In the spring of 2013, Seminole County celebrates its one-hundredth anniversary since splitting off from Orange County. Also, the state is marking 2013 as 500 years since Juan Ponce de León’s landing on Florida’s east coast and his naming of La Florida. This book is an effort to take note of Seminole County’s heritage from its origin as a place of sanctuary for its namesake Seminoles as well as a destination for the generations to follow.
Today, it is Northern retirees escaping frosty winters, young families making their own starts, and tourists from throughout the world who are lured by the sunshine to Florida’s Natural Choice. The lure of this land has not changed in centuries. People want a better life. For some, it is a break from the real world. For others, it is a chance to make a new life for themselves and their families. For those who have made Seminole County their home, there is a sense of place, a pride of accomplishment.
Readers will find themes of pride linking these pages: a recognition of this county’s agricultural legacy as well as an evolving need to move. Beginning with ancient canoes, the eras of steamboats and railroads gave way to paved roads, which expanded into interstates and regional beltways and a network of trailheads for hiking, biking, and jogging trails through Natural Lands. And, as a nod to some of the better ideas of the past, SunRail will provide a 2013 version of the old railroads from Seminole’s past.
Finally, Seminole County has preserved its heritage by treasuring its historic architecture and the natural beauty of its waterways while providing future generations with the educational opportunities and good communities they will need to face the challenges to come.
On this centennial year for the county, Seminole County retains just enough of that frontier Floridian character to carry on through to the next one hundred years.