An 1890s “Song of the Indian River Lagoon”

Song of the Indian River Lagoon, copyright 1890, G.D. Ackerly, Jacksonville, Florida
“Song of the Indian River Lagoon,” by Ada Stewart Shelton, copyrighted 1890, G.D. Ackerly, Jacksonville, Florida. (Booklet library of Sandra Henderson Thurlow.)

As we well know, the Indian River Lagoon moves people to do great things, especially lately in the face of its destruction.

Today, during holy week, I decided it is a good time to share this little booklet, “Song of the Indian River,” that was given to me by my mother, historian Sandra Thurlow. Although the booklet is not religious in nature, for me it is about “rebirth.” And I believe the people who were coming down to Florida in the late 1800s/early 1900s were looking for a kind of rebirth, along the beautiful healing waters of the Indian River Lagoon; they were leaving the cold industrialization of the north for what they dreamed was “paradise.” And it was…

Times have changed, but we are still looking for that today; the only difference is today we are also fighting for it.

The pamphlet’s author is Ada Stewart Shelton; it was composed in 1890; copyrighted by G.D. Ackerly of Jacksonville; printed by Matthews Northrup Company, Buffalo New York; and given away by northeast Passenger Agent, Chas W. Gray, 211 Washington Street, Boston to those on the train south to a new and better life…

I hope you enjoy the poetry of the historical booklet and may the “Song of the Indian River Lagoon” give you new strength to save her.










5 thoughts on “An 1890s “Song of the Indian River Lagoon”

  1. That is so beautiful. Thank goodness your mom saved and shared these precious pieces of our past.

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