Babson Park, Florida is located on State Road 17 in rural Polk County.
Although it is officially part of the Lakeland-Winter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area, is is really a small quiet central Florida sanctuary surrounded by thousands of acres of citrus.
A bit more than 1,000 people live in the village nestled on the eastern shore of Crooked Lake among the rolling hills and orange groves.
The town is named for Roger Babson, the founder of Babson College in Massachusetts.
Babson was a well known businessman and a financial expert. He received a degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1898, and got his LLD from the University of Florida in 1927.
The same year he got his law degree from the University, he and his wife, Grace Knight Babson, founded Webber International University.
Webber was originally established as a women's college, with the exclusive purpose of teaching women about business. It was the first school chartered under the educational and charitable laws of the State of Florida as a non-profit organization.
Male students were first allowed in 1971, and Webber is now a fully accredited coed university of about 400 full time students. It is one of eleven schools recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a "School With a Specialty": Business.
Webber now issues degrees in accounting, computer information systems management, hospitality and tourism management along with many other programs. More information about Webber International is available at their website.
Babson was the Prohibition Party's candidate for President of the United States in 1940, but he was beat by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Wendell Wilkie and Norman Thomas. At least he gave it a try.
Roger Babson lived a long productive life and died in nearby Lake Wales in 1967 at the age of 91.
Hillcrest Lodge was originally built in 1917 in the tiny village of Hillcrest Heights on the south edge of Babson Park. It was originally known as the Lakeside Club because it was built on the shore of Crooked Lake.
Many celebrities of the old days stayed at the lodge including Babe Ruth and William Jennings Bryan. Hillcrest Heights has a population of less than 300 as of 2012.