter Park. The park had been cleared but not developed, so Kraft began transplanting azaleas from his home, which still stands on the corner of Webster and Georgia avenues. Soon the park became known as Azalea Garden. The Azalea Garden Committee was formed and chaired by Leonard Hackney. Also on the committee were residents Mrs. C. F. Ward, Forney W. Shepard, H. W. Caldwell, and Mayor Frederick W. Cady. By 1931, the garden was sponsored by the Commercial Club, and Orlando nursery owner Martin Daetwyler was hired to develop the park’s layout. In 1934, the city became responsible for the maintenance of the garden. In 1937, it was renamed Kraft Azalea Garden after Kraft died. The Kraft family vowed to fund the park’s maintenance, and Maud continued to contribute as did her son.


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Excedra The most prominent feature of the park is the columns in a semicircle resembling ancient Greek architecture, the Exedra. It is a popular wedding ceremony site and often used for family and graduation photographs. The Exedra was donated to the park by Kenneth H. and Elizabeth P. Kraft to honor George and Maud Kraft. It’s inscription reads, “Pause friend. Let beauty refresh the spirit.” An amazing banyan tree is located down by the lake, east of the Exedra. It is believed to be the only surviving large banyan this far north in the state.


Commemorative Fountain In 1947, the Winter Park Garden Club installed a drinking fountain to commemorate an award presented to the club by Horticulture Magazine.

Cushman Cypress There was one other plaque located at the foot of a cypress tree that was borne “from seed gathered on shore of Lago di Garda,� the largest lake in Northern Italy. The tree was donated by the Cushmans, but there is no archived record of the donation. Unfortunately, the tree is no longer there.


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mead botanical garden In the late 1930s, this 47-acre property was deeded to the city by five residents; Mr. and Mrs. R. F. Leedy, Walter Rose, James Treat and Mary Bartels. Today, it holds several monuments and plaques. James Treat’s original deed even mentions a plaque bearing his name to be placed on the shore of Lake Lillian. The park was dedicated to Theodore Mead, who was world famous for growing orchids and developing new caladium varieties. After his death in 1936, two of his friends organized the donation of the vacant lands to the City of Winter Park. On January 14, 1940, Mead Botanical Garden was finally dedicated in his name, and to this day, it remains an oasis of natural Florida beauty in an urban area.


William Bartram Trail Notable as America’s first native-born naturalist, William Bartram’s southern journey began from the Appalachian Mountains, went down into Florida, and then over to the Mississippi River. His works provided descriptions of pristine natural environments in what would become eight southeastern states. Special trail markers are placed near areas that were visited by Bartram, such as the one in Mead Botanical Garden marker on the main entrance road.


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Grover Trail A trail marker was installed in honor of Dr. Edwin Grover who was one of the two men that sought out the location for Mead’s orchid collection. He identified the current park as a perfect location, and with his friend Jack Connery, facilitated the donation of the properties to the city from four donors. In 1956, the trail marker was placed and is located along the beautiful creekside trail, on the eastern edge of the park behind the garden club.


Helen Dunn-Rankin A small bronze marker honors the originator of the Mead Botanical Garden Association in 1937, Helen Dunn-Rankin, who served as president of the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board in the late 1950s. The marker is located adjacent to the amphitheater dressing rooms on the eastern side of the park.

Grace Edwards This tree marker recognizes Grace Edwards, who was one of the founders of the Winter Park Garden Club.


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Alice’s Pond Named for Alice Mickelson, who devoted many years to the care of the camellia garden, the pond was dedicated to her service in 2013. The Mickelson family funded the restoration of the pond and have been committed to preserving the entire park.

Camellia Grove In 2014, the camellia garden was dedicated to central Florida’s Jerry Conrad, who was highly respected for his knowledge of and lifelong dedication to camellias.


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dinky dock park At the south end of Ollie Street, Dinky Dock Park features a public boat ramp and beach front on Lake Virginia.


Dinky Line The park was the location of the Victorian-style train station that opened January 2, 1989, for the Winter Park-Orlando Railroad. Referred to as the Dinky Line, the tracks were narrower than normal. Francis B. Knowles was the first president of the railroad until his death in May 1890. The Dinky Line ran a six-mile route between Orlando and Winter Park, and was expanded to reach Oviedo in 1891. It made eight round trips each day for a 15-cent fee. By the 1960s, service was reduced to once a day, and in 1969, the tracks were removed altogether.


