Exploring The Rich History And Events Of Lakeland That Makes It Popular Today

If you are planning to move to Lakeland soon, you might be interested in knowing how this beautiful city came to be founded. Lakeland has an interesting history that is sure to leave you enthralled.

Lakeland in the 19th and 20th Century

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Lakeland was founded in 1885 by Abraham Munn. He had purchased 80 acres of land in 1882 and platted the land for the town in 1884. In the 1890s due to the burning of the railroad depot in Acton, Lakeland went on to become a railroad site for approximately 20-25 trains. In 1898 was a crucial point in the history of Lakeland with the Spanish- American War. This was because Lakeland at that time was home to over 9000 troops.

The booming period for Florida from the 1920s to 1940s resulted in the formation of many historical buildings and structures such as the Terrace Hotel, The New Florida Hotel, The Polk Theatre, and many others. The Henley Field Ball Park was used as a training ground for Cleveland Indians. Slowly parks such as Hollis Gardens, Barnett Children’s Park, and Allen Kryger Park were formed surrounding Lake Mirror.

Florida saw a decline in tourism in the 1930s, but slowly it re-emerged due to the spring training session by the Detroit Tigers. In the late 1930s, the Lakeland Municipal Airport was formed. This period also proved to be significant with the coming of Frank Lloyd Wright who came to Lakeland at the request of the President of Florida Southern College, Ludd Spivey for expanding the college campus.

Other important events that took place between the 18th and 19th centuries include:

  • Park Trammel became the first mayor in 1901
  • The first movie house known as the Electric Theatre was launched in 1907
  • In 1917 the Federal building, the first separate post office building was created
  • The Delicatessen Department, now known as Publix Deli was formed on 1965
  • Construction of Hollis Garden in 2000

Lakeland in the 21st Century

Lakeland made great progress in the 21st century. Some of the key events are as follows:

  • Lakeland was ranked as one of the best places to live in the US in 2005
  • Chongming County in Shanghai China be a Sister City to Lakeland in 2007
  • In 2009 Gow Fields was elected to be the first African American Mayor of Lakeland
  • In 2012 the campus designed by Frank Lloyd Wright was nominated as a National Historic Landmark
  • In 2014, a distribution center was added by Amazon, thereby employing Lakeland residents
  • 2018 saw the damage done by Hurricane Irma


So to conclude, you can see that Lakeland has come a long way from what it is now. The city has had its booming period as well as economic slowdown, but all the time emerging stronger day by day.

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