Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Family Closes Strickland's Landing Daughter Says Dad's Death Left No Choice

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Family Closes Strickland's Landing Daughter Says Dad's Death Left No Choice

Article excerpt

Byline: R. Michael Anderson, County Line staff writer

Summertime just won't be the same in Clay County anymore.

When Frow Woodrow Strickland died April 15, so did the waterfront playground he built on the western edge of Kingsley Lake near the Clay-Bradford counties line and operated for nearly six decades.

Strickland's Landing, one of the most popular recreational destinations in Northeast Florida since the late 1940s, has shut its entrance gate for the last time.

"It's closed," said Cindy Strickland Futch, who grew up with her two brothers and two sisters on the land their daddy turned into a wholesome waterfront park for families and church groups in 1946.

Without disclosing specific details, Futch said Thursday that the family's decision to close the park stemmed from "circumstances of daddy's estate."

"The conditions of the estate made it where we had to sell it. We could not keep it open," she said, citing "astronomical" liability insurance expenses and a host of other costly factors, including governmental red tape, required to maintain a large waterfront park.

Strickland died April 15 at the age of 90. He was buried in a small cemetery on the western edge of the lake that had been his home his entire life.

The property will be sold, Futch said, adding that she and her brothers had anguished over the decision they had to make just days after her father died.

"Besides coping with his death, we have to cope with this," she said. "It's a real sad day for me and all my brothers and sisters. I never lived anywhere else but the Landing my whole life."

Strickland's Landing always opened in April and closed after Labor Day in September. Strickland hired about two dozen high school students, usually from Bradford County High and Clay High, to work as lifeguards and to park cars, collect admission fees, pump gas and run the concession stand. …

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