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Rotary Club of Winter Park In 1956, the 1.56-acre property for the park was donated to the city by the Rotary Club of Winter Park. This plaque recognizes their donation.

Dinky Station An additional plaque on the property identifies the original location of the Dinky Station. This plaque was installed in 1986 by the Winter Park Historical Association.


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george morgan ward memorial park Ward Park is a very active 66-acre park that started out as both a golf course and an airfield. From 1926 -1936, portions of the current park were part of the Aloma Country Club, a golf course that also encompassed property now occupied by the Winter Park Memorial Hospital. In 1945, Howard and J. Sandy Showalter and Ford “Buck” Rogers acquired 100 acres on Oviedo Road {now Aloma Avenue} and built Showalter Airpark. Business was so good in the late 1940s that they expanded to three locations – a second where the existing Sanford-Orlando International Airport is located, and a third at the Orlando Municipal Airport, where the Showalter’s continue to conduct business.


In 1956, portions of the park were deeded to the city by the Orange County Parks and Recreation Association {OCPRA}, a non-profit that had bought the defunct Aloma Country Club. OCPRA was created by Raymond C. Greene, a Rollins graduate, Rollins Decoration of Honor recipient, realtor, city commissioner and mayor. The deed came with restrictions which ensured that Ward Park would be used for parks and recreation, named George Morgan Ward Memorial Park, and a ballfield in place at the time would remain Wren Taylor Field. In 1965, Howard Showalter tragically died, and the current football stadium on property continues to bear his name.


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Current George Morgan Memorial Ward Park features baseball and softball fields, as well as multipurpose fields utilized for soccer, lacrosse and football. Also located on park property is Showalter Field Stadium, which is used for Winter Park High School {WPHS} athletic programs. Within the stadium are the Larry Gergley Field and Bob Mosher Track, named after well-loved coaches at Winter Park High School {WPHS}.


Larry Gergley From 1971-1996 and 2000-2006, Larry Gergley coached football at WPHS and was a 10-time Metro Coach of the Year.

Bob Mosher In 1954, Coach Bob Mosher started the track program at WPHS, was a 50-year member of the Florida Athletic Coaches Association, and in 1997, named in the National High School Coaches Hall of Fame.

Showalter Airpark {1945}

current Showalter Field Stadium


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George Morgan Ward George Morgan Ward was born on May 23, 1859, in Massachusetts. After attending Harvard, Dartmouth and the Law School of Boston, he entered the Andover Theological Seminary and Johns Hopkins University as a post graduate student. In 1896, with several college degrees, Ward accepted the position of president of Rollins College, where he remained until 1902. Ward returned to the presidency position in 1916, and in 1922, made his final retirement. He then returned to Massachusetts to become a pastor. In 1958, the park was named honor in of his contribution to the community. This plaque is mounted on a brick column on the Loch Lomond side of the property.


James Wren “Zack” Taylor One of the baseball fields has been dedicated to Florida’s first Major League catcher, coach and scout James Wren “Zack” Taylor. He was born on July 27, 1888, in Yulee, Florida, and played for the New York Giants, Chicago Cubs, Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees. Taylor was then a coach for the St. Louis Browns, Brooklyn Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, and scout for the Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves. Taylor died in Orlando September 19, 1974, and was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame the same year.


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Ernest Manning In 1995, a plaque was installed in the baseball field area of Ward Park in honor of services provided by Parks & Recreation Assistant Director Ernest Manning, who served the city for 40 years. Manning was instrumental in the installation and maintenance of many of the park amenities such as ball fields, pavilions, irrigation systems, and more – many of which are still in use today in multiple parks. A prime example of this would be the complete renovation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, which has resulted in the very popular property it is today. Manning is a lifelong resident of Winter Park and is enjoying his retirement from the city {2007}.


Robert J. Cadden Another smaller monument is also located in the baseball area, naming one of the fields “R. J. Cadden Field� after well-respected Little League Baseball Coach Robert J. Cadden. Born on November 18, 1953, Cadden was fatally injured during a plane crash in Costa Rica and died on May 24, 1995. Later that year, his son Bob, who played Little League, participated in the Senior Little League World Series.


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The Umpire In 1995, an impressive statue was placed by Little League President Tom Cavanaugh. This bronze sculpture captures the true meaning of Winter Park’s little league community. Its location is prominent so that it is seen by all who visit the ball fields in Ward Park.

