Lake Placid Florida

I’ve recently been looking for small towns in Florida that I thought might have some interesting characteristics or architecture that I could create a project around.  Pleasantly, there are quite a number that could be quite interesting but most are not reasonably close to me.  Then I discovered Lake Placid.

Lake Placid is a touch over 100 miles away but it’s also Reader’s Digest’s 2012 most interesting town.  Nowhere else in the world are you going to find a town of roughly 2,000 folks that’s known as; The Caladium Capital of the World, The Town of Murals and home to the only Clown College.

So far, Brody and I have made 3 trips to Lake Placid and now possess the most complete gallery of Lake Placid Murals on the internet.  Don’t know if that’s absolutely true but I sure as heck couldn’t find another complete gallery when I was researching the town.  So, if you want to feast your eyes to some amazing works of art just Click Here

For the rest of this post I’m just going to cite some references and information I’ve collected to this point.  I don’t know that this will turn into a full blown project like The DeKalb Blog, but it sure has been fun learning and seeing what I have so far.

First, I’d like to thank Bob and Harriet Porter who started the whole Mural thing in 1992 and it’s a concept that certainly seems to have grown across many towns, especially here in Florida.  Second I’d like to thank the artists who contributed to the Mural Movement.  I just took photos it was your skills and creativity that is the art here.  Third, if you happen to read this and want to contribute excepts or citations or links to web sites that pertain to Lake Placid, please include them in the comments.  If enough material is gathered I’m more likely to get serious about a complete profile of the town.

Begin References ……

Lake Placid, which was formerly called Lake Stearns, was chartered on December 1, 1925. Dr. Melvil Dewey, the inventor of the Dewey Decimal System, and the founder of the Lake Placid Club in Lake Placid, New York, proposed that Lake Stearns change its name to Lake Placid. On April 29, 1927 the Lake Stearns Commissioners accepted Dr. Dewey’s proposal to change the town’s name from Lake Stearns to Lake Placid. Subsequently, they submitted a request to the Florida State Legislature. On June 6, 1927 the Town of Lake Stearns was chartered as Lake Placid.

In 2012 it was voted Readers Digest most interesting town.

The town has two nicknames—“The Town of Murals and “The Caladium Capital of the World.” Lake Placid has more than 40 murals painted on buildings throughout the town,and 98 percent of the world’s caladium bulbs come from Lake Placid. 

Lake Placid is also the home of a clown college that, that graduates 25 new clowns a year and lays claim to the only Clown Museum in the world. 


Lake Placid Tower:  The Lake Placid Tower opened in 1961 and is 270 feet tall. At the time of its completion, it was said to be the tallest concrete block tower in the world. Tourists would pay $3.00 to ride an elevator to the top of what was then called “Happiness Tower.” But its owners never upgraded it to meet fire code standards.  It has been known as The Tower of Peace and the Happiness Tower

City of Murals;  In 1992, the Lake Placid Mural Society formed to beautify the town and tell it’s story.  Harriet and Bob Porter were the founders of the Society

Artists of Lake Placid Murals

Keith Goodson
Cracker Cattle Drive
America’s Most Interesting Town
Decades of Green Dragon Basketball
Honoring Early Physicians
The Old Post Office
Town of Murals
The Scrub Jay World
The Trail to Eagle Scout
Richard Archbold & Archbold Biological Station
Toby’s First Clown Class
Our Citrus Heritage
Jewels of Highland County
Stuck in Time

Monica Turner
The Art of Clown School
Hometown News – Lake Placid Journal 1960l

Roy Hamton
Dr Melvil Dewey

Terry Smith
Dr Melvil Dewey
The Lost Bear Cub
God Bless America
Watching from the Past
Rare Resident Florida Panther

Gary LaBree
Prairie Dwellers
Lake Istokpoga Village

Tom Freeman
Caladium Fields
Tea at Southwinds

John Gutcher *Tampa Artist, I believe he passed away 2001
Lake Placid Drug Store
Turpentine Industry
Toby’s Clown School
One of the murals he created “ A Family Feeding” I believe was repainted as The Scrub Jay World by John Goodson.  This assumption is based on the fact A Family Feeding no longer exists.

Dean Quigley
Layers of Time

Thomas Brooks
Turkey Hunt – The Last Opportunity
Sandhill Cranes – Dawn Patrol

Richard Currier
The Talk of the Town
Captain TW Webb
Tropical State Bank Robbery

Connie T. Burns/Watkins
Lake Placid County Fair

Charles Peck
Eddie Mae Henderson

Roger Cooke 
Jennie Reninger – A Remarkable Woman
The Rose Man
Dr Charles Akes

Courtney Canova
Annie Hill – Nurse – Mid-Wife

Dan & Peter Sawatzky
Train Depot

Wade Kapaldo

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