Oviedo Historical TrailOviedo Historical Trail


1....Print this file.

2....At its end, click on "rules" to see a copy of the trail rules, print it, and then click where indicated at the end of the 3-page rules and patch order form to get back to the list of Florida trails.

3....If you want a hand-drawn map showing the locations of the all of the sites, send a self-addresed stamped envelope to Steve Rajtar, 1614 Bimini Dr., Orlando, FL 32806.

4....Hike the trail and order whatever patches you like (optional).

WARNING - This trail may pass through one or more neighborhoods which, although full of history, may now be unsafe for individuals on foot, or which may make you feel unsafe there. Hikers have been approached by individuals who have asked for handouts or who have inquired (not always in a friendly manner) why the hikers are in their neighborhood. Drugs and other inappropriate items have been found by hikers in some neighborhoods. It is suggested that you drive the hike routes first to see if you will feel comfortable walking them and, if you don't think it's a good place for you walk, you might want to consider (1) traveling with a large group, (2) doing the route on bicycles, or (3) choosing another hike route. The degree of comfort will vary with the individual and with the time and season of the hike, so you need to make the determination using your best judgment. If you hike the trail, you accept all risks involved.

Oviedo Historical Trail

Copyright 2008 by Steve Rajtar

(From Interstate 4, drive east on SR 434 past Winter Springs to the intersection with SR 426 in downtown Oviedo. Drive west on SR 426 (Broadway) to park in the lot near the playground before the intersection with Lake Jessup Ave. Walk west on Broadway and north 400 feet on the west side of Lake Jessup Ave.)(0.2 miles so far)

West side of Lake Jessup Ave., between Broadway and King St. (93 N. Lake Jessup Ave.)

1....George Morgan House

This is the site of Capt. Meredith Brock's two-story frame house with a flat tarred roof, built in about 1868. He lived there with his wife, Martha, and stepson, J.H. King. King's daughter, Nell, married George Morgan, and they had this one-story home built on the same site in 1932. The oak grove on the north side was used by the Methodist church for parking and picnics, and was deeded to the church before Mrs. Morgan's death.

(Walk north on Lake Jessup Ave. and west 300 feet on King St.)(0.3)

South side of King St., between Lake Jessup and Mitchell Aves. (322 King St.)

2....George Browne House

George H. Browne came to this area in about 1871, and worked in Antonio Solary's store, first as Solary's clerk and then as his partner. He also served as the last postmaster for the Lake Jesup community, from 1881 to 1886. In about 1885, Browne built this home and lived here until 1911. The home was later owned by J.H. King, stepson of Meredith Brock. Mr. King died in 1919, and his wife, Mary, continued to live here until her death in 1951. Later owners restored the exterior to its original condition. The Oviedo Historical Society held its first meeting here on November 11, 1973.

(Continue west 480 feet on King St.)(0.4)

South side of King St., between Lake Jessup and Mitchell Aves. (414 King St.)

3....Oviedo Woman's Club

This organization was founded in 1906 by ten women who met weekly as a magazine exchange club. In the mid-1910s, it had a 400-volume library open for use one afternoon each week. It became an important service club involved in most of the town's civic improvements. The present club house was built in 1961.

In about 1863, Joseph B. Watts and his family had come to this area, and in 1867 homesteaded 80 acres near this site.

(Walk east 500 feet on King St.)(0.5)

North side of King St., between Lake Jessup and Mitchell Aves. (263 King St.)

4....First United Methodist Church Parsonage

In the 1940s, the church set up a building fund and as the first project planned this parsonage. The $16,000 three-bedroom home was completed in April of 1951 and has housed numerous ministers and their families. The guest-utility-carport wing was added in 1970.

(Continue east on King St. to the intersection with Lake Jessup Ave.)(0.6)

Northwest corner of Lake Jessup Ave. and King St. (275 King St.)

5....First United Methodist Church of Oviedo

From the community church which served the area in the 1860s, this church was organized in 1873.

The present church building, designed by Winter Park architect James Gamble Rogers and built by Paul Campbell, was built in 1955-57 for a cost of $145,000. The Fellowship Hall and Education Wing were added in 1958, and the Youth Building donated by Mrs. B.F. Wheeler, Sr. was dedicated the following year. The steeple was added in 1963.

The old Foster Chapel on the corner, built in 1878 at the site of the Oviedo Cemetery and moved here in 1887, was removed and the leaded glass windows were given to another church, but the original pulput furnishings were saved. Donated by Dr. and Mrs. Henry Foster in 1878, they were installed in the Chapel Room when it was remodeled in 1974.

The church sits on land donated by Henryetta Mitchell in the 1800s, and additional acreage given by her sons in 1945. The original tract included the present site of Oviedo High School.

(Walk north 275 feet on Lake Jessup Ave.)(0.7)

West side of Lake Jessup Ave., between King and Franklin Sts. (193 N. Jessup Ave.)

6....Frank Talbott House

This home was built in 1940 for Mr. and Mrs. Frank Talbott, who were active in the Methodist Church. The church later acquired the home, according to the wishes of the Talbotts.

(Continue north 500 feet on Lake Jessup Ave. and look east across the street.)(0.8)

East side of Lake Jessup Ave., between King and Franklin Sts. (308 N. Lake Jessup Ave.)

7....Don Ulrey House

Mr. and Mrs. Don Ulrey bought an acre of grove property here, cleared much of it, and built this home in 1949, shortly before Lake Jessup Ave. was paved. The greenhouse was added later for Mr. Ulrey's orchid collection.

(Continue north 450 feet on Lake Jessup Ave.)(0.9)

West side of Lake Jessup Ave., between Franklin and Vine Sts. (383 N. Lake Jessup Ave.)

8....Jack Gore House

This house was built in about 1940 under the supervision of Jack Gore, who then lived in it for about six years with his wife, the former Catherine Young. It has a distinctive English pitched roof.

(Continue north on Lake Jessup Ave. to the intersection with Magnolia Ave.)(0.9)

West side of Lake Jessup Ave., between Vine St. and Magnolia Ave. (435 N. Lake Jessup Ave.)