Bill Cross Field Bill Cross graduated in the class of 1958 at Winter Park High School {WPHS}. He was a baseball and football star at WPHS, and founder of Winter Park Little League.


Dedicated citizens There are a number of additional plaques around the baseball field area honoring donors to and supporters of the baseball program in Ward Park. These plaques were installed between 2007 and 2014.

Cady Way Park This property adjoining Ward Park was developed on property donated to the city in 1972 by the federal government for the purpose of providing recreation to the public. It continues to provide activities and amenities that are wellreceived including tennis, softball, a playground, and trail head for Cady Way Trail, which spans two counties.


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Following the loss of his daughter Tracy in a 1996 motorcycle accident, Ross Rupp spotted a large stump formation left from the partial removal of an oak tree on the northern edge of Ward Park. The stump was large and distinct with four trunks. He visualized dolphins jumping out of the water and with the city’s permission, commissioned a sculptor to carve the four stumps into dolphins and memorialize his daughter’s love for them. The Rupp family dedicated the sculpture to daughter Tracy, and to this day, continue to maintain its beauty.


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shady park This 4.52-acre recreation area, which includes the Winter Park Community Center and Hannibal Square Sprayground, is rich with history. On the southeast corner of the park sits an obelisk that recognizes the historic neighborhood and business district of Hannibal Square, founded in 1881. This area was named after Hannibal Barca, the ancient Carthaginian {North African} military commander who was considered commanders in history.

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Naming the park The park was named by 10-year-old Stephanie Moore, who submitted her idea to a park naming contest, along with over 100 additional participants. She suggested the name “Shady� to honor the many tall trees. A plaque located on the south end of the park tells the story.


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District School A monument on the northeast corner of the park marks the original 1890 location of the District School. This was the second school built in Winter Park. The year before, the Knowles School {for white children} had been built on the corner of Park and Knowles avenues. The students were segregated and the school on Pennsylvania and Welbourne avenues was only for African Americans. The photo above shows about 35 students and their instructor standing in front of the school. Later in 1926, a newer school called Hannibal Square Elementary School was constructed. It would serve the community until the 1960s and be demolished, leaving a small portion to serve the community as the Orange County Health Foundation. In 1971, Winter Park Community Center was built on the site. It was completely demolished in 2009 and the new LEEDcertified building opened in 2011.


Lula Durant In 1999, a monument on east side of the park was dedicated to Lula Durant for her commitment to the community. Durant was deeply involved in her community during the 1950s and a member of Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church and Ideal Womens Club. She was an auxiliary nurses aid at the DePugh Nursing Home and president of the Biracial and Human Relations Board.

Molecular Dog C3H8 The southwest corner of Shady Park is the home to the city’s very own dog sculpture. Created by renowned Miami artist Robert Chambers, it is sculpted in the shape of the molecule for propane. In 2008, the dog was installed as a solo Art on the Green exhibition, and later became a permanent fixture through donations and the efforts of Winter Park’s Public Art Advisory Board.


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Ruby Ball Ruby Mae Roberts Ball was a mother of six children, an educator, humanitarian, and long-time resident of Winter Park. She attended Hannibal Square Elementary School and went on to further her education at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College, Bethune Cookman College, and the University of Florida. Ball began her 40-year teaching career in Ormond Beach, Florida, but returned to Winter Park to teach at Hannibal Square Elementary and Hungerford High School in Eatonville, Florida. After she retired, she began tutoring seniors and volunteering for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People {NAACP}, Church Women United, Winter Park Human Relations Council, Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, Orange County Retired Teachers Association, Winter Park Senior Citizens Organization, and the National Mother of the Year Association, just to name a few. In 1980, a year after her death, a section of the original community center was named the Ruby Ball Annex in her honor. In 1998, it was rededicated in her honor. In October 2011, a new community center opened with an outdoor amphitheater, which was dedicated to Ball. Her likeness and plaques are permanently placed on the northwest corner of Shady Park.


