Sunday, July 17, 2016

SOMEONE PAINTED THE TOWN!

Exploring Ol' Florida is something every Florida resident should and would enjoy.  Since we began our adventure we now look forward to strange and unusual discoveries each day.  We were fortunate  to visit Lake Placid, Florida, voted Reader's Digest's America's Most Interesting Town!
America's Most Interesting Town - Lake Placid, FL
One of Florida's prettiest (old - 1926-ish) small towns with more than 140 pieces of public art displayed on buildings and containers all over town (including 46 large murals) is Lake Placid, Florida, located on the east side of U.S. Highway 27 in Highlands County.
Lake Placid, FL
 Lake Placid, located in the center of Florida,  is a beautiful town of 27 scenic freshwater lakes,  and is known as the Caladium Capital of the World!  Ninety-eight (98%) of the world's caladiums are grown in Lake Placid.  Think tulips in Holland when you see the large colorful fields where they are grown in this community.
Caladium Capital Of The World - Lake Placid, FL
Caladium Capital Of The World - Lake Placid, FL
Caladiums in downtown Lake Placid, FL
The Lost Cub - Lake Placid, FL
The Lake Placid Historical Society Museum explains some of the murals are as high as 175' x 30' and other murals fill several stories.  Driving around town we discovered most of the murals and art depicting stories of cattle drives, Lake Placid pioneers, Native Americans who resided here 10,000 years ago, sandhill cranes, the citrus industry and larger than life local residents like Jennie Reninger who was so good with a bullwhip she could snap a cigarette out of your mouth from 10' away.  You don't have to visit Lake Placid very long before you know you are in Florida's cowboy country.
Lake Placid Building Mural
Lake Placid Building Mural 
Lake Placid Historical Mural
Native American History Mural
Lake Placid Mural
Lake Placid Mural
Historical Mural - Lake Placid, FL

Mural - Lake Placid, FL
Airboat Mural - Lake Placid, FL
Also, Lake Placid claims to have more clowns per capita than any other location in Florida?  Maybe that is because Toby's Clown School is located here.

Upon our arrival in Lake Placid it was hard not to notice a towering 270' tall Placid Tower, aka Happiness Tower, aka The Tower Of Peace, built in 1960 as a popular tourist spot similar to the Citrus Tower in Clermont, Florida.  Visitors climbed the tower to see up to 40 miles away and were encouraged to phone home on "Florida's highest pay phone".  The tower is closed now but is still seen miles before you enter Lake Placid.
Placid Tower, Lake Placid, FL
An interesting fact about Lake Placid is that the old name of Lake Stearns was changed in 1926 upon the arrival of Melvil Dewey (12/10/1851 - 12/26/1931.  Dr. Dewey, inventor of the Dewey Decimal Classification System which is used in libraries, is given the distinction as being the founder of Lake Placid.  Dr. Dewey's life is one that was most interesting and had it not been for going to Lake Placid we would not have learned about his outstanding contributions in many areas of his life.
Murals on Trash Disposals - Lake Placidl, FL
Lake Placid Water Tower - Lake Placid, FL
Mural - Lake Placid, FL
Mural - Lake Placid, FL
The Rose - Lake Placid, FL
About Lake Placid - if you enjoy art, history and small towns, you definitely have hit a trifecta!  The citizens and visitors of this small quaint town will always appreciate that so many cared enough to skillfully paint the history of this town for others to enjoy for many years to come.
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