9....Bob Slavik House

Originally, this was the Methodist Fellowship Hall and Junior Sunday School, built in 1935. Following the construction of the present church building, this was bought by Bob Slavik, moved to this location, and converted to a residence. The front wall with the picture window and the attached garage are new construction.

When the 1958 remodeling was undertaken, the carpenters had to drill holes for nails, as the original yellow heart pine timber was too hard to merely pound them in. The plaster was made from sand hauled from the shore of Lake Harney.

(Walk east on Magnolia Ave. to the intersection with Central Ave.)(1.2)

Southwest corner of Central Ave. (SR 434) and Magnolia St. (441 N. Central Ave.)

10....George Means House

This house was originally a small block structure built in 1946 by Paul Campbell for Mr. and Mrs. George Means. In 1963, additions were made on the north and south ends, and a large screen porch was added to the back. Minnie Means was well known for her seasonal window decorations.

(Walk south 200 feet on Central Ave.)(1.2)

West side of Central Ave., between Magnolia Ave. and Vine St. (419 N. Central Ave.)

11....Don Carraway House

This is the first FHA home built in Oviedo. Mr. and Mrs. Don Carraway had it built in 1935 of hard pine that they hand picked from the mill, with cypress siding and oak floors. In 1958, it was converted to two apartments, one upstairs and one downstairs.

It was bought in 1966 by the Oviedo Land Company and renovated to once again be a single family residence. Residents since then have included Philip Gore (UCF vice president) and Kirby Grant (Sky King of radio and early television), and their families.

(Look east across Central Ave.)(1.2)

East side of Central Ave., between Magnolia Ave. and Vine St. (418 N. Central Ave.)

12....Sweetwater Kids Academy

This home was built in 1947-49 for Mr. and Mrs. Charles T. Niblack. Mr. Niblack ran the local drug store and for a time grew celery on three of the five acres of this tract. The home was designed by architect Elba Hansel.

(Walk north on Central Ave., cross Central Ave. at the intersection with Magnolia Ave., and walk east 580 feet on Magnolia Ave.)(1.4)

North side of Magnolia Ave., between Central Ave. and the Sweetwater Park entrance road (151 E. Magnolia Ave.)

13....G.W. Johnson House

G.W. Johnson built this home in 1935 from timber cut from land he owned in Geneva. The foundation is of heavy cypress beams. He and his family lived here until 1943. After 1969, the carport was enclosed and the front porch was added.

(Continue east 250 feet on Magnolia Ave., crossing Sweetwater Creek, and look south across the street.)(1.4)

South side of Magnolia Ave., between Central Ave. and the Sweetwater Park entrance road (176 E. Magnolia Ave.)

14....John Jones House

The plans for this house were bought from Sears, Roebuck & Co. It was built by James F. Booker for Mr. and Mrs. John Batts Jones, Sr. in 1924.

(Continue east 500 feet on Magnolia Ave. to the Sweetwater Park entrance road.)(1.5)

Northwest corner of Magnolia Ave. and the Sweetwater Park entrance road (177 E. Magnolia Ave.)

15....Ben Jones House

Clarence Ashe did the masonry work on this home in 1947, built for Mr. and Mrs. Ben Jones. The guest apartment in the back was added in 1951. In 1956, the large family room and carport on the west side were added.

(Using the entrance road, walk north to the pavilion area.)(1.6)

North end of Sweetwater Park entrance road

16....Sweetwater Park

This five-acre park was donated to the city by Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Luqueer Mead, for whom the Mead Botanical Gardens in Winter Park is named. Samuel Robinson built an access road and bridge across the creek. In 1922, the park was transferred to the Oviedo Woman's Club, which maintained it for three years, and then the town took over ownership and operation.

The Works Progress Administration built a swimming pool here in 1938. It continued in operation until the 1960s. One explanation of its discontinuance was that its water purification system became obsolete. Others believe that it was closed to avoid its becoming an integrated facility. In any event, instead of removing the pool, it was simply filled with dirt. From time to time, as the dirt shifts, bits of the top of the pool walls poke through in the parking lot.

(Walk south to the intersection with Magnolia Ave.)(1.7)

Northeast corner of Magnolia Ave. and the Sweetwater Park entrance road (231 E. Magnolia Ave.)

17....Bob King House

This home was built in 1925 for Charles West, and was sold to Bob and Emma King as son as it was completed. The grove to the west was the site of the home of Mr. and Mrs. W.A. Clark, built at the same time. After a fire destroyed it in 1930, the Kings bought the land and planted the trees.

(Walk east on Magnolia Ave. to the intersection with Division St.)(1.7)

Southwest corner of Magnolia and Division Aves. (252 E. Magnolia Ave.)

18....John Courier House

This home was built by Huggins Brothers in 1953 for John and Dorothy Courier. They later bought the lot behind it to provide play space for their four children. Mr. Courier was involved in starting the football program at Oviedo High School, with the first game being played in 1964. The John Courier Field is named in his honor.

The high school opened in 1968. One hundred five years before that, Joseph B. Watts and his family came to this area. In 1867, he homesteaded 80 acres including the present high school grounds.

(Walk north on Division St., east and northeast on Mead Dr., and 200 feet on Lake Charm Cir.)(2.3)

North side of Lake Charm Cir. (6615 Lake Charm Cir.)

19....Tranquil Oaks

In 1953, Mr. and Mrs. A.A. Myers drew up the plans and had Huggins Brothers build this home for them. The two-story home has a red tile roof and Moorish arches over the windows. The lot formerly belonged to Dr. Henry Foster, and artifacts from the 1880s, including bricks and bottles, have been found in the soil.

Dr. Foster had come to the area from Clifton Springs, New York, to hunt and fish, and became the community's chief promoter. He bought 26 acres from Walter Gwynn along the north shore of the lake in July of 1874, and built a winter home which stood until it was badly damaged by a 1940s hurricane.

Foster's Gee Hammock grove along Lake Jesup to the northwest, set out in the 1870s, was described by one popular guidebook as one of the most beautful in Florida. He paid $3,500 to the Sanford and Indian River Railroad to have a line laid to the grove, and another $1,500 to bring the line to Lake Charm and Oviedo, completed in June of 1886. Three years later, Foster and other growers formed the Oviedo, Lake Charm and Lake Jessup Railroad to avoid high shipping prices on the South Florida Railroad (the parent company of the Sanford and Indian River).

