- Lake Lillian (Florida)
lake_name = Lake Lillian
Highlands County, Florida
basin_countries = United States
area = convert|36|acre|abbr=on|lk=on
Lake Lillian is a 36 acre freshwater
lakein northern Highlands County, Florida. It is adjacent to the Avon Park Lakes Subdivision, north of the city of Avon Park. The slope of the lake drops quickly from the shoreline to a depth of about convert|45|ft|m.
This lake has no public access, as it is entirely surrounded by private property. On the northeast side is the now vacant Walker Memorial Hospital. On the southwest side is the local
Seventh-day Adventist Church.
On the northeast shore the Highlands Lake Hotel was built in the 1920s. It featured the hotel, a casino and an 18-hole golf course. The Great Depression of the 1930s forced the hotel out of business. A purchaser in 1936 planned to convert the property into a health resort, but nothing materialized, as the scheme was said to be fraudulent. In
World War IIthe US government purchased the hotel and converted it into the Lodwick Aviation Military Academy. The Academy included a barracks built to the north of the old hotel. The barracks housed cadets training to be Army Air Corps pilots.
The Academy closed at the end of the war and in 1946 plans were begun to transform the old hotel into a hospital. The Seventh-Day Adventist Church was to own and operate the hospital. Charles Walker was the president of the organization instrumental in the effort. He died of a heart attack before the hospital could be opened in 1948.
The hospital opened as Walker Memorial Sanitarium and Hospital, in honor of Charles Walker. The name was shortened later to Walker Memorial Hospital. The hospital prospered and grew over the years. Satellite facilities were added in Lake Placid in 1982 and in Wauchula in 1992. The building was extensively remodelled, but the demands of the community overwhelmed the facility. As a result, the Adventists built
Florida Hospital Heartland Medical Centerin Sebring, which opened in 1997. The old Walker Hospital has remained vacant since. In 2004 the building was severely damaged by the triple blows of Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne.
In 2007, the old Walker Memorial Hospital was demolished, so the lakeside property could be used for something else.
* [http://lakewatch.ifas.ufl.edu Florida Lakewatch]
* [http://www.fhhd.org Florida Hospital Heartland Division]
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