Celery Growing, City of Jacksonville Steamboat in the Background


Dublin Core


Celery Growing, City of Jacksonville Steamboat in the Background

Alternative Title

Celery Cultivation


Waterfront Districts
Lakes & ponds
Lake Monroe (Seminole County and Volusia County, Fla.)
Steamboats--Florida--St. Johns River--History
Farm workers
Water transportation
Celery industry
Sanford (Fla.)


Postcard of a celery farm along the riverfront with the City of Jacksonville steamboat in the background. The origins of Sanford's connection to celery farming began on December 26, 1894, when a freeze damaged the area's citrus groves. They began to recover during a warm and wet January which promoted new shoots, but a second freeze hit on February 7, 1895, practically wiping them out. The 24 degree temperature was the coldest known in Florida to that point. The freeze was so intense that the sap froze inside the trunks, many of which split open, sounding like gunshots, and crashed to the ground. The population quickly dropped from 5000 to 2000 as the groves were abandoned. I.H. Terwilliger stayed after the freezes and is believed to have planted the first celery grown in Sanford in 1896. J.N. Whitner and B.F. Whitner Sr. planted 3/4 acre in 1897 with celery imported from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Chase & Company also converted to celery cultivation and by 1898, celery became the crop synonymous to Sanford.

By the mid-1880s, Sanford, Florida had become a major distribution center due to the city's strategic location along Lake Monroe and the St. Johns River. Even before Florida obtained statehood, steamboats frequented the St. Johns River carrying U.S. Army soldiers to Fort Mellon, located on the shores of Lake Monroe, to defend the area against Native Americans during the Seminole Wars. Steamboats were used at the fort and during the Battle of Camp Monroe to relocate Seminoles, explore the St. Johns River, and to distribute military forces. During the second half of the 1830s, steamboats were used to tow barges from the river to Lake Monroe in order to stimulate trade. The first commercial steamboat was developed as the Brock Line in the early 1850s. As trade grew, various wharves and docks were built in locations such as Mellonville Avenue, Palmetto Avenue, Oak Street, and Sanford Avenue. The Debary-Baya Merchant Line began transporting passengers in 1883, which further developed the steamboat industry. The line was purchased by the Clyde Line in 1886 and remained open until 1933. The growth of railroads was the primary cause of the decline of the steamboat industry.


Width: 32.5 ft.
Depth: 6.6 ft.
Length: 160 ft.
Tonnage: 548 gross and 395 net.
Rig: sidewheel.
Official number: 126081.
Year built: 1882, Wilmington, Delaware.
First place registered or first home port: New York, New York.
Disposition: circa 1933 converted into a dance hall.


A.C. Bosselman & Company


Original 9 x 14 centimeter color postcard by A.C. Bosselman & Company: Postcard Collection, call number PC3266, Florida Photographic Collection, State Library and Archives of Florida, Tallahassee, Florida.

Date Created

ca. 1900-1949

Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of original 9 x 14 centimeter color postcard by A.C. Bosselman & Company on Florida Memory Project: Postcard Collection, call number PC3266, Florida Photographic Collection, State Library and Archives of Florida, Tallahassee, Florida. http://floridamemory.com/items/show/161135.

Is Part Of

Postcard Collection, Florida Photographic Collection, State Library and Archives of Florida, Tallahassee, Florida.
Sanford Riverfront Collection, Sanford Collection, Seminole County Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.




53 KB


9 x 14 centimeter color postcard




Still Image


Sanford, Florida

Spatial Coverage

28.814197, -81.266041

Temporal Coverage


Accrual Method


Audience Education Level

SS.K.A.1.2; SS.1.A.1.1; SS.2.A.1.1; SS.3.A.1.1; SS.3.A.1.2; SS.3.G.4.1; SS.4.A.1.1; SS.4.A.6.1; SS.4.E.1.2; SS.5.A.1.1; SS.6.W.1.3; SS.7.G.2.3; SS.8.A.1.5; SS.8.A.4.5; SS.912.A.1.2; SS.912.W.1.3


History Teacher
Economics Teacher
Geography Teacher


Originally created and owned by A.C. Bosselman & Company.

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by the State Library and Archives of Florida and is provided here by RICHES of Central Florida for educational purposes only.


Cepero, Laura

Digital Collection

External Reference

"Sanford: a Brief History." City of Sanford Florida. http://www.sanfordfl.gov/index.aspx?page=48.
Mills, Jerry W., and F. Blair Reeves. A Chronology of the Development of the City of Sanford, Florida: With Major Emphasis on Early Growth, 1975.
"Sydney Chase Sr. (1860-1941)." Florida Citrus Hall of Fame. Copyright 2012. http://floridacitrushalloffame.com/index.php/inductees/inductee-name/?ref_cID=89&bID=0&dd_asId=600.
De Berard, Ella Teague. Steamboats in the Hyacinths. Daytona Beach, Fla: College Pub. Co, 1956.
"Steamboats." Museum of Seminole County History, Seminole County, Florida Government. http://www.seminolecountyfl.gov/core/fileparse.php/3338/urlt/steamboats.pdf.
Bass, Bob. When Steamboats Reigned in Florida. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2008.


Celery Growing, SANFORD, Fla. 11078

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

1 color postcard

Physical Dimensions

9 x 14 centimeter


A.C. Bosselman & Company, “Celery Growing, City of Jacksonville Steamboat in the Background,” RICHES, accessed July 18, 2024, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/464.