(Walk 900 feet clockwise around Lake Charm.)(2.4)

Lake Charm Cir., south of Lake Charm (6535 Lake Charm Cir.)

20....James Wilson House

This property was the site of an 1877 hotel owned by Col. Brewster, at the time called the "Brewster House" and the "Zufrieden". Guests were carried here by carriages which ran from the train station on the west side of the lake. The hotel burned down in 1928.

Next door, J.T. Allison built a large house in 1877 and used it as a resort, named the "Invalid's Hotel".

The Lake Charm community was begun by Kentucky-born Walter Gwynn, beginning in the late 1850s. In 1865, he became a locating agent for the Freedmen's Bureau, to assist freed slaves to homestead land. In the late 1860s, he and his wife, Mattie, settled in this area. By 1887, the Lake Charm community had grown to a population of about 250. It essentially ceased existence as a separate community after the 1895 freeze.

This home was built by Paul Campbell in 1938 for James and Louise Wilson. It was the first Oviedo home to have air conditioning and the second to have a solar heating system.

(Continue clockwise around Lake Charm to the two-story house just past the orange grove on the left.)(2.8)

Lake Charm Cir., south of Lake Charm (6297 Lake Charm Cir.)

21....Wolcott House

In 1886, Dr. Henry Foster sold this property to Calvin Whitney of Norwalk, Ohio, president of the A.B. Chase Piano Company, who had this double winter home built for his family and that of his sister. The two-story front porch originally extended around the north side to the dining room. The slate roof had a wrought iron railing that was sold during the Depression and installed on a home in Sanford. It is built in the Victorian Revival style.

In 1889-90, Whitney and Dr. Foster helped form the Lake Charm Improvement Company to build a bulkhead, a drain from the lake, and remove muck from the bottom. They paid a Philadelphia mason $1,200 to construct a sidewalk around the lake. Portions of it may still be found.

A later owner of the home, O. Gus Wolcott, raised an alligator to a length of six feet in a metal bathtub on the second floor.

(Continue 400 feet clockwise around Lake Charm.)(2.8)

Lake Charm Cir., south of Lake Charm (6235 Lake Charm Cir.)

22....Mary Ninde House

This property was bought by Mary Ninde from Dr. Henry Foster, and J.M. Jones built the home in 1888. Ms. Ninde was the daughter of Bishop William X. Ninde, one of many clergymen encouraged by Dr. Foster to winter here.

The home was sold in 1909 for $1,000. The pitch of the roof was lowered in 1928, and the two-story porch was replaced by the present one-story one.

(Continue 250 feet clockwise around Lake Charm.)(2.9)

Lake Charm Cir., south of Lake Charm (6179 Lake Charm Cir.)

23....Owens House

Mr. Owens bought this property from Dr. Foster and built this house in 1882. It was remodeled in the 1930s to add more windows, and in 1944 the small front porch was replaced with a larger screened one.

About a century after the house was built, a board was uncovered in the roof with the words "Owens, Solary's Wharf" written on it.

Antonio Solary was a Jacksonville merchant who established a substantial wharf along the southern edge of Lake Jesup in the early 1870s. It was served by the steamship "Volusia" of the Clyde Steamship Line. Solary manufactured soda water, sasparilla and ginger ale. His wharf was in deeper water than the one established by Virginia physician John F.J. Mitchell in 1870, so Solary's Wharf became the port for the Lake Jesup community about a mile south of the lake.

(Continue clockwise around Lake Charm to the intersection of Lake Charm Cir. and Staley Ct., which looks like a driveway and may be unmarked.)(2.9)

Southwest corner of Lake Charm Dr. and Staley Ct. (6125 Lake Charm Cir.)

24....J.H. Staley House

This was the site of two small houses owned by a northern Bible printer, Thomas K. Brown. They were torn down in 1934, and ten years later the land was bought by Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Staley. In 1945-46, they built a home above the garage, intending to build later on the front of the lot closer to the lake. They never did, but a later owner has erected a new home there.

The name of Lake Charm is generally attributed to Walter Gwynn's daughter, Martha Elizabeth Gwynn. She was told that the lake on her father's property had no name. She said "It's such a charming lake!" and it was then named Lake Charm.

(Walk west 150 feet on Lake Charm Cir.)(3.0)

Lake Charm Cir., south of Lake Charm (6097 Lake Charm Cir.)

25....Lloyd Koontz House

This lot was bought in 1884 by William H. Deering, the founder of Deering Harvester Company of Plana, Illinois. He perfected the Appleby twine binder and a steel machine with anti-friction bearing for an automobile mowing machine. This property was later acquired by Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Koontz, who with the help of Mr. Koontz' brother, built this home in 1934. A second bedroom and large kitchen were added in the 1950s.

The road circling Lake Charm was first blacktopped in 1926.

(Continue west 150 feet on Lake Charm Cir.)(3.0)

Lake Charm Cir., south of Lake Charm (6065 Lake Charm Cir.)

26....B.F. Wheeler, Jr. House

This land was deeded by the state to Walter Gwynn, a government and railroad surveyor, who once owned most of what is now Oviedo. He sold it to William H. Deering, who spent his winters here. B.F. Wheeler bought it in 1942, and his son and daughter-in-law and Huggins Brothers built this home in 1951. A solar heating system was installed when the house was built. Two additional bedrooms and a bathroom were added later.

(Continue west 300 feet on Lake Charm Cir.)(3.1)

Lake Charm Cir., southwest of Lake Charm (6007 Lake Charm Cir.)

27....Lake Charm Memorial Chapel

In 1880, Dr. Foster built this chapel and a nearby parsonage (torn down in 1972) as a memorial to his brother, William. Services were held on Sunday afternoons so they would not interfere with the morning worship in other churches. Prominent northern ministers invited to conduct the services included Bishop Ninde, John R. Mott, and Samuel Hawley Adams.

Samuel Lincoln Murphy bought the chapel in 1920 for his son-in-law and daughter, and removed the stained glass windows and lowered the ceiling. In the 1950s, additions included a utility room, bedroom, fireplace and enclosed porch.

