Temple Terraces, Inc. (Florida, Signed by D. Collins Gillett)
Beautifully engraved antique stock certificate from Temple Terraces, Inc. dating back to the 1920's. This document, which is signed by the company President (D. Collins Gillett) and Secreatary, was printed by Goes and measures approximately 10 3/4" (w) by 8 1/4" (h).
This certificate features an eagle atop a dome.
You will receive the exact certificate pictured.
The area now known as Temple Terrace was originally part of an exclusive 19,000-acre game preserve called "Riverhills" belonging to Chicago socialite Bertha Palmer, wife of businessman Potter Palmer. She played an extensive role in making Sarasota the "City of the Arts" that it is today. She was one of the largest landholders, ranchers, farmers, and developers in Florida at the turn of the twentieth century. The Evening Independent newspaper in 1918 described the preserve as "a well stocked hunting preserve north of Tampa being one of the most attractive hunting grounds in the state." Property acquisition by the Palmers and the Honorés began in 1910; only one of the original buildings from the preserve, now known as the Woodmont Clubhouse, remains. Because it escaped logging, the grounds of the clubhouse harbor some of the largest specimens of live oak and longleaf pine in the city.
Mrs. Potter-Palmer's vision for her property was that it be developed into a golf course community surrounded by extensive citrus groves, but her death in 1918 prevented her from fully realizing that vision. At her death, the trustee of her estate and brother, Adrian Honoré, sold her local land holdings to Burks Hamner,
Vance Helm, Maud Fowler, Cody Fowler, and D. Collins Gillett formed two development corporations: Temple Terrace Estates, Inc., which developed the golf course and residential areas; and Temple Terraces, Inc., which developed 5,000 acres of orange groves that originally surrounded the city to the west and north, the largest orange grove in the world in the 1920s. (Adrian Honoré retained a seat on the board.) D. Collins Gillett oversaw Temple Terraces, Inc. and owned the first and largest citrus nursery in Florida, Buckeye Nurseries of Tampa. His father, Myron E. Gillett, thirty-first mayor of Tampa, was instrumental in popularizing the exotic hybrid Temple orange in the United States.
The 1920 vision for the community was that wealthy retired Northerners would purchase one of the lots in Temple Terrace, build a Mediterranean Revival villa on the lot and also purchase a parcel in the extensive adjoining citrus grove to either manage as a hobby or provide extra income. Temple Terrace was originally only occupied during "The Season" (which lasted roughly from December to the annual Washington Ball held at the clubhouse on February 22). The rest of the year the houses were cared for by caretakers until The Season came again and the homeowners returned.
In 1924, part of the 5,000-acre area platted as the Temple Orange grove and called Temple Terraces, Inc., and was developed into the present-day neighborhood of Temple Crest, immediately adjacent to Temple Terrace and to its west, hugging the Hillsborough River. The land occupied by nearby Busch Gardens was also part of Mrs. Palmer's original 19,000-acre ranch.
Temple Terrace was named for the then-new hybrid, the Temple orange, also called the tangor. It is a cross between the mandarin orange — also called the tangerine — and the common sweet orange; it was named after Florida-born William Chase Temple, one-time owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, founder of the Temple Cup, and first president of the Florida Citrus Exchange. Temple Terrace was the first place in the United States where the new Temple orange was grown in large quantities. The "terrace" portion of the name refers to the terraced terrain of the area by the river where the city was founded. One of the original houses also had a terraced yard with a lawn sloping, in tiers, toward the river.
D. Collins Gillett
D. Collins Gillett's Signature
D. Collins Gillett was the president of Temple Terrace incorporated which handled the creation of the five-thousand-acre orange groves that bordered the city North and West which made up the largest orange groves in the world in the 1920s. Gillett would go on to become the first Mayor of Temple Terrace. A portion of this citrus grove would be repurposed in 1924 into the present-day neighborhood of Temple Crest. Buckeye Nurseries, the company founded by Myron E. Gillett and passed to D. Collins Gillett in 1922 in pairing with his role in Temple Terrace Inc. would lead to success for the orange groves, due to the production capacity of Buckeye Nurseries.
The discovery of a tree in a Winter Park, Florida grove would lead Gillett to the Temple Orange. Although it originated from Jamaican budwood stock, the mother tree was heavily protected including iron clad contracts to prevent people from altering or misrepresentating of the Temple Orange or trees. These would be the trees Gillett cultivated to plant the five-thousand-acre orange groves in Temple Terrace.
Work on the groves began in February of 1921, however the stock growth began much earlier, through Buckeye Nurseries, to supply such a large grove. The grove was designed to produce a million boxes of oranges annually after a few years of growth.