Explore the history of Orlando through photographs, histories, brochures, newspaper clippings, maps, postcards, and more. Peruse all the documents and images under attachments at the bottom of this post.
Featuring images of Orlando from before the advent of the automobile when horse and buggies traversed the earthen streets all the way to the 1960s and a concise history published in the 1929 Orlando Senior High School Yearbook.
Peruse Wanton S. Webb’s Florida 1885 Historical, Industrial and Biographical information on Orange County.
View the “Mayors’ Gallery, City of Orlando” which provides a photograph and brief synopsis of the administrations of each of the mayors of Orlando from 1875 to 1975.
Learn about the early Jewish settlers in Orange County from 1875 to 1925 in this chronology created by Joseph Wittenstein.
A Florida “cracker” wrestling an alligator on Orange Avenue near Sinclair’s Real Estate office.
View historic Orlando and Orange County Maps like these:
1880 Patrick Addition
Pre 1915 Orlando Street Map from “Orlando – The Charm of the South”
Read excerpts from the 1895 South Florida Sentinel with index.
View the pre 1915 publication Orlando – The Charm of the South. This brochure includes information on churches, clubs, government agencies and buildings, societies, sports and recreation, farming, real estate developments, schools and more. It also includes a number of photographs from lakes and businesses.
View the Orlando Hotel Guide circa 1925. This tourist brochure includes information about population, industries, schools, libraries, hospitals, transportation, newspapers, meeting places, fishing on Lake Apopka, shopping, utilities and more.
Advertisements feature local hotels with photographs of the buildings, including: Hotel Wyoming, Orange Court Hotel, San Juan Hotel, Angebilt Hotel, Hotel Lucerne, Jefferson Court Hotel, Empire Hotel, Fort Gatlin Hotel, The Amherst Apartments, The Flamingo – Orlando’s Exclusive Dinner Club, Hotel Roberts, Rollins Press.
Orlando Brief. Around 1939, the Orlando Chamber of Commerce created a document with photos and information about Orlando and the surrounding area for presentation to the committee appointed by the United States War Department to investigate sites submitted for the establishment of a branch Air Base of the United States Army. The document includes typed information, original photographs, statistics and a map of the area.
Turn back the hands of time while you peruse Orlando area elementary and high school yearbooks.
1924 Orlando Senior High School Yearbook – The Echo
1926 Orlando Senior High School Yearbook – Las Memorias
1927 Orlando Senior High School Yearbook – Las Memorias
1928 Orlando Senior High School Yearbook – Las Memorias
1929 Orlando Senior High School Yearbook – Las Memorias
1930 Orlando Senior High School Yearbook – Las Memorias
1940 Orlando Senior High School Yearbook – Tigando
1942 Orlando Senior High School Yearbook – Tigando
Take a walk down Memory Lane while you remember old Orlando and Orange County buildings circa 1960 though the lens of Tim Orwick.
In the early 1970s Hatabel Hyer (a member of one of Orlando’s oldest families) was interested in recording the history of our community. Taking a portable audio recorder into the homes of older residents to record their stories, she created the Pioneer Party Line. The interest spread among the members of the Friends of the Orlando Public Library, who took on the project and it became the Oral History Program. Between 1975 and 1978, 84 interviews with Orlandoans, including T.G. Lee dairy owner and Harry P. Leu of Leu Gardens. Listen to recordings of these and other Orlando Pioneers as they reflect on life in Orlando when they were young.
Peruse the history of Azealea Park told through deeds, documents, maps, and images.
Explore the history of the Orange County Library System.
Peruse images and documents under Attachments below.
Streets listed: Central Avenue, Pine Street, Jackson Street, Garland Street, Patrick Street, South Street, Hughey Street,
1884 Orlando Business District Map
Streets: Orange Avenue, Main Street (Now Magnolia), Court Street, Central Avenue, Pine Street, Church Street, Boone Street.
