Interlaken – between the lakes – was the name chosen by Lester and William Nydegger for their 1941 subdivision and 1946 and 1948 additions. Their choice referred to their ancestral Swiss city of Interlaken and to the beautiful Florida lakes – Fairview, Sarah and Daniel – surrounding their land. The southernmost part of the Interlaken land was once the easterly part of J.H. Livingston’s 1885 subdivision, which was located in an area first called Fairview, then Livingston, then Fairvilla. In 1924, the Nydeggers bought this and adjacent land to the north from William E. Martin, Orange County Tax Collector from 1904-34, and his wife, Mattie. Interlaken’s northernmost portion had belonged to real estate investors William M. Davis and Edward H. McNeill. At the Davis-McNeill farm was the location of the famous spouting well, first spotted in 1912, on the south shore of Lake Fairview, near the house (#71) Lester and Amy Nydegger built in 1959. Farm manager R. D. Eunice, whose family owned land to the west, charged a small fee to those seeking a close up view or a picnic spot near the well. It was said to be an ordinary drilled drainage well, spouting as high as 250 feet every 20 minutes.
Although the Nydeggers bought other property and incorporated in 1925 as the Nydegger Investment Company, they failed to subdivide their Interlaken before the “bust” and the Great Depression and left it as farmland. Joe Wittenstein, whose family had a dairy farm nearby, recalls that his grandparents leased part of the Nydegger land, first from manager Eunice and then from the Nydeggers themselves to grow sweet potatoes.
The Nydeggers included design controls in their deeds, also requiring that a house cost at least $5,000 to build, and that no livestock, except chickens, could be kept. The deed restrictions, later modified, were to be in force for 30 years, but were renewed by the homeowners’ association, a vigilant and active voluntary group. For many years, the association maintained Interlaken Park before deeding it to the County. They also achieved a zoning change to prevent small-lot subdivision and condominium development. As volunteers, they work to protect their lakes from pollution.
Although developed in sections, Interlaken possesses a unique character. Residents treasure their way of life – the privacy, beauty and recreational opportunities afforded by large lakeshore lots and the community spirit afforded by continuity. There are still several original owners, many second-generation owners and at least one third generation owner. As for caring for their plants and lawns, residents say the enjoyment outweighs the effort.
Many of the houses on Interlaken Road take their stylistic influence from the Ranch style…
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All tour houses are on Interlaken Road.
Document courtesy of the College Park Neighborhood Association Historical Committee.