LAJENNBorn August 18, 1879

Memoirs of L. Arthur Jennings

In September of 1887 we packed our few moveable belongings at our East Lemon, Pennsylvania farm on Rabbit Hill, having received letters from Dad’s brother, Uncle Elmer Jennings, a dentist in Titusville, Florida, telling of the wonderful opportunities in Florida to get 160 acres of land near the ocean just for living on it for 5 years (homestead).

Dad, Mother, myself (9 years), Myrtle (6 years), and Paul B. (18 months), left Tunk in September of 1887, on Sunday night, Uncle Harry J. drove up to take us to the train at midnight.  We stared at 1 a.m. on Monday.  Saw my first electric arc lights at Wilkes-Barre (street lights).  We waited to change trains at several places, one of the longest was at Washington D.C.

I distinctly remember in South Carolina we stopped, and an old colored man was walking by the train with what I thought was a big white rat by the tail.  I called to mother, but just then someone called; “Hey there, I’ll give you a quarter for that possum,” but the old man said; “Nope, nope, 20 cents.”  The man said; “Alright, bring him here.”  We drug along, stopping for wood and water several times each day.  Dad buying eats as best he could for all until we arrived at Enterprise, Florida, Thursday about noon.  We must lay over here, as only one narrow-gauge train a day ran from there to Titusville: the J.T. & K.W. (Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West).

jenhouseThe Riverview Hotel, North 2nd Street (now U.S. 1)