Business and other locations identified on the map: Summerlin House, 1st National Bank, Post Office, English Club, Cemetery, H. H. Berry Wagon Works, Scott Allen & Company Feeds Store, Rooming house, Smith Jewelry Store, Duckworth Shoes, Peek and Wilms Drugs, W. G. White General Merchant, Skillman Well Driving, W. P. Kyle Tin Shop, Danns Grocery, Price Harness Shop, Green Front Grocery, Mathews Barber Shop, Jewelry Store W. C. Sherman, Cohn Brothers Clothes< Randolph Cafe, Dr. J. N. Butt, N. P. Nimo Dry Goods, Campbell Pump & Wells, South Florida Railway Depot, Christophers Boarding House, Fruit Stand Thanashaw, Merneagh Grocery, Mathes Shoe Shop, Peter Mack's Winery, South Florida Foundry Works, South Flroida Railway, N. C. Motley Grocery, J. A. McDowell Grocery, Rollins Fish Market, J. S. Mairson Dry Goods, Cuban Cigar Manufacturing, C. A. Cartino Fruits, F. A. Lewter Dry Goods Grocery, Ives & Ferguson Grocery and Express, Kuhl "KKK" Candy, Delaney & Heard Grocery, Birmbaum Dry Goods, Alligator John Curior Shop, Billie Williams Saloon, E. P. Hyer Saloon, Deadrick Tin Store, White Knox Grady Insurance and Real Estate, Waterhouse and Russell Feeds, South Florida Railway, Peter Mack's Winery, B. B. Cambells Restaurant , Charles Rock Bakery, A. D. Bernway Barber Shop, Carpenters Shoe Repair, Sinclair and Mills Real Estate, Band Stand, J. H. Mooney Pianos and Organs, Magnolia Hotel, Dr. Hicks Residence, Presbyterian Church, W. M. Oglivie Hardware, Jail, Well, Court House, Dr. Chapman Drugs, C. F. McQuage Real Estate, Mrs. Holloway residence, J. H. Livingston Real Estate, Barber Shop (Colored), Price Bee Hive, P. A. Foster Livery Stable, Cohens Brothers General Store, Armory (Shine Guards), Lord and Taylor Grocery, J. V. Duke Grovery, Ed Gunby Lawyer, Orlando Record, C. A. Wimer, Post Office, Ed Speer, Dr. Rowland, Geers Photography, Opera House, Spot Cash, Davis Market, Charleston House, City Well for Fire, A. M. Hyer Saloon, Milo Cooper Barber, O'Connell Paints and Signs, Schultz Brothers Dry Goods, Rice Brothers Furniture, J. N. McElroy Drugs, C. A. Boone Hardware, Ed Ives Bakery, Ives and Rowland, Big Tom Shine Auction, E. A. Richards Undertaker and Gunsmith, C. G. Butt Lawyer
The Orange County section from Webb's 1885 Historical, Industrial and Biographical Florida, contains information on almost every town located in Orange County in 1885. Remember that Orange County at that time, was comprised of land that is now part of present day counties Osceola, Seminole, Lake and a small section of Brevard.
The listings include the major business owners and members of the community, information on transportation, farming, etc. The towns listed include (notice the original spellings): Acron, Altamount, Altoona, Apopka, Bryanville, Campbell, Cassia, Conway, Eustis, Forest City, Fort Mason, Fort Reed, Geneva, Glendale, Gotha, Hawkinsville, Highley, Kismet, Kissimmee, Lake Jessup, Lake Maitland, Lakeville, Mackinnon, Merrimack, Moody, Mount Dora, Oakland, Ocoee, Orlando, Oviedo, Paola, Penryn, Pine Castle, Pittman, Ponceannah, Sanford, Seneca, Shingle, Snowville, Sorrento, Spring Grove, Sylvan Lake, Tangerine, Tavares, Troy, Umatilla, Victoria, Willcox, Winter Park, Zellwood.
The section on Orlando is brief:
Orlando is located on the South Florida Railroad, running between Sanford and Tampa, 22 miles from the former and 93 miles from the latter. It was settled by Hon. J. G. Speer, State Senator, and by him named as above, the section having previously borne the general name of Fort Gatlin.
In 1856 Orlando became the county-seat. The first court-house was built by Judge Speer, who donated four acres to the town. In the spring of 1884 the population was estimated at 1638, and rapidly increasing. the Orange County Reporter, a wide-awake, newsy journal of the day. the chief industry is the cultivation of tropical fruits particularly oranges; Messrs. W. H. Holden, J. P. Hughet, A. I Bidwell, and L. Stebbins being largely engaged in the line, and are owners of notable groves. There are also in the town two wagon-factories, two for sash, door, blind, etc., manufacture, and a ten-ton ice-factory; and in the near future several immense sugar-farms, now in embryo, are expected to materially augment the general wealth of the place. Messrs. Sinclair and Mills are interested in real estate. Mr. E. W. Spier is postmaster.
