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An Introduction to Avalon Groves

"When we think of oranges, we think of sunshine, soft winds, flowers and palms. We think of romance and unreal things because the turning of sunshine into golden fruit is one of Nature's absorbing miracles." This is the opening line of a flowery brochure produced by the Orlando Orange Groves Company, in the mid 1920's, and given to every potential investor and tourist who would take a tour of the land outside of Winter Garden, Florida. The business proposal acquired by the staff of the McKay Archives in August 2016, is more quick to come to the point of the sales pitch. It begins "Orange County ... produces approximately one-third of all the oranges grown in the State of Florida. The rolling ridge land, composed of the famous Norfolk Fine Sand, is especially adapted to the culture of the orange."

The manuscript dates between 1925 and 1928, and  details an investment proposal for 4500 acres of land  outside Orlando, on the banks of Lake Avalon. The Orlando Orange Groves Company named the property Lake Avalon Groves, and the plots of land for a house and citrus grove, were marketed throughout Florida and the country.

In January 2017 work-study students Kelsi Shanks, Kaitlynn Hoffman, Peter Edgar, Caitlin Harper, and volunteer Lacey Nayden began researching the history of the groves, the lives of the original stockholders and directors, and Orlando at the time, with the purpose of shedding light on and providing a holistic look at this business proposal dated almost a century ago. As time permits data is added to the pages.

A map of Avalon groves reading, "4000 Acres. Property Orland Orange Groves Co."