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College Park Neighborhood Association Historical Committee’s Ivanhoe Historic House Tour, 1992

The Ivanhoe area of College Park was recently the subject of  a Historic Resources Survey conducted for the City of Orlando, supplementing a 1984 study. The 1992 survey area extends from the north side of Lakeview through the south side of Princeton, and from I-4 to Edgewater Drive.

Perhaps the first settler in the Ivanhoe area was D.K. Hall, previously a soldier at Fort Gatlin. He apparently acquired his property in 1849. About 1854, James Gamble Speer bought acreage that he planted in cotton. Gradually other settlers came. The Civil War wiped out the cotton industry, but after the war settlers could take advantage of federal land grants through the 1862 Homestead but after the war settlers could take advantage of federal land grants through the 1862 Homestead Act. By the 1880’s the railroad and publicity about citrus growing attracted a wave of settlers, among them N. F. Abbott who in 1880 bought 40 acres on the lake and christened it Ivanhoe, perhaps after Sir Walter Scott’s classic novel of that name. George I. Russell, who came to Orlando in 1885, was also a large landholder on Lake Ivanhoe, on the south and west shores. 

The area remained in farms, groves and woods, with scattered houses, until the Florida boom of the 1920s. The first major subdivision appears to have been the Ivanhoe Park replat, a 30-acre tract on the west shore of the lake purchased in 1919 by David A. Cooper and S. Howard Atha from Russell, who since 1910 had operated a park there featuring water sports, a dance hall, refreshment booths, and games; it was variously called Ivanhoe Park, Russell’s Point and Joyland. As the 1920’s progressed, the boom became more and more frantic, with developers rushing to file subdivisions and resubdivisions, and lots changing hands daily. Before all these lots could be built upon, however, the boom’s demise was followed by the Great Depression. Many lots remained vacant until the late 1930’s or after World War II or later.

Today’s tour includes a College Park landmark, the Publix Market at 2015 Edgewater Drive, designed in 1950 as a new location for a Publix – one of the first – that had operated at 2203 Edgewater at least since 1948. The exuberant exaggerated neon sign that dominates the facade and is mimicked on the free standing sign is much admired. Tour homes are located in three subdivisions: Adair Park, Ivanhoe Park and the original College Park.

Adair Park was subdivided in 1925 by the Southern Development Company. Its president was Central Florida’s famous and successful developer, Hanford Carl Dann, who advertised himself as “the man who started life as an infant, born without a dollar in his pocket.”

Introductory excerpt from:

College Park Neighborhood Association Historical Committee’s Ivanhoe Historic House Tour, December 6, 1992. View document: Historic Homes #2 – 1992.

Ivanhoe House Tour Addresses

1. 2015 Edgewater Drive

2. 1327 Eastin Avenue

3. 1318 Eastin Avenue

4. 539 Greely Street

5. 621 Sheridan Boulevard

6. 525 Sheridan Boulevard

7. 416 Sheridan Boulevard

8. 1245 Poinsettia Avenue

9. 1338 Ivanhoe Boulevard

10. 520 West Yale Street

Notable names include: Kendall C. and Henrietta Beavers, Catherine Capehart, Robert M. and Gertrude Dyer, R. V. Fox, J. Thomas Gurney, Carl W. and Corrine Higginbotham, Abner Hopkins, Addison Mizner, E. M. Carey, Dibble family. James W. Fitzgerald, William Franzus, Sloan and Michael Gendreau, Colleen Gentry, Guliemo and Lucy James, Thomas F. Kenney, Kowalski family, Maurice Kressly, Lois Lee, Donald G. McKay, Holman R. and Mabel Cloud, E. J. Miller, Gene and Mildred Moller, Arthur and Agnes Newell, Orr family, Paul Pirkle, Eloise Porter,  David A. Rambo, Edwin Rambo, Debbie Sheaf, Sloan family, Edwin L. Ross & Sond,  Louise Rybolt, Herman R. Schroeder,  Sam Stoltz, Glenn Wilson, Joseph E. Woodnick, 

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