Historic Markers Across Florida

The Largest Orange Grove in the World

Marker ID:  
Location: on Gillette Ave at the track for Greco Middle School, Brandon, FL
County: Hillsborough
Coordinates: N 28° 03.071    W 082° 22.619
  28.05118333    -82.37698333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMTY97


The Largest Orange Grove
in the World

(Side 1)
The grand plan for Temple Terraces Florida-Tampa's Most Beautiful Suburb along with the town plan featuring the Temple Terraces Golf & Country Club, included a 5,000 acre Temple orange grove. The rendering above highlights the layout of the extensive groves and the town and its placement along the Hillsborough River. Planted in 1921, the 5,000 acres of Temple orange trees was the largest grove in the world at the time. A unique aspect of purchasing real estate in Temple Terraces Estates was the opportunity to invest in the orange grove to help offset the cost of home ownership. To allow participation by those unable to buy orange grove average, stock was made available for purchase at $100 per share. Any purchase of a block of 10 or more shares, included a Country Club membership and one building lot. Ten percent of the purchase price of stock shares was to go into a fund for the building of the clubhouse, streets, bungalow sites, ornamental trees and general public improvements.

(Side 2)
Prominent citrus industry figure D. Collins Gillett, president and founder of Temple Terraces, Inc. and president of Buckeye Nurseries, described the newly discovered Temple orange as "undoubtedly the highest grade of citrus fruit yet evolved." Once the trees bore fruit, the Temple orange was an immediate sensation. The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad built a spur track to Temple Terrace to bring in building materials for the development and to haul the Temple oranges to northern markets. Within a few years, the groves were expected to produce one million boxes of Temple oranges annually. In 1927 the entire grove was decimated by a freeze followed by neglect caused by the Great Depression. In 2016, a mini-grove of Temple orange trees was planted at Greco Middle School. The new grove was sponsored by Ken Ward and family in memory of Lester "Mac" McClung. A long time resident of Temple Terrace, Mac was a member of the inaugural class of University of Florida's Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering in 1951.

Erected 2017
Temple Terrace Preservation Society,
Ken Ward and Family, Temple Terrace Farm2School,
Hillsbourgh County Historical Advisory Council