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Pastor Dr. Mitchell L. Dawkins, Sr., Pavilion This park’s pavilion was dedicated in memory of beloved pastor of the New Warner Chapel Primitive Baptist Church, Dr. Mitchell L. Dawkins, Sr. For 20 years, Pastor Dawkins served as the Winter Park Police Department Chaplain. He also served as chair of the Winter Park Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board and president of the Ministerial Fellowship. He was also the president of the Primitive Baptist Church School Convention, board chair for the Florida State Baptist Convention, and executive director of the Warner Chapel Outreach Program. Pastor Dawkins was born on August 15, 1955, and passed away on February 28, 2014.


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howell branch preserve Dedicated in May 2008, this park is located along Howell Creek. It features an amazing playground, picnic pavilion, wildlife observation deck, and exercise stations. Following the tragic passing of her husband Dr. N. Donald Diebel, Jr., Commissioner Karen Diebel dedicated a tree in his memory in August 2008.


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martin luther king, jr. park Originally named Lake Island Park, this park was renamed by a park renaming committee with the support of the City Commission to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in 2013. This area was formerly a neighborhood called Lake Island Estates and through grants, the city purchased the homes and condemned land - a portion of which was the city dump in the 1950s. In May 1981, a sink hole swallowed the city’s pool and a home owned by Mae Rose Owens. Lake Rose now marks the site of the sink hole. Through an additional grant with the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program, the property was further developed and featured the cleaning out of Lake Mendsen {in the center of the park} and addition of walkways. In 1996, the Unity Bridge was dedicated to the community by the Winter Park Ministerial Alliance.


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lake baldwin park This large lakefront park, located on Lakemont Avenue, has seen many changes. Starting in 1972, a donation of property from the Diocese of Orlando occurred. Then in 1975, a grant from the Federal Government was awarded to develop the property for parks and recreation purposes and was dedicated as Lake Baldwin Bicentennial Park. The park was renamed for a local swim instructor, then in 2014, named back to Lake Baldwin Park. It is a very well-attended, off-leash lakefront dog park.


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Rollins College 50th Anniversary This plaque, located in the median at Morse Boulevard and Interlachen Avenue commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the decision to establish Rollins College. It reads, “To Commemorate the Fiftieth Anniversary of the decision reached 17 April, 1885, by the General Congregational Association of Florida to establish in Winter Park Rollins College the first institution of higher education in Florida. This tablet is placed 17 April, 1935 by residents of Winter Park near the site where was originally announced this significant decision.�


Pulsifer Park This large median at the intersection of Old England and Webster avenues is a wonderful neighborhood greenspace. As the plaque reads it was named, “in honor of Royal MacIntosh Pulsifer, 1843-1888. Mayor of Newton, Mass. Publisher-Owner of Boston-Herald, President First Railroad across Florida, Connecting St. John’s River and Tampa Bay, Aided Founders of Winter Park.” Pulsifer is credited with bringing the railroad to Winter Park as a stop between Sanford and Orlando, which enabled visitors from the north to travel to the city. He was born in Massachusetts on June 2, 1843, and died there on October 27, 1888. Also located in Pulsifer Park, there is a special little sign {right} that reads, “All the flowers of all the tomorrows are the seeds of today,” installed by the Red Pepper Garden Club.


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Lasbury Park Ralph C. Lasbury, born February 22, 1875, was a tobacco grower from Connecticut. He was also the owner of many light-harness racing horses and in fact, the owner of a horse named “War Horse.� War Horse was said to have been the most consistent horse to ever run on a track in the United States. Lasbury was in the real estate business in Winter Park in the 1920s but later returned to tobacco growing on a 500-acre tract in East Windsor, Connecticut. Mr. and Mrs. Lasbury donated the property, now known as Lasbury Park, at the corner of Lasbury Avenue and Maiden Lane. Lasbury died February 11, 1944. He and his wife are buried in their home state of Connecticut.


Their son, Ralph C. Lasbury, Jr., worked on his father’s tobacco farm and after high school and attended Rollins College. He went on to formulate the basis for the Farm Labor Law of 1947, and participated in congressional hearings on tobacco labor and production issues. Further, he established the first state licensed hospital in the nation for migrant agricultural works. He was named the “most enlightened of any employer group in the country” by Senator Harrison Williams in 1968. Lasbury, Jr., died of a heart attack in Winter Park on March 18, 1979, at the age of 72. He and his wife are also buried in Connecticut.


