On Saturday and Sunday, March 12 and 13, the LanarkVillage Association celebrated the Sixtieth Anniversary of its founding with music and food.
During the anniversary celebration, two of Lanark’s best loved residents, Bob Dietz and Dot Bless were elected to reign as King and Queen of the Village.
On Saturday afternoon and evening, about 60 people gathered at Chillas for a cook-out with hot dogs, hamburgers, baked beans chips and lots of home made sweets. They were entertained by a number of musicians and some sporting fun during the “Randy Harrison Memorial Pine Cone Kick-off.” A new record of 79 feet was set overturning former record of 49 feet. Unfortunately, the new champion left without giving a name.
An anonymous donor brought some interesting reading material to the party; two of the original flyers promoting the newly developed Lanark, one from the 1950s and one from the 1960s. Lanark residents got a kick out of matching their units to the original brochure and comparing the cost of houses and apartments then and now.
In 1959, a three bedroom “hacienda” in Lanark could be purchased for payments of $42 to $52 monthly. Apartments sold for $4,495 including tax. Individual homes sold for $8,000 to $10,000.
As many people know, Lanark was created from the officers’ quarters left behind when CampGordon Johnston was decommissioned in 1946. In 1954, Lanark Estates, Inc., a Miami based firm, purchased the Village and set about renovating the buildings. The original boundaries of the Village as shown in the plat filed with the county in 1955 show Oak Street, the abandoned route of the Tallahassee-Carrabelle Railroad on the north; Cone Avenue on the east boundary; Spring Street to the west and the St. George Sound to the south an area of about 110 acres.
On Sunday, association members gathered again for a covered dish supper featuring corned beef as a nod to the approaching St.Patrick’s Day celebration. Entertainment was provided by a group of string musicians who performed a program of Celtic tunes.
The LanarkVillage Association was founded in October 1956. The first president was Hugh Lillie who served in 1955-56.
Chillas Hall was named for Henry Chillas, president of the association from 1970 to 1975. He masterminded a plan to fund the construction of the community center by issuing 100 bonds which sold for $100 each. Interest of 5% was paid twice a year. Starting in January 1974, each year, ten names were drawn and winners of the lottery were repaid in full. The cornerstone for Chillas was laid on May 14, 1971 and in September of that year the first LanarkVillage Association meeting was held in Chillas Hall.
To view a gallery of photos taken during the anniversary celebration visit www.apalachtimes.com.