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Sanford, Florida

Sanford, Florida
City of Sanford
Historic Welcome Center in Downtown Sanford
Historic Welcome Center in Downtown Sanford
Official seal of Sanford, Florida
Nickname(s): Historic Waterfront Gateway, Celery City, Bokey
Location in Seminole County and the state of Florida
Location in Seminole County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: [1]
Country United States
State Florida
County Seminole
Incorporated September 29, 1877
Founded by Henry Shelton Sanford
 • Type Commission–Manager
 • Mayor Jeff Triplett
 • City Manager Norton N. Bonaparte, Jr.
 • City 26.5 sq mi (69 km2)
 • Land 23.0 sq mi (60 km2)
 • Water 3.5 sq mi (9 km2)
Elevation[2] 35 ft (11 m)
Population (2010)[3][4]
 • City 53,570
 • Estimate (2013) 56,002
 • Density 2,333.4/sq mi (900.9/km2)
 • Urban 1,510,516 (32nd, U.S.)
 • Metro 2,267,846 (26th, U.S.)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code(s) 32771, 32773
Area code(s) 321, 407
FIPS code 12-63650
GNIS feature ID 0290631[2]
Website .gov.sanfordflwww

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 the 2010 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, the United 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 the Delta 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.


  • Attractions in Sanford 1
  • City initiatives 2
  • History 3
    • Early history 3.1
    • 20th century 3.2
      • Naval aviation 3.2.1
      • Disney World 3.2.2
      • Jackie Robinson 3.2.3
  • Geography 4
  • Climate 5
  • Demographics 6
  • Crime 7
  • Transportation and infrastructure 8
  • Education 9
  • Notable people 10
  • Gallery 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13

Attractions in Sanford

  • Downtown shops (Art galleries, restaurants, antique stores, etc.)
  • The Central Florida Zoo[5]
  • Riverwalk Trail
  • Local Parks
    • Fort Mellon Park[6]
    • The Paw Park Sanford[7]
    • Park on Park[8]
  • The Sanford Farmers Market (Every Saturday)
  • The Wayne Densch performing arts center[9]
  • Alive After Five (Second Thursday of every month in downtown)[10]
  • Sanford Museum[11]
  • Hiking[12]
  • Central Florida Soapbox Derby[13]
  • Historic Sanford Memorial Stadium

City initiatives

The city's RiverWalk trail is a bike/walk/run trail that was completed in 2004. The ten-foot wide paved walkway spans a distance of several miles in Sanford's downtown area along the waterfront of Lake Monroe. Phase 2, which adds over 3000 feet to the trail, will be completed in Spring of 2014.

The city is redoing the face of Sanford Avenue, one of the main streets, with a new brick road, wider sidewalks, trees, flowers, and benches.

Sanford is connected to the central Florida commuter railway SunRail, with the station 2 miles from the downtown.

To support the its green initiatives, Sanford has added five electric car charging stations.[14] The city is proposing to replace streetlamp bulbs with LED lights.

In 2012, the city launched the "Imagine Sanford" initiative, which asks all Sanford residents to get involved in city planning by submitting and voting on improvement ideas via the city's Imagine Sanford website.[15] The city of Sanford also launched a redesigned city government website in 2012.[16]


Early history

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 army garrison 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.[17] 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.[18][19]

20th century

Lake Monroe, circa 1912

In 1911, the community of Sanford Heights seceded from Sanford, because of discord over municipal services provided by Sanford. This added to concerns that Sanford's ability to expand would be constrained by the surrounding towns of Goldsboro, Georgetown and Sanford Heights, as well as

  • Sanford (Florida) travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • City of Sanford official website

External links

  1. ^ a b c "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  2. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  4. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-09-10. 
  5. ^ "". 
  6. ^ City of Sanford : Fort Mellon Park - information
  7. ^ "Paw Park of Historic Sanford-Home". 
  8. ^ City of Sanford : Park on Park
  9. ^ "Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center". 
  10. ^ Alive After 5 | The Second Thursday of Every Month | Sanford Welcome Center
  11. ^ City of Sanford : Sanford Museum
  12. ^ 
  13. ^ 
  14. ^ "The Sanford Herald - CITY SPOTLIGHT 'Plug In' to Sanford". 2012-01-09. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  15. ^ "Imagine Sanford by MindMixer". 2012-10-29. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  16. ^ "City of Sanford : Home". Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  17. ^ Long, Mark Howard (2008). "A Decidedly Mutinous Spirit: The Labor Problem in the Postbellum South as an Exercise of Free Labor". In Cassanello, Robert; Shell-Weiss, Melanie. Florida's working-class past: current perspectives on labor, race, and gender from Spanish Florida to the new immigration. foreword by Richard Greenwald and Timothy Minchin.  
  18. ^ a b Bentley, Altermese Smith (2000). Seminole County. Arcadia Publishing. p. 57.  
  19. ^ Brown, Canter (1998). Florida's Black Public Officials, 1867-1924. University Alabama Press. pp. 40, 74, 80, 94, 100, 126, 140, 171, 176–177.  
  20. ^ Imperiale, Nancy (May 20, 1990). "Discovering A Lost City Historian Finds Surprising Past Of The Goldsboro Community". Orlando, FL.  
  21. ^ Robinson, Jim (December 15, 2002). "Grapeville Details Emerge - The Histories Of The Swedish Colony And The Goldsboro Area Are Intertwined". Orlando, FL.  
  22. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  24. ^ "State & County QuickFacts - Sanford (city), Florida". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  25. ^ Crime in Sanford, FL.
  26. ^ "Zinn Beck Field". Sanford Babe Ruth & Cal Ripken Baseball League. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 



Notable people

Southern Technical College operates a campus in the city.


