The Hotel Between the Lakes

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Lakeview Hotel | Putnam County, Florida | c. 1880s

In the 1870s, railroad tracks were laid here and a town between two lakes began to grow. One of the earliest settlers, George W. Hastings, had built a thriving rose nursery business between Lake Lagonda and Lake Chipco in the 1880s. The town became both a citrus growing center and a winter resort. By 1884, he had also built this hotel to accommodate the influx of visitors from the North. It was the first (and smallest) of 3 hotels that would be built in town and could accommodate 50 guests. In 1888, the community of Interlachen was incorporated.

However local agriculture and the economy were heavily impacted by the freezes that would come just 10 years later in 1894 & 1895. New settlers from the North stopped coming and the trains through town became fewer and fewer. 

However, Hastings continued to successfully operate his nursery and feed store just in front of this hotel. But all of that changed in 1910. Virtually all the buildings in town were wood and illuminated with kerosene lamps. So when a fire broke out in Interlachen, it spread quickly, consuming most of the town, including Hastings Feed Store in front of this hotel. He subsequently relocated his business to Atlanta.

The Lakeview Hotel was spared from the fire but the town’s other two hotels weren’t as fortunate. Below are photos of the two hotels that were lost in 1910.

Hotel Interlachen

The Hotel Interlachen had 76 rooms and stood on Boyleston Street between Prospect Street and Tropic, (next to where the Lions Club is today). The block in front of the hotel was named Hotel Park and went all the way to Lake Chipco.

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Hotel Lagonda

Burned in the Great Fire of 1910

Miss Mollie Colburn and her mule, Gae.

Mollie was the hotel manager of the Lakeview Hotel and also served as Interlachen’s first librarian.

This remaining example of hotel architecture from the time period is still in incredible condition for its age and is obviously maintained although it sits empty today. The detailed work on the trim, the simple yet grand lines of the roof, and the stunning red shade of paint make this place unique. It would be great to see it brought back to life.

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