Sanford is a port city in the central region of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat of Seminole County. As of the2010 census, the city had a population of 53,570. It is a principal city of the Orlando–Kissimmee–Sanford, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area, which was home to 2,134,411 people as of the 2010 census.
Known as the "Historic Waterfront Gateway City," Sanford sits on the southern shore of Lake Monroe at the head of navigation on the St. Johns River. Native Americans first settled in the area thousands of years before the city was formed. The Seminoles would arrive in the area in the 18th century. During the Second Seminole War in 1836, theUnited States Army established Camp Monroe and built a road that is currently known as Mellonville Avenue. The city sits approximately 20 miles (32 km) northeast of Orlando.
Sanford is home to Seminole State College of Florida and the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Its downtown attracts tourists with shops, restaurants, a marina, and a lakefront walking trail. The Orlando Sanford International Airport, which is in the heart of the town and headquarters the Aerosim Flight Academy (formerly theDelta Connection Academy), functions as the secondary commercial airport for international and domestic carriers in the Orlando metropolitan area. The city gained international media attention in 2012 following the shooting of Trayvon Martin.
|City of Sanford|
Historic Welcome Center in Downtown Sanford
|Nickname(s): Historic Waterfront Gateway, Celery City, Bokey|
Location in Seminole County and the state of Florida
The Mayaca or Jororo Indians inhabited the shores of Lake Monroe at the time of European contact. By 1760, however, war and disease had decimated the tribe, which would be replaced by the Seminole Indians. Florida was acquired by the United States from Spain in 1821, but the Seminole Wars would delay settlement. In 1835, the Seminoles burned the port of Palatka on the St. Johns River, then the major artery into Central Florida from the East Coast. Consequently, an armygarrison was established upstream, on the southern side of Lake Monroe near a trading post. Called Camp Monroe, the log breastwork was attacked on February 8, 1837. It would be strengthened and renamed Fort Mellon in honor of Captain Charles Mellon, the sole American casualty.
General Zachary Taylor had a road built connecting a string of defenses from Lake Monroe to Fort Brooke (now Tampa). The town of Mellonville was founded around Fort Mellon in 1842 by Daniel Stewart. In 1845, Florida became a U.S. state, and Mellonville became county seat of Orange County, formerly called Mosquito County with its county seat across the lake at Enterprise. Orange groves were planted, with the first fruit packing plant built in 1869. In 1870, "General"Henry Shelton Sanford bought 12,548 acres (50.78 km2) to the west of Mellonville and laid out the community of Sanford. Believing it would become a transportation hub, he called it "The Gateway City to South Florida."
Several groups of Swedes were imported as indentured servants to do the back-breaking labor of establishing a new town and clearing the sub-tropical wilderness in advance of creating a citrus empire, arriving by steamboat in 1871. Incorporated in 1877 with a population of 100, Sanford absorbed Mellonville in 1883. The South Florida Railroad ran a line from Sanford to Tampa, later the Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railroad ran a line to Jacksonville, and the area became the largest shipper of oranges in the world. Arriving by steamer in April 1883, President Chester A. Arthur vacationed a week at the Sanford House, a lakeside hotel built in 1875 and expanded in 1882.
In 1887, the city suffered a devastating fire, followed the next year by a statewide epidemic of yellow fever. When the Great Freeze of 1894 and 1895 ruined the citrus industry, farmers diversified by growing vegetables as well. Celery was first planted in 1896, and until 1974 the community would be nicknamed Celery City.
On December 1, 1891, merchant William Clark and registered African American voters of Goldsboro incorporated as a town just to the south of Sanford.
|U.S. Decennial Census
|2010 U.S. Census||Sanford||Seminole County||Florida|
|Population, percent change, 2000 to 2010||+39.9%||+15.8%||+17.6%|
|Population density||2,333.4/sq mi||1,367.0/sq mi||350.6/sq mi|
|White or Caucasian||57.3%||78.2%||75.0%|
|Black or African-American||30.5%||11.1%||16.0%|
|Hispanic or Latino||20.2%||17.1%||22.5%|
|Native American or Native Alaskan||0.5%||0.3%||0.4%|
|Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian||0.1%||0.1%||0.1%|
|Two or more races (Multiracial)||3.3%||2.9%||2.5%|
As of the census of 2010, there were 53,570 people residing in the city. The population density was 2,333.4 inhabitants per square mile (6,043/km²). There were 23,061 housing units and 18,911 households. The average number of persons per household was 2.64.