Listen in right here: A Second Visit to Florida - Part 3 of the Guide to The Southernmost State
Welcome again to the Sunshine Republic Podcast where we explore all things Florida with a focus on activities that benefit both the mind and the body. Today we'll be engaging into part three of the southern most of the guide to the southern most state is a document that was generated by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1929. Many states in the union actually all 50 have guidebooks written about them back from back then, and without further ado, let's jump in to where we left off with part two. So Part Three begins for us today, with the second excursion of a visitor to Florida.
His second excursion into Florida is somewhat different. On his first trip, unconsciously or deliberately, he has selected a spot where he thought later he might want to live in play. And when He comes again, He usually returns to that chosen place for a season ultimately, in many cases, he buys or builds a home there and becomes by slow degrees, a citizen and a critic. The evolution of a tourist into a permanent resident consists of a struggle to harmonize misconceptions and preconceptions of Florida with reality. An initial diversion is to mail northward snapshots of himself reclining under a coconut palm or a beach umbrella, with the hope that they will be delivered in the midst of a blizzard.
At the same time, the tourist checks weather reports from the north, and if his home community is having a mild winter, he feels that his Florida trip has been in part a swindle. Nothing short of 10 foot snowdrifts and burst water pipes at home can make his stay in the Southland. happy and complete. On the other hand, he is firmly convinced that with his departure in the spring, the state folds up and the inhabitants sisal under a pitiless sun until he gets back.
Official weather reports and Chamber of Commerce protests to the contrary. Eventually, he takes a chance on a Florida summer and makes a discovery that the average summer temperatures in Florida are lower than than in the North. He tries to tell about it at home and for his pains he receives around a Bronx cheers. He is now in the agonies of transition suspected by friends and shunned by strangers.
His visits to Florida thereafter a shift of his back home and the latter become less frequent. But back home has left an indelible imprint. Which he proposes to stamp on Florida. And an expansive mood is one of the most familiar and sometimes costly first responses to a Florida winter sun.
The person noted for TAs eternity in his home community often becomes loquacious determined that those about him shall know that he is a man of substance. This frequently makes him an easy prey to ancient confidence games sometimes leads to unpremeditated matrimony and almost inevitably results in the acquisition of superfluous building lots. Already something of a solipsist he becomes an incurable Nonconformist, vigorously defending his adopted state and indignantly decrying it by turns. He refuses the tradition that life in the south is a laksa days of coexistence adapted to an enervating climate. He comes here to play and to relax, but at the slightest provocation, he resumes his business or profession, if for no other reason than to demonstrate that the sound economic practices of his home state will pull Florida out of the doldrums, he perceives it to be in.
If he opens a shop, the back home instinct is likely to reassert itself in choosing a name so that Florida abounds in Michigan groceries, Maryland restaurants, Ohio drycleaners, Indiana laundries and New York shoe shops along with business and professional theories, the northerner brings to Florida a great deal of his local architectural tradition. This assures a structural variant of the repetitious designs of filling stations of the four corners of all the crossroad villages, and chain stores along the main streets in larger towns.
While Florida's tourists population is drawn to this state, largely by the prospect of play and recreation in a beneficent climate, the distribution of its population is influenced to a great extent by personal inclination. The newcomer usually gravitate to to the locality, whereas individual preferences can best be realized. And in so doing, he helps identify these preferences with his adopted community. This tends to emphasize the strikingly diverse characteristics of Florida cities.
For example, there is the commercial metropolis of Jacksonville with its converging railroads and northern bustle, and close by antique St. Augustine, with its historical background and buildings and its horsedrawn sightseeing conveyances. St. Petersburg, with its club like for gathering of elderly folk, where fire and police lines are sometimes needed to handle the throngs of Sunday morning worshippers and Miami where employees and public establishments are fingerprinted, as a police precaution to safeguard the crowds that fill its hotels, racetracks and nightclubs. Regardless of individual circumstance and preference, one desire seems to be common to all the desire to improve Florida. But man subduing efforts seldom extend much beyond the cities or penetrate very far from the highways. And if those efforts were relaxed for a generation, much of Florida it will become primeval territory again, in combating nature and in trying to reconcile divergent ideas, the citizen performs a public service. And if the climate as advertised adds 10 years to his life, the dispensation is utilized to the advantage of the state. Next up, natural settings and conservation.
