Florida Historical Markers Programs - Marker: Orange





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FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH - MAITLAND
Location:Maitland Presbyterian Church, U.S. 17/92
County: Orange
City: Maitland
Description: This congregation was organized in 1882 by ten Presbyterian settlers under the direction of the Rev. W.G.F. Wallace when Maitland was a pioneer hamlet. The church building was constructed in 1883, and it is one of the oldest churches still in use in this area. The church is typical example of pioneer ecclesiastical architecture of its period.
OLDEST MASONIC LODGE BUILDING IN CONTINUOUS USE IN FLORIDA
Location:E. Main St. and Alabama Ave.
County: Orange
City: Apopka
Description: Masonic Lodge #36 of the Grand Jurisdiction of Florida was established in 1856 and is still serving under a warrant issued that year. This building was erected here in 1859; the upper story has been continually used for lodge meetings. The original lower floor was used as post office, school, church and general store. Masons from miles around visited the community, which was known as The Lodge until the Town of Apopka City was chartered in 1882. In 1952, due to the effects of deterioration and highway widening, the lower story was removed and replaced. Orange Lodge #36 is a "Moon Lodge" and meets on or before the full moon and two weeks thereafter.
Sponsors: sponsored by the city of apopka bicentennial committee in cooperation with department of state
FORT CHRISTMAS
Location:S.R. 420, near mile marker 11.832
County: Orange
City: Christmas
Description: As white settlers moved into Florida in the 1820's and 1830's, there were growing demands that the Seminole Indians be removed to a reservation west of the Mississippi. Efforts to convince the Seminoles to move failed, and in 1835 the conflict known as the Second Seminole War began in earnest. Late in 1837, Maj. Gen. Thomas S. Jesup, overall commander in Florida, began intensive preparations to carry the fighting to south Florida, where he believed he would find a large force of hostile Indians. These preparations included opening a road on the west side of the St. Johns River and building along the road several posts to serve as depots for operations to the south. On Decmeber 25, 1837, troops under the command of Brig. Gen. Abraham Eustis established Fort Christmas on the north side of a creek a short distance from here. General Jesup himself led the column south from Fort Christmas early in January. By late January Jesup's troops were receiving their supplies by water from the St. Lucie River, and in March Fort Christmas was abandoned. While this simple wooden fortification was short-lived, it gave its name to the town of Christmas, a short distance south of here.
Sponsors: sponsored by the orange county historical commission in cooperation with department of state
WINDERMERE TOWN HALL
Location:520 Main St.
County: Orange
City: Windermere
Description: The settlement of Windermere began in the mid-1880s when Englishman Stanley Scott built his home in the area, giving it and the surrounding orange groves the name of Windermere, in memory of the Lake Windermere region of England. Other settlers followed, and a town site was platted in 1889, but the community was not formally incorporated until 1925. The town council had no permanent meeting place. Elected officials and citizens often met at the Windermere Woman’s Club, which was destined to become Town Hall. The two-story wood frame clubhouse had been erected on the shore of nearby Lake Butler in 1922 and was moved to its present site in 1938 for use as a community center. It formally became the seat of local government in 1945. Today the square surrounding the town hall is the focus of civic and recreational activity in Windermere. Facilities found there include the Chase Memorial Library, basketball courts, a municipal office building and the Cal Palmer Memorial Building, a small wood frame building constructed in 1911 by one of Windermere’s most prominent early residents. Both the Town Hall and the Cal Palmer Building are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Sponsors: TOWN OF WINDERMERE AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
ASTRONAUT JOHN WATTS YOUNG
Location:815 West Princeton Street
County: Orange
City: Orlando
Description: John Watts Young, NASA astronaut, Gemini veteran, Apollo moonwalker, and space shuttle commander, was the first American to travel in space six times. As an Orlando High School student, Young lived in this house at 815 West Princeton Street from 1945 until graduation in 1948. In 1965, he co-piloted Gemini-Titan III, a program that directly benefited Project Apollo's development and the first voyage to the moon. In 1972, Young was aboard Apollo XVI, the fifth manned landing on the moon, and was the ninth person to walk on the moon. He was commander on the first human-guided test flight of the first space shuttle, Columbia STS-1 in 1981 and the Challenger STS-9 in 1983, which carried Spacelab-1, a removable science laboratory. Young became the Special Assistant to the Director of the Johnson Space Center for Engineering, Operations and Safety in Houston, Texas, in 1987.
