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    Headlines through the years

    A look back at the events, people and places that made North Pinellas the unique place that it is. The information is compiled from past editions of the St. Petersburg Times.

    By Times staff writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published January 12, 2003

    Dec. 1, 1918: Expert lectures farmers in Oldsmar about soil

    OLDSMAR -- Dr. W.E.A. Wyman, farm superintendent for Reolds Farms, delivered a valuable address to the Oldsmar Farmers' Alliance on the subject of "Florida soil and its characteristics."

    There was a good attendance of farmers and their families from the surrounding district, and several of them said it was one of the most helpful and practical lectures they had ever heard from an agricultural expert.

    Wyman explained the reasons for using lime on new land after it has been cleared and broken up, saying that the natural acidity of the soil requires the chemical action of lime in order to make the plant food available in the soil and to neutralize the acid.

    He advocated the use of hydrated lime for quick results, or crushed lime rock for parties who are willing to wait about six months for the slower chemical action.

    Wyman said there are a number of more or less acid-resistant crops which can be planted on new land in the first three months after it has been cleared, such as watermelons, rice, beggar weed, para grass, etc.

    The speaker recommended para grass for permanent pasture for cattle and chickens. On the big farm of Reolds Farms the cattle leave growing rice stubble to feed on para grass.

    How to grow Irish potatoes and cabbage will be explained at the next meeting.

    Reolds Farms has sold the timber rights on about 800 acres of its land. This is in line with the company's policy to get large areas of its land cleared, ready for new buyers of small tracts.

    Dec. 6, 1924: Oldsmar sales mount rapidly

    OLDSMAR -- With sales for the first three days of last week amounting to more than $200,000, it is estimated, by the Harry E. Prettyman organization, that by Dec. 15, property sold in Oldsmar will have passed the $2-million mark.

    Eight new roads have been cut through and graded, work on the casino is now being rushed so that the structure may be formally opened Monday evening and two new groups of bungalows have been started, the promoters announce.

    Albert Sayles, a builder in Bayonne, N.J., has started work on the first of four bungalows he plans to erect, and Gilbert Baxter of Hazel, S.D., has begun construction on the first of a number of homes he will build before the season is over.

    Dec. 11, 1924: Planner arrives for indefinite stay

    OLDSMAR -- Wayne E. Stiles, well-known town planner who designed the city of Oldsmar after flying over it in an airplane a year and a half ago, arrived from the north Wednesday and will spend part of the winter here.

    Mr. Stiles' last visit to inspect was in September.

    "The progress of construction since my last visit has been marvelous," he said. "I have found streets cut through in places I did not expect to see opened up for months to come. I have seen other evidences of progress that have made it quite evident that the men developing Oldsmar are intent on giving accomplishment to their promises."

    Dec. 31, 1924: Oldsmar casino manager is named

    OLDSMAR -- Charles Pryor has been appointed manager of the new Oldsmar Casino, it was announced yesterday. Mr. Pryor is a native of St. Louis and has had many years experience in community and welfare work throughout the middle west. He staged some of the most successful entertainments in the southwest and will take complete charge of the entertainment features in Oldsmar in addition to supervising the catering and banquet arrangements for the many affairs planned for Oldsmar's winter season.

    "The program for the year 1925 at the Oldsmar Casino," said Mr. Pryor, "has not been completed but it is safe to say that there will be motion pictures, dances, entertainments and lectures so that almost every night in the week there will be entertainment of one sort or another at the casino."

    -- Theresa Blackwell compiles the history column. She can be reached at (727) 445-4229 or

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