Part 4 of The Guide to The Southernmost State
Welcome again to another edition of the Sunshine Republic podcast. We'll continue today with our reading of the guide to the southernmost state, which was published in the late 1920s and versions in the early 1930s. That detailed tours around Florida. Today we'll begin with the second excursion.
The second excursion to Florida is somewhat different on his first trip, unconsciously or deliberately. He had selected a spot where he thought later he might want to live replay 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 of illusion of a tourist to a permanent resident consists of a struggle to harmonize misconceptions and preconceptions of Florida. Reality. An initial diversion is to male northward snapshots himself reclining under a coconut palm beach umbrella, with a hope that they will be delivered in the midst of a blizzard. At the same time, tourists checks weather reports from up 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 him stay in the Southland happy and complete. The other hand he is firmly convinced that with his departure in the spring, it folds up and the inhabitants sizzle under a pitiless sun until he gets back. For sure weather ports and Chamber of Commerce protests to the contrary. Eventually, he takes a chance on a Florida summer makes a discovery that the average summer temperature in Florida is lower than in the North. He tries to tell about it at home for his pains receives around a Bronx cheers. He's now in the agonies of transition respected by friends and shunned by strangers.
Visits to Florida thereafter shift visits back home. These latter become less frequent. Back home has left an indelible imprint. She proposes to stamp on Florida expansive mood is one of the most familiar and sometimes costly first responses to a Florida winter sun. Person noted for us 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 refutes the tradition that life in the south is a lackadaisical existence. adapted to an enervating climate.
He comes here to play and to relax. At the slightest provocation, he resumes his business or profession, if for no other reason that the demonstrate that the sound economic practices of his home state will pull Florida out of the doldrums, perceives it to be in. If he opens a shop, back home instinct is likely to resell reassert itself in choosing a name. So that's Florida abounds in Michigan groceries Maryland restaurants. Ohio drycleaners, Indiana laundries New York shoe shops, along with business and professional theories, a northerner brings to Florida a great deal of his local architectural tradition assures a structural variant to the repetitious designs of filling stations at the four corners, will crossroad villages, and chain stores along the main streets in larger towns. Florida's tourist population is drawn to the state largely by the prospects of played recreation in the magnificent climate. The distribution of its population is influenced to a great extent by personal inclination. The new car newcomer usually gravitates to the locality where his individual preferences can best be realized. And in doing so, he helps to identify these preferences with his adopted community tends to emphasize the strikingly diverse characteristics of Florida cities.
For example, where's the commercial metropolis of Jacksonville? It's converging railroads and northern bustle close by antique St. Augustine, with its historical background and buildings and its horse drawn, sightsee, conveyances saints St. Petersburg with his club like for gathering of elderly folk, fire and police lines are sometimes needed to handle the throngs Sunday morning worshippers in 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 circumstances and preferences, this desire seems to be common to all the desire to improve Florida. Man's subduing efforts seldom extend much beyond the cities or penetrate very far from our highways. Those efforts were relaxed for a generation, much of Florida would become primeval territory again combating nature and in trying to reconcile divergent ideas. Citizen performs a public service. If the climate as advertised as 10 years to his life dispensation is utilized to the advantage of the state.
Next up our next section is the natural setting and conservation.
Florida is bounded 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, or the Perdido river forms a boundary between Florida and lower Alabama, the state's tidal shoreline, including the 10,000 Islands off the west coast, and all bays, estuaries and other tidal reaches extend 30 751 statute miles, the northern boundary on the Atlantic, the western boundary on the Gulf Florida's area 58,666 square miles, which 30 805 Our water surface is more than large enough to contain the states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Jacksonville Northeast Florida in the same latitude as Cairo, Egypt and Shanghai, China, and the entire peninsula is hundreds of miles nearer than Rome to the equator. Viewed from the air, with its broken coastline, and its innumerable lakes, canals and rivers, Florida looks like a frayed and perforated green mat spread upon Lucie. inland, the map develops a ridge composed of round shouldered limestone hills taper off from the north into the Prairie region above Lake Okeechobee. Oh lake up here the Everglades you have submerged a waste of sawgrass studded with Cypress hammocks and Oasis like Palm Islands.
The profile as seen from offshore land of Florida becomes a soft pastel line separating sky water, Atlantic Coast sweeps and an even curve to the end of the peninsula where it breaks into segments there. Florida Keys extend like coral steppingstones into southern waters. Gulf Coast, deeply marked with bays and border with rank growths of hardwood makes a great arching swing Southwark finally crumbles into the 10,000 Islands labyrinth of Uncharted waterways.
Graphically the state can be divided into four sections. The east coast strip bordering the Atlantic from Fernandina to Key West, the lake or central River District, West Coast area of 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 have been built many leading tourist towns notably Armand Daytona Beach, Palm Beach and Miami Beach.
Although the business districts are often on the mainland, resort sections lie beyond the 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 end to a point between the Everglades and the Atlantic on the southern tip of the peninsula Everglades until 1842 an unexplored mysterious region known only to the Seminole fell sanctuary there from invading whites forms a vast area, much of which is underwater through the year and nearly all during the rainy summer season. Cypress Swamp that portion of the Everglades mirrors the West Coast has considerably less surface water than the eastern half of the region. Its northern section, known as the with a lacochee slough has been used as pasture for open range cattle since the War Between the States Tamiami Trail running east and west bisects the Everglades and skirts the southern part of the Big Cypress Swamp. fringing the lower gulf coast or the 10,000 Islands, a group of mangrove covered islets divided often submerged, the Swift running tidal channels, railways or highways link these keys because of their inaccessibility they've 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 little to differentiate it from the red clay hills of Georgia and Alabama across the border. along the Gulf Coast, great swamps cut deep into the land. And tourist resorts of this section are built on Bay fronts or islands overlooking the Gulf. Lake or Gulf or central ridge section. Rolling land paired with lakes and springs. Low Hill, four miles south of DC 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 in size from ponds of a few acres extent to Lake Okeechobee, an area of 717 square miles second largest body of fresh water line wholly within the United States. Free Running artesian wells are found chiefly along the coast and in Central Florida. In the Lake District the water supply is obtained mainly by pumping north of Lake Okeechobee the Kissimmee prairies covered with grass and patches of Palmetto. Interspersed with scattered hammocks. They represent the state's largest cattle ranges.