Sponsors: City of Orlando Commissioners Office District 3, College Park Merchants and Professionals Association, College Park Neighborhood Association, Orange County Historical Society, Inc., Orlando High School Class of 1948, Dana Holland, Caryl Curtis McAlpin, Ja
CARVER COURT PUBLIC HOUSING PROJECT
Location:S. Westmoreland St. Between Conely and W. Gore St.
County: Orange
City: Orlando
Description: Built in 1945 for $468,700, Carver Court was a public housing development set up by the Orlando Housing Authority in an effort to stimulate the economy, resolve growing slum and housing problems, and meet local demands associated with the massive defense buildup that had occurred during World War II. The development consisted of 16 one-story buildings and 12 two-story buildings. Carver Court was a prime example of a planned residential community, reflecting important urban planning and housing design theories of the period. As a well-defined group of affordable, multi-family, residential buildings organized around open spaces, Carver Court exemplified public housing projects constructed throughout the country during the late 1930s and 1940s. A team of Orlando’s most prominent architects and landscape architects, including Arthur Beck (1899-1990), the first Jewish architect in Orlando, Herbert L. Flint, landscape designer for the first public housing complex in Jacksonville, and F. Earl DeLoe (b. 1893), designed the housing complex. Originally built to house African-American families, Carver Court reflected attitudes toward segregation and the housing of low-income families that were characteristic of the time.
Sponsors: THE ORLANDO HOUSING AUTHORITY AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
SITE OF FORT GATLIN
Location:Summerlin St. near Gatlin Ave.
County: Orange
City: Orlando
Description: On November 9, 1838, during the Second Seminole Indian War (1835-42), the U.S. Army established Fort Gatlin in Mosquito County. This fort was named for Army Assistant Surgeon John S. Gatlin (1806-1835), who was killed in the Dade Massacre in 1835. The site of the fort was chosen as a military outpost due to its strategic position overlooking three lakes and because the area was frequented by Native Americans led by Seminole Chief King Philip and his son Coacoochee. The Fort served the state militia during the war until the Army withdrew in 1849. A few soldiers and families remained in the area, growing citrus and raising cattle. In 1856, Fort Gatlin became the county seat of Orange County, created from Mosquito County in 1845. The community’s name was later changed to Orlando, a name attributed to militiaman Orlando Reeves, who was reportedly killed in a skirmish during the Second Seminole War. It is believed that Reeves is buried near the site of Fort Gatlin. In 1941, during World War II, the United States Navy established the Underwater Sound Reference Laboratory near this site on Lake Gem Mary because of the great depth of the lake. The lab was closed in 1997.
Sponsors: THE FORT GATLIN HISTORICAL GROUP, THE FORT GATLIN HISTORICAL GROUP, ORANGE COUNTY GOVERNMENT, AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
RAILROADING IN MAITLAND
Location:Intersection of Lake Lily Drive and Central Avenue
County: Orange
City: Maitland
Description: Before the railroad to Lake Maitland, travelers boarded a steamboat in Jacksonville for the trip up the St. Johns River to Sanford. The St. Johns River is one of only three rivers in the United States that flows from south to north. Landing at Sanford, passengers hired a horse or team to take them overland to Lake Maitland. The South Florida Railroad was the first to this area from Sanford. Maitland residents Dr. Clement C. Haskell (1847-1900) and Bolling Robinson Swoope (born 1842) were Treasurer and Superintendent respectively. The new railroad, completed to Lake Maitland in 1880, terminated at the southern edge of town and opened new markets for shipments of citrus and other products to the north. Passengers met at the depot were transported by horse and buggy to their destinations. The stationmaster’s office was located in Packwood Hall, then the town hall, until the depot was built in 1883. It was torn down in 1969 due to tornado damage. In 1883 the Henry B. Plant Investment Company purchased the railroad, and the line was extended to Tampa. The Plant Railroad System consolidated into the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1902 and the Seaboard Coastline Railroad by 1903. CSX currently owns the railroad.
Sponsors: THE CITY OF MAITLAND AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
LAKE LILY DRIVE
Location:701 Lake Lily Drive, Lake Lilly Park
County: Orange
City: Maitland
Description: This road was the first direct route from Northeast Florida to Maitland. It followed Maitland Avenue around this west side of Lake Lily and continued south on what is now Highway 17-92. During the Second Seminole War the United States Army used this trail to connect the forts along its route. Fort Maitland was built in 1838 on the west shore of Lake Maitland, a day’s march from Fort Mellon (Sanford). The fort was named in honor of Captain William Seton Maitland (1798-1837) who was cited for bravery in battle of 1836, and died in 1837 as a result of wounds received there. The fort was located south of the present Fort Maitland Park and was in use only until 1839. In 1915, Orange County paved the route with bricks, making it the first grouted brick road in Florida. This road became part of the Dixie Highway, which opened in 1925 and ran from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan to Miami. In 1927 the road was joined to the Black Bear Trail at Lake Lily. Both names described the road from this point south. These bricks were covered by asphalt in the 1960’s and in 1998 the asphalt was removed and the Maitland Historical Society restored the bricks, with assistance from the City of Maitland and the Florida Department of State.
