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Updated: 12/07/2017 08:30:00AM

Branding ‘The Chain of Lakes City’

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Bob Gernert Jr.


This Chamber of Commerce brochure from the mid-1920s touts the “City of 100 Lakes” theme. The original artwork was created by Clyde May, talented Winter Haven artist of the day.

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For the better part of the 20th century Winter Haven was known as the “City of 100 Lakes.” As the City of Winter Haven prepared to usher in the new century, the City Commission acted (in the year 2000) to formally adopt a new slogan “The Chain of Lakes City.” This new community descriptor actually describes one of our most enduring assets ... our chain of 16 canal-connected fresh-water lakes. As testament to this “Chain of Lakes” emphasis, the city gateway signs, vehicles, stationery — right down to the refuse and recycling receptacles bear the inscription.

The exact origins of the “100 Lakes” claim to fame are lost to passage of time. It was thought to have originated during the 1920s Real Estate boom when grand claims of natural beauty, health benefits and instant wealth were the hallmarks of most Florida promotions. Winter Haven, like many other communities, was enjoying tremendous growth. Construction of new buildings included such landmarks as the Haven Hotel, Lake Region Hotel, Ritz Theatre, Taylor building and many other Central Avenue structures.

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