Sponsored by the Tampa Automobile Club and The Tampa Daily Times, sixteen vehicles, plus the pathfinding car and a press car departed Tampa on November 23, 1909, on a grueling four-day round trip. The purpose of the “run” was to bring attention to the poor quality of roads in Florida, and to urge public officials to make the necessary improvements.
The Kissimmee/Osceola Chamber of Commerce is a vital organization and has been since it was founded in 1924. But prior to its formation, another group of citizens saw the need to bring business and industry to Osceola County.
On August 11, 1908, the Kissimmee Board of Trade was born with its object being “the upbuilding of this city and the advancement of our community in general”, as stated in The Kissimmee Valley Gazette August 14, 1908 edition. The article also states “Here we have the essential things that are the foundation of a first-class business center and tourist resort – climate, health, and soil and transportation facilities.” Interestingly, those same things are said today.