Valparaiso, Florida

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Valparaiso, Florida
City
Motto: "Vale Of Paradise"[1]
Location in Okaloosa County and the state of Florida
Location in Okaloosa County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 30°30′N 86°30′W / 30.500°N 86.500°W / 30.500; -86.500Coordinates: 30°30′N 86°30′W / 30.500°N 86.500°W / 30.500; -86.500
Country  United States
State  Florida
County  Okaloosa
Area
 • Total 12.7 sq mi (33 km2)
 • Land 11.9 sq mi (30.9 km2)
 • Water 0.8 sq mi (2.1 km2)
Elevation 46 ft (14 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 6,408
 • Density 504.6/sq mi (194.2/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 32580
Area code(s) 850
FIPS code 12-73675[2]
GNIS feature ID 0305048[3]
Website City of Valparaiso Florida Website

Valparaiso is a city in Okaloosa County, Florida, in the United States, and it is named after the Chilean city of Valparaiso. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 6,408. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2004 estimates, the city had a population of 6,336. It is part of the Fort Walton BeachCrestviewDestin Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

Valparaiso was named after Valparaiso, Indiana.[4]

Chicago businessman James E. Plew, who relocated to the Panhandle of Northwest Florida in 1922, became "one of Northwest Florida's pioneer developers,"[5] and settled on Valparaiso "as the most likely spot for development. He founded the Bank of Valparaiso, constructed the Valparaiso Inn [in 1924], organized the Chicago Country Club which constructed the Valparaiso Country Club golf course and was instrumental in many other development activities in the community."[6]

"Other interests of Mr. Plew included the founding of the Shalimar Winery, which was established to use the surplus grape crop of the county. He also founded the Valparaiso Novelty Company, helped to establish a knitting mill in the community and was interested in a number of other enterprises to which he made investments to help their development."[7]

Plew thought that a military payroll would boost the depression-stricken economy of the region. He leased from the City of Valparaiso the Valparaiso Airport, an arrowhead-shaped parcel of 137 acres (0.55 km2) cleared in 1933 as an airdrome.[8] In 1934, Plew offered the U.S. government 1,460 acres (6 km2) contiguous land for a bombing and gunnery base. This leasehold became the headquarters for the Valparaiso Bombing and Gunnery Base activated on June 14, 1935, under the command of Captain Arnold H. Rich. This was the founding of Eglin Air Force Base. The field was assigned the ICAO airport code VPS for Valparaiso, which Northwest Florida Regional Airport retains to this day.

Geography[edit]

Valparaiso is located at 30°30′N 86°30′W / 30.500°N 86.500°W / 30.500; -86.500 (30.5070, -86.4970).[9]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.8 square miles (33 km2). 11.9 square miles (31 km2) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) of it (6.35%) is water.

Climate[edit]

Climate is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. Temperatures are high and can lead to warm, oppressive nights. Summers are usually somewhat wetter than winters, with much of the rainfall coming from convectional thunderstorm activity. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfa" (Humid Subtropical Climate).[10]

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 6,408 people, 1,928 households, and 1,284 families residing in the city. The population density was 536.8 inhabitants per square mile (207.2/km²). There were 2,023 housing units at an average density of 169.5 per square mile (65.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.77% White, 9.91% African American, 0.64% Native American, 2.67% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 3.00% from other races, and 2.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.18% of the population.

There were 1,928 households out of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.1% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.4% were non-families. 28.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the city the population was spread out with 16.8% under the age of 18, 20.1% from 18 to 24, 31.9% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 164.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 181.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,521, and the median income for a family was $46,411. Males had a median income of $22,267 versus $18,781 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,934. About 3.1% of families and 6.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.7% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture[edit]

Museums and other points of interest[edit]

The Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida is located in Valparaiso.[11]

Infrastructure[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Commercial aircraft fly into nearby Northwest Florida Regional Airport/Eglin Air Force Base, which also serves Fort Walton Beach, Florida. The airport code VPS is taken from the City of Valparaiso, northeast of the base.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "City of Valparaiso Florida Website". City of Valparaiso Florida Website. Retrieved September 19, 2012. 
  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. ^ "Profile for Valparaiso, Florida, FL". ePodunk. Retrieved September 19, 2012. 
  5. ^ Okaloosa News-Journal, Crestview, Florida, "Jas. Plew, Business Man, Dies", Friday, April 22, 1938, Volume 24, Number 17, page 1.
  6. ^ Okaloosa News-Journal, Crestview, Florida, "Jas. Plew, Business Man, Dies", Friday, April 22, 1938, Volume 24, Number 17, page 1.
  7. ^ Okaloosa News-Journal, Crestview, Florida, "Jas. Plew, Business Man, Dies", Friday, April 22, 1938, Volume 24, Number 17, page 1.
  8. ^ Angell, Joseph W., "History of the Army Air Forces Proving Ground Command – Part One – Historical Outline 1933–1944", The Historical Branch, Army Air Forces Proving Ground Command, Eglin Field, Florida, 1944, reprint by Office of History, Munitions Systems Division, Eglin AFB, Florida, 1989, page 46D.
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  10. ^ Climate Summary for Valparaiso, FL
  11. ^ "Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida". Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida. Retrieved September 19, 2012. 

External links[edit]