Mulberry is a city in Polk County, Florida, United States. The population was 3,817 at the 2010 census. As of 2004, the population estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau is 3,228 . Mulberry is home to Badcock Home Furniture. It is part of the Lakeland–Winter HavenMetropolitan Statistical Area. Alafia is home to the 334 acre Alafia River Reserve.
Location in Polk County and the state of Florida
The first white settlers appeared in the Mulberry area in the 1840s The first industry in the area was logging the longleaf yellow pine which dominated the area. Eventually the settlement grew to include log homes, stores, and saloons. The nearest sheriff and jail was hours away in Bartow and the town resembled a scene from the Old West as mob rule prevailed. Everyone carried a gun and Monday morning was a busy time for the coroner as he dealt with the victims of Saturday night's "troublemakers."
The town had no official name, but the railroad which came through town stopped at a mulberry tree to let off passengers and drop off the mail. The old mulberry tree became the de facto meeting place in town, and eventually gave the town its name. Several hangings took place from the mulberry tree. In 1886, phosphate rock was discovered in the Peace River, and the dominant industry went from forestry to mining. The phosphate industry gave the town stability and Mulberry was incorporated in 1901. In 1910 Mulberry's Masonic lodge was established and still is around today.
Mulberry is located at Atlantic coastal plainwith a terrain consisting of flatland interspersed with gently rolling hills.. Mulberry is located within the Central Florida Highlands area of the
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.2 square miles (8.3 km²). 3.1 square miles (8.0 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.4 km²) of it (4.36%) is water.
Public schools in Mulberry are operated by the Polk County School Board. The three elementary schools in the area are Kingsford, Purcell, and Sikes. Mulberry Middle and Mulberry Highround out the educational system in Mulberry. Mulberry Christian Academy is a private elementary school where financial aid is available to families who qualify.