Some people credit Walt Disney for putting Orlando on the map. I say it was already there or Walt never would have considered building here. Orlando has a long and interesting history that pre-dates Magic Kingdom, International Drive, and the outlet malls. Tourists had already been coming for decades to take advantage of the healthful benefits they believed the tropical climate provided. Grand hotels like the Angebilt and the San Juan Hotel were welcoming travelers a half a century before Walt Disney World welcomed its first guest.
Orlando is not like Philadelphia or Boston, where the history is obvious. You have to look a little harder here to find history. Orlando grew from a small wilderness community dealing with cattle rustlers to one of the world’s top vacation destinations. That growth took over 150 years and there are some great stories to tell from those times.
The idea behind this blog is to feature some Orlando postcards I have collected, share the stories behind them, and show what is there today. This is sort of “Orlando – Then and Now”.
My qualifications to share these stories? I have eaten fried shrimp at Gary’s Duck Inn, enjoyed pickles and slaw from the relish bowls at Ronnie’s Restaurant and Deli, and have an appreciation for living in the City Beautiful.