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LAKELAND, FL PUBLIC LIBRARY CONTENTdm Website

About this collection

Norman A. Riggins was one of Lakeland's early settlers.  He originally  passed through what is now Lakeland on a trip through Florida in 1882.  He returned from Missouri to live in the fledgling community in 1884 with his wife Sally, his parents Mann and Frances Riggins, and an aunt and uncle, Calvin and Margaret Waggoner.  Riggins built a small home and he, his father and his uncle constructed a building to house their new general merchandise firm of Riggins and Waggoner.  After only three years in Lakeland, Riggins sold his property in Lakeland and he and his wife moved to Dexter, Missouri where Sally had relatives.  The couple returned to Lakeland for good in 1895 upon the death of Norman's father.  Both Norman and Sally remained residents of Lakeland until their deaths in the 1940's.

Once Riggins became a permanent resident of Lakeland in 1895, he became active in  the business and civic affairs of the community. In addition to remaining a partner in Riggins and Waggoner, the business he, his father and uncle had started in 1884,  Riggins had an interest in a lumber mill, an ice plant, a novelty company, and a large commercial farming enterprise.

As his prosperity grew, Riggins decided to build a new and larger home for his wife and three children, Mary Pattie, Margaret Frances, and Leonard Wallace.  He purchased six acres of Land on Lake Morton in 1904 and built what remains one of the most distinctive structures in Lakeland.  The stately Victorian home which he constructed came to be known as Mosswood for the Spanish moss draped oak trees that surrounded the house.  It was home to several generations of the Riggins/Darracott family.  The Riggins and the Darracotts, two of Lakeland's earliest families, were linked in 1907 by the marriage of Riggins' daughter, Mary Pattie, to John W. Darracott.

This collection contains photographs of several generations of the Riggins and Darracott families at various ages, as well as group photographs of several generations of the families gathered at Mosswood, the family estate. Also included are numerous photographs of Mosswood which document the changes it had undergone since its construction in 1904. One of the most significant of those changes was the physical move of the structure from one location to another in 1952 after the land on which it stood for nearly half a century had been sold.

 

 

 
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