No description has been added yet
Includes information on the population, location, area, schools, churches, libraries, hospitals, climate, transportation, banks, post office, newspapers, utilities, telephone and telegraph, radio broadcasting facilities (WDBO), meeting places like Sunshine Park, and fishing.
In this undated work, Joseph Wittenstein presents a chronology of the early Jewish settlers in the Orange County area from 1875 to about 1925. The print copy is located in the Florida Collection at FLORIDA 975.924 WIT.
He begins his work with the following:
"GREETINGS! My name is Joseph Wittenstein. I was born on the Shader farm, now the site of the Shader Industrial Park in Fairvilla. My parents were the late Morris Wittenstein and Esther Shader who came to Orlando from Pittsburg immediately after their marriage in 1913. I was the first of their four children, the other three being Florence Tobias, Tybe Kahn and Neil."
Mr. Wittenstein includes a number of "firsts" for the Jewish members of the Orlando community.
First Jewish doctor - Ophthalmologist Eugene Hoffman
First Jewish nurse - Belle Hoffman (Mrs. Eugene Hoffman)
First Jewish artist - Fred Speigel
First Jewish architect - Arthur Beck
First Jewish piano teacher - Ruth Beck (Mrs. Arthur Beck)
First Jewish lawyer - H. N. Roth
First Jewish CPA - J. B. Asher
First Jewish woman radio commentator - Pauline Beman (Mrs. Nat Beman)
First Jewish scoutmaster - H. N. Roth
First Jewish meat packer - Henry Levy
First Jewish dental assistant - Kitty Fields
First Jewish pharmacist - Sam Kleinman
First Jewish restaurant - Joe Faulk
First Jewish dress manufacturer - Sam Fischer
First Jewish waiter - Irving Kaplan
First Jewish milk processor - Morris Wittenstein
First Jewish milk producer - Israel Shader
First Jewish citrus packer and shipper - Dr. P. Phillips
First kosher butcher shop - Jonas Cohen
First Mohel and Shochet - Peter D. Wittenstein
First pawn broker - Harry Stalberg
First Jewish dentist - Roy Brown
Names or places mentioned: Joseph Wittenstein, Shader farm, Shader Industrial Park, Fairvilla, Morris Wittenstein, Esther Shader, Florence Tobias, Tybe Kahn, Neil Wittenstein, Peter Wittenstein, Jake Cohen, Charles Cohen, Mike Cohen, J. R.Cohen, J. J. Cone, Philip Geist, Joshua Jacobs, Benjamine Moses, F.H. Moses, J. J. Stein, David Berlin, A. H. Birnbaum, Walter Birnbaum, Morton Birnbaum, Rubin Goldin, Z. Mandhoff, L. K. Weinberg, S. Gumpert, Albert Bucksbaum, Jacob Abrams, Peter Habstein, Goldstein, T. Cohen, Rubin Goldin, Max Myerson, H. Leventhal, M. Schreiber, Jacob Marx, Nathan Gazan, Solomon Gittlesohn, Wolf Gittlesohn, Julius Mairson, Maurice Prag, Anne Kanner Samuels, Stella Moses Orrit, Gertrude Dingfelder, Saul Levy, Myer Shader, Aaron Kanner, Pauline Berman, Hatabel Hyer, Frank Seligman, Celia Seligman, Pauline Abrahams, Abe O. Abrahams, Harry Abrahams, Israel Abrahams, Ruth Abrahams, Anne Abrahams, Joe Meisterman, Bertha Hameister, Henry Benedict, Pepper, J. Feinberg, Eugene Duckworth, Dr. P. Phillips, Moses Kotz, Kotz and Makimson Hardware Company, Morris Kotz, Helen May Kotz, Thoba Kotz, Solomon, Aaron Kanner, Rosebud Friedman, Samuel Kanner, Nat Berman, Pauline Berman, Sylvia Berman, Al Prince, Zelda Berman, Jack Gross, Orlando Civic League, United Missionary Society, Young Women's Community Club, Lions Club, Benedict, Rose Levy, Rose Edith Jacobson, Peter David Wittenstein, Bella Wittenstein, Moses Levy, Lake Fairview, Lake Silver, Palomar, Robert E. Lee Junior High School, College Park, Maury Road, Harry Levine, Firestone Tire Store, Florida Leather Company, Louis Abramowitz, Morris