Lake Helen, Florida
Volusia County
Florida East Coast Railway
St. Johns River
Lake Helen became incorporated in the summer of 1888. The village was the brain-child of Henry DeLand, and he
named his new village, Lake Helen after his daughter.

Lake Helen was originally a winter retreat for northeasterners and with the addition of two hotels, the Harlan Hotel and a
little later the Granville Hotel.

Citrus groves were planted and thrived, a sawmill and the Bond Brick Company were established. It was an arduous
journey early on by steamer and horse or mule wagon from the St. Johns River, but it 1887 the railroad came to Lake
Helen.

Lake Helen grew quickly, with many new homes being built each season, of the local southern yellow pine. Many of them
still stand today as a tribute to the craftsmanship of the times.

Handbook of Florida (Norton, 1890)
Lat. 28 degrees 58' N. Long 81 degrees 13' W.
Hotels -- The Harlan Hotel, $2 to $2.50 a day. -- The Granville, $7 to $10 a week.
Railroads -- The Atlantic and Western Railroad east to New Smyrna and coast-wise steamers, west to J. T. & K. W. Ry.
and
St. John's River steamers.

Lake Helen is essentially a resort or sanitarium. Its inhabitants are mainly Northerners, who come for the winter,
preferring the air of the piney woods to that of the seacoast. For such persons the situation is very attractive. The land
is high, the surface of the lake being about sixty feet above the sea level, and the bluff where the hotel stands some
thirty feet higher.

The place is named after the daughter of its founder, Mr. H. A. De Land. The lake is one of a chain of similar lakes of
small size, but filled with pure water and of great depth. Lake Helen, it is said on good authority, has been sounded to a
depth of more than two hundred feet without finding bottom. the fishing is good and the hotel has a large fleet of
rowboats at the disposal of its guests without extra charge. Along the west shore of the lake are a number of handsome
cottages, with luxuriant flower-gardens containing all kinds of tropical and semi-tropical plants that grow and blossom in
the open air all the year round. The facilities for housekeeping are exceptionally good, as there is a large vegetable
garden connected with the hotel, a local meat market, and stores that furnish the ordinary supplies required in this
climate.

1892 (From Snow to Sun Florida Winter Pleasure Tours Pennsylvania Railroad)
LAKE HELEN.
9 miles from Blue Spring, via Atlantic and Western Railroad. Connection from Jacksonville, via Jacksonville, Tampa and
Key West Railway, or St. John's River steamers to Blue Spring.

Mainly a winter sanitarium, its chief popularity is due to the air of its piney woods, many preferring this to the more open
and heroic treatment of the coast. The lake is about sixty feet above the sea level, and is a beautiful sheet of water of
great depth. Its banks are studded with handsome residences, and it shelters a colony who certainly get full enjoyment
from life as captured in this delicious retreat.

PRINCIPAL HOTELS.
Harlan Hotel . $2.00 to $2.50 per day. | Granville House, $1.50 to $2.00 per day.

Lake Helen (The Tatler, 1899)
Lake Helen being one of the largest of these, with a fine hotel, the Harlan, with accommodations for one hundred
guests. Returning to the main road, Oak Hill, the home of the hunter, is passed, and Titusville, a town of several
hundred inhabitants, on the west bank of the Indian river, about sixteen miles from the Mosquito Inlet, and almost
surrounded by orange groves, the fruit, as all growing on this far-famed river, considered the most delicious flavor
grown.

A Charming Resort in the High Pine Lands of Volusia (St. Augustine Evening Record, January 9, 1902)
For a healthful resort there is not any town in Florida equal to Lake Helen which is delightfully located in a great forest of
primeval pines on the highest land east of the St. Johns, eight miles from the river, twenty from the Atlantic Coast and
one hundred and nine miles south from St. Augustine, on a branch of the East Coast Railway.

The Spiritualists assemble annually on the fourth Sunday in February at Lake Helen claiming that it is a place specially
adapted to spiritual and mediumistic influences.

The Harlan Hotel has been leased for a term of years by Mr. Harry A. DeForest, who has managed successfully for
years past, the Hanover, in Trenton, N. J. A man experienced in the hotel business, his work is rendered especially
agreeable by the social assistance of a very interesting family consisting of wife and two charming daughters. The
Harian lies directly on the banks of the lake, where the fishing and boating are fine, a mile away good hunting in season,
of pigeons, quail, deer and wild turkey may be had.

Hotel Webster, managed by Messrs. O. B. and M. I. Webster, is now open made over like new, heated throughout with a
hot water system. About forty cottages surround the hotel and these are rapidly filling up with tenants. There is also a
large store, livery, post office, telegraph, express office and library, called "Hopkins Library," in the vicinity.

Mr. Hagen, of the scientific calisthenic fame, is one of the busy men spending the winter at Hotel Webster. He is an
exceptionally clever man who adopts common sense and logic as the basis for curing the majority of aliments to which
the flesh is heir. It has been alleged that innumerable diseases have been cured by him.

                                                                
 Places to Stay 1909
The Harlan-Hotel-in-the-Pines
-- Will be open from December to May. Accommodates 100. Rates, $2.00 to $2.50 per
day; $10.00 to $15.00 per week. Overlooks the lake of clear water from which the town takes its name; is comfortable
and homelike. Is in a fine grove of twenty acres belonging to the hotel. For the season 1909-10 it will be thoroughly
renovated, repaired, and refurnished, and has modern improvements. An artesian well supplies the water for the house,
and none better can be found in the State or elsewhere, as has been proved by chemical analysis.

Tennis, croquet, boating, billiards, pool, bowling and shuffleboard are provided for the free use of the guests of the
hotel. A livery is connected with the house.

Hotel Webster -- Jno. A. & M. I. Jefferys, managers. In the heart of Florida's great pine forest, on the Orange City
branch of the Florida East Coast Railway, twenty miles due west from New Smyrna, 'mid rolling hills, overlooking orange
groves and beautiful fresh water lakes. A roomy, well arranged hotel, heated with hot water system. Plenty of toilet and
bath rooms; excellent water. One of the most healthful places in Florida. A first-class winter home for nice people at the
moderate rates of $2.00 per day; $8.00 and $9.00 per week; or 41.00 for each day by the month. Open December 1st
to April 1st.

                                                             
 Places to Stay 1912
Harlan Hotel -
P. E Stone; capacity, 10; rates - per day $2.00 to $2.50, per week, $10.00 to $15.00.

Hotel Webster - J. A. and M. I. Jeffreys; capacity, 200; rates  - per day, $2.00, per week, $8.00 to $9.00.
Custom Search
St. Johns River
Florida East Coast Railway
Edgewood House
Florida East Coast Railway Depot
Lake Helen view from the Harlan Hotel
Harlan Hotel
Palatka
Federal Point
Green Cove Springs
Orange Mills
Picolata
Crescent City
Jacksonville
Lake Helen
Mayport
Black Point
Piney Point
Orange Park
Mandarin
Hibernia
Tocoi
Magnolia Springs
Green Cove Springs
West Tocoi
Clay's Landing
Rolleston
San Mateo
Enterprise
New Switzerland
Fruit Cove
Buena Vista
Welaka
Beecher
Volusia
Blue Spring
Enterprise
     
Florida East Coast Railway
Information
Hastings
Ormond
Daytona
Daytona Beach
New Smyrna
Rockledge
Jacksonville
Atlantic Beach
Palatka
Seabreeze
Port Orange
Ponce Park
Lake Helen
Coronado Beach
Deland
Hastings
East Palatka
Elkton
Jacksonville
San Mateo
Orange Mills
Bayard
Mayport
Enterprise