History Files
 
 

 

American Lives

Orlando: Slavia (Florida)

by Eric Delrosario & Teresa Decio, 14 August 2021

 

Former gas station and store, Slavia, Florida
Photo © Eric Delrosario

Slavia was founded as a community in what is now the area between Oviedo and Bertha, to the north-east of Orlando, Florida. It was a small but thriving area along the modern W State Road 426 which was settled by immigrants from Slovakia, wanting to relocate to central Florida to escape the industrial life of Cleveland, Ohio.

Former gas station and store, Slavia, Florida
Photo © Eric Delrosario

In the early 1900s they purchased 1,200 acres to establish farms and build homes. Some of the Slavia settlers worked in the citrus-packing industry.

Former gas station and store, Slavia, Florida
Photo © Eric Delrosario

The community was deeply impacted by urban sprawl and is completely abandoned today. The area of Slavia is now referred to as a ghost town.

Former gas station and store, Slavia, Florida
Photo © Eric Delrosario

This particular building used to be a gas station. The Central Florida Memory website shows a 1926 photo of it with a gas pump at the front and an attendant standing next to it. Today, when looking through one of the windows, there is evidence that the building also used to be a general store (confirmed by the CFM site).

The store and gas station was built in 1922. Its total size is 2,386 square feet (222 square meters).

Main Sources

Ghost Towns website

University of Central Florida

 

Images and text copyright © Eric Delrosario & Teresa Decio except where stated. An original feature for the History Files: American Lives.