February 16th, 1891
Feb 15th or 16th, 1891
Rock Ledge Indian River
After a very great Sunday spent in Titusville, took passage on one of the light draft river steamers, having breakfast on board of native oysters and the 'pompino" fish, which has a great reputation in these parts for delivery of flavor, and after a pleasant sail or steam down the river, arrived at Rock Ledge proper, where I met Geo Ilett, and after viewing the hotel and grove, which are a part of the attraction, guests being permitted to eat the fruit. The grove was very interesting, it being the first
extensive orange grove that I had seen, and besides efforts have been made to render it still further attractive by the introduction of other tropical plants and fruit, such as the citrus, guavas, lemon, pineapple, etc. The route to Mr. Hartwell's grove was a narrow path through the Palmetto Hummack(?) air brake, with at places a rank vegetation where places have not been cultivated.
Mr. Hartwell has a splendid grove, regularly laid out with all vegetation grubbed out until it looks very clean and nice, The sand being white and with the trees loaded with the golden fruit and some few blossomed, it is a beautiful sight and particularly so tonight by the light of a
bright moon. The climate so far has been very peculiar, and I am told that it is the usual one. While the sun is up being very warm in the grove, but a few steps out towards the rocky beach the cool ocean breeze strikes you and temperature reduced about 20 degrees.
The fish and ducks are in and on the river in myriad numbers. One species of fish is given to jumping right up out of the water, the mullet, and it is a pretty sight. The ducks can be hunted and owing to large numbers, some great records are made by the hunters, some killing as high as 150 in one day.
Found the folks here, consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Hartwell, Rosa, Nellie
Miss Barttell a niece, Miss F Hartwell of Boston, all well. Mary the girl is very lonesome, and I think would be glad to get back to Chicago. I rather expected to find some mail from Chicago on my arrival, but have been disappointed.
The harvest of oranges has just begun and all hands are working. Presume I shall learn the business before long as well. Of course have to help somewhat.
The worst trouble I find in this Garden of Eden is that I am continually thirsty. Do not like the sulphur water, and orange juice and tea do not seem to satisfy, and am wishing for a drink of cool spring water.
Hope you are all well.