(Stop to read the historical sign on the lake side of the road. Then walk west on Lake Charm Cir., south on Lake Charm Dr., southwest on Geneva Dr., and south on Kimble Ave. to the intersection with Franklin St.)(3.5)

Northwest corner of Franklin St. and Kimble Ave. (387 E. Franklin St.)

28....Grant Chapel A.M.E. Church

About seven people organized St. Hebrew A.M.E. Church in 1888. The name was changed to Grant Chapel in the early 1900s, and they met in a frame building until 1954. Rev. L.J. Flowers built the concrete block sanctuary with the help of other church members. In 1966 Lynum Bros. of Leesburg expanded the floor space and built a new pastorium and educational wing with multi-purpose rooms.

(Walk west on Franklin St. and southwest on Geneva Dr. until you cross Division St., and walk south 100 feet on the west side of Division St.)(3.8)

West side of Division Ave., between Geneva Dr. and Broadway (157 Division Ave.)

29....Fountainhead Missionary Baptist Church

The church was founded in 1923 under the leadership of Rev. J.W. McIntosh, after a division in the membership of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. They began meeting in a brush arbor made from sticks and palmetto fronds, and then in a small wooden building. The present concrete block building was erected in 1944, and was remodeled in 1952. The annex and Fellowship Hall were added in 1964.

Across the street is a parking area which was once the site of a school. It served grades 1-8, and was torn down when Jackson Heights Middle School was completed in 1952. The old white frame schoolhouse had been moved here in 1922 to make room for construction of what is now the T.W. Lawton Elementary School.

(Walk south on Division St. past the church and look to the west.)(3.8)

West side of Division St., between Geneva Dr. and Broadway (156 Geneva Dr.)

30....Citizens Bank of Oveido

This bank opened in July 1, 1946. In the early days, the land on which the bank sits was the Bill Browning celery farm.

(Continue south on Division St. to the intersection with Broadway.)(3.9)

Northeast corner of Broadway and Division St. (311 E. Broadway)

31....Antioch Missionary Baptist Church

The first church building for this congregation was built in 1875 by freedmen, including former slaves who moved to the area with blacksmith and Rev. George C. Powell in the later 1860s. Rev. Amos Laster was the first pastor, and Rev. R.W. Lawton served as advisor.

In 1886, Orange County built a small school for black children next door. It served the community until 1918.

Antioch was one of the founding members of the First South Florida Missionary Baptist Association. One of the more memorable church members was Butler (P.B.) Boston who, during 56 of his 61-year affiliation with Antioch, served as superintendent of the Sunday school. He was also a deason and served on the local school board.

Damage suffered while the buildings were being moved to accommodate road straightening in 1942 made a new church building necessary. A new sanctuary with baptismal pool and restrooms was built in 1948, and the parsonage and education building were constructed in the 1960s. The present sactuary was built in 2005. It is located on land once belonging to George C. Powell, who moved from Live Oak to what is now downtown Oviedo in December of 1867.

Powell and his family feared freed slaves after his son deserted the Confederate army in 1865 and joined a band of conspirators led by John Wilkes Booth. They assaulted Lincoln's presidential carriage in an unsuccessful kidnapping attempt in March of that year. The following month, while Booth was at Ford's Theater, Powell's son appeared at the home of Secretary of State William Seward and assaulted him and others. The son was convicted of conspiracy and assault, and was executed.

Powell acquired 160 acres, Broadway to Magnolia Ave. and N. Lake Jessup Ave. to Division St. He was soon joined by friends and former slaves. Three blacks in the household, Sarah Powell, Martin Powell and Melinda Powell, were among the first blacks in Oviedo. Martin was a founder of this church.

(Walk west 700 feet on Broadway.)(4.1)

South side of Broadway, between Station St. and Division St. (100 E. Broadway)

32....Nelson and Company

Steen Nelson and Gus Nelson started this company as the Nelson Brothers in 1886. Oranges were shipped from their packing house under the "White Rose" and "Pride of Oviedo" labels. After years of inactivity following the 1895 freeze, it reopened as Nelson and Company. This company owned Wheeler Fertilizer Company, which was begun in the 1930s by B.F. Wheeler. He decided that it would be more profitable to mix fertilizer ingredients locally, rather than buying prepared mixtures from northern wholesalers. The original plant burned in 1947, and was rebuilt the same year.

The Nelsons arrived in October of 1875 when Steen was twelve years old. They came from Sweden to New York, then to Jacksonville where they boarded the steamer "Hattie Baker" and switched to the "Frederick DeBary" in Palatka.

(Walk west on Broadway to the intersection with Station St.)(4.1)

Intersection of Broadway and Station St.

33....Site of Railroad Depot

The Plant System, which later became the Seaboard Coastline Railroad, had a wooden depot built here in 1887, when Oviedo's population was about 50. Capt. William Browning was the first conductor and C.D. Crutchfield was the first stationmaster. The depot was moved in 1969 to make room for the expanding Nelson and Company.

In October of 1890, the Osceola and Lake Jessup Railroad Line extended ten miles from Winter Park to Oviedo. The following year, it became a part of the East Florida and Atlantic Railroad, and in 1892 was merged into the Florida Central & Peninsula (FC&P).

It was nicknamed the "Friends Come and Push", and in 1894 added an extension to Lake Charm. Other nicknames included the "Coffe Pot Line" and the "Dinky Line". It later became part of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad.

(Walk west to the intersection with Central Ave.)(4.2)

Northeast corner of Broadway and Central Ave. (9 E. Broadway)

34....Town House Restaurant

This was the site of the two-story Wilson Building, in which a roller skating rink upstairs was installed in 1906.

On January 21, 1913, a delegation came from Sanford on a special train to drum up support for the creation of a new county out of a portion of Orange County. On that morning, B.G. Smith bought the building, the tallest in town, so that the speakers could use the upstairs window. The county was created, but instead of the delegation's choice of "Harney", the state legislature named it Seminole.

