Loxahatchee Groves, Florida

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Loxahatchee Groves, Florida
Motto(s): Florida's Last Frontier
Location in Palm Beach County and the state of Florida
Location in Palm Beach County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 26°41′01″N 80°16′47″W / 26.68361°N 80.27972°W / 26.68361; -80.27972
Country  United States
State  Florida
County Palm Beach
Settled 1917
Incorporated November 1, 2006
Area[1]
 • Total 12.45 sq mi (32.23 km2)
 • Land 12.43 sq mi (32.19 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2)
Elevation 10 ft (3.0 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 3,180
 • Estimate (2017)[2] 3,528
 • Density 276.85/sq mi (106.89/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes 33470
Area code(s) 561
FIPS code 12-41577
GNIS feature ID 294872[3]

Loxahatchee Groves is a town in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. As of 2017, the town had a population of 3,528 according to an estimate by the United States Census Bureau. Loxahatchee Groves was incorporated November 1, 2006, as the 38th municipality in Palm Beach County. The first election for town council members was held on March 13, 2007. Although Loxahatchee Groves did not become a municipality until 2006, the area had been settled since 1917. Billing itself as "Florida's Last Frontier", Loxahatchee Groves was primarily incorporated to better protect the area from encroaching urbanization as nearby cities continued to develop and to preserve the area's rural character.

The town derives its name from the Loxahatchee River; "Loxahatchee" is from the Seminole words lowchow (turtle) and hatchee (river), thus translating to "river of turtles".[4] Loxahatchee Groves is bounded on the east by Royal Palm Beach, on the south by Wellington, and on the west and north by The Acreage and Loxahatchee. It has an area of approximately 12.5 square miles (32.4 km2).

History[edit]

The area now known as Loxahatchee Groves was originally a portion of the 2,000,000 acres (8,100 km2) of land purchased by the Southern States Land and Timber Company in 1902. Shortly after completion of the West Palm Beach (C-51) Canal – which connected downtown West Palm Beach to Lake Okeechobee at Canal Point for the purpose of transporting crops by water – in 1917, Southern States sales manager, and later president, George Frederick Bensel envisioned a "waterfront" farming community. Bensel and company engineer Torvald Garfield "T. G." Thorgesen both created the first topographical map of Loxahatchee Groves during the following three years. After Bensel, Thorgesen, and others established the Palm Beach Loxahatchee Company, they bought 6,500 acres (26 km2) from the Southern States Land and Timber Company, naming the land "Loxahatchee Farms". The Palm Beach Loxahatchee Company would build almost 30 mi (48 km) of canals and roads, which were to be maintained by the Loxahatchee Groves Drainage District, now known as the Loxahatchee Groves Water Control District.[5]

In 1925, Bensel opened a combined gas station, grocery store, and post office. Loxahatchee Groves received extensive damage during the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane, with almost every home knocked off of their foundations. In the 1930s, Bensel's brother Thomas began a project which encouraged residents to plant citrus, resulting in about 56,000 new trees being planted. During that time, a water pump was built at State Road 80 (Southern Boulevard) and D Road, allowing water to be drawn from the West Palm Beach Canal. The Palm Beach Loxahatchee Company sold Loxahatchee Groves to Loxahatchee Investments in 1958. Production of citrus and tomatoes gradually ceased following George Bensel's death in 1961. With significant development in Royal Palm Beach and Wellington in the 1980s and 1990s, some residents of Loxahatchee Groves believed the rural lifestyle and landscape of the area was under threat.[5]

Consequently, a movement for incorporating Loxahatchee Groves for the purpose of preserving the rural lifestyle of the area began in 2003. On October 10, 2006, residents voted 458–350 in favor of incorporation, making Loxahatchee Groves the 38th municipality in Palm Beach County.[6] The first election for town council members was held on March 13, 2007. Dave Autrey, David Browning, Marge Herzog, Bill Louda, and Dennis Lipp were the first elected council members, while Browning was selected to be mayor and Herzog was chosen to be vice mayor at the first town council meeting on March 29.[7] Prior to the election, a political forum for the candidates was hosted at a nudist resort, drawing a crowd of about 100 people.[8]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
20103,180
Est. 20173,528[2]10.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,105 households, out of which 9.6% were vacant. The 2010 census also indicated that 24.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.0% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. Approximately 26.1% of households had an individual who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 3.02. As of the census of 2010, there were 3,180 people residing in the town. The population density was 276.85 per square mile (106.89/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 81.3% White (74.2% were non-Hispanic White), 3.1% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.6% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.7% of the population.[10]

