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La Floridiana by Will Moriaty
   Now in our fifth calendar year
    PCR #227  (Vol. 5, No. 31)  This edition is for the week of July 26--August 1, 2004.

LA FLORIDIANA
What’s In A Name? A Look at the Origin of Names of Florida’s Towns and Counties C to D
 by Will Moriaty
THIS WEEK'S MOVIE REVIEW
"Catwoman"
 by Mike Smith
ODDSERVATIONS
Pricey Fixx Tixx....The Psych Furs are coming to Jannus Landing....1974 vs. 2004 - the difference 30 years makes
 by Andy Lalino
THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
THE CURE appearance at The Florida Amphitheater: Concert Review
 by Terence Nuzum
COUCH POTATO
Twilight Zone Magazine Revisited....The Lost Works of Vin Blesi
  by Vinnie Blesi
SPLASH PAGE
"Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith"....The Future For "Spider-Man"....Identity Crisis For Catwoman....Ash In Comics....Avengers Disassemble!!!
 by Brandon Jones
MATT'S RAIL
Romero Rumors True!! New Dead Film In The Works.....Bush-Speak
 by Matt Drinnenberg
MIKE'S RANT
Hey, You Dropped Your Gun....You Think I Hated The Movie....Movie Notes....Happy Birthday....Meet The Beatles, Part 27
 by Mike Smith
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What’s In A Name? A Look at the Origin of Names of Florida’s Towns and Counties C to D

Well fellow (and female) Florida fanatics, we continue our romp through the alphabet soup that comprises the origins of the names of the towns and counties of our unique and wondrous Sunshine State. Makes for great trivia. Enjoy!

CALHOUN (County of): The twentieth county was established in 1838 and named after South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun, who was the foremost proponent of the doctrine of states rights.

CAPE CANAVERAL (Town of): Located in Brevard County, in Spanish the name means “plantation of cane”. It was so named by the Spanish upon their arrival because the Indians were growing cane there. The name appears on the earliest maps of Florida.

CAROL CITY (Town of): Located in Miami-Dade County, plans by developer Julius Gaines were to name his new town Coral City in order to draw to itself some of the magic of nearby Coral Gables. This resulted in a lawsuit by Coral Gables and in order to save on printing costs, Gaines simply changed the “o” to an “a”. In honor of the town’s name, a caroling party on the banks of its waterways is a Christmas tradition.

CASSELBERRY (Town of): Located in Seminole County, this town was formerly known as Fern Park due to the abundance of fern growing nurseries there. Hibbard Casselberry, a local horticulturist who had undertaken the development of the area, renamed it in the 1940s.

CEDAR KEY (Town/Keys of): Located in Levy County, the name refers to the abundant growth of Red Cedar trees which once covered all of the keys of this Gulf Coast community. The town, which was established during the Civil War, once had three pencil plants, which were abandoned once the Cedar trees were depleted.

CHARLOTTE (County/Harbor of): The fifty-seventh County was established in 1921. The name is taken from Charlotte Harbor and is a French version of a Spanish corruption of the name (Carlos) of the Calusa Indians.

CHATAHOOCHEE (Town/River of): Located in Gadsden County, it was established in 1828 and took its name from the nearby river. The word is Seminole-Creek and means “marked rock”, derived from the peculiarly colored and patterned stones, which are found in the bed of the river.

CHIEFLAND (Town of): Located in Levy County, when the Seminole War was ended by treaty in 1842, a Creek Indian chief chose this site for his home.

CITRUS (County of): The forty-fourth county was established in 1857 and named in honor of the citrus fruit grown in the area.

CLAY (County of): The thirty-seventh county was established in 1858 and named for the great Kentuckian Henry Clay, Secretary of the State under John Quincy Adams, and author of the immortal saying “I’d rather be right than be the President”.

CLEARWATER (Town of): Located in Pinellas County, the town was first named Clear Water Harbor because of the springs of sulphated water, which bubble up in the Gulf near the shore, making the water usually clear and sparkling. In 1841 Fort Harrison was established there and a group of settlers under the leadership of James Stevens took up homes and farms under the Armed Occupation Act. The word “Harbor” was dropped from the name and the other two words were merged into one. The city is the county seat of Pinellas County.

CLERMONT (Town of): Located in Lake County, the town was established in 1884 by the Clermont Improvement Company, whose manager, A.F. Wrotnisky had been born in Clermont, France. In addition to its French designation, Clermont is also known as “The Gem of the Hills” as it sits in hilly terrain at over 100 feet of sea level looking down at 17 lakes and nearby hillsides.

