In the 1920’s, when boom times seemed destined to grow forever, when the sky was the limit, and immediate possibilities seemed limited only by a man’s imagination, Mentor Marsh came once more under the scrutiny of men with vision.
If their dreams failed to work out in every detail, it should not be charged that their plan was a poor one, for it was not. The “hazy break in an otherwise clearly-etched shoreline” was as full of genuine promise in 1926 as it had ever been. Just as with the railroad plan, uncontrollable events took charge of the plans of the group in the ‘twenties, and the surprising thing, looking back, is not that their aims were not fully accomplished, but that they came so near realization as they did.
In the middle of that eventful ten-year period, a small group of men was turning casual conversation into a definite plan. The conversation had been about the Venice-like real estate developments which were being successfully promoted in Florida, and about Mentor Marsh. They talked of the good harbor it would make for yachts, and how it might be a wonderful place for a community of fine home for people who liked yachting. The plans were on a large scale; they involved nothing less than to dredge out the marsh, build a completely concrete-walled harbor, lined with small boat marinas; construct a breakwater and a channel; build a clubhouse, in the Spanish architecture so popular in Florida; start with one fine home; and then advertise the development widely to attract new people and new homes. In 1926 a syndicate was formed to purchase the Marsh and the high land to the North. Only three years later, by the end of 1929, over a million dollars had been spent, and every item in the original plan had become a reality. Only in its hoped-for effect did it fall short. Advertising for the development was run in many places, but it did not attract new people and new homes. In 1930, that was not surprising. More