Many Central Florida residents have either visited, or live in Windermere FL. But how exactly did this quiet little town come to be? Mr. Clean Can has done some research and is here to let you know all about Windermere, FL and how it got its start. We truly believe that learning the history of a town can help you appreciate it more than you did before!
Let’s Start From the Very Beginning
When you think of Windermere, FL, usually what comes to mind is a quiet town that’s conveniently located close to Walt Disney World. However, what you may not know is the rich history of how Windermere came to be! The story of Windermere starts way back in the 1500’s. Up until 1564, the Native American Timucuan Tribe called the area now known as Windermere home. According to Legends of America, “The Timucua were the Native American people living in the Northeast and North Central portions of what is now Florida.” In 1564, the Spanish arrived and began to settle in this area.
Fast forward almost 200 years later, and Florida became the 27th state of the Union. Around this time, the government was trying to find ways to encourage settlers to inhabit the Windermere and surrounding areas of Central Florida. The way they did this was by offering 160 acres of free land to anyone who would cultivate at least five acres of farmland and build a cabin. This obviously attracted many settlers to this area, and kick-started the beginning of what we now know as Windermere!
Becoming the Town We Know and Love Today
According to Orlando Sentinel, “Prior to 1888, records show that an Englishman by the name of Dr. Stanley Scott settled on 160 acres, calling his home Windermere.” Many others attempted to join Dr. Scott in growing citrus, however the Big Freeze took its toll on the citrus fields, not even ten years after Dr. Scott settled in Windermere. Unfortunately, this sent many settlers packing and giving up on their dreams of citrus. However, just a little over ten years later, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Two men by the names of J.C. Palmer and J.H. Johnson purchased Windermere from a man named S.S. Griffin, who had previously purchased the town for a very minimal amount.
From this moment, Windermere began to develop rapidly. Mr. Palmer and Mr. Johnson, through their hard work and determination, were able to attract many people to their town. They formed the Windermere Improvement Company, built a schoolhouse, formed the Board of Trade in 1912, and much more. Eventually, in 1925, Windermere became an incorporated town!
Looking to the Future
If you ask current residents of Windermere what they love most about living there, you will most likely hear, “It’s safe, small, quiet and clean.” It is a highly sought out place to live in Central Florida, thanks to these qualities. Living in Central Florida can be loud and stressful due to the high amount of tourism we see every year. Living in Windermere allows residents to have that small town feel, while still being able to enjoy the local tourist attractions such as Walt Disney World. Thanks to Windermere’s humble beginnings, we believe this town will be able to continue to pride itself on having a small, tight-knit community.