Exactly one year later, there were eight commercial buildings in downtown Oviedo, all lit by gas lamps. A fire broke out in Domer Daniels' drug store south of the intersection, with the Hotel Oviedo upstairs. It spread to H.B. McCall's store next door, and to W.H. Howard's store in the Cushing building eastward across the street and J.B. Jones' store next to it. On the north side of the street this building (which then housed Hunt and Brannon's hardware store), and William Jacob's meat market and the barber shop also burned. The only two surviving buildings were Dr. C.J. Marshall's drug store and the store of W.J. and T.W. Lawton, which was the only one constructed of brick.

In May of 1916, L.T. Hunt built a two-story building here, with his undertaking business on the first floor. Upstairs were offices and a large meeting hall. Later, the Masonic Lodge used the upstairs and J.B. Jones, Sr. used a portion of the downstairs for the post office. In 1919, Hunt sold the building to Dr. Marshall and moved to Fort Lauderdale, leaving Oviedo without an undertaker.

The first movies in Oviedo were shown in Hunt's Theatre at this site. Because there was only one projector, the audience had to wait ten minutes between reels.

(Cross to the northwest corner of the intersection.)(4.1)

Northwest corner of Broadway and Central Ave. (45 W. Broadway)

35....First Baptist Church of Oviedo

The church organized in 1869 and held its early meetings in a brush arbor, with George Powell handling the preaching. Nearby land was bought in 1893 by Orange Grove Baptist Church, later renamed the First Baptist Church of Oviedo. From 1887 to 1926, there was a wooden church, which was then replaced by the present $30,000 building, erected by Mr. Fisher.

The adjoining west wing was added in 1946, the $27,500 educational building to the east in 1957, and the $194,500 annex in 1969.

(Cross to the southwest corner of walk west on Broadway to the intersection with Graham Ave. Look north across the street.)(4.1)

North side of Broadway, between Graham and Central Aves. (75 W. Broadway)

36....Baptist Pastorium

This was built in 1949 by Huggins Brothers to house the minister of the First Baptist Church of Oviedo. The home contains ten rooms, three bedrooms and two bathrooms. A carport was added long after the original construction.

(Cross Graham Ave. and continue west to 98 W. Broadway.)(4.2)

South side of Broadway, between Lawton and Graham Aves. (98 W. Broadway)

37....Leon Ragsdale House

This was the site of the frame home of George K. Hollingsworth, who received $1 per year for serving on Oviedo's first city council. While it was owned by Leon and Hettie Ragsdale, it burned and they replaced it with a block home in 1944. It has been the home of a craft store and offices.

(Continue west 50 feet and look north across the street.)(4.2)

North side of Broadway, between Lawton and Graham Aves. (109 W. Broadway)

38....C.K. Phillips House

This brick home was built in 1929 by Mr. Fisher for C.K. Phillips and his family. For a time, it was a dentist's office.

(Continue west to the intersection with Lawton Ave.)(4.2)

Southeast corner of Broadway and Lawton Ave. (128 W. Broadway)

39....The Teacherage

Zack Spinks operated a sawmill specializing in shingles, and was first attracted to Oviedo because of the abundance of cypress trees nearby.

He married Martha King, the daughter of pioneer J.H. King, and used stained cypress shingles in the construction of their home in 1913. This home has had numerous owners and renters throughout the years, including two Oviedo High School principals and at least eleven teachers. In recent years it has been used as a hair salon and professional offices known as the West Broadway Professional Building.

(Look across the intersection to the northwest.)(4.2)

North side of Broadway, between Lake Jessup and Lawton Aves. (201 W. Broadway)

40....Fire Rescue Station

This building was originally a school, and was located on Central Ave. near High St. It was moved to the corner of Central Ave. and Garden St., and again to the corner on the next lot west of this one. In about 1938, R.W. Estes bought it and converted it to a residence which he and his wife, Ruby, lived in until 1942. At that time, they moved it to this lot and built a new home next door. It later became the home of the Oviedo Fire Department.

(Look to the southwest.)(4.3)

South side of Broadway, between Lake Jessup and Lawton Aves. (200 W. Broadway)

41....Lawton House

Built in 1890, this home originally stood at the location of the present Memorial Building on Central Ave. The ten acre orange grove at this location was in the Lee family holdings since the 1880s.

In about 1910, J.H. Lee, Sr. sold the land to his daughter, Lottie Lee Lawton, and her husband, Thomas Willington Lawton. They then moved the house on piers or rollers to this site. Water was stored in a tank topped by a windmill, and a battery provided electricity for the lighting.

Mr. Lawton was born in 1882, the son of Narcissa Melissa Lawton, matriarch of the largest Oviedo family. Narcissa died in 1883, and Tom and his brothers Alex and Robert, and sister Martha (who married Walter Gwynn) settled in Oviedo. Tom attended the Oviedo School, Rollins Academy, and was the sole member of his 1903 Rollins College graduating class. He received his master's degree from Andover Newton College in Boston, and returned to Oviedo to serve as principal from 1905 to 1907. In 1916, he became the first elected Superintendent of Schools of Seminole County, and held that post until 1952.

(Walk east 100 feet on Broadway and look across the street to the north.)(4.6)

North side of Broadway, between Lake Jessup and Lawton Aves. (169 W. Broadway)

42....N.F. Lezette House

N.F. Lezette moved here from Catskill, New York, and built this home in about 1910. When Oviedo was incorporated as a city in 1932, he was its first mayor. After his death in 1932, his widow lived in this house for two years and then moved to Sanford.

After several years of rental, it was sold to a family who moved walls and doors, enclosed a porch, added windows, lowered ceilings and changed the roof. It has been used as a real estate office.

(Continue east on Broadway, then walk south 170 feet on the east side of Graham Ave.)(4.4)

East side of Graham Ave., between Broadway and Garden St. (36 Graham Ave.)

43....William Chance House

A frame house that stood here and burned down before 1900 is believed to have been the first home of Andrew Aulin, who emigrated here from Sweden in about 1870. He married Lona Lawton in about 1874 and became an Orange County commissioner in 1887. He became the postmaster in 1879 and chose the name "Oviedo" for the city.

This home was built in 1939 by L.B. Moore for William T. and Mary Etta Chance. Mr. Chance was the Atlantic Coastline Railroad agent for Oviedo from 1927 to 1955.

