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    Alert on Lake Santa Fe Alert on Lake Santa Fe
Land travel between Waldo and Melrose was very slow and difficult in the 19th Century. After Reconstruction, as prosperity grew, transportation between the two communities became more and more important. Waldo had the train, and Melrose, with a large citrus industry, was also becoming an important tourist mecca. A solution to the problem came in the form of canals-the Waldo Canal (dug in the 1870s) connected Waldo and Lake Alto, and another canal (dug a few years later) connected Lake Alto and Lake Santa Fe. The Alert was one of several boats that plied those waters. The first boat that made the journey was the FANNIE S. LEWIS in 1880, and the last was the CITY OF MELROSE in 1925. Improved roads and the automobile doomed the era of steamships in Alachua County. Bone Studio loaned this photo and Mrs. Bette DeSha provided much of the information. (click image to view larger size)