History of The Tangerine Improvement Society and Tangerine, FL
Florida’s Tangerine Improvement Society (TIS) was founded on April 3, 1909 by local Tangerine women “for the improvement in every way of the interests of the town.” Men were later admitted in 1920. Today, TIS is the oldest uninterrupted Neighborhood Association in Orange County.
This road is named for the Hon. Dudley W. Adams of Waukon, Iowa, and previously of Winchendon, Massachusetts, who settled in 1875 on the east side of Lake Beauclair. He sought relief from bronchial trouble. Adams first constructed a log cabin, then replaced it with a more permanent home.
Adams was a poet, writer, naturalist and past master of the National Grange, and founded the State Horticultural Society. Nearby Lake Angelina is named after a half-sister of Dudley Adams. A village grew up around his home.
Until 1879, the community was called Olaville, after the large lake to the south. The name of this lake supposedly comes from the name of the daughter of an Indian chief who had camped here years before the coming of white settlers. The first name given to the village in the 1870s was Olaville.
At the doorstep of the home of Bessie Heustis, Adams’ sister-in-law, grew a tangerine tree. At a meeting of the local citizens held at her log cabin home, the community’s name was changed to Tangerine.
The homes of Adams and Heustis were located to the northwest of this location, near the intersection of present-day Dora Dr. and Beauclair Ave.
This church was organized on May 4, 1886, as the Union Church of Christ in Tangerine. Shortly thereafter, the name was changed to the Congregational Church of Christ. The charter members were Thomas Jewett, Mr. and Mrs. George H. Wood, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph W. Leland, Rev. and Mrs. G.B. Sperry, and Mrs. R.J. Wright. Thomas Jewett and George H. Wood were its first deacons.
The church building was begun in 1886 and completed in 1887. The Sunday school was organized that same year. Mrs. George Wood organized the Ladies Aid Society in 1913. In the late 1940s, the name was changed to the Tangerine Community Church.
Johnston Hall (Est. 1912, rebuilt 1973)
William H. Earl donated the land on which this hall sits. Its first name was Tangerine Hall, later changed to Tangerine Community Hall, and then to Johnston Hall, in honor of Mr. Cecil Johnston in 1981. Today many of the residents simply refer to it as the “TIS Hall.”
Planning for the Tangerine Park was begun by the residents in 1927, and a site was selected in the center of town near the church. The land originally was a part of R.J. Wright’s homestead, later owned by Mr. Dixon, then Mr. Bonjing, and finally Mr. Bidwell. George Bidwell sold the property for a community park for $4,000, and the deed to the Tangerine Improvement Society was recorded on July 16, 1937. In 2008, facing rising liability and insurance costs, TIS deeded the 3-acre parcel to Orange County in order to ensure the land always remained open as a community park. Orange County has proved to be a very responsible steward of the now named “Tangerine Community Park” and has made many upgrades and improvements for the community’s enjoyment.