Sing a song of Lanark

Published: Monday, December 23, 2013 at 11:22 AM.

The Lanark Inn, known as the “jewel of the syndicate,” sat several blocks off the shoreline roughly north of the boat club and marina. According to an old brochure, “Lanark possesses four miles of waterfront land, the whole shaded by oak, pine, hickory and magnolia trees from 40 to 60 feet in height, this affording a cool and delightful retreat from the hot sun…

“The hotel at Lanark is lighted with gas and each room is connected with the office by electric bell. It is also provided with spring beds, hair mattresses and all modern conveniences. A porch 200 feet in length and 15 feet wide affords an elegant promenade. A board platform walk 500 feet long connects the hotel with a spacious dancing pavilion on which is located two large bathhouses for ladies and gentlemen respectively each being fitted with private dressing rooms for bathers. An area for bathing has been fenced off to avoid any mishaps with sharks in the water. A fine fleet of pleasure boats is provided for hotel guests and fishing off Lanark cannot be surpassed on the coast.”

At the time, Lanark consisted of a dozen cottages and the grand hotel; a small store sold soft drinks and candy.

Joe Barber remembers that, when he was a child in the 1920s and 30s, his cousin, George Wakefield, ran a similar concession stand. Barber said the train delivered ice to keep Wakefield’s goods cool.

There was no train station at the resort. The train simply pulled onto a spur of track that ran south from the main line and passengers disembarked near the little candy store. The main tracks were several blocks north of the inn along the same route as Oak Street.

Mary Westberg, of Carrabelle, said her grandfather; John P. Westberg was a machinist for the railroad and later headed the maintenance shop. Fond of Lanark, he moved the line’s machine shop to the settlement sometime in the 1890’s.

“Eventually he retired because he had other businesses and things he wanted to do,” said his granddaughter. “My father brought home all the old tools from the shop and put them under our house. When we were kids, we played with all of those old-fashioned tools.”



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