West Volusia Tourism was gracious enough to set up a pre-meeting tour and dinner the day before, for intrepid byway lovers who wanted to work in some actual experience of Lake Helen and Cassadaga, gems along the River of Lakes Heritage Corridor.
The tour of Lake Helen started at Hopkins Hall, a historic building where the meeting would be held the next day. We heard some of its history, and took a van from there around Lake Helen to stop and hear local stories about the enchanting houses and many historic churches.
The tour guides for this were Caryn Long and Janice Driggers. Janice grew up in the town, and had stories ranging from how churches chose their designs to fun stories from decades past about the local ice cream fountain and the personality of the local schoolteacher – basically what it was like to grow up in a “Mayberry” type small town.
The Lake Helen tour ended at the Lake Helen City Hall, where the group saw the council chambers with beautiful hand-painted images on each aisle (see photos) and a little museum.
Thanks to Georgia Turner, from West Volusia Tourism and Kelly Frasca, the Events Planner for Lake Helen, for setting this up!
After seeing Lake Helen City Hall, the gang headed on to Cassadaga (see the post about it!)