Florida is bound on the north by Georgia and Alabama, and on all other sides by the salt waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The Straits of Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico, except for about 50 miles on the west, where the perdido river forms a boundary between this state and lower Alabama the state's tidal shoreline, including the 10,000 Islands off of the West Coast, and all bays, estuaries and other tidal reaches It extends 30 751 statute miles from the northern boundary on the Atlantic to the western boundary on the Gulf. Florida's area 58,666 square miles, of which 30 105 are below the water surface is more than large enough to contain Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Jacksonville in Northeast Florida is in the same latitude as Cairo, Egypt and Shanghai, China. And the entire peninsula lies hundreds of miles nearer than Rome to the equator. Viewed from the air, with its broken coastline, and innumerable lakes, canals and rivers, Florida looks like a frayed and perforated green mat spread upon a blue sea. inland, the mat develops a ridge composed of round shoulder limestone hills, that tapers off from the north into the Prairie region above Lake Okeechobee. Below the lake. Up here the Everglades.
A half submerged a waste of sawgrass studded with Cypress hammocks and Oasis like Palm Islands. In profile I see from offshore land the Florida becomes a soft pastel line separating sky and water
the Atlantic Coast sweeps in an even curve to the end of the peninsula, where it breaks into segments from there the Florida Keys extend like coral steppingstones into southern waters. The Gulf Coast, deeply marked with bays and border with rank growths of hardwood makes a great arching swing southward. And finally crumbles into the 10,000 Islands a labyrinth of Uncharted waterways. Geographically, the state can be divided into four sections. The east coast strip bordering the the Atlantic from Fernandina to Key West to Lake or central ridge district, the West Coast area which Tampa is the hub and the panhandle of West Florida, which includes the rolling country along the north shore of the Gulf. The east coast is protected from the open sea by a ribbon of sandbars and islands on which had been built many leading tourist towns notably Armand Daytona Beach, Palm Beach and Miami Beach. Although the business districts are often on the mainland, the resort sections lie beyond saltwater lagoons on the barrier beaches. inland from the coast, a wedge shaped area of pine and Palmetto flatwoods reaches from the Georgia border on the north to a point between the Everglades and the Atlantic. On the southern tip of the peninsula.
The Everglades until 1842, an unexplored mysterious region known only to the Seminole who found sanctuary there from invading whites, forms a vast area, much of which is underwater throughout the year, and nearly all during the rainy summer season. The Big Cypress Swamp, that portion of the Everglades nearest the West Coast has considerably less surface water than the eastern half of the region. Its northern section, known as the old color coochie slew, has been used as pasture for open range cattle since the War Between the States the Tamiami Trail running east and west, bisects the Everglades and skirts the southern part of the Big Cypress Swamp. fringing lower gulf coast on the 10,000 Islands, a group of mangrove mangrove covered islands divided and often submerged by swift running tidal channels. Know railways or highways link these keys. And because of their inaccessibility, they have been the refuge of many picaresque characters since the late 1880s.
North of the 10,000 Islands, the coast is blanketed with pine forests and hardwood hammocks. Several drowned river valleys and the absence of reefs except along its upper reaches, indicate that this section is probably older than the East Coast. The topography of much of Northwest Florida has lived to differentiate it from the red clay hills of Georgia and Alabama across the border. But along the Gulf Coast, great swamps cut deep into the land and tourist resorts of this section are built on Bay fronts or on islands overlooking the golf.
The lake or central ridge section is rolling land pit into the lakes and springs law hoop Hill four mile south of Dade city with an elevation of 330 feet is one of the highest measured points in the state. The estimated 30,000 Lakes scattered throughout Florida range in depth from two to 27 feet and in size from ponds of a few acres extent to Lake Okeechobee with an area of 717 square miles the second largest body of fresh water lying wholly within the United States.
Free Running artesian wells are found chiefly along the coast and in Central Florida. But in the Lake District the water supply is obtained by pumping north of Lake Okeechobee the Kissimmee prairies covered with grass and patches of Palmetto. And interspersed with scattered hammocks represent the state's largest cattle ranges. The major part of Florida's shallow surface soil is underlaid by a deep limestone Foundation, sinks or potholes varying size from one to hundreds of acres occur where the crust is broken. T
he huge Florida springs, the lakes, and many of the surface streams also result from breaks in the limestone. Underground watercourses often cause the Earth's surface to cave in exposing streams such as the one that follows springs, the Santa Fe and Allah paw rivers and Bear Creek, which disappear only to reappear miles beyond. The disappearance of lakes is also a familiar occurrence. One explanation of this phenomenon is that logs stumps of trees, and other refuse clog openings in the limestone bottom of lakes. In time, the debris rots and the water escapes into subterranean channels, but suffer from escaping water draws other floating refuse and sediment to plug the hole again and allow the lakes to refill. Lake II ammonia northern Tallahassee has gone through this process several times within the past century. Lake Neff in Hernando County has disappeared and returned three times since 1917. Flood Florida's 27th Major springs flow from about 14,000 to 800 million gallons per day. Silver Springs southeast of all kala Rainbow Springs near Dunellen and ichetucknee. Springs south of Lake City, in order named or the largest or coolest spring has the largest volume from a singer single fissure in the earth. Some rivers, the Suwannee, the withlacoochee and the St. John's rise in swampy ground and are later swelled by the flow from springs. Rivers west of the Swanee have their sources in the hills of Georgia and Alabama and become deeper after receiving the inflow from West Florida springs.