(Continue south on Graham Ave. to the intersection with Garden St.)(4.4)

Northwest corner of Graham Ave. and Garden St. (69 Graham Ave.)

44....Samuel Swope House

In 1913, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel William Swope of Wichita, Kansas, moved into a small prefabricated house just to the south while this home was being built. It was completed in 1914, using heart pine throughout. The front porch originally extended around to the north side, but the side portion was enclosed in 1940.

(Cross Garden St. to the southeast corner.)(4.4)

Southeast corner of Graham Ave. and Garden St. (100 Graham Ave.)

45....Site of B.G. Smith House

A frame house with a large attic was built here in 1924 for B.G. and Mary Agnes Smith. Mr. Smith was the president of the Bank of Oviedo which was chartered on April 8, 1912, and closed its doors on January 14, 1930. The following Saturday night, an unknown person detonated five sticks of dynamite under the east side of the house, damaging three rooms. The Smiths were on the west side and escaped injury. The bank itself had been bombed on November 17, 1929, with an explosion that shook the town.

In the 1950s, the east half of the south porch was enclosed for a sewing room and part of the north porch was screened. The house was torn down in about 2007.

The first sidewalks in downtown Oviedo were put down by B.G. Smith and Herbert Graham in about 1911. They were located here on Garden St. and along the block opposite the First Baptist Church.

(Walk east on Garden St. to the intersection with Central Ave.)(4.5)

Northwest corner of Central Ave. and Garden St. (71 S. Central Ave.)

46....Oviedo Clinic

A medical office was erected here in 1951 on lots given by C.R. Clonts and Ted Estes. The $25,498 cost of the building was financed entirely by donations. The Oviedo Woman's Club raised funds to furnish the reception areas, and sales of a cookbook published by the Bethany Circle of the Oviedo Methodist Church paid for the venetian blinds.

The building was owned by the city and served the area residents under the supervision of Dr. Edward W. Stoner beginning on March 6, 1952. After the Winter Park Memorial Hospital opened in 1955, most surgery and delivery of children was moved to that facility.

(Walk 200 feet north on Central Ave., and look east across the street.)(4.5)

East side of Central Ave., between Broadway and Station St. (42 S. Central Ave.)

47....Memorial Building

This building was opened in January of 1951 as a memorial to the four Oviedo men who were killed while serving in the armed forces in World War II. It was built in a Mediterranean style by Paul Campbell for $18,903, and became the Oviedo City Hall, replacing the ancient tin-walled one located where the Town House Restaurant now sits. In 1976, this became the offices of the city's Department of Public Safety.

(Notice the historical marker nearby. Walk south on the west side of Central Ave. until you cross Smith St. and look across the street to the east.)(4.7)

East side of Central Ave., between Smith and Clark Sts. (182 S. Central Ave.)

48....Young Harris House

This home was built by Paul Campbell in 1949 for Mr. and Mrs. Young Harris. A carport and porch were added in 1954, and a bedroom and bathroom were added in 1961. It was completely remodeled in 1996.

(Continue south on Central Ave. past Smith St. to the brick house.)(4.7)

West side of Central Ave., between Smith and Clark Sts. (185 S. Central Ave.)

49....Lee Gore House

Mr. and Mrs. Lee H. Gore had this home built in 1940. Distinguishing features are the semicircular solarium on the north side and Mr. Gore's initials built into the chimney by mason Clarence Ashe.

(Walk north on Central Ave. and west on Smith St. to the intersection with Graham Ave.)(4.8)

Southeast corner of Smith St. and Graham Ave. (50 Smith St.)

50....Milton Gore House

Milton and Louise B. Gore had this home built in 1940 by the Jamerson Construction Co. In 1955, the Florida room was enlarged and a porch and double garage were added. Later, the bedrooms were enlarged and a bathroom was added.

(Look across Graham Ave. to the west side of the street.)(4.8)

West side of Graham Ave., between Smith and Clark Sts. (151 Graham Ave.)

51....T.W. Lawton Elementary School

When this school was first built, twelve grades shared four classrooms downstairs, and an auditorium upstairs. A two-story addition was built in 1932, a gymnasium and tennis courts in about 1930, and a three-room addition on the west wing in 1955. The office complex, cafetorium and seven classrooms were built in 1959.

The high school used a gymnasium by the railroad tracks, which was really just a tin-roofed shed with low ceilings. Despite having no walls, Coach Mikler and his team brought home a state basketball championship in 1957. Walls for night games were created by hanging brown tarpaulins along the sides and ends of the court. This was still better than Lyman High School, which played outdoors, and Seminole High School, which played on a stage in its auditorium.

When this ceased to be the high school, it was renamed after T.W. Lawton, long-time Seminole County Superintendent of Public Instruction, who was instrumental in getting it built. It was used solely for white children until desegregation in 1968. That was the same year the present Oviedo High School opened north of Broadway.

(Continue south on Graham Ave., then walk west 150 feet on Clark St.)(5.0)

North side of Clark St., between Graham and Egan Aves. (111 Clark St.)

52....Thomas Moon House

Thomas Moon, Sr. had this home built in 1949 shortly before his marriage to Jane Cochran. In 1963, the double carport was added, a utility room was made from the old garage, and the screen porch on the north side was converted into a Florida room. Paul Campbell built the house of concrete block, and in 1980 it was covered with simulated brick.

(Walk east on Clark St. to the intersection with Graham Ave.)(5.0)

Southeast corner of Clark St. and Graham Ave. (52 Clark St.)

53....Edward Stoner House

Dr. and Mrs. Edward Stoner had this H-shaped house built in 1953. In 1966, added were a large play room, master bedroom, bathroom and carport.

(Walk south 300 feet on Graham Ave.)(5.0)

West side of Graham Ave., between Clark St. and Hillcrest St. (313 Graham Ave.)

54....Joseph Leinhart House

The front portion of this home was built before the devastating freeze of 1895. Joseph Leinhart, who came from Germany in the early 1870s, lived here with his wife and five children.

His brother, Andrew Leinhart, came from Germany in 1880, and bought this house in 1903 for $150.00. He added a dining room, kitchen, and screened porch. Andrew demonstrated that celery could be grown successfully in Black Hammock, which had two to five feet of rich topsoil northeast of Lake Charm. Drainage of the hammock began in 1912 to maximize its productivity.

