Dr. Melvil Dewey
  • Dr. Dewey was an educator at the age of 17 and invented the Dewey Decimal System at 21
  • In 1895 he developed the L.P. Club in L.P., N.Y. and later in 1927, started L.P. Club here
  • He renamed Lake Stearns Lake Placid and had the water tower and train station built

First time visitors sometimes remark Lake Placid lies in a rather remote part of Florida.  Notwithstanding its two-hour-or-less proximity to 85% of the state's population, it still seems a bit out of the way.  But don't let this remoteness fool you.  We've had some pretty illustrious residents in our short century since Joshua Lastinger came over from Arcadia and discovered "the garden spot of Florida."

Educator, librarian, developer, visionary, and Dewey Decimal System inventor, Dr. Melvil Dewey's legacy lives on.  In 1895, Dewey built a summer resort for his wealthy friends at a place called Lake Placid, N.Y. About 35 years later he discovered a place he thought well-suited for a winter resort for his wealthy friends.  In 1927, he convinced the Florida state legislature to change the name from Lake Stearns to Lake Placid, and this town has never been the same.

He built a sprawling lodge on Lake Childs and had the lake's name changed to Lake Placid.  He had the name of Lake Stearns changed to Lake-June-In-Winter.  He convinced the railroad to build a new depot.  He added another hotel in town, built a water tower, and maintained his own beautification project.

The Atlantic Coastline Railroad Depot is on the National Registry of Historic Places and is also home to the Lake Placid Historical Society.

Dewey died the day after Christmas, 1931.  The funeral service was held in the Lake Placid First Presbyterian Church.  His ashes were returned for burial in Essex County, N.Y.

Artist Location Size Sponsor Note Audio
Roy Hampton and Terry Smith South Florida Community College on Interlake Blvd. 35 ft wide x 18 ft 8 inches high Lake Placid Board of Realtors N/A N/A

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