Among these the Apalachicola Scambia and chop toe what Tachi rivers were important trade routes before the development of highways and railroads connecting the antebellum plantations of South Georgia and Florida with the Gulf of Mexico. The largest and most important river in the state, the St. John's flows northward parallel to the east coast and empties into the Atlantic Ocean just east of Jacksonville. dredging has opened the river to navigation by ocean liners as far as Jacksonville distance of 26 miles. But since 1841, small stingers have a blind River as far south as Sanford 200 miles from the sea. projecting into subtropical water.
The Florida peninsula enjoys a mild atmospheric drift from the Atlantic to the Gulf and its climate in consequence is unusually pleasant and uniform. below freezing temperatures are rare, and snowfall is a subject for historians. Tempers in January the coldest month average about 58 degrees Fahrenheit and the warmest months, July August about 81. Fahrenheit. The average for the year is 69. In Central and South Florida, the average extreme range lies between 90 as a high and 43. While in North Florida, the mercury sometimes drops below 32 degrees for short periods in summer, the salt waters of Florida they call it lukewarm. And in winter, their temperature is about the same as that of the North Atlantic and summer. But atmosphere of warmth of both Florida waters in the winter months is of course less than that above northern waters in the summer. And at times, winter sunbathing in Florida beaches is a somewhat chilly pastime. evaporation from 1000s of lakes and the encircling waters contributes to an annual average rainfall of 58 inches. Much of this precipitation occurs from April to November, usually when it was most needed to ensure good crops and lower solar temperatures.
The peninsula has a daily average of sunshine in excess of six hours a day. The warm Gulf Stream curves around the peninsula, southern tip and flows north along the Atlantic coast. This factor, however, is not as important to Florida's climate as once was believed. Geographers explain that the general marine influence and latitudinal position the state would assure mild temperatures apart for the proximity of the Gulf Stream.
For short intervals each winter cold waves invade the state, brain frost delaying maturity of crops and sometimes damaging fruit trees. The winds bearing this cold come overland from the northwest and are not tempered by the Gulf Stream. Florida and other South South Atlantic States line the general path of tropical hurricanes arising mostly in the Caribbean Sea in the fall of the year. But many of these storms blow themselves out before reaching land, where they come ashore with their destructive forces greatly spent for the most part. They describe a clockwise arc into the Gulf or or up the Atlantic coast, although sometimes they reverse themselves.
These atmospheric disturbances caused by wind rushing towards a low pressure area. Take the form of a huge doughnut with high wind revolving around a call center or core. Because of this formation, the storm passes through three stages at any given spot in its path. First, a furious Gale in one direction and a dead calm during the passage of the core. And finally, a wind equaling velocity to the first but in the opposite direction. It is during this period of calm that inhabitants unfamiliar with the structure of the storm often leave their shelters and are caught in the last stage. Buildings weakened by strain during the first wind are frequently erected by the second blast to torrential rains usually accompany a hurricane and the water blown into unroofed buildings accounts for much property damage. loss of life in the past has been chiefly because of poor housing and unpreparedness one storm struck in the Everglades for Lake Okeechobee was diked. Forcing that body of water over a wide territory to the south where many laborers housed in flimsy shacks were drowned. Government weather stations now determine the approximate path of all disturbances and newspapers and radios give ample warning. Though the revolving wind may exceed 100 miles an hour and velocity.
The forward movement or hurricane seldom exceeds 20 miles. And this leaves plenty of time for those in danger to board up buildings and vacate the territory. So thank you very much for attending this part three of the guide to the southern most state. Today we've covered natural settings and conservation, as well as a visitor's second trip to the state as described in 1929.
Next, we will delve into geology and paleontology in our next section. So thank you very much for listening into our podcast, the sunshine Republic podcast and we look forward to seeing you on a future episode. Thank you very much