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Florida in the 1920s: Florida in the 1920s

Brochure Promoting Lake Wales in the 1920s

Overview: Moore and Bardo Family Papers

This collection contains correspondence written by two Ohio families who came to Florida on a working vacation during the 1920s land boom. They arrived in 1925, traveling the state, and spending extensive time in Brooksville, Lake Wales, and Bartow. Obediah and Sylvia Bardo, from Alliance, Ohio, and Obediah’s sister Mary, with her husband Ralph Mooreand fifteen-year-old daughter Gertrude, from Kent, Ohio, sent lively accounts of their experiences in Florida back to family at home.   Most of the letters are from Mary Moore to her married daughters, with additional letters by Ralph Moore and Obediah Bardo.  The Moores described in detail their accommodations in Florida, trips around the state, and daily life. Several of Obediah Bardo's letters expressed great skepticism about the land boom, which he regarded as a short-lived investment bubble.  Full transcriptions of the letters, made by Barbara Lee Myers, the granddaughter of Ralph and Mary Moore, are being digitized for the Web.

Obediah Bardo Writes with Sarcasm about The Florida Boom

"This is the kind of land ninety percent of our fool northern people are buying ... A name printed on a folder or map, looks very important, but is sometimes misleading ... In truth there is absolutely nothing here, and nothing to be done. All that has been done, was a few scrub oaks cut down in a straight line and a street sign erected with a very classy name on it."

Collection Information

Donation of collection and transcriptions by Barbara Myers

Website content by James Cusick, Anne Carey (UF 2013), and Barbara Myers

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