We have a few more tidbits and articles in the 1902 editions of both newspapers and couple of out-of-town references to the Hotel in articles written about the great Florida State Fair that happened the second week in November. I wonder if that is where Columbia County got their current Fair Grounds from? The townspeople did have to prepare an area big enough to hold the event. From some of the newspaper accounts, they had to get 500 cots and distribute them among the private homes and larger buildings in the area for people to sleep in during the week. They even had a shuttle running between White Springs and Lake City for those who were staying in their hotels. Some poor soul was put in charge of keeping track of where people could get accommodations and when they were filled up to direct them elsewhere. At the time they didn’t have the facilities to house an extra 4000 people who came that week, let alone a cellphone to call everybody to see who had openings and who didn’t so it was probably a very stressful job.
January 10, 1902, Florida Index article announcing the plans for the property
February 8, 1902, Citizen Reporter article with reference to why it was to be named the Blanche.
Finally, a big announcement in the paper you can actually read on April 11, 1902, in the Florida Index.
We also found a couple of announcements of businesses that would be in the hotel or on the property
March 2, 1902, in the Citizen Reporter
October 3, 1902, in the Citizen Reporter
November 7, 1902, in the Citizen Reporter
WE FOUND IT! The announcement in the paper stating that the hotel is officially opened was in the Florida Index on November 14, 1902, of the newspaper
We have only found 1 ad for the Hotel Blanche and that was in the morning special editions of the Citizen Reporter during the week of the State Fair. Seems kind of strange that a local business wouldn’t advertise but we will see what we find in the 1903 newspapers.