Historic Markers Across Florida

Historic Floral City

Marker ID: FLHM F-875
Location: on CR 48 (E. Orange Ave) at Aroostook Way-8861 E. Orange Ave (CR 48), Floral City, FL
County: Citrus
Coordinates: N 28° 45.015    W 082° 17.228
  28.75025    -82.28713333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMRJJ3


Historic Floral City

Side 1
The area containing present day Floral City has been inhabited by humans for thousands of years. When Hernando De Soto came through the area in 1539, he found the Indian village of Tocaste. From the late 1700s until the Second Seminole War (1835-1842), the Seminole village of Cho-illy-hadjo (meaning Crazy Deer's Foot) was located here. The Armed Occupation Act of 1842 and statehood in 1845 brought American settlers who took advantage of the abundant timber, natural waterways, and rich farmland. By the 1860s, the area was part of the vast land holdings of John Paul Formy-Duval, a Confederate veteran and son of a French physician who had fled Napoleon's rule in the early 19th century. Duval's house still stands and is the oldest home in Citrus County. Floral City was surveyed and platted in 1883 by Senator Austin Mann and surveyor W.H. Havron. They named the town for the many wildflowers and blooming trees. In the 1880s, Floral City's commercial center was located along Aroostook Way, with the New England Hotel at the south end (on Orange Avenue) and Lake Tsala Apopka at the north end. The Orange State Canal, dug in 1884, provided for steamboat transportation to the Withlacoochee River and beyond.

Side 2
When the Plant System railway tracks were laid near the western edge of town in 1893, fast steam-powered trains quickly out-paced slower water vessels, which diminished the popularity of steamboat travel. The town's commercial center shifted from Aroostook Way to an uptown location at the rail line. The Florida Phosphate Boom also began in the 1890s, and a dozen mines soon dotted the area. Mine workers swelled the village population to nearly 10,000 people, making it larger than the city of Miami at that time. The local phosphate ore was shipped primarily to markets in Germany, until World War I brought a sudden halt to trade in 1914. With the collapse of the phosphate industry, Floral City reverted to its agrarian roots as a small, rural community. As one of the oldest and most distinct settlements in Citrus County, the Floral City Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. The oak tree canopy along Orange Avenue and Aroostook Way that contributed to the character of the district was planted by community residents in 1884, a year after the town was founded.

Floral City Heritage Council, Citrus County Historical Society, Inc.
and the Florida Department of State