Lake Wales and Small Town Hotels
by Mike Miller
(Mount Dora, Florda)
Lake Wales Florida Hotel Grand
Bok Tower Gardens is near Lake Wales, a great little place to visit after your communion with the serenity of Bok Tower.
The 1920's were boom times in much of Florida. Sleepy little towns were crawling with "binder boys" selling lots on contract.
Demand for real estate was so great that contracts were sold many times before the lots were even developed.
It was one of the first booms in Florida, but not the last. Like all booms, it was followed by a bust.
Eventually the last person to buy a contract realized there was nobody left to sell it to.
Banks and developers went broke, heartbroken investors moved back north and left their shattered dreams behind. The final straw came toward the end of the decade. A massive hurricane inflicted widespread damage and death across South Florida. The boom was over.
Florida sank into decades of doldrums that did not begin to dissipate until after World War Two.
Many small Florida towns had tall hotels, relics of the glory days of the real estate boom. Prospective lot purchasers and binder boys stayed in these hotels, and many of these old buildings remain to this day.
The picture above is of the Grand Hotel in Lake Wales. It still stands in 2015 as a reminder of those booming times.