Garland Bros. History
Mr. Garland, the father of Lawrence and Ed Garland, moved to Plant City from Louisiana in about 1896. When Ed and Lawrence were very young, they were schooled in Plant City later graduating from Plant City High school. Lawrence went on to college at the University of Florida. Following graduation Lawrence became a book keeper at a citrus plant in Lakeland and Ed was in real estate sales. Lawrence was known as a good fisherman and over the years carved a number of lures for himself. It was Ed that convinced Lawrence into making and selling his baits sometime in the late 1920’s.
Both Ed and Lawrence made the baits but it was Ed that did most of the selling because he was wheelchair bound from a birth defect. By 1930, they were making baits in full production in the back room of their house on Howard Street. Their first production of the baits were made of white pine and no one knows which model their first baits were.
Garland Cork Head
Garland Cork Head Frog
Garland Sea Bitch
The Cork-Heads were first made in 1936 and there were four models made which were appropriately called The Apopka, The Okeechobee, The Kissimmee and The Hellenblaze.
Colors made were Light Green Frog, Dark Green Frog, Green and White Sliver Flash, and Red Head with White body with Silver Flash.
- The Apopka = DARTER
- The Okeechobee = LARGE HEAD
- The Kissimmee = ZARA
- The Hellenblaze = ORENO TYPE
The Cork-heads were made of cedar bodies with the head being cork. The line tie entered from the front of the bait through the cork and into the wood. The baits had both tack and painted eye and used a cup hardware.
The box that these baits came in was white with a red border and green lettering with the words “CORK-HEAD MINNOW THE LIVELIEST SURFACE BAIT MADE”. This orange box was the latest box.
Three orange two piece cardboard boxes were offered. Printed on the top of the three were GARLAND BAIT GARLAND’S PERFECTED CORK-HEAD MINNOW.
The later baits offered were the Submarine and Baby Submarine, the Cripple Minnow, the Sea Trout and Sergeant, the Zig Zag and the Florida Frog.
Much of the information on this page was obtained by utilizing the information provided by Doug Brace, Bill Stuart, and Russell Riddle in “Florida Lure Makers and Their Lures” (Currently out of print). The information we have provided is only a portion of the story. If interested in purchasing this book, please reach out to other collectors in our forum to inquire about availability.