The town took off in the late 1800s due to a boom in the sale of Acton’s acreage in England, leading multiple families from across the pond to establish the town in 1883. Just one year later, in 1884, the town was officially platted, thus, Lakeland’s early nemesis was born.
What put Acton on the map The railroad depot, at the time, left Acton just a notch above Lakeland as it was a stop on the South Florida Railroad line. This stop put Acton on the map as one of the three Citrus-Belt cities alongside Sarasota and Mackinnon.
• “The Town of Acton is on the South Florida Railroad, just halfway between Tampa and Kissimmee, being about 33 miles from each.” • “It is beautifully situated between Lake Parker and Bonnie Lake…” • “The South Florida Railroad runs straight through the centre of the town, the depot being in the middle of the public square.” • “There are two hotels open all the year round – The Acton House and Lake House. There are two large stores, a saloon, several good dwelling-houses, a schoolhouse, and a saw-mill…”
The demise of the town of Acton came about in the late 1880s when the booming railroad depot burned to the ground under what The City of Lakeland calls “mysterious circumstances.” With Lakeland’s brand new, bigger, and more modern stop, Acton soon withered away by the year 1906, when it was nothing but a memory.
Do you know something about Acton, Florida that we missed?
Or, drop us your theories on this “mysterious” fire…
It doesn’t matter how it gets there — horse, buggy, or railway – Act-on this conversation by “mysteriously burning” these share buttons.
Weather ○ 73º | T-Storms | 72% chance of rain
Coronavirus ○ Publix announced the cancellation of today’s COVID-19 registration due to shipping delays caused by inclement weather. The cancellation is only for those seniors interested in registering for the first dose of the vaccine. Residents with existing appointments for a second dose should still arrive as scheduled. (LkldNow) ○ On Thursday, the Florida Department of Health announced 5,117 new cases of COVID-19 and166 additional deaths in Florida. That brings the total number of cases in FL of COVID-19 to 1,849,744 + the total deaths to 29,990.You can find more updates concerning COVID-19 case numbers on the Florida Department of Health dashboard. See Lakeland + Polk numbers here. ○ Monitor the Florida Department of Health in Polk’s website for the latest information regarding vaccines. Seniors can register for the vaccination here.
ComingSoon ○ Coca-Cola’s Lakeland Distribution Center (1770 Interstate Dr.) is moving over to Winter Haven. The current center is home to 182 employees and produces a whopping 5.3 million cases of the popular soft drink every year. However, due to the growth that the center’s experienced over the years, there’s a need to expand the current space. The current plan, though still in the preliminary stages, is to move the facility to a 470,000 sqft Winter Haven location (4116 Logistics Pkwy.) while will bring 172 additional positions to Polk. (The Ledger)
NowOpen ○Mulberry’sGEM Theateris now back in business after its grand re-opening on Thursday. Built in the 1940s, the historic theater spent three years under renovation, which included the installation of brand new seats, floors + drywall. It now boasts some features you won’t find at any other theater in Polk County like a space in front of the stage for dining + dancing. It’s truly the jewel in Mulberry’s crown. 💎 (The Ledger)
Civic ○Polk County Utilityis warning residents of a recent water treatment scam. The utility claims that they will notify customers directly of any deterrence from what’s deemed “normal” and “safe” in terms of drinking water standards. Any calls that ask residents to install an “at-home water treatment system” are not valid unless clarified by the Utilities’ Water Operations Team. You can reach them at (863) 271-0309. ○ The Lakeland Fire Department is training internal candidates for Driver-Engineer positions that will become available soon. While they may not directly fight fires, Driver-Engineers are crucial for getting the crew to the scene ASAP + making sure the water supply is flowing correctly. Only the highest-scoring trainees will become a Driver-Engineer.
Number ○ $369 million. That’s how much money will be committed to various road projects in the Winter Haven area over the next five years. The headline project is phase one of the Central Polk Parkway which will connect the Polk Parkway with U.S. 17 near Bartow Executive Airport (5993 Airport Blvd.). This is estimated to cost $272 million with construction scheduled between the years 2023-25. Other improvements include the intersection of U.S. 17 + Cypress Gardens Blvd., as well as a bridge over train tracks crossing S.R. 60 near Lake Wales. (Winter Haven Sun)
Finance ○ Tax season is approaching and S&D Real Estate is ready to walk first-time homebuyers through the process with this guide, covering everything from deductions to tax breaks. 🏡 Ⓟ
FeaturedJob ○ We’re hiring. If you know that Saturdays are farmers market days, swans are the queens of the avian world + Pub Subs reign supreme, come work with us at LALtoday, and join our team as an Editor. Key responsibilities include educating Lakeland through our daily newsletter and social platforms. Learn more about the position here.
#Florida ○ A 10 ft. crocodile named Anuket at St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Parkswallowed a running shoe back in December. After weeks of signs that she may have regretted the snack, University of Florida vets decided to go fishing for it by hand. When that didn’t work, they performed a successful surgery. The 34-year old croc is already doing better after her shoe-ectomy. There’s your word of the day: shoe-ectomy. 🐊 (The Ledger)
FeaturedEvent ○ The Fire Outside: The Fire Film Festival | Fri., Feb. 19-Sat., Feb. 20 | Times vary | Southeastern University, Silver Moon Drive-in | $10-20 | The 2021 festival, sponsored by Allen & Co. and Visit Central Florida, features in-person sessions at SEU and festival screenings at the Silver Moon Drive-In. Ⓟ
Saturday ○ Tyler Robinson Sing-a-Long LIVE| Sat., Feb. 20 | 7-10 p.m. | Federal Bar Lakeland, 124 S. Tennessee Ave. | Free | Full food + drink menu available. ○ Stokes GSR Arena Bulls & Barrels| Sat., Feb. 20 | 6 p.m. | 16825 Taylor Rd., Polk City | $7+ | Hop on your saddle, partner; the rodeo is coming to town. 🐂 ○ SyFy Bartow| Sat., Feb. 20 | 11 a.m.-6 p.m. | 165 E. Main St., Downtown Bartow | Free | A street fair type science fiction convention with a car show, food trucks, and cosplay.
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.