Sponsors: THE CITY OF MAITLAND AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
BLACK BEAR TRAIL
Location:900 S. Orlando Ave.
County: Orange
City: Maitland
Description: The Black Bear Trail, so-named because it ran through the natural habitat of the black bear, was organized by the Black Bear Trail, Inc., an association of officials of Chambers of Commerce, boards of trade and cities lying along the route of the new highway, whose objective was to provide a direct, safe route to historic and scenic sites from Canada to Florida. In April 1927, members of the Association marked the new route through Maitland along what is now Highway 17-92 by placing insignia showing a black bear painted on an orange oval background on both sides of telephone poles along the road. This road joined the Dixie Highway at Lake Lily and both names described this road from this point south. When completed, the Black Bear Trail ran from Quebec, Canada to St. Petersburg and Miami, Florida, and opened to travelers some of the most scenic areas in the country.
Sponsors: THE CITY OF MAITLAND AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
MOSELEY HOUSE
Location:11 Taylor St.
County: Orange
City: Eatonville
Description: Taylor Street is the eastern boundary of Eatonville and is the site of Jim and Matilda Clark Moseley’s home. Matilda, or “Miss Tillie,” as she was affectionately called, was the niece of Joseph Clark, Eatonville’s founder and first mayor. Early dwellings in Eatonville were mainly single-family, one-story, 500-square-foot wood frame houses with no more than 2 or 3 rooms. One such house was located at 11 Taylor Street, built c. 1888 and is known as the Moseley House. Tillie was born and reared in Eatonville, where she served as a Sunday school teacher, church pianist and community activist. She married Jim Moseley, son of the fourth mayor of Eatonville. As a member of Eatonville’s pioneer family and due to her community involvement, many considered her a walking historian. Eatonville’s most acclaimed citizen - Zora Neale Hurston - author and folklorist - was Tillie’s best friend and a frequent visitor. Much of Hurston’s work is set in Eatonville and she would often stay with the Moseleys when she returned. The house is a repository for early Eatonville memorabilia, including the Moseley family and Zora Neale Hurston, and is a place to preserve African-American history and culture.
Sponsors: THE FLORIDA STATE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL ASSEMBLY AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
COMMUNITY OF PIEDMONT
Location:Peidmont-Wekiwa Rd. between Orange Blossom Trail and Apopka Blvd.
County: Orange
City: Apopka
Description: Piedmont, named in the late 1890s, was comprised of a wide area around Blue lake, one and one-half miles east of Apopka City. It was a close-knit community populated in the 1870s almost entirely by Swedish immigrants. Among the earliest settlers were the Andersons, Thollanders, Jacksons, Olsons, and Larrsons. Railroad tracks were extended through the settlement in 1885, and the Piedmont Railroad station was constructed in 1890. Emily Jackson Swanson (1911-2001), living here her entire life, was the last Piedmont resident born of Swedish parents. A small store and a schoolhouse, the center of the community, served as a social center and church. Residents cultivated citrus groves and vineyards establishing several wineries. Residents also farmed raising livestock, produce, and poultry. In the late 1890s, a saw mill was built that continued into the 1920s, and the Florida Central and Peninsula Railroad built a new railroad freight station. The Piedmont post office, established to serve 75 residents in 17 homes in 1903, was discontinued in 1922. In the 1920s, electric service became available. The Piedmont Chamber of Commerce was formed in 1929. The area was annexed into the City of Apopka in 1986.
