May 6, 1886 – Description of Longwood

The following is from the Savannah Morning News:

Your correspondent was mystified as to the points on the compass, took the wrong train, and was soon speeding in the opposite direction toward Sanford. It was not until we had passed Maitland that he discovered his error, and interrupting the conductor in the midst of an animated and unintelligible squabbe concerning their fare with about two score raw Italian emigrants, not one of whom could speak a syllable of English, asked that he might be put off at the next station. This provied to be LONGWOOD.

And there he handed without a “bag or baggage” on the wayside. Day was just closing in, and, after several inquiries, a friendly darkey showed him to the “hotel,” where he was kindly received and lodged by the obliging landlord, Mr. C. B. Wright, and his gentle spouse.

After supper he retired amid a seranade of frogs from an adjacent pond, partially filled up with sawdust, which rivaled the anvil chorus at the Cincinnati Musical festival. The mosquitos also put in their sharp bills and shrill notes, but were happily kept at bay by a good net, and plentious annointment of oil of pennroyal, which is too much for the oldfactories of the little miscreants.

Sleeping well, through it all, in the morning we rose at a mututinal hour and sallied forth to view Longwood, and make the acquaintence of her citizens. It is a thrifty little town about five years old and boasting a big hotel not yet occupied, and several hundred inhabitants. The principal feature of the place is the extensive manufactory of doors, sash, and blinds the mills of P. A. Demens & Co., who are also house contractors and railroad builders, being now at work upon the “Orange Belt” railway from Long Wood to Sylvan Lake.

Mr. Demens is President of the road. The principal merchants are A. M. Taylor, a large dealer in general merchandise; drugs, S. M. Brewster; groceries, J. N. Park, J. R. Poole (also postmaster) and S. W. Whitmore; millinery and fancy goods, Mrs. K. W. Beesley.

At 8 a. m., the writer, first taking an observation by the sun to make no mistake, returned to Orlando full of “mixed experiences” since the previous day.