Tetenbaum, Rose Shader, Israel Shader, Safer Torah, Meitin, Jacob Shader, Fannie Meitin, George Miller, Sarah Miller, Morris Wittenstein, Esther Wittenstein, Isadore Shader, Gittle Shader, Myer Shader, Beatrice Shader, Ben Shader, Bessie Shader, Rabbi William Wittenstein, Sheldon Wittenstein, Peter David Wittenstein, Daisy Muir, John L. Lewis, Henry Morganthau, Joseph Benedict, Florida Real Estate and Investment, Jacob Feinberg, Naomi Feinberg, Irving Kaplan, Harry Levine, Esther Levine, Max Isen, Harry Stalberg, Hannah Stalberg, Ansel Harris, Yetta Harris, Sabbath services, Levy Grove, Dr. Morton Levy, Moses Levy, Aaron Harry Levy, Lucille Fair, Greenberg, Paul Roseman, Richamn, Hirsch, Perry Weinberg, Hannah Stalberg, Harry Stalberg, Minnie Burman, San Juan Hotel, Ivan Burman, Tybell Burman, Dr. A. H. Spivack, W. H. Mouser, Cain-O-Berry Boiler Company, Pounds Crate Company, C. A. Marsh, Harry P. Leu Company, Fleisher family, Abraham Moses, Stella Moses, Morris Moses, Sam Benjamin, Clara Benjamin, Frank Benjamin, Isaac Schwartz, Fannie Schwartz, Dr. Roy Brown, Harry Bandel, Bertha Bandel, Saul Robbins, Faye Robbins, Milton Robbins, Al Raefield, Jewish Congregation, Julius Dingfelder, Gertrude Dingfelder, Margaret Dingfelder, Arthur Corey, Simon Dingfelder, Hyman Lieberman, Esther Lieberman, Ben Solomon, Bea Lippton, Irving Lippton, Orwin Lieberman, Louis Lieberman, Bertha Lieberman, William Lieberman, Sam Fleisher, Saul Levy, Isadore Shader, Morris Levine, Myer Shader, Pauline Berman, Liberty Bond Rallies, World War I, Synagoge, Seventh Day Adventists, Congregation Ohev Shalom, A. Stetner, Perry Weinberg, Samuel Klein, Phil Rosenberg, Sol Samuels, Astor Hotel, CNA Building, Rialto Theatre, I. N. Burman, Red Cross, Pauline Berman, Sorosis Club, Leader Department Store, Harry Stalberg, Waldorf Shop, Bergers Tavern, Dorothy Wilson, Emil Metzinger, Fort Gatlin Hotel, Herman's Loan Office and Jewelry Store, Lefkowitz, Hyman Roth, Mack's Dress Shop, Ben Labelman, LaBelle Furs, Sol Wittenstein, Dora Wittenstein, Orange County Parental Home, Morris Wittenstein, College Park Dairy, MMS Fruit Company, Zellwood Fruit Distributors, Ralph Meitin, Julian Meitin, Faulk's Orange Delicatessen, Sam Weinstein, Barbanels, kosher butcher shop, Morris Wilson, Sidney Blattner, Mickey Safer, Mary Safer, Jesse Rosen, Mollie Rosen, Orlando Fish and Poultry Company, Girl Scouts, Beth El Congregation, Congregation of Liberal Judaism, A. H. Moses, Charles Kanner, Ohev Shalom, J. B. Asher, William Berkowitz, Arstein Brothers, Morris Baker, I. J. Becker, Blam Family, Sidney Blattner family, Bonime family, Goldsmith family, Sam Fischer, Fischer Frocks, Fischer Seafoods, Louis Ehrlich, Gertrude Ehrlich, Leo Goldberg, Abraham Fox, David Hillman, Josephine Hillman, Abe Haimowitz, Bluma Haimowitz, Sam Haimowitz, Freida Haimowitz, Ben Greenberg, Louis Jacobson, Theresa Jacobson, John Jacobson, Sunshine Department Store, George Friedland, Bessie Friedland, Lavick Frankel, Rebecca Frankel, Harry Kottleman, Kamenoff, Sam Levenson, Philip Kessler, Meer family, Philip Metlin family, Ed Newald, Dodge Autos, Moss Leonard, Joe Ottenbert, Minnie Ottenberg, John Petosky, Philip Salonic, A. H. Soowal, A. F. Stone, F.W. Grand 5 and 10 cent Store, Rev. B. Safer, Morris Sigal, M. M. Segal, Sunshine Department Store, Albert Silverstein, George Silverstein, Fred Speigel, Fred Schiff, Blanche Schiff, Rosenbloom family, Southern Furniture Company, joseph Shapiro, Abe Shapiro, Shulsinger family, Nathan Stein, Reuben Tannerbaum, Freida Tannenbaum, Morris Wilson, Louis Wolly, Belle Hoffman, Eugene Hoffman, Arthur Beck.