Sponsors: The Apopka Historical Society, the City of Apopka, and the Florida Department of State
ORLANDO ARMY AIR BASE
Location:Intersection of Maguire Boulevard and East Livingston Street
County: Orange
City: Orlando
Description: Orlando Municipal Airport opened in 1928 on 65 acres of land north of Lake Underhill. In 1940, with Europe at war, the United States Army took over the airport for defense purposes, activating it as the Orlando Army Air Base on September 1, 1940. The first Army Air Corps planes arrived on September 5, 1940. The Base provided a training center for pilots and fighter and bomber groups. The United States entered World War II on December 7, 1941, after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1942, B-17 bombers and their crews moved to the newly-completed Pine Castle Air Force Base, now the Orlando International Airport, and the Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics moved to the Orlando Army Air Base, by then grown to 1000 acres with 6 runways. The size and importance of the Orlando base, where pilots tested new aircraft, including P-26 and P-40 fighter planes, brought notable visitors such as Chief of the Army Air Force General Hap Arnold and entertainer Bob Hope. At the end of World War II the base became a separation center for thousands of servicemen and women resuming civilian life. It was returned to the city of Orlando in 1946. Renamed Herndon Airport in 1961, it became the Orlando Executive Airport in 1982.
Sponsors: The City of Orlando, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority and the Florida Department of State
LOVELL'S LANDING AT LAKE APOPKA
Location:2929 Binion Rd. Magnolia Park
County: Orange
City: Apopka
Description: In the 1870s, the early settlers of northwest Orange County looked to area waterways as commercial highways. Lake Apopka, the head of the Ocklawaha chain of lakes, offered access to the St. Johns River near Palatka and a way for citrus and vegetable growers near the banks of the lake to transport their products. In 1872, William A. Lovell (1828-1903) purchased 225 acres of land on the northwest side of the lake. At this location, he established a landing to serve as a hub for freight service on Lake Apopka and the surrounding region. Before steamer service began on the Ocklawaha in 1882, fruits and vegetables from 17 landings around the lake were brought to Lovell’s Landing for delivery by oxen to Clay Springs and areas further north. As commerce through Lovell’s Landing increased, the community constructed its own school, which operated from 1884-1895. In the 1920s, Apopka built a dock, clubhouse, and picnic grounds at the landing. In 1926, Orange County built a road connecting Apopka to the area. Waterway commerce from Lovell’s Landing subsequently declined as more and faster methods of transporting fruits and vegetables came to the region.
Sponsors: Apopka Historical Society, Orange County Board of County Commissioners, and the Florida Department of State.
HENRY NEHRLING'S PALM COTTAGE GARDENS
Location:2267 Hempel Ave
County: Orange
City: Gotha
Description: This site was home to Dr. Henry Nehrling (1853-1929), an internationally-renowned horticulturalist, naturalist, botanist, ornithologist, and writer known as the “patron saint of Florida gardens.” Here, and at his later Naples gardens, between 1886 and 1929, Nehrling introduced and tested over 3,000 new and rare species of plants and trees, as well as Florida native plants. Over 300 of these became essential to the state’s ornamental horticulture, including caladiums, palms, bamboos, magnolias, amaryllis, Indian hawthorne, and crinum lilies. Nehrling’s gardens became a mecca for plant lovers and a tourist destination in the early 1900s, and were visited by many prominent people, including President Theodore Roosevelt and renowned horticulturists David Fairchild and Liberty Hyde Bailey. Nehrling collaborated with the Office of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and, in 1929, was awarded the Meyer Agricultural Explorer Medal. He was a founding member of the American Ornithological Union and the Florida Audubon Society, and wrote extensively on plants and birds. His most notable works include “Our Native Birds of Song and Beauty”, “The Plant World in Florida”, and “My Garden in Florida.”
Sponsors: The Henry Nehrling Society, Rotary Club of Windermere, Windermere Garden Club, Bloom & Grow Garden Society, and the Florida Department of State
CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD
Location:331 Lake Avenue
County: Orange
City: Maitland
Description: The Church of the Good Shepherd (known as "The Chapel") was established in 1882 by the Right Reverend Henry Benjamin Whipple, the first Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of Minnesota, who wintered in Maitland because of poor health. Bishop Whipple envisioned his church as “. . . a place where the poorest man on earth may find here his Saviour's home.” The property for the church was donated by Mr. C.H. Hall in 1875. The church’s congregation formally began in 1879, when its members met in the parlor of Bishop Whipple’s house across the street from the present church. The church was designed by architect Charles C. Haight of New York City, and was constructed in 1883 by builder James A. McGuire. The timber frame building is an excellent example of the Carpenter Gothic style, and has a rectangular nave, a belfry with a tall pyramidal roof, and unusual triangular battens in its board and batten exterior. The church’s original 1884 stained glass windows were designed by Charles Booth in the Aesthetic Style, and are exceptional examples of this rare type of design in stained glass. The Church of the Good Shepherd was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.
Sponsors: The Church of the Good Shepherd and the Florida Department of State