I stumbled on this interesting tidbit about the cost of living in Tallahassee while helping someone else with the cost of living in Florida. Take a look at the cost of beef? A wee bit different than the prices we are paying today.
The cost of living in Tallahassee is perhaps as little as any other place of the same size in the southern country. The market is supplied with good beef, mutton and pork, at from 8 to 12 cents per pound. Poultry of all kinds at moderate prices and plentiful. Oysters in winter in any quantity at 11.50 per bbl., and fish from the coast, such as mullet, sheepshead, speckled trout, bass, flounders, &c., &c., at very low prices, are brought fresh every day. Surrounded by fertile lands there is never a scarcity of fresh garden vegetables of all kinds, in their season.
The society of the place is excellent. True, many changes have taken place of late years. Some of the best citizens have moved away, but there are still left quite a number who give character to the city for hospitality and sociability, and they will always be found ready to extend the hand of friendship to all such new-comers as come for legitimate purposes and know how to behave themselves without regard to their place of nativity. In short, I know of no more agreeable place to spend a winter or to locate for life.
The climate of Leon county, although it is not tropical, is mild and pleasant in winter. Although we frequently have frost, and ice occasionally, yet it is rare for the thermometer to go below 40 deg. Fahr., and then only for a short time, while one would feel comfortable in summer clothing at least one half of our winter. In the summer the thermometer rarely , indicates a greater heat than 96 deg. F. in the shade, and the average in the middle of our August days is not above 90 deg. This heat is tempered by the almost constant sea breeze, the influence of which is distinctly felt. The nights are invariably pleasant, and even in the hottest part of the season some covering is generally necessary to comfortable sleeping.
Source: The Florida Settler ©1873