1926 street map of Orlando - just one of the many Orlando Maps in the historical map collection at the Orlando Public Library.
Directory of streets and advertisers that included the fold out 1926 Orlando Map. Just one of many Orlando Maps in the historical map collection at the Orlando Public Library. View the fold out map.
This 1926 map created by Florida Associated Engineers Inc, and printed by Florida Press in Orlando,highlights the developments of the Cooper Atha Barr Real Estate and Mortg age Company.
Developments highlighted include College Park, Hillcrest, Ivanhoe Park, Oakhurts, Magnolia Properties, Morningside, Lake Sherwood Groves, West Central Park, Westover Farms, Cherokee Park, Lucerne Park, Copeland Park, Muriel Terraces, Southern Pines, Waterwitch Club. The map includes a street name index.
History of Orlando - 1929 Orlando Senior High School Yearbook pdf format
1934 Street Map of Orlando - just one of the many Orlando Maps in the historical map collection at the Orlando Public Library.
Map is identified with handwritten note that it was published in 1934, however, another note on the map in the top right corner indicates that this is the map shown in Eve Bacon's bicentennial history of Orlando, Vol. 2, page 64, but with a question mark and the notation, "State Road 2 under construction 1934."
Orange County map identifying Township and Range supplied by real estate and mortgage company Cooper Atha Barr.
1937 Chamber of Commerce Map of Orlando featuring street index, Key to Map of Business District, and Road Map of Orange County, Florida.
Businesses and organizations identified: Roberts Hotel, S.A.L. Rwy Station, San Juan Hotel, Angebilt Hotel, Bus Terminal, Old Orange County Court House, Orlando Chamber of Commerce, Salvation Army, Albertson Public Library, Unitarian Church, Masonic Temple, Elks Home, First Church of Christ Scientist, Summerlin Hotel, Orange County Court House, Beacham Theatre, Jefferson Court Apartment Hotel, University Club, St. Luke's Cathedral, First Christian Church, Memorial Junior High School, Orlando Fraternal Club Building, St. James Catholic Church, Orlando College of Music, Senior High School, St. James School, Central Christian Church, Osceola Hotel, Sunshine Park, Municipal Auditorium, Orlando Vocational School, Wyoming Hotel, Avalon Hotel, First English Lutheran Church, Broadway Methodist Church, Fort Gatlin Hotel, Colonial Orange Court Apartment Hotel, Park Lake Presbyterian Church, Amherst Apartment Hotel, Marks Street School, American Legion Home, Empire Hotel, Post Office, Ritz Theatre, Cathedral School, Congregation Synagogue Olev Shalom, Orlando Christian Church, Duke Hall Hotel, First Baptist Church, Tremont Hotel, Acade Hotel, Orange Hotel, Rialto Theatre, Pearl Hotel, Bristol Hotel, Pilgrim Hotel, Orland Hotel, Fraternal Building, Astor Hotel, First Presbyterian Church, Westminster Presbyterian Church, St. James Hotel, Westminster Presbyterian Church, First Methodist Church, City Hall, Young Women's Community Club, Lucerne Hotel, Christian and Mission Alliance Church, Y.M.C.A., Cherokee Junior High School, Reformed Presbyterian Church of Conv., Rosalind Club of Orlando, Sorosis House.
Select pages from a publication called "Central Florida Day by Day" listing, in addition to the events and entertainments for the week, all the information a visitor would need.
Listings include: churches, hospitals, radio stations, colleges, fraternal orders, entertainment, and more for all of Central Florida.
Included on the last page of this selection are features on the Albertson Public Library, Obedience Training at Delaney Park, the Beal Maltbie Shell Museum, and Mead Botanical Gardens.
*Note: Catholic Church in Sanford Florida was not HOLY CROSS Since it was established in 1887 until now it has always been All Souls Catholic Church.
Pocket History of Orlando Florida. Orlando Centennial 1875-1975.
This brochure brings you a thumbnail sketch of Orlando's fascinating history, in word and through pictorial views of a nostalgic past.