Transportation[edit]

U.S. routes 98 and 441 and State Road 80 all jointly move east-to-west along the southern end of the town, a road which is locally known as Southern Boulevard.[11] Okeechobee Boulevard, designated as State Road 704 to the east of Royal Palm Beach, also runs east-to-west through the town.[12] Palm Tran Route 40, which runs from downtown West Palm Beach to Belle Glade, has a few stops along Southern Boulevard in Loxahatchee Groves and just outside the town limits.[13]

Education[edit]

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

The School District of Palm Beach County serves Loxahatchee Groves. Public schools in Loxahatchee Groves and schools serving Loxahatchee Groves include:

  • Loxahatchee Groves Elementary School[14]
  • Western Pines Middle School[15]
  • Seminole Ridge Community High School[16]

Colleges[edit]

Palm Beach State College (PBSC) opened a campus in Loxahatchee Groves in February 2017 to serve college students in The Acreage, Loxahatchee, Loxahatchee Groves, Royal Palm Beach, and Wellington. Named after former school president Dennis P. Gallon, the campus covers 50,000 sq ft (4,600 m2) of space and features 20 classrooms and computer labs, a large multi-propose room, and a doctor's office simulation room. Although the campus does not include a cafe, library, or bookstore, those may be included in the construction of two additional buildings planned, depending on enrollment numbers.[17]

Recreation[edit]

Loxahatchee Groves includes the following parks and recreational areas:

  • Loxahatchee Groves Park[18]
  • Hot Shots Paintball[19]
  • Sunsport Gardens Family Naturist Resort[20]

Additionally, Lion Country Safari is located just west of the town's boundaries. Lion Country Safari features a drive-through safari park and a walk-through amusement park.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 7, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. p. 12. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ Eliot Kleinberg (September 16, 1987). "What's in a name? Lots of history if it's a town". The Palm Beach Post. p. 35. Retrieved July 21, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. Free to read
  5. ^ a b "Loxahatchee Groves". Historical Society of Palm Beach County. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  6. ^ Mitra Malek (October 11, 2006). "Voters agree to create a new town". The Palm Beach Post. p. 1. Retrieved July 17, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. Free to read
  7. ^ Mitra Malek (March 30, 2007). "Town gets down to business". The Palm Beach Post. p. 18. Retrieved July 21, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. Free to read
  8. ^ Stephanie Horvath (March 2, 2007). "New town's political forum is unusually revealing". Sun-Sentinel. p. 30. Retrieved July 21, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. Free to read
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  10. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  11. ^ "Straight-Line Diagrams Online GIS Web Application - Roadway: 93120000 SR 80/US 98 & 441". Florida Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  12. ^ "Straight-Line Diagrams Online GIS Web Application - Roadway: 93120000 SR 80/US 98 & 441". Florida Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  13. ^ "Central County Route 40" (PDF). Palm Beach County Government. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  14. ^ "Elementary School Attendance Boundaries SY2018–19" (PDF). School District of Palm Beach County. 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  15. ^ "Middle School Attendance Boundaries SY2018–19" (PDF). School District of Palm Beach County. 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  16. ^ "High School Attendance Boundaries SY2018–19" (PDF). School District of Palm Beach County. 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  17. ^ Scott Travis (February 24, 2017). "Palm Beach State opens long-awaited western campus". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  18. ^ "Loxahatchee Groves Park". Palm Beach County Government. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  19. ^ "Hot Shots Paintball". Hot Shots Paintball. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  20. ^ "Contact Us". Sunsport Gardens. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  21. ^ "Lion Country Safari History". Lion Country Safari. Retrieved July 29, 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 26°41′01″N 80°16′47″W / 26.68361°N 80.27972°W / 26.68361; -80.27972