Englewood, Florida History.
Englewood, Florida, is over 100 years old, although artifacts at the Indian Mound Park date back as far as 1000 BC to about 1350 AD. It is not known whether it was built by the Colusa or Timacua Indians, since the midden was very near the border of where these ancient Indian tribes lived.
In 1884, Herbert Nicholas of Englewood, Ill., and his two brothers came to the area with the intention of growing lemons. They named the town Englewood in rememberence of the town in Illinois. The original plat of Englewood stretched from Stewart St. on the north side, Dearborn St on the south side, Elm St. on the east side and Lemon Bay on the west.
The lumber industry was the next to take root at the turn of the century; however, this endeavor faltered as the area was stripped of trees and, with no trees, the jobs were gone. Promoters of the area suggested that Englewood was a fine place to raise familes, or retire, promoting the area as laid back with an easy life style and excellent fishing and hunting.
In 1916 Pete Buchan purchased a piece of property at the end of Dearborn St and built a 2 story building, a general store on the 1st floor and his family's living quarters above. Trades people followed Buchan's lead and moved to the Dearborn Street area which then became the hub of the business community for several decades.
The Quinby/Jergens/Rinkard House, located at the corner of Dearborn Street and Old Englewood Road, was built in 1896. It was originally a boarding house and later bought by the Andrew Jergens family (soap and lotion fame) and reverted to a guest home when purchased by the Rinkard family. It was the oldest structure in Englewood, Florida, until it suffered severe damage in a fire in 2011. The structure has been razed, as shown in the photo on the right.
The Lemon Bay Funeral Home at the end of Dearborn Street was constructed as Tate's Market and was one of two grocery stores in town. Owned and operated by Jack Tate, Pete Buchan's son-in-law, it was a great place to get caught up with the local news and gossip.
Some of the original buildings are still standing and in use on Dearborn Street. Taking a stroll around the area brings you back into the past.
The Green Street Church, 1 block south of Dearborn Street, was the first church building constructed in Englewood, Florida. It was built in 1926 and was a Methodist Church.
It is owned by the Lemon Bay Historical Society and has been turned into a museum.
The Englewood Hardware Store was built by Mr. Ziegler around about 1919. It was an IGA store and at one time housed the Post Office.
Kellys II Tavern.
Kellys II Tavern was built in 1924 and originally had horse stables on the ground floor. In the late 20's it housed a small barber shop and in 1930 had become a tavern.
Paradise Exclusive Real Estate.
Opened in 1928 as Chapin Wholesale & Retail Grocery Company Inc. Mr. Chapin sold it to his son-in-law and it became The Van Norman Company Grocery Store.