SunRail, the Central Florida commuter rail system, serves the city out of a new station off of State Road 46.

Lynx provides public bus transportation in Sanford and throughout all central Florida.

Sanford is near the northern end of the I-4 Corridor between Daytona Beach and Orlando. The State Road 417 or Central Florida GreeneWay begins in Sanford at Interstate 4 and forms the Eastern Beltway around Orlando ending at Walt Disney World.

Sanford was historically a hub for Central Florida transportation as port on the St. Johns River. The Orlando Sanford International Airport provides international and commuter airline service for central Florida. Sanford is the southern terminus of Amtrak's Auto Train which conveys Eastern Seaboard travelers and their vehicles to Lorton, Virginia, about 25 miles (40 km) south of Washington, D.C.

Transportation and infrastructure

Based on the latest crime statistics compiled in 2011, the crime rate in Sanford is above the aggregate national average.[25]

Crime rates (2012)
Crime type Rate*
Homicide: 3
Robbery: 166
Aggravated assault: 133
Total violent crime: 323
Burglary: 822
Larceny-theft: 1,986
Motor vehicle theft: 156
Arson: 1
Total property crime: 2,964
* Number of reported crimes per 100,000 population.
2012 population: 54,662
Source: 2012 FBI UCR Data


The median income for a household in the city was $43,470. The per capita income for the city was $20,588. About 18.5% of the population were below the poverty line.

As of the census of 2010,[24] 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.

Sanford Demographics
2010 U.S. Census Sanford Seminole County Florida
Total population 53,570 422,718 18,801,310
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%
Asian 2.8% 3.7% 2.4%
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%
Other 5.4% 3.6% 3.6%


Climate data for Sanford, Florida
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 70
Average low °F (°C) 49
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.6
Source: [2]


Sanford is located at .[1] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.5 square miles (68.63 km2), 22.96 square miles (59.47 km2) of which is land and 3.54 square miles (9.17 km2) of which is water. Sanford is bordered by the communities of Lake Mary to the southwest, and Midway to the east. To the north lies Lake Monroe and DeBary.


Historic Sanford Memorial Stadium is a baseball stadium located in Sanford, Florida. The ballpark is located just south of Lake Monroe on Mellonville Avenue, less than a mile from Historic Downtown Sanford. The stadium stands near the site of the old Sanford Field, which was originally built in 1926.[1] The new stadium was built in 1951 as the Spring Training Facility of the New York Giants. Many Major League stars have played in the stadiums including Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Tim Raines, and David Eckstein. Sanford Field is the location where Jackie Robinson first took to the field in 1946 to play baseball as a member of a white Class AAA International League Team in Daytona Beach, Florida, which was partnered with the Montreal Royals. After Robinson's turn at bat, a grumbling crowd made it a wise decision by the Chief of Police to have him removed from the game. The precedent had been set.

Jackie Robinson

The opening of Walt Disney World in October 1971 shifted the economy of Central Florida away from agriculture, military installations and the NASA manned and unmanned space programs, and further towards tourism, service industries and residential development, the center of which is Orlando. But because of Sanford's former preeminence as a trade center, the city retains a significant collection of older commercial and residential architecture, on streets shaded by live oaks hung with Spanish moss. Its location on Lake Monroe and access to the navigable waterway of the St. Johns River has made it Central Florida's additional center for numerous marinas, allowing access for pleasure boats and commercial vessels to and from the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway via Jacksonville and Mayport to the north.

Disney World

As a result of the increasing costs of the Vietnam War and concurrent federal domestic spending related to President General Services Administration (GSA) in 1969, renamed Sanford Airport and redeveloped as a general aviation facility. Subsequently renamed Sanford Regional Airport, then Central Florida Regional Airport, the airport commenced commercial airline service in 1995 and was renamed Orlando Sanford International Airport the following year. The Navy's presence is commemorated on the airport by two historical markers and the NAS Sanford Memorial Park, which was dedicated on Memorial Day in May 2003 and includes a restored RA-5C Vigilante on loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum that was placed on permanent static display at the entrance to the commercial airline terminal.

In 1942, Naval Air Station Sanford was established, which conducted operational training in the PV-1 Ventura, PBO Hudson, F4F/FM-1 Wildcat and the F6F Hellcat. At its peak in 1943-45, NAS Sanford was home to approximately 360 officers, 1500 enlisted men and 150 WAVES and included an auxiliary airfield to the east near Lake Harney known as Outlying Field Osceola. The base was inactivated and reduced to caretaker status in 1946, but was reactivated in 1950 in response to the Korean War and the Cold War. A major construction program ensued, with NAS Sanford redeveloped as a Master Jet Base for carrier-based A-3 Skywarrior and later A-5A and RA-5C Vigilante aircraft. At its peak in the mid-1960s, the base was home to nearly 4000 military personnel, comprising the air station personnel complement, an Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department, the Navy Dispensary, the Marine Barracks, a Replacement Air Group/Fleet Replacement Squadron for the RA-5C, and nine deployable Fleet RA-5C squadrons that routinely deployed aboard large aircraft carriers to the Mediterranean and the Pacific. The latter were heavily enagaged in combat operations during the Vietnam War.

Naval aviation

In 1913, Sanford became county seat of Seminole County, created from Orange County. Agriculture continued to dominate the economy until 1940, when it proved cheaper to cultivate produce in frost-free South Florida.


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