Sanford in Seminole County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
The Gate City of South Florida
In 1870 Henry Sanford acquired 12,548 acres of land at the southern most navigable point of the St. John's River system to create a river port city that he dubbed "The Gate City of South Florida." In 1877, the 12,548 acre "Sanford Grant" was incorporated as the City of Sanford.
Soon after the city was incorporated, riverboats began making regular trips to the area. Citrus and vegetables were taken north to Jacksonville, and people and goods arrived in Sanford via the river. Immigrants from Germany, Italy, England, Russia, Greece, Hungary, Norway, France, and Poland soon arrived in the area to work in the citrus groves and the celery fields of Central Florida. The more affluent visited Central Florida to relax and reap the health benefits of the climate.
In 1880 the South Florida Railroad began taking passengers and frieght to and from the riverboat port of Sanford and Orlando. The City of Sanford was firmly established as a transportation
During this time the city's infrastructure was being developed. Sanford was planned and designed as a grid with numbered east-west streets and most north-south streets bearing the names of trees. Land was set aside for parks, churches, and schools. Although most business took place on the waterfront, First Street was the center of town. Residential neighborhoods developed south of downtown, away from the threat of flood and associated health problems. Sanford quickly grew during the first half of the twentieth century.
In 1942 Sanford became home to the Sanford Naval Air Station, which would later become the Orland-Sanford International Airport. By the 1950s and 60s, visitors were traveling to Sanford to see the New York Giants baseball team hold spring training, shop for antiques, and recreate on Lake Monroe. In 1976 Sanford's downtown commercial district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The residential neighborhood south of Second Street followed in 1989.
[ Map: Sanford - The Gate City of South Florida ]
[ Photographs ]
• The City of Jacksonville steam boat made regular trips between Sanford and the city of north
• Trains like this were a common site coming into and out Sanford carrying passengers and produce
Images courtesy of Sanford Museum
Erected by the City of Sanford.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 28° 48.876′ N, 81° 16.051′ W. Marker is in Sanford, Florida, in Seminole County. Marker is on East Seminole Boulevard east of North Park Avenue. The marker is located along the Sanford RiverWalk east of Veterans Memorial Park Pier and overlooking the west side of the city marina and Marina Island. It is across East Seminole Boulevard from the Seminole County Courthouse. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sanford FL 32771, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Veterans Memorial Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Seminole County World War Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Second Seminole War (within shouting distance of this marker); Civil War (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); World War II (about 300 feet away); Vietnam War (about 300 feet away); City of Sanford World War Memorial (about 300 feet away); Korean War (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sanford.
More about this marker. The marker is capped with the logo of the City of Sanford.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on May 17, 2012, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. This page has been viewed 391 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on May 17, 2012, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.