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McKean Arboretum This arboretum, located at the north end of downtown, is dedicated to the numerous contributions that were made to the city and its citizens by Hugh and Jeanette McKean. Jeanette Genius McKean {1909-1989} was the very artistic granddaughter of Winter Park’s founding father, Charles Hosmer Morse. She was born in Chicago and moved to New York with her family where she studied art. McKean regularly visited her grandfather in Winter Park, where she eventually moved. In 1945, she married Hugh McKean {1908-1995} following his return from service in World War II. Their famed collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany started with pieces she inherited from her parents. Along with these and some borrowed pieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Smithsonian, an exhibition was arranged at Rollins College.


The McKeans expanded their collection by salvaging pieces from Tiffany’s mansion in Oyster Bay, Long Island, that was destroyed by fire. Their collection is the largest of its kind and much of it is on display at the The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, located at Park and Canton avenues. A trustee emeritus of Rollins, McKean was also founder and chairwoman of The Charles Hosmer Morse Foundation, named in honor of her grandfather, and the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation, named in honor of her mother. She was also a director of Sun Bank in Winter Park. Hugh McKean was the 10th president of Rollins College, where he resided for 18 years and published many works about art. He grew up in Pennsylvania and in 1920, moved to central Florida with his family. In 1930, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Rollins, and in 1940, a master’s from Williams College in Massachusetts. He studied art in New York City, Fontainebleau, France, and at Harvard University.


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Hugh and Jeanette McKean established a legacy of philanthropy, arts and culture in Winter Park and far beyond. Together in 1942, they built the first Morse Gallery of Art on Rollins Campus, and in 1945, McKean became director {the year he and Jeanette married}. He held this position until shortly before his death and just a few months shy of the opening of The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art on Park Avenue in 1995. Their significant contributions are honored in the placement of the McKean Arboretum Monument.


Laughlin Park Located at the corner of Capen and New England avenues, Laughlin Park has long been recognized as a true neighborhood park. Park benches beneath a towering oak tree provide a cool and beautiful gathering place. In 1978, this park was named for Paul Laughlin for his outstanding community service. He was known for his great love of plants and referred to as the “plant doctor.� Laughlin was also the owner of the now demolished Laughlin Hotel in Hannibal Square.


mini parks & medians

Marvin Smiley Park Although there is no particular bronze plaque on this property, a sign recognizes the park as being named for Marvin Smiley, the city’s first and longest tenured forestry chief. In 1987, he retired from the city after 30 years of service. He is credited with the planting of 18,000 rights of way trees in Winter Park. In 1987, the city purchased the lot now named for Smiley to save the two majestic oak trees that were slated for destruction so a home could be built. In June 1989, the park at the corner of Hollywood and Phelps avenues was named for Smiley.


Jay Blanchard Park Just west of Phelps Avenue, this highly-visual park is located on Aloma Avenue and features a brick patio and fountain. From 1964 to 1973, Jay Blanchard was the director of the city’s Parks & Recreation Department. He left Winter Park to become Orange County’s parks director until his retirement in 1984 and passed away in 1985. Blanchard is credited with protecting trees and was very well-liked among his peers. He also guided the construction of the historic Fort Christmas and establishment of the museum. Both the City of Winter Park and Orange County honored Blanchard by naming parks in his memory.


mini parks & medians

Hooper Park Located at the intersection of Orange and Orlando avenues, Hooper Park was named for Jewell B. Hooper, streets foreman for the city. He served the city for 48 years and was a dedicated public servant. In 1974, Hooper was laid to rest in Palm Cemetery.


Frederick Detmar Trismen Park Named for the former owner of the park property that runs adjacent to traffic on Brewer Drive {known as the “Brewer Curves”}, this lovely neighborhood park is best accessed from Trismen Terrace. The park property was donated to the city by the Trismen family, who lived in the large home called “The Palms” that was initially built by Edward Brewer as a winter cottage and an exact replica of his home in Cortland, New York. The Osceola lakefront home featured a packing house, barn, two guest cottages, caretakers house and gardens. At age 72, Brewer remodeled it to the Georgian Revival-style it features today, but in 1924, died before the project was completed. At the request of the new owners, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Detmar Trismen, James Gamble Rogers, II, redesigned the interior. The house remains today and is on the historic register. In 1967, Frederick’s widow donated the adjacent property to the city to be used as a public park.


