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Historic Committee

  • Chair: Bill Jennings - Deborah Cook
  • Members:
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    Images of America: College Park

    The College Park book has finally arrived! It is titled Images of America: College Park and written by Tana Mosier Porter for the College Park Neighborhood Association. The author did a book signing at the College Park Community Center on Feb 23rd, 2015. Copies of the book are for sale at Let Us Frame It and Annabelle Hart. The author will also do a book signing at Sunday In The Park on March 8th, 2015 and at the CPNA meeting on March 2nd, 2015.



    Thank you – Bill Jennings

    Historical Committee co chair.





    Ca. 1882

    19 West Princeton Street


    The Erricsson-Harper House was built between 1881 and 1883 on an 80 acre parcel in what is present day College Park, The parcel was obtained by John P. Ericsson, a former Union soldier, as a house stead land grant signed by President U. S. Grant on July 1, 1875. On March 5, 1875, Erricsson granted a 1/6 interest in the property to James E. Harper, a sharecropper, with the intention of developing a citrus grove.


    A mortgage for $1,320 was obtained in the names of John P. Erricsson, James E. Harper, and Mary F. Harper (James Harper's wife) from Charles Joy of New Hampshire, on January 23, 1882, indicating the start of construction of the current 19 West Princeton Street residence.


    At the time of its construction, the Erricsson-Harper House was located in the village of Wilcox, just north of the South Florida Railroad line. The Wilcox train depot and post office were located in a store at the present day intersection of Princeton Street and Orange Avenue.


    Erricsson and Harper were well situated to take advantage of the soon to boom Orange County citrus industry. However, "feeling. .. in a dying state," Erricsson bequeathed his interest in the property and all other of his assets to Mrs. Sallie Allen, wife of J.H. Allen on December 10, 1882. He died soon after, having lived but a few months in his new home.


    As no one was available to manage the assets of the estate, Sheriff T. W. Shine of Orange County was appointed as Administrator or Executor of the Estate. Charles Joy, mortgagor, requested that the property be sold to pay the outstanding principal and interest of $1,642.08 as of January 25, 1884. As the citrus grove was yet to produce, James Harper had no way to pay the outstanding mortgage. Further, Joy's request stated, "the property upon which this mortgage was taken was not properly taken care of and is declining in value." The proceedings continued for several months and SaDie Allen and James Harper defaulted. Finally, by final decree, on December 9, 1884 the property was ordered to be sold at public auction to satisfy the $1,853.28 balance of the mortgage plus taxes and legal fees.


    Charles Joy acquired the property of the Erricsson estate for bid of $2,000 and on April 18, 1885 (just less than ten years since the homestead was acquired by Erricsson) he subdivided the parcel, To John G. Sinclair went "14 acres, more or less being the land on which the Emmerson (sic) and Harper Grove is situated. "


    Sinclair was the premier Realtor of his day. Listed as property number 81 in the 1885 edition of Price and Descriptive List of Sinclair's Real Estate Agency is " a grove of 1,000 trees at Wilcox... 1/2 mile from the railroad station overlooking beautiful Lake Ivanhoe ... a nearly new two-story house." The asking price was $16,000.


    As the Wilcox station was located near the present day intersection of Orange Avenue and Princeton Street, property number 81 is very likely the Erricsson-Harper House and adjacent 14 acres which Sinclair acquired that year.


    For the next 15 years the 14-acre Erricsson and Harper Grove property passed through many owners. In 1900, Charles Hill Trevor, perhaps a victim of the big freeze of 1895 lost the property for failure to pay back taxes. In 1902 L.C. Horn acquired the Erricsson and Harper Grove property for a $13.98 tax certificate and $52.59 in expenses. He soon thereafter assigned the property to Martha E. Johnson for a quick claim deed of $5.00. J.C. Johnson (Martha's husband) satisfied Charles Hill Trevor's deed for $400 and the property was theirs.


    The Johnson's remained in the Erricsson-Harper House until their deaths. However, in 1923, to satisfy an outstanding mortgage, they sold the grove property. In December 1923 (the year the area that is present day College Park was annexed into the city of Orlando) the Erricsson and Harper Grove was subdivided, becoming the "Rosemere Annex" consisting of Lots 1-12 - Block A, Lots 1 to 24 - Block B, Lots 1 to 23 - Block C, and Lots 1 to 11 - Block D, Lot 11, Block D, including the house, was retained by the Johnson’s.


    According to the platting of Rosemere Annex, the Erricsson and Harper Grove included the area that today is bounded on the north by Winter Park Avenue, on the east by the eastern most property tine of all lots on the east side of Amherst Avenue between Princeton Street and Winter Park Avenue plus 19 West Princeton Street and the lot adjacent to it on the east, on the south by Princeton Street, and on the west by Dartmouth Avenue.


    Martha Johnson died in July 1927, her daughter, Jessie Cone filed suit against the other heirs to obtain the property and "a two story frame dwelling, which is at this time forty-five (45) years old and of questionable value". Jessie Cone's suit was prompted by the City of Orlando's decision to pave Princeton Street and install a sewer tine. Jessie who "continued to occupy the premise" since her mother's death was required by the city to connect to the sewer line and install "plumbing within the house, or that occupancy thereof will he forbidden." Her suit stated "that if the house is left unoccupied that it will quickly disintegrate because at the present time the roof leaks and the property is in a state of comparative disrepair."


    Jessie Cone was successful and acquired the Erricsson-Harper House.





    James Cribb is confident that his house at 19 W. Princeton St. is the oldest home still standing in Orlando, even older than the Norment-Parry House on Lake Lucerne.


    But before James and his wife Sue Simon could complete their research, they moved to San Francisco. They relied extensively on their abstract. The abstract shows that John P. Erricsson a Civil War veteran got the 19 W. Princeton property as part of a federal land grant in 1875. On Jan. 23. 1882,, he and James and Mary Harper took out a $1300 mortgage on what was then grove land. The present owner's believe this mortgage was

    Taken out to build the farmhouse we see today.          ~ _~


    The price and style are about right for 1882. but the clincher seems to be another statement quoted in the abstract. In 1927 Jessie Cone who inherited the property. sued the other heir to obtain sole title to the land and "a two-story frame dwelling which is at this time 45 years old"


    Mrs. Cone improved the farmhouse and subsequent owners, notably the

    Sherman Dantzler family, Joe Boyd and James Cribb, have taken special

    care of it. Boyd, like Cribb, was interested in historic designation for the house and therefore removed composition shingles installed several decades ago. exposing the early siding. The CPNA Historical Committee plans to finish the owners' historic landmark application.








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