CLEWISTON (Town of): Located in Hendry County, Clewiston was named in honor of Tampa banker A.C. Clewis who provided capital for the extension of the Atlantic Coast railroad from Moore Haven to Sand Point. The town was platted in 1925 and incorporated in 1932,

COCOA (Town of): Located in Brevard County there are two accounts of how this town got its name. One camp contends that the town received its name from the native Coco Plum tree (Chrysobalanus icaco L.) and the other camp contends that an African-American woman, inspired by a label on a Baker’s Cocoa box suggested that name to a citizens group who adopted the name. Cocoa was incorporated in 1895.

COLLIER (County of): The sixty-second county was established in 1923. The county was named after Barron G. Collier, who was one of the leading developers in the southern part of the state. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Collier became an advertising tycoon in New York City by the 1890’s and oversaw several periodical publications, which were the largest circulating of their type during that time. Naples is the county seat.

CRESTVIEW (Town of): Located in Okaloosa County, this cold spot in Florida winters is located on a high hill. Crestview was named from this fact when the Pensacola and Apalachicola Railroad built its tracks there.

CROSS CITY (Town of): Located in Dixie County this city was named by W.H. Matthis as an homage to the location being the crossroads of the road from Archer to Perry and the road from Branford to Horseshoe.

CRYSTAL RIVER (Town/River of): On the Taylor War Map of 1839 appeared a stream known as “Weewa-hit-aca” which in Seminole-Creek means, “clear running water”. The English translation of “Crystal River” was given to this in the Davis Map of 1856. The town takes its name from the river.

CUTLER RIDGE (Town of): Located in Miami-Dade County, this town and area was named in honor of Dr. C.F. Cutler of Chelsea, Mass., who came there in the 1880’s and started a settlement. He also built a starch mill for the manufacture of Coontie Bread, which is derived from the roots of the native Florida Coontie or Arrowroot (Zamia pumila). The area was known before his coming as the Big Hunting ground.

DADE (Town/County of): Dade City is the county seat of Pasco County, while Dade County, now known as Miami-Dade County, has Miami as its county seat. Both areas derived their name from U.S. Army Major Francis L. Dade, who, along with 110 other men, was ambushed on their way to Fort King by the Seminole Indians on December 28, 1835. Only Dade and three of his men survived the ambush. The ambush sparked the Second Seminole War. Miami-Dade County is the state’s nineteenth county and was established in 1836.

DAYTONA BEACH (Town of): Was named in 1870 by founder Mathias day of Mansfield, Ohio and is located in Volusia County Until 1926, there were three separate municipalities in the vicinity known as Daytona, Daytona Beach and Seabreeze. All of these areas were then rolled into one - - Daytona Beach, whose claim to fame in racing spans from the literal automotive beach racing of people such as Sir Malcolm Campbell to today’s present NASCAR track where opening season and Independence Day races are often held.

DE LAND (Town of): Located in Volusia County, the town is named after New York baking powder manufacturer Henry A. De Land, who purchased a homestead there in 1876. Philadelphia hat manufacturer John B. Stetson, in whose honor the name of the town’s university of law derives its name from, also founded the town. De Land is the county seat of Volusia County.

DE SOTO (Town/County of): Both the town and the county were named in honor of the Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto. The town is located in Highlands County and was established in 1916, while the county was Florida’s forty-second and was established in 1887.

DUNEDIN (Town of): Located in Pinellas County, Dunedin is the old Gaelic name for Edinburgh, Scotland. It is the oldest town on the Florida West Coast between Cedar Key and Key West. It was established in 1850 and first known as Jonesboro. Two Scotsmen named of Douglas and Somerville changed the name. Dunedin is the home of Sam’s Seafood, one of my favorite restaurants. When in Dunedin, visit Sam’s Seafood.

DUNNELLON (Town of): Located in Marion County, this town near Rainbow springs was named for an early railroad promoter J.F. Dunn.

DUVAL (County of): Located in Florida’s northeast corner, this is Florida’s fourth county established in 1822 and named after William Pope Duval, territorial Governor of Florida. The county seat is Jacksonville, which annexed the entire county in the late 1960’s, making Jacksonville Florida’s geographically largest city.

Next week, La Florida takes a break from Florida names to do a book review of Tampa Florida-noir author Tim Dorsey’s latest Serge A. Storms novel, “Cadillac Beach”. Y’all come back now, ya hear?


"La Floridiana" is ©2004 by William Moriaty.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.