The Story of Lowe’s Tubeland
Lowe’s Tubeland was established in 1971 by two retired Ft. White locals, Roy and Thelma Lowe, known as Papa and Granny Lowe. Thelma was a long-time resident of Ft. White, and growing up there, she spent many a hot summer afternoon swimming down the Ichetucknee River with her brothers and sisters after they finished their chores on the farm.
The original Lowe’s Tubeland was established on the corner of Elim Church Road under the pecan trees with just 20 rubber tubes. During the early years, every dollar went back into the business to build the tube inventory and save for a store building. A few years later, they purchased what’s known among family and staff as the “Corner,” located on the corner of Elim Church/County Road 238 and State Road 47.
As the popularity of tubing and the business grew, it remained a family tradition for the high school students to work summers as retired family members helped run the operation. When Roy Lowe passed away in 1990, his sons helped to expand the business, opening additional rental locations. In July 2011, Thelma Lowe passed away at age 92, having seen witnessed the growth of their now thriving business.
Lowe’s Tubeland was one of the largest tube vendors on the Ichetucknee River and remains family-operated now as part of Cape Leisure Ichetucknee, LLC, the concessionaire at Ichetucknee Springs State Park. And best of all, many members of the family remain with the new organization.