Thanks to the friendly people on the Facebook group, “You Know You’re From Lake City When”, who added a very informative document from the University of Florida Historical Documents website all in one file. The report was created in 1976-77 and much of what was put into the Historical Building Application with the Department of Interior came from this report. It is called the Hotel Blanche Adaptive Use Proposal. There are actually three sections for the online documents being Volume 1 is the report, Volume 2 are the maps, and Volume 3 are slides and microfilm pictures. Apparently, the struggle to get the Blanche Hotel declared as a historical building was first begun by the, then, President of the Historical Society, Mrs. Nettie Ozaki. She contributed all the pictures to the 1977 proposal.
If anyone out there has Ms. Ozaki’s picture collection and would be willing to share them please get in touch using our CONTACT US form.
Below is one of the letters that Mrs. Ozaki wrote to the University of Florida’s Architecture Department to try and save the grand old building.
I am still reading through the reports for pertinent information to add to the book but am enjoying the pictures the most. There is something about a picture that draws the eye and gets the brain wondering what was happening the day it was created, who are those people in the picture and what were they doing that day? I did finally find the transcript entitled, “The Social History of the Blanche Hotel”, created by Mrs. W.H. (Nellie) Wilson, Jr. It was just a 1-1/2 page brief report by Mrs. Wilson stating that the Hotel Blanche had many notable people stay there and that the parties were epic.
We are still going through microfilm at the Gateway College and will be going through it for some time yet. Today, I wish I had some extra funds to set up a student worker program just to download each of the pages onto a flash drive for me. So far, I am only up to 1906. Since the newspaper was a weekly only edition with 8 pages I am only able to get about 6 months done and moved over to the flash drive for me to go over later. When the newspaper becomes a daily it will take even longer to get a year’s worth done. But that is a worry for another time.