Historic Markers Across Florida

Citrus to Celery

Marker ID:  
Location: Along Lake Monroe, on Seminole Blvd near Sanford Blvd, Sanford, FL
County: Seminole
Coordinates: N 28° 48.823    W 081° 15.889
  28.81371666    -81.26481666
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMK6N9


At the turn of the twentieth century the City of Sanford was one of the largest fruit and vegetable shipping centers in the United States. In the 1870s, the citrus industry was an integral part of the area's economy when Henry S. Sanford established his grove, "Belair," just outside the City of Sanford's original limits. Belair was developed as an agricultural experiment station where more than 140 varieties of citrus were tested for their adaptability to the Florida climate.
During the winter of 1894-95, a freeze destroyed most citrus groves in this area. Local farmers faced economic ruin from the loss of their citrus crop. Area farmers survived by converting their citrus groves to vegetable farms.

Although a variety of vegetables were grown in the area celery became the dominant crop. By the early 1900s, Sanford was known as the "Celery City." A street was named for the crop and the local high school teams became known as the "Celery Feds." The last major celery crop was harvested in 1970

City of Sanford