From Orange Groves To The Cherry Orchard

How a girl from Fellsmere helped introduce Russian literature to the western world.

What does 19th century Russian literary luminary Anton Chekhov have in common with the quaint, rural town of Fellsmere, Florida? The answer is a fascinating woman named Marian Fell.

This unexpected literary connection began in the 1880’s when Edward Nelson Fell, a well-traveled British businessman, decided to seek his fortune developing property in Florida. Fell settled in the town of Narcoossee, near Kissimmee, and got involved in the then-booming enterprise of wetland reclamation. After extensive drainage, the lands became available for settlement and agricultural endeavors. Fell himself developed a sugarcane plantation and encouraged his fellow Britons to relocate to the sunny peninsula that he billed as full of excitement and opportunity.

Read the entire article in the February 2005 issue