(Continue south 150 feet on Graham Ave.)(5.0)

East side of Graham Ave., between Clark St. and Hillcrest St. (362 Graham Ave.)

55....M.M. Estes House

Mr. and Mrs. M.M. Estes drew up their own plans and had Huggins Brothers build this for them in 1954.

(Continue south to the intersection with Hillcrest St.)(5.2)

Northwest corner of Graham Ave. and Hillcrest St. (101 Hillcrest St.)

56....Walter Teague House

Until it burned down in the 1920s, this and the adjoining property was the site of the wooden home of Mr. Allison, a section foreman for the Seaboard Railroad. In 1950, a five-room block home was built by Huggins Brothers for Walter and Katherine Teague.

(Look south across the street.)(5.2)

Southwest corner of Hillcrest St. and Graham Ave. (118 Hillcrest St.)

57....Roy Clonts House

A pre-1895 one-story frame house stood on a portion of this lot until 1951. In 1947, using blocks made by Roy Clonts in his Clonts and Staley Block Company, Mr. and Mrs. Clonts built a small house to the rear of the old one. When the wooden house was removed in 1951, they built the present three-bedroom house and joined it to the 1947 structure.

(Cross to the southeast corner.)(5.2)

Southeast corner of Hillcrest St. and Graham Ave. (62 Hillcrest St.)

58....R.W. Lawton House

Rev. Robert W. Lawton of the Orange Grove Baptist Church (now the First Baptist Church), his wife, and their five children, lived in this house built in 1890. It has ten rooms and four fireplaces. It was designed for running water and used a battery system for lighting until electricity became available in 1925.

Rev. Lawton had located in Oviedo by 1870. Each month, he walked to Christmas to preach, until the residents of Christmas raised $60 and bought him a pony to ride. He served on the Orange County School Board for about 15 years. He succeeded George Powell as pastor in Oviedo and served in that position from 1880 to 1889, and again in 1899, for $2.50 per month.

(Continue east on Hillcrest St. to the intersection with Central Ave.)(5.3)

Southwest corner of Hillcrest St. and Central Ave. (28 Hillcrest St.)

59....W.J. Lawton House

The freezes of December 26, 1894, and February 7, 1895, had a devastating effect on Central Florida, with some towns losing most of their population when the groves were ruined. New home construction in Oviedo was put on hold for 18 years. This was the first home built after the freezes in this part of Oveido, completed in 1913.

It was built by Mr. and Mrs. Winborn Joseph Lawton, and to make room for it an older one-story home (given to them in 1902 as a wedding present by his father, Rev. R.W. Lawton) was moved across the street. The home is built from seasoned pine. The four fireplaces were used to heat the home until 1939, when a central heating system was installed.

Mr. Lawton served on the first town council after Oviedo was incorporated in 1925.

(Cross Hillcrest St. to the northwest corner.)(5.3)

Northwest corner of Hillcrest St. and Central Ave. (401 S. Central Ave.)

60....J. Enoch Partin House

This home was built in 1886 and was originally owned by Andrew Aulin. It is part of a 159.94-acre tract bought by him in 1876 for $200.00. It was later purchased by Mr. and Mrs. J. Enoch Partin. The high ceilings and numerous windows, the panes of many of which were hand-blown, are typical of 1880s construction. The rumpus room and bathroom on the north side, the swimming pool, and the picket fence were added in the early 1970s.

(Continue north 300 feet on Central Ave. and look eastward across the street.)(5.3)

East side of Central Ave., between Hillcrest St. and Clark St. (350 S. Central Ave.)

61....Paul Slavik House

Before 1950, this was the site of a prefabricated house. It was torn down to make room for this five-room frame house, built in about 1950 by Paul Slavik and Blaine Edwards. Later, the living room, porch and kitchen were remodeled and enlarged.

(Walk south on Central Ave. to the intersection with Hillcrest Dr. and look eastward across the street.)(5.4)

East side of Central Ave., between Hillcrest St. and Clark St. (402 S. Central Ave.)

62....Augusta Covington House

A Mr. Fisher built this eight-room house of pine in 1927 for Augusta D. Covington. In the garden, a guest house was built in 1935 and it was used for meetings of the Oviedo Woman's Club during World War II.

(Cross Hillcrest St. to the southwest corner and look eastward across the street.)(5.4)

East side of Central Ave., between Hillcrest and High Sts. (424 S. Central Ave.)

63....Charles Shaffer House

This home was built in 1950 for Charles and Jessie Shaffer by Huggins Brothers. The porch between the three-bedroom house and garage was later windowed in and converted into a family room.

(Continue south 150 feet on Central Ave. and look eastward across the street.)(5.5)

Northeast corner of Central Ave. and High St. (456 S. Central Ave.)

64....J. Wes Evans House

This is the home owned by W.J. and Lillian Lee Lawton from 1902 to 1913, and moved here to make room for the house presently at the southwest corner of Hillcrest St. and Central Ave. It was built in about 1885.

It has been modified several times, including an added kitchen and dining room in 1920, a bathroom and two bedrooms in 1949 (by Mr. and Mrs. Evans, who bought it that year), a party room in 1954, and in 1958 the roof line was changed and the porches were rebuilt. It is now an attorney's office.

(Walk south 50 feet on Central Ave.)(5.5)

West side of Central Ave., between Hillcrest and High Sts. (469 S. Central Ave.)

65....W.J. Varn House

This Spanish style house built in 1927-28 for W.J. Varn is typical of many Florida homes of its era. A solid copper roof was added by Ben Ward after he bought it in 1936. In the 1970s, the garage was enclosed, the awnings and rear deck were added, and central heat and air conditioning was installed.

(Continue south on Central Ave. to the intersection with Lindsay Ln.)(5.7)

Intersection of Central Ave. and Lindsay Ln.

66....Site of White School

The first school for white children was located here in the late 1800s. About 1899, it was moved to the corner of Central Ave. and Smith St., and was moved again in about 1915.

Prior to that time, school was taught in homes, and some children were sent to boarding school at Fort Christmas.

