A talk by Mrs. Jane F. Fletcher, Rollins College Archivist, Wed. March 12, 1975, to the Winter Park Historical Society at Hooker Hall of the Congregational Church of Winter Park.
This afternoon I would like to see if we can recreate a little of the flavor of Winter Park and Rollins College back in the -very earliest days. Statistics and dates are the necessary structure of history, but to make it alive for us and not just a series of dull facts, I want you to try and visualize what life was like then as I present some of the memories in the words of some of the participants.
Marion Coan Barnes a charter student of Rollins writes:
"The township of Winter Park had already been bought and laid out by Mr. Chase and Mr. Chapman. When the R.R. was completed we moved to Winter Park. What attracted my father I do not know unless it was the beautiful lakes and the tall stately Pines that looked like sentinels watching over everything... It was a beautiful spot: There were no streets just paths winding thru the woods, it wasn't dense like so many waste places in Fla., of course the boulevard was well marked leading to the lake.
Mr. and Mrs. Rogers had started to build what was known as the Rogers’ house (later the Seminole Inn and then the Virginia Inn) We had our first dinner there, gopher soup.
Here are Marjorie Blackman Wallace Sloaterman's memories of the Rogers House, as many of you know, Marjorie was the daughter of one of Rollins’ early presidents, William Fremont Blackman:
"Three memories center around this building, all very personal, of friendship, love and war.
First, I think of Loring A. Chase, one of the original founders of Winter Park, a delightful elderly man, and my good friend. We walked back and forth on the verandah, talking endlessly, "of many things", and as I grew older and the Rogers House became the Seminole Inn, my love for this unassuming, quiet man grew. I can never assess the influence he had on his “little girl” because I had to grow old myself to really appreciate him. He had a dine garnet ring, a huge glowing perfect stone, and he had more than once told my mother that he wanted me to have it when he died, “to remember me by”, he said. He died in the north, and the ring disappeared, but I didn’t need it to remember him by as long as I myself live, and perhaps in some distant world we may stroll arm-in-arm, once more.
A transcript of a talk given by Mrs. Jane F. Fletcher, former Archivist for Rollins College, to the Winter Park Historical Society, Wed. March 12, 1975. In it, she gives first hand accounts of student's lives from the first few years after the school's founding.