I am dedicating this
garden to Guy Metcalf, an Ohioan who is very important to South Florida, and
the newspaper system we have today. Metcalf founded the Indian River News in
Melbourne, FL on February 24, 1877. Indian River News was very soon renamed Tropical
Sun, then moved to West Palm in 1895. Tropical Sun was the first newspaper, and
the only newspaper in South Florida north of Key West. Tropical Sun was a
source of hope for the people of South Florida, because until its publishing,
newspapers from New York would take 40 hours to travel down via railroad,
whereas a newspaper written and designed in the area would display news far
sooner and more locally accurate.
Guy Metcalf was very
important at this time of Floridian history, because around 1898, when the
Spanish-American War posed a threat to Florida, he decided to take initiative
and insisted that guns be mounted to protect West Palm hotels.
Although very important
to Florida’s current newspaper system, Metcalf was rumored to have a very short
temper. When he was passionate about something, his fuse was short and his
tongue was quick. Tropical Sun’s main publishing competition was the Gazetteer,
and Metcalf had actually feuded with their publisher several times.
I believe that the
reason Metcalf was so short-tempered with the publisher of the Gazetteer was
due to his immense passion for news and helping others. He served as mayor in
1904 and 1905, and pushed for the separation from Dade, eventually establishing
Palm Beach County. He also became Palm Beach County schools’ second superintendent.
He was a pioneer for newspaper and education, and I do believe that this garden
is accurately dedicated.