(Continue south 300 feet on Central Ave.)(5.8)

West side of Central Ave. between Lindsay Ln. and Mitchell Hammock Rd.

67....Boston Hill Park

This area began as a black settlement in the late 1800s. It is named after Butler Boston, who homesteaded east of here, and who donated five acres to the town to use for what is now called the Boston Cemetery. Boston is credited with budding succulent Temple orange trees in Oviedo.

Boston met Henry Jackson, a black raised by a white family, and persuaded him to settle in Oviedo. Jackson homesteaded 40 acres from 1911 to 1918 on both sides of Long Lake, east of here. The area became a predominantly black settlement, now known as Jackson Heights. For 25 years he worked for Oliver P. Swope and N.F. Lezette, clearing land.

Another memorial for Boston was the naming of Butler Boston Court, a low-rent family housing development erected in 1956 by the Seminole County Housing Authority in the east end of town.

Boston played an important part in Florida's agricultural growth. In 1896, a fruit buyer brought budwood for the Jamaica orange, and Boston was employed by J.H. Lee, J.H. King and R.W. Lawton to bud their trees with the new strain. About 1900, budwood from King's grove was taken to a grove in Winter Park, and in about 1915 it was recognized by W.C. Temple, president of the Florida Citrus Exchange as something important. The orange, renamed as the "Temple", became a mainstay of the Florida citrus industry.

(Walk west on Clonts St. and north on Lake Jessup Ave. to 520 S. Lake Jessup Ave.)(6.3)

East side of Lake Jessup Ave., between Forest Tr. and High St. (520 S. Lake Jessup Ave.)

68....Railroad Depot

The depot sat at the corner of Broadway and Station St. from 1887 to 1969, when it was moved here to the property of Mr. and Mrs. Johnnie Conley. Notice the "Oviedo" sign on the end of the building, which welcomed visitors to this picturesque little town. The Conleys have restored this guest house, both inside and out, as the depot originally appeared.

The smaller tin-roofed white structure is a "shotgun" plan house, in which lived a farm overseer in the days that the mucklands to the south were actively farmed. He managed the black workers who lived on the higher ground which was not favorable for farming, and transported them to Mitchell Hammock for work.

(Continue north on Lake Jessup Ave., then walk and east on Hillcrest St. to 146 Hillcrest St.)(6.5)

South side of Hillcrest St., between Graham Ave. and Pine St. (146 Hillcrest St.)

69....Rex Clonts House

This was the site of the home of Mr. and Mrs. W.K. Kimble, which burned down in the 1920s. Mr. and Mrs. Rex Clonts began this house in 1951, and lived in the dining and family rooms until 1954, when four bedrooms and two bathrooms were completed.

(Walk east 200 feet on Hillcrest St. to 117 Hillcrest St.)(6.5)

North side of Hillcrest St., between Graham Ave. and Pine St. (117 Hillcrest Dr.)

70....Paul Mikler House

Bill and Jack Jenkins built this home in 1957 for Paul and Virginia Mikler. Two years later, an extenstion was completed which included a bedroom and kitchenette.

(Walk west 200 feet on Hillcrest St.)(6.6)

North side of Hillcrest St., between Graham and Lake Jessup Aves. (145 Hillcrest St.)

71....W.H. Martin House

Twelve-inch Tampa siding was used by Paul Campbell in the construction of this house in 1948 for Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Martin. In 1953, a third bedroom, bathroom, sewing room, dining room and large living room were added. This house has the distinction of, in 1962, having the first home swimming pool in Oviedo.

(Walk west on Hillcrest St. and north on Lake Jessup Ave. to 340 S. Lake Jessup Ave.)(6.7)

East side of Lake Jessup Ave., between Hillcrest Dr. and Clark St. (340 S. Lake Jessup Ave.)

72....B.F. Wheeler, Sr. House

B.F. Wheeler, Sr. bought the two-story white frame house and ten-acre orange grove here in 1901. The home was moved to Clark St. by mules pulling it down the hill on large logs. That same year, the present Georgian Colonial home was built and the camelia trees near the front door were planted.

(Look across Lake Jessup Ave. to the west side of the street.)(6.7)

West side of Lake Jessup Ave., between Hillcrest Dr. and Clark St. (343 S. Lake Jessup Ave.)

73....Bob Ward House

This originally was the site of the house of Fred Tingley, built before the 1895 freeze. It was torn down in 1960 and replaced by the present eight-room ranch style house, built by George Jakubcin for Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Ward. The master bedroom, garage wing with a bedroom and playroom, and the swimming pool were added in 1970.

(Walk north on Lake Jessup Ave. to the intersection with Carib Ln.)(6.9)

Southwest corner of Lake Jessup Ave. and Carib Ln. (85 S. Lake Jessup Ave.)

74....Ben Ward House

Mr. and Mrs. Ben Ward had A.W. Meares of New Smyrna Beach construct this home for them in 1956 on the edge of a grove acquired from Mr. Ward's father. In 1969, he began its development into the Grove Hill Subdivision.

(Walk east through Lawton Grove Park to the parking lot where you began.)(7.0)


A Sightseeing Tour of Seminole County Historic Sites, (Seminole County Historical Commission 1991)

Early Days of Seminole County, Florida, by Arthur E. Franke, Jr. (Seminole County Historical Commission 1988)

Flashbacks: The Story of Central Florida's Past, by Jim Robison and Mark Andrews (The Orlando Sentinel 1995)

Guide to Florida's Historic Architecture, (University of Florida Press 1989)

History of the First South Florida Missionary Baptist Association, by Altermese Smith Bentley (The Mickler House 1988)

Like a Mustard Seed, by Paul Wehr (The Mickler House 1982)

Orlando: A Century Plus, by Baynard H. Kendricks (Senitnel Star Company 1976)

Oviedo Circa 1960, (Oviedo Historical Society 1982)

Oviedo: Biography of a Town, by Richard Adicks and Donna M. Neely (Executive Press 1979)

Slovaks in Florida, by Andrew F. Hudak, Jr. (DaK Grafik Print 1991)

Webb's Historical, Industrial and Biographical Florida, by Wanton S. Webb (W.S. Webb & Co. 1885)

Click here for a copy of the hike rules.

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