I was quite
eager to research the historical figure that I was assigned to. Harry Seymour
Kelsey is arguably credited with creating Florida’s first community. He was the
president of Waldorf Systems, Inc. which was a nationwide restaurant chain.
Kelsey completely revolutionized the Florida cities as we know them; the first
city in this area was actually known as Kelsey City (which later went on to
hold several titles including The Miracle City of Florida, a New City in the
Making, and is now known as Lake Park). I definitely felt that planting a
garden dedicated to Mr. Kelsey was necessary providing what he was able to accomplish
for the Palm Beach area and another large portion of south Florida. He used the
money that he received from selling his restaurant business into land investment,
acquiring an estimated 60,000 acres. The Kelsey administration used this land
to build up resorts (golf), and farms including dairy and other agricultural
opportunities. Also nurseries and parks were built in order to make the
community feel complete. Many of its inhabitants, believed that the town was “ideal”
and seemed to serve every need and just about every want that the townspeople had.
I was interested to see that the Town Hall committee used flowers, plants,
shrubs, and trees to rejuvenate the community after so much devastation had
been experienced. Even after the devastating hurricane of 1928 and the stock
market crash of 1929, the city was able to rebuild and prosper again; and they
used flowers as a starting point. Planting these southern flower seeds in order
to bring remembrance and raise awareness was the least I could do to show
appreciation for the historic Harry Kelsey and Kelsey City.