city facilities

winter park farmers’ market On the corner of New York and Lyman avenues is a raised planter behind a tiny fence that used to hold two pig-shaped topiaries. They were donated to the city by Walt Disney® World as a nod to the city’s ordinance prohibiting farm animals. The inscription read, “We thank the Walt Disney World Company for the gift of these pig topiaries. Confined here in the year 1995. A 1907 Winter Park ordinance (Article X: Section 81A) prohibited the roaming at large of horses, cattle, swine, sheep and goats within the city limits.” The planter is now home to a peacock.


winter park farmers’ market

city facilities

Winter Park Historical Association A tree was dedicated in memory of three men who were significant to the forming of the Winter Park Historical Association. The dedication plaque reads, “In Memoriam. The Winter Park Historical Association dedicates this tree in honor of Mayor Hope Strong, Jr. and past presidents Dr. John Gross and John Twachtman, whose vision and significant support helped establish the Winter Park Historical Museum. March 11, 1995, Winter Park, Florida.” The plaque is located on the northern end of the market property.


Grounds Beautification Keep Winter Park Beautiful led a successful fundraiser to improve the parking lot and grounds of the Winter Park Farmers’ Market in 1995. A plaque was placed on the building to commemorate the donors.

Bill Wagner Following his death in 2007, a longtime member of the Keep Winter Park Beautiful Board, Bill Wagner, was remembered for his contribution toward the beautification of the parking lot including the addition of the black fencing.


city facilities

winter park country club & golf course The Winter Park Country Club and Golf Course is rich in history. It is the second oldest course in the state of Florida and in September 2014, celebrated 100 years of service. Although the city had a golf course as early as 1900 {located on Interlachen Avenue in the area of the Woman’s Club of Winter Park}, the current course was opened in 1914. Harley A. Ward and Dow George were commissioned to design the course on property owned by Charles H. Morse. It started as an 9-hole course and was later expanded to 27 holes, which covered property now occupied by Winter Park Village.


Notable hall of fame golfers who have played this historic course include Sam Snead, Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Walter Hagen and Nick Faldo. Completed in 1915, the current clubhouse was half its current size through the early 1900s. In 1937, the western wing was added.


winter park country club

city facilities

Historic Register In 1999, this beloved city asset was placed on the National Register of Historic Place. The plaque that recognizes this distinction is located on the southern side screen porch of the clubhouse. It remains a popular course, and the building is leased for private and public events, such as golf tournaments and wedding receptions.

Time capsule The capsule was buried at the golf course arboretum being built in memory of Hugh McKean, former president of Rollins College and director of The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, and his wife, Jeanette G. McKean, who established the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation to honor her mother. An 18-foot scroll with resident signatures is included, scheduled to be unearthed November 13, 2050.


Centennial clock Located next to the putting green where golfers tee off on Hole 1, the Centennial clock was graciously donated by the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation.


city facilities

rachel d. murrah civic center The original Winter Park Civic Center was located on Mizell Avenue behind the Winter Park Memorial Hospital. It was a small building that was very well-attended for dances and senior programs. That property was sold to the Philip Crosby company which constructed the Crosby YMCA Wellness Center. Initially called the Winter Park Civic Center, the Rachel D. Murrah Civic Center was relocated to 1050 West Morse Boulevard, this large rental facility was built in 1986 and among the most popular rental buildings in central Florida. A new library & events center will be built on this site with construction beginning in 2018 and a grand opening scheduled for 2020.


rachel d. murrah civic center

city facilities

Rachel D. Murrah In 1962, Rachel D. Murrah came to Winter Park as a graduate of H. Sophie Newcomb College, Tulane University, New Orleans, and master’s graduate of Emory University, Atlanta. Murrah was credited for many contributions to the community. She was a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, board member of the Welbourne Avenue Day Nursery, officer of the Junior Service League of Winter Park, president of the Winter Park High School Advisory Committee, and noted historian of Winter Park. She was president of the Library Board of Trustees, and beginning with a landslide win in 1989, a city commissioner for 11 years. She was instrumental in the construction of the Winter Park Tennis Center and Lake Island Park (now Martin Luther King, Jr. Park), acquisition of the Winter Park Golf Course property, and so much more.


On January 9, 2001, the Winter Park Civic Center was named for Commissioner Rachel D. Murrah following her death June 23, 2000, while still in office. {Her husband, Kenneth Murrah, completed her term.} Commissioner Kenneth Murrah was instrumental in the construction of the civic center and formation of the CIVIC {Citizens Investing in Community} Organization. This group raised funding to furnish the new facility with overwhelming success, and a plaque is located in the lobby honoring her service to community.


rachel d. murrah civic center

city facilities

Dedication plaques Also in the building are the original plaques from the former civic center. There is another construction plaque outside {below}, which was installed before the current building opened in 1986.


