William Esron Blossom from Oswego, New York visited Lakeland, Florida during the winter of 1911, perhaps for the purpose of purchasing land. During the course of his visit he took dozens of photographs of daily activities in the then small railroad town. His subjects included local landmarks, lakes, agricultural activities, people at work and at play, and potential settlers touring land for sale. After his return to Oswego, Blossom compiled his photos into an album.
Blossom's great granddaughter discovered the album when going through family possessions in 2002 and sent it to a family friend in Lakeland. That friend in turn donated the album to the Special Collections unit of the Lakeland Public Library. In that serendipitous fashion Blossom's 1911 photographs of Lakeland and and the surrounding area made their way back after nearly one hundred years. They document a very early period in the city's history.