Towns and Cities

Kissimmee Postcards from the 1940s

The Kissimmee lakefront has provided a gathering place on the shore of Lake Tohopekaliga. I recall my grandfather telling me of days when Seminole Indians would canoe into town and sleep under the canopy of the large oak trees. That same shore saw the nearby South Florida railroad unload travelers on their journey to a resort, or perhaps a new life in Central Florida.

By the 1940's, the lakefront had seen development, including the addition of a seawall, a community house and what has been described as 'the world's most unique monument,' the Monument of States. Kissimmee also opened a zoo, which I remember visiting when I was quite young.

Here are a few linen postcards from my collection that showcase the Kissimmee lakefront.

Kissimmee Lakefront Linen Postcard c1946
Kissimmee Lakefront Linen Postcard, circa 1946. Reverse: Orange News Co., Orlando, FLA.
Kissimmee Municipal Zoo Linen Postcard, circa 1946. Reverse: Orange News Co., Orlando, FLA.
Kissimmee Municipal Zoo Linen Postcard, circa 1946. Reverse: Orange News Co., Orlando, FLA.
Kissimmee Monument of States
Kissimmee Monument of States, circa 1946. Reverse: WORLD'S MOST UNIQUE MONUMENT. Built of 1500 stones. Every State in the U.S.A., 41 governors and 21 foreign countries represented. Base 22 ft. square. Height 50 ft. Weight 600,000 lbs. 2 years to build. Sponsored and bult by the Kissimmee All-States Tourist Club, Inc.

Many postcards, including these provide idealized views of their subjects. The Monument of States, for example, is not as close to the waterfront as the image implies, nor is the view as clear (the Community Center was behind the monument from this view. The tropical feel of these cards would certainly please the recipients and, perhaps, entice them to make the trip to Florida to find paradise themselves.

Living just three blocks from the Monument of States, I visited - and climbed - it too many times to count. The lakefront and all of downtown Kissimmee was my playground in the 1970's. I enjoyed it and would gladly repeat those old days and appreciate the people and life in a small town much more than I did.

Did you grow up in 'old' Kissimmee or a small town? Have fond memories to share? Your comments and stories are welcomed.