The civic center received many construction donations and they are remembered on the donors plaque {above} in the front lobby of the center. All of the rooms in the facility are named for donors, as well.


rachel d. murrah civic center

city facilities

Florida Power Corporation In 1986. the civic center was recognized for it’s exterior lighting by the Florida Power Corporation {now Duke EnergyŽ Florida}.


Galloway Family In 1999, the Galloway Family donated the life-size bronze statue that is located in the breezeway of the civic center. The statue is titled “Girl with Birds,” and the artist was Richard Hallier of Boone, North Carolina {1944-2010}. “Girl with Birds” will be moved to City Hall once the new library & events center construction begins in 2018.


city facilities

winter park community center In 1971, the original community center was built on the 721 W. New England Ave. property. In 2009, it was demolished, and a new LEEDcertified facility constructed in its place. The grand opening was held in 2011 for the new, energy-efficient building that includes larger meeting space and a multipurpose pool. In addition to the aforementioned dedication of the Ruby Ball Amphitheater that overlooks Shady Park, the building displays a large, bronze construction plaque near the front entrance to recognize the efforts of all who made the new facility possible.


the original community center

present-day LEED-certified community center


city facilities

hannibal square heritage center The Hannibal Square Heritage Center houses the Heritage Collection: Photographs and Oral Histories of West Winter Park, which is a permanent exhibit of dozens of photographs featuring the lives of the residents of west Winter Park. Rotating exhibits, local genealogy and educational programs are offered here as well. In 2007, this city-owned facility was leased in partnership to Crealdé School of Art to continue to offer these valuable programs to residents. The property also features the “Memory Wall” that was created by artist Mr. Imagination, with the help of area residents. In 2000, they brought hundreds of mementos to be placed into the wall to tell the story of the neighborhood.


city facilities

winter park welcome center Constructed in 2007, the Welcome Center houses the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and J. K. and Sarah Galloway Foundation Community Gallery. A construction dedication plaque is displayed to the left of the front door, and the time capsule installed is to be opened in 2057.


city facilities

city hall grounds Dedicated in 1966, a bronze statue “Forest Idyl� created by Albin Polasek stands amid the park benches installed in the small plaza, donated in 2013 by James and Diana Barnes.


playgrounds

Azalea Lane In 1989, the Azalea Lane Playground was donated by the Schenck family in memory of their daughter. Jay and Page Schenck and their children lived in the house known as the Chase House, located at 950 Palmer Avenue. Jay and brother Virgil ran the Schenck Company Beer distributorship. Located on the Azalea Lane Tennis Center property, this playground is very popular. The centerpiece wooden structure is well-made and remains in very good condition.


Phelps Park In 1986, this playground was donated to the city by Sarah Whiting. This playground is very popular and has had hundreds of birthday celebrations. Whiting was very active in the community and served on the committee to build the Community Playground, which she donated to as well.


playgrounds

Community Playground Built in November 1987, through the efforts and generosity of 83 citizens and businesses who made this playground possible. Volunteers built the playground following the Robert Leathers’ build model in just five days! This project was a product of a playground campaign committee that consisted of a group of Winter Park residents, including Wendy Brandon, Sara Whiting, Tracy Forrest, Brenny Hall, and many others, including the city’s Parks & Recreation Department. It was truly a community build. The playground remains one of the most popular in the city.


monumental

sources Chronological History of Winter Park by Claire Leavitt MacDowell

Fairolyn Livingston Winter Park resident

Winter Park Chronicles by Gayle and Steve Ratar

Winter Park in Vintage Postcards by Robin Chapman websites

Ancestry.com cityofwinterpark.org LDS.com Legacy National Gravesite Database Orlando Magazine Orlando Sentinel Rollins College Archives Winter Park Historical Trail, Geocities Winter Park Magazine Winter Park Public Library Winter Park History Museum

written & compiled + photography

Parks & Recreation Department

designed & edited + photography

Communications Department

completed

December 2017


Profile for City of Winter Park

Monumental History in the Parks of Winter Park  

Monumental History in the Parks of Winter Park