Lake Alfred – All About Polk County
Chubb along with Fort Cummings, Wahneta, New Armenia, Bartow Junction, and Fargo are just a few of the early names that the area used to go by. Centrally located in Polk County, Florida, the name was said to have come from the beautiful lake within the community. It has been noted that the lake was named after Alfred Parslow, a pioneer citizen and early real estate and railroad prospector. Incorporated as the City of Fargo in 1913 the name was later officially changed to the City of Lake Alfred on May 29, 1915.
In Florida, young communities sprouted along the line of the railroad. In the late 1800’s a lumber / saw mill, turpentine still, and crate mill were the main industries that supported the local residents. Upon exhaustion of the timberlands, citrus groves became the staple of life in the area. It was reported in 1915, a typhoid fever epidemic struck the area and many people died as a result of this disease. The first efforts of establishment came in the forms of a boardinghouse, school, post office, a few churches and electricity, with the modern roads that followed in 1915 to 1917. As Lake Alfred began flourish along came the people.
One Lake Alfred resident had shared a story about “Peggy”, the local train. Peggy’s job was to transport people, fruit, and market items to various train depots between Lake Alfred and Bartow for further distribution. Lake Alfred was the final destination when traveling away from Bartow. In order for Peggy to be able to return to her parent station, all the available residents, train crew, passengers, and even children would help to push the unhooked engine around on manual turntable so that Peggy would be able join the railcars facing backwards and push, rather than pull, the load back into Lake Alfred. This process was reversed in Bartow and Peggy would pull the train back into Lake Alfred on the next trip.
Today, the City of Lake Alfred still maintains much of its original small-town ambiance, but is unique in many ways. With slightly over five-thousand citizens, Lake Alfred’s “success” is more than apparent in its exceptional schools, outstanding public services, Mackay Gardens and Lakeside Preserve, and community events. Come visit, and learn why people from all over the world call this area home. It is a great hometown for all ages – and according to Lake Alfred, newcomers are always welcome!