Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Worth Another Look, “Oh, My Lake Worth, Florida!”

“The light and pow’r are on the way,
And when they come they’ll come to stay”
—From Dr. W. H. Cotton’s Ode to
Lake Worth (see below).

“The light and pow’r” refers to the original Lake Worth electric power plant:

Established as the Lake Worth Water, Light, and Ice Company, the franchise was introduced in October 28, 1913 by Lake Worth’s first appointed Mayor, J.W. Means.
     The “turning on of the lights” took place on May 18, 1914. This date has been used to determine an “original pioneer”.

Please Note: The Lake Worth Historical Museum until the end of August to allow the volunteer staff to work on exhibits and displays. Tours and visits may still be arranged by appointment by calling 561-533-7354. To learn more about the Lake Worth Historical Museum click on this link.

1919. “Pioneers assembled for group
portrait – Lake Worth, Florida”:

From Florida Memory collection, State
Library & Archives of Florida

Stumbled on this back in September 2011. I think it’s to the tune of “O Tannenbaum”:

Lake Worth, Florida
By Dr. W. H. Cotton [circa 1920]
The nation
’s eye is on thy sands
Florida, O Florida!
Thy lovely shores and fertile lands,
Florida, O Florida!
The future whispers in thy pines,
It beckons in thy
“white coal” mines,
The pioneer to thee inclines
Florida, O Florida!
Oh, My Lake Worth, Florida!

Lake Worth
’s the place for you, to go,
Florida, O Florida!
’ll put you up a bungalow
Florida, O Florida!
The interest takes not a cent,
You pay the cost instead of rent.
What better plan could man invent?
Florida, O Florida!
Oh, My Lake Worth, Florida!

Adieu to bleak and frozen lands,
Florida, O Florida!
Adieu to wastes and desert sands,
Florida, O Florida!
In Florida I
’ll make my home,
Nor want the placer sands of Nome;
Her gold is in her fertile loam;
Florida, O Florida!
Oh, My Lake Worth, Florida!

Lake Worth will greet you with a smile,
Florida, O Florida!
’ll fix you up in bully style,
Florida, O Florida!
Beneath the kindly southern sun,
’ll see your fortune well begun;
’d better be upon the run.
(To) Florida, O Florida!
Oh, my Lake Worth, Florida

The Lake Worth Herald helps along,
Florida, O Florida!
It's editor is R. E. Strong.
Florida, O Florida!
he keeps things moving in the way
Of doing something day by day,
And renders service as he may
(For) Florida, O Florida!
Oh, my Lake Worth, Florida!

Our Governor reflects the hour,
Florida, O Florida!
He stands for Okeechobee
’s pow’r
Florida, O Florida!
Great Edison is with us, too,
And Bryan is of that great crew
That makes the prospect good to view,
(In) Florida, O Florida!
Oh, my Lake Worth, Florida!

Why falter, then? There
’s no excuse,
Florida, O Florida!
“Wizard” will turn on the “juice”.
Florida, O Florida!
The light and pow
’r are on the way,
And when they come they
’ll come to stay,
To usher in a brighter day,
(For) Florida, O Florida!
Oh, my Lake Worth Florida!

“Commoner’s” not here for fun,
Florida, O Florida!
He sees the chance-- sixteen to one ---
(In) Florida, O Florida!
With Trammal, Bryan and the rest
Lake Worth shall flower with the best -
Lake Worth, In Florida, the blest --
Florida, O Florida!
Oh, my Lake Worth, Florida!

The End.

The image below is from The New York Times that mentions Trammell and Bryan from 1922. Trammell was the 21st Governor of the State of Florida and served as U.S. Senator for almost 20 years. The NYT article is near the date when the lyrics were authored, which would correspond with the “boom” period of 1920s Florida.

Click on image to enlarge:
Special to The New York Times.