Fruitland Park, Florida

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Fruitland Park, Florida
City
Motto: " The Friendly City "
Location in Lake County and the state of Florida
Location in Lake County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 28°51′31″N 81°54′47″W / 28.85861°N 81.91306°W / 28.85861; -81.91306Coordinates: 28°51′31″N 81°54′47″W / 28.85861°N 81.91306°W / 28.85861; -81.91306
Country United States of America
State Florida
County Lake
Government
 • Mayor Chris Bell
Area
 • Total 3.7 sq mi (9.5 km2)
 • Land 2.9 sq mi (7.6 km2)
 • Water 0.8 sq mi (1.9 km2)
Elevation 108 ft (33 m)
Population (2000)[1]
 • Total 3,186
 • Estimate (2008) 4,293
 • Density 860/sq mi (340/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 34731
Area code(s) 352
FIPS code 12-24975[2]
GNIS feature ID 0282844[3]

Fruitland Park is a city in Lake County, Florida, United States. The population was 3,186 at the 2000 census. The Census Bureau estimated the population in 2008 to be 4,293.[1] It is part of the Orlando–Kissimmee–Sanford Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Geography[edit]

Fruitland Park is located at 28°51′31″N 81°54′47″W / 28.858571°N 81.913114°W / 28.858571; -81.913114.[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.5 km² (3.7 mi²). 7.6 km² (2.9 mi²) of it is land and 1.9 km² (0.8 mi²) of it (20.44%) is water.

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 3,186 people, 1,192 households, and 890 families residing in the city. The population density was 421.3/km² (1,092.1/mi²). There were 1,288 housing units at an average density of 170.3/km² (441.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.08% White, 7.16% African American, 0.56% Native American, 1.32% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.63% from other races, and 1.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.54% of the population.

There were 1,192 households out of which 37.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.1% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.3% were non-families. 20.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.9% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,403, and the median income for a family was $42,665. Males had a median income of $29,375 versus $19,951 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,400. About 8.1% of families and 10.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.0% of those under age 18 and 3.0% of those age 65 or over.

History[edit]

Fruitland Park predates the American Civil War, although the name of the town didn't come until later. It was originally called Gardenia. The earliest settler was M. Calvin Lee, of the Evander Lee family of Leesburg,[5] who planted a citrus grove. After the war, a son-in-law of the Lee family, P.S. Bouknight, homesteaded 40 acres (160,000 m2) near Mirror Lake.

In 1875 the State of Florida sent Captain Kendricks to the northern part of the US to talk about the advantages of living in Florida. Due to Major Orlando P. Rooks poor health, and already considering a move, he had his wife, Josephine, moved to Fruitland Park.[6] They built their first home on Crystal Lake in 1877. It was here that the first white child, Frederic, was born in 1882.[citation needed]

The Fruitland Nurseries of Augusta, Georgia, was owned by J. P. Berckmann, friend of Major Rook. Major Rook named the town Fruitland Park for the nurseries, and the main street Berckmann Street for this friend.[citation needed]

The postal authorities refused to recognize the name Fruitland Park as there was already a Fruitland in the State. At their request the name was changed to Gardenia in 1884. The Florida Railroad, put through the town just prior to this, had listed the town as Fruitland Park in all their printed matter and refused to recognize the new name of Gardenia. Consequently, all freight and express had to be directed to Fruitland Park and all mail addressed to Gardenia. This caused a great deal of confusion which lasted from 1884 to 1888 when a petition was sent to the postal authorities to have the name changed back to Fruitland Park. The petition was granted in 1888.[citation needed]

On December 20, 1884, Rev. G.W. Butler organized the first "community" church in Fruitland Park. The church had acquired to lots on College Ave., between Fountain St. and Lime St.[7] The church was built in 1886-1887. That building burned in 1934, but was rebuilt in 1935. That building was later sold to the United Pentecostal Church and still remains today.[citation needed]

Fruitland Park was granted a Charter by the State of Florida on May 25, 1927.[8]

Today the city boasts churches, schools, and numerous businesses. It still calls itself "Hometown USA."[2]

Fruitland Park is also home to the oldest Dirt Kart Track in America. The 1/6 mile clay oval has hosted Saturday Night Dirt Kart Racing for Go Kart enthusiast since opening in 1956.[citation needed]

The 2012 book Devil in the Grove detailed racial violence in the area's orange groves in the 1940s and '50s.[9]

In July of 2014 two Fruitland Park Police officers were forced to resign after an after FBI investigation discovered they had links to the Ku Klux Klan. [10]

See also[edit]

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, on the National Register of Historic Places

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Population Estimates" (CSV). 2008 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau. July 1, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ Leesburg history
  6. ^ Fruitland Park hiking tour
  7. ^ CUMC History
  8. ^ Fruitland Park history
  9. ^ 2 Florida Cops Tied to KKK:FBI, by the Associated Press, 14 July 2014
  10. ^ [1]

External links[edit]