The Golden Lion Motor Inn  
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On Christmas day in 1970 the Golden Lion Motor Inn opened its doors to a remote community deep in the Florida Everglades.  The original vision of this motel / restaurant / diner / bar came from the eldest of the Whichello family, Daniel, to be a small mom and pop motel that he and his new wife, Marge, could run as they started their lives together.  This vision was altered and shaped by Daniel's five siblings who like himself were to receive a portion of their father's inheritance.  An inheritance which was given not after a father's passing, but while he was still very much alive at age 50, having been forced into retirement by a vote against him by his fellow shareholders.  Harlan Whichello, their father, gave them a choice, and since they loved their father so much and wanted to be near him, they put their money together and moved from Michigan to the Florida Everglades where he had gone to retire with his wife Pauline.

The land was flat, the humidity high, the trees ... not so robust, and the lakes and rivers, full of unseen danger, but everyone was young and excited, and backed with the kind of midwestern values you only see on TV.  This was not your average family, they had the strength of naivety behind them, if you can believe that can be a strength. 
     
   
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