The name of Isleworth in Windermere brings thoughts of Tiger Woods and exclusive multi-million dollar mansions today, but it’s beginnings have a much humbler story of a citrus farmer named Sydney Chase who moved to Central Florida from Philadelphia. Paul and Frances Jaudon purchased the land that is known as Isleworth in 1883 and formed a citrus company called Chase and Company in 1884 with Sydney Chase.
The Chase family actually resided in Sanford, but constructed a summer cottage on Lake Louise which they referred to as the “Bungalow” where they spent most of their days off. The Chase’s were a generous family and also contructed housing for their workers on Lake Tibet called the “Jaudon House”.
Sydney & Laura Chase had three sons: Randall, Sydney Jr., and Franklin Whitner Chase. Sydney Jr. was the most business minded of the siblings and assumed the responsibility of day to day operations after World War I. The youngest of the boys, Franklin Whitner Chase, became more interested agricultural end of the business and jumped at the chance to take over the farming aspect of his father’s company after graduating from Princeton University sometime around the 1930’s. It meant he could live at his beloved summer home called the “Bungalow” on Lake Louise where he had so many fond childhood memories.
He and his wife Helen remained at the “Bungalow” until their deaths in 1986 and 2000 respectively. The family business remained successful until they sold the land in 1984 to developers who’s transformed the land into the world renowned luxury community that it is today.
all photos and historical data are from “Windermere Among the Lakes: The Story of a Small Town” by Carl D. Patterson, Jr., published 2005