Major part of Florida's shallow surface soil is underlaid by a deep limestone foundation. sinks are potholes, varying in size from one to hundreds of acres cur where the crust is broken, huge floors, springs, lakes, and many of the surface streams also result from breaks in limestone.
Underground water courses often caused the Earth's surface to cave in opposing streams such as the one at Falmouth spring and Santa Fe, and Allah paw rivers and Bear Creek, which disappear, only to reappear. miles beyond. Disappearance of lakes is also a familiar occurrence. Explanation of this phenomenon that logs stumps of trees and other refuse clog the openings in the limestone bottoms of these lakes in time the debris rots and the water escapes into subterranean channels. Suction from the escaping water draws other flooding refuse and sediment to plug the hole again and allows the lakes to refill.
I ammonia north of Tallahassee has gone through this process several times within the past century. Lake Neff, Hernando County has disappeared and returned three times since 1917. Florida's 27 Major springs range and flow from 14,000 to 800 million gallons per day. Silver Springs southeast of Oh kala Rainbow Springs near Dunellen and Itchetucknee Springs south of Lake City. The order named are the largest.
What coolest spring has the largest volume from a single fissure in the earth. Some rivers the Suwanee, the Withlacoochee and the St. John's rise in swampy ground and are later swelled by the flow from springs. Rivers west of the Suwanee have their sources in the hills of Georgia and Alabama and become deeper after receiving the inflow from West Florida springs. On these, the Apalachicola Escambia chapter what rivers were important trade routes for the development of highways and railroads connecting the antebellum plantations in South Georgia and Florida. With the Gulf of Mexico.
The largest and most important river in the state is the St. John's and it flows northward parallel to the East Coast. Empty empties into the Atlantic Ocean east of Jacksonville. dredging has opened the river to navigation by ocean liners as far as Jacksonville distance of 26 miles. Since 1841, small steamers have been plowing the river as far south as Sanford 200 miles from the sea. projecting into some tropical water.
Florida peninsula enjoys a mild atmospheric drift from the Atlantic to the Gulf and its climate and consequence is unusually pleasant and uniform. below freezing temperatures are rare, and snowfall is a subject for historians. Temperatures in January the coldest month 58.7 degrees Fahrenheit in the woman's mouth and in the woman's months July August about 81 degrees Fahrenheit. The average for the year is 69.4 degrees. In Central and South Florida. The average extreme range lies between 90 and 43 degrees while in North Florida the mercury sometimes drops below 32 degrees for short periods. is a Florida become lukewarm. In winter, your temperature is about the same as that of the North Atlantic and southern hemisphere warmth above Florida waters in the winter months is of course less than that above northern waters in the summer. And at times winter, sunbathing on Florida beaches is a somewhat chilly pastime. evaporation from the 1000s of lakes and encircling waters. contributes to an annual average rainfall of 58 inches. So much of this precipitation occurs from April to November, usually when it's most needed to ensure good crops and lower summer temperatures.
The peninsula has a daily hours of sunshine in excess of six hours of the warm Gulf Stream curves around the peninsula southern tip flows north along the Atlantic coast. The factor, however, is not as important to Florida's climate as was once believed. Geographers explain that the general marine influence and the latitudinal position of the state would assure mild temperatures apart from the proximity of the Gulf Stream for short intervals each winter cold waves invade the state and frost delaying maturity of crops, 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 Atlantic States lie in the general path of tropical hurricanes rising mostly in the Caribbean Sea in the fall of the year. But many of these storms blow themselves out before reaching land. They come ashore with their destructive forces greatly spent the most part they describe a clockwise arc into the Gulf or up the Atlantic coast. Well, sometimes they do reverse themselves. Atmospheric disturbance caused by wind rushing towards a low pressure area takes the form of a huge doughnut with high wind revolving around a calm center or core. Because of this formation, the storm passes through three stages at any given spot in its path. First, furious Gale in one direction, then a dead calm during the passage of the core and finally, a wind equivalent velocity to the first but in the opposite direction. Is during the period of calm that inhabitants unfamiliar with the structure of the storm.
Often leader shelters are caught in the last stage. Buildings weakened by strain during the first wind frequently wrecked by the second blast. Torrential rains usually accompany a hurricane. Water blown into unroofed buildings accounts for much property damage loss of life in the past has been chiefly because of poor housing preparedness. The storm struck in the Everglades before Lake Okeechobee was diked forcing that body of water over a wide territory to the south. Many laborers housed in flimsy shocks or drought.
Weather Stations now determine the approximate path of all disturbances. Newspapers and radios give ample warning though the revolving wind may exceed 100 miles an hour velocity forward movement or hurricane seldom exceeds 20 miles an hour. And this leaves plenty of time for those in danger to board up buildings vacate the territory.
And with that we have concluded this section of the guide to the southernmost state. Our next episode, we will delve into geology and paleontology. Thank you for joining us today.