'Lost' Dixieland historic home, 'found' in Lake Morton Historic District
943 S. Tennessee Avenue
By Christopher Olson
When asked to research a potential century home last week I was very surprised to realize the lot on Tennessee had been undeveloped decades after 1920. Even more confusing was that the shape of the home on the Tennessee lot today is very typical in design to a home built in the 1920’s. Just to confirm, I made a trip to the library as they have a collection of aerial photographs of the entire city from 1925. With the help of LuAnn Mims, the Special Collections Librarian, we found a photo that included the lot on Tennessee. We confirmed that the lot was indeed vacant. What was going on; this made no sense? There was a break in the case after I reported back to the current owners that the existence of their home was a mystery to me. It was then that they provided a very curious bit of information. “Years ago, an older, now passed, neighbor casually mentioned how she recalled the day the house was moved from Florida Avenue to its current position.” I scratched my head and thought, “Which house and when?”
Scanning north and south along the Sanborn Fire Insurance Company’s 1922 map of the homes on Florida, I spied a candidate that was of similar size and shape. A quick check revealed that this home no longer existed on the Florida lot. I then determined that the building currently on the lot had been built in 1954. Checking the city directories around that year for both properties broke the case. The owners, Arthur & Beaulah Strickland, had relocated their home between 1950 and 1951, having purchased the lot on Tennessee, and then selling their lot on Florida. Reviewing the age of the home prior to being relocated, it was determined to have been built in 1921. Making it a Century Home for the upcoming New Year.
The original owners, Clifford & Nina Livingston, were married in 1906 and moved from St. Petersburg to Lakeland by 1920,
Beyond welcoming a new South Lake Morton home into the Century Home Project, we have discovered that a home long thought to have been lost to time for the Dixieland neighborhood instead remains in use and loved. Happy New Year, and looking forward to more Century Homes in 2021!
moving into their new home with sons Delbert (13) and Clifford Jr (12) in 1921. Clifford was a conductor by this time for the Atlantic Coast Line (ACL) Railroad. They lived in the home (1303 Florida Ave. S. before the street numbers were recalibrated) for several years, but then the house went through a quick series of three owners over the next decade. By 1940 the Strickland family moved in and that family remained in the home for over fifty years. After that, the house was held by Donnelly & Donnelly Company for several years before being purchased by the current homeowners, who have remained in the house for over two decades. The Williams’ are the seventh owners of the house and between them and the Strickland’s they represent seventy percent of this Century Home’s history!
Dixieland Historical District (1303/1014/931 Florida Ave S)
1923-1928 Clifford C & Nina Livingston, Conductor ACL RR
1931-1934 Henry T & Lillie J Daniel, Agent Gulf Life Ins Co
1936 Daniel R & Maude A Packard
1938 John P & Mary Cooper, grocer
1940-1950 Arthur A & Beaulah V Strickland. Strickland's Furniture Hospital
South Lake Morton Historical District (943 S Tennessee)
1952-1960 Arthur A & Beulah V Strickland
1960-1972 Beulah V. Strickland / Lillian I Strickland (husband, Johnnie D Strickland)
1972-1991 Ada Mae Strickland
1991 Donnelly & Donnelly Company
1999-2021 Thomas E. Williams & Kimberly S. Williams
Thanks to Kim Williams for this exciting and very interesting opportunity to rediscover a little of our neighborhood’s history.