Climate of Florida
The climate of the north and central parts of the US state of Florida is humid subtropical. South Florida has a tropical climate. There is a defined rainy season from May through October, when air mass thundershowers that build in the heat of the day drop heavy but brief summer rainfall. Late summer and early fall bring decaying tropical lows that contribute to late summer and early fall rains. In October the dry season lasts until late April in most years. Fronts from mid-latitude storms north of Florida pass through northern and central parts of the state which bring light and brief winter rainfall. Mid and late winter can become dry in Florida. In some years the dry season becomes quite severe and water restrictions are imposed to conserve water. While most areas of Florida do not experience any type of frozen precipitation, northern Florida can see fleeting snow or sleet a few times each decade; the Gulf Stream running through the Florida Straits and north off the Florida East Coast keeps temperatures moderate a few miles inland from around Stuart on the east coast to Ft. Myers on the west side of the state year round, with few extremes in temperature.
The tropical ocean current provides warm sea surface temperatures, giving Florida beaches the warmest ocean surf waters on the United States mainland. The low pressure measured from an extratropical cyclone was 28.84 inches/976.7 hPa during the Storm of the Century. From a tropical cyclone, the lowest pressure measured was 26.35 inches/892 hPa in the Florida Keys during the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. The highest known pressure measured statewide was 30.74 inches/1041.1 hPa in Tallahassee on February 5, 1996 and January 4, 1979. Over the winter prevailing winds are out of the north across the panhandle south to near Orlando, but are variable in the rest of the state; the summer season sees east and southeast winds across the peninsula. During the summer months, the average wind pattern implies a surface ridge axis which lies across central Florida, with easterly winds from Tampa southward and southwest winds across northern Florida; the peak wind gust during the 1930 through 1997 period was 115 mph at Miami International Airport during Hurricane Andrew.
In July the trade winds south of the northward-moving subtropical ridge expand northwestward into Florida. On occasion, dust from the Sahara moving around the southern periphery of the ridge moves into the state, suppressing rainfall and changing the sky from a blue to a white appearance and leads to an increase in red sunsets, its presence negatively impacts air quality across the Southeastern United States during the summer, by adding to the count of airborne particulates. This is in sharp contrast to the clean air over Florida and the southeastern USA, which on average is the cleanest air in the USA. Over 50% of the African dust that reaches the United States affects Florida. Since 1970, dust outbreaks have worsened due to periods of drought in Africa. There is a large variability in the dust transport to the Florida from year to year. Dust events are linked to a decline in the health of coral reefs across the Caribbean and Florida since the 1970s. On average, Florida has the mildest winters in the Continental United States.
Average lows range from 65 °F in Key West to near 41 °F degrees Fahrenheit at Tallahassee, while daytime highs range from 64 °F at Tallahassee to 77 °F at Miami. Predominant tropical easterly winds across central and southern Florida keep temperatures warm during the winter. Occasional strong cold fronts move southward down the peninsula with freezing or near freezing temperatures on a few nights into inland areas of central Florida every few years. A few times each decade Miami might see a winter night fall below 45 F. El Niño winters tend to have fewer freezes. Four hardiness zones exist. USDA zone 11b is found in Key West and the Florida Keys where average extreme lows range from 40 to 50 °F. Zone 10 is found in coastal South Florida where annual extreme low temperatures range from 30 to 40 °F, though parts of coastal Miami Beach are zone 11. Next is zone 9b across interior central Florida, where low temperatures range from 25 to 30 °F; the coolest, zone 8, is located in northwestern Florida from Gainesville and northwest including Tallahassee.
Low temperatures range from 10 to 20 °F. Florida has experienced 12 major freezes; this includes four "impact" freezes, sufficiently severe to kill entire groves of citrus trees, resulting in a noticeable economic effect on citrus growers, prompting them to shift groves further southward. These impact freezes are indicated by asterisks in the following: Great Freeze of 1894-5*, February 13–14, 1899, February 2–6, 1917, December 12–13, 1934, January 1940, December 12–13, 1957, December 12–13, 1962*, January 18–20, 1977, January 12–14, 1981, December 24–25, 1983*, January 20–22, 1985, December 22–26, 1989*. Despite being the mildest on average, the winter climate was a crucial contributing factor of the Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986 in which overnight temperatures at Cape Canaveral had dropped as low as 18 °F and were still below freezing at 28.0 to 28.9 °F on launch day. The severe cold had caused the O-Rings on the right-side SRB to crack as they only had a redline tolerance of 39 °F.
During the summer, minimal temperatures range from near 70 °F in northern Florida to near 80 °F in the Keys. High temperatures du
Tallahassee is the capital city of the U. S. state of Florida. It only incorporated municipality in Leon County. Tallahassee became the capital of Florida the Florida Territory, in 1824. In 2017, the population was 191,049, making it the 7th-largest city in the U. S state of Florida, the 126th-largest city in the United States; the population of the Tallahassee metropolitan area was 382,627 as of 2017. Tallahassee is the largest city in the Florida Panhandle region, the main center for trade and agriculture in the Florida Big Bend and Southwest Georgia regions. Tallahassee is home to Florida State University, ranked the nation's twenty-sixth best public university by U. S. News & World Report, it is home to Florida A&M University, the fifth-largest black university by total enrollment. Tallahassee Community College is a large state college that serves as a feeder school to Florida State and Florida A&M. Tallahassee qualifies as a significant college town, with a student population exceeding 70,000.
As the capital, Tallahassee is the site of the Florida State Capitol, Supreme Court of Florida, Florida Governor's Mansion, nearly 30 state agency headquarters. The city is known for its large number of law firms, lobbying organizations, trade associations and professional associations, including the Florida Bar and the Florida Chamber of Commerce, it is a recognized regional center for scientific research, home to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. In 2015, Tallahassee was awarded the All-American City Award by the National Civic League for the second time. Indigenous peoples occupied this area for thousands of years before European encounter. Around AD 1200, the large and complex Mississippian culture had built earthwork mounds near Lake Jackson which survive today; the Spanish Empire established their first colonial settlement at St. Augustine. During the 17th century they established several missions in Apalachee territory in order to procure food and labor to support their settlement, as well as to convert the natives to Roman Catholicism.
The largest, Mission San Luis de Apalachee in Tallahassee, has been reconstructed by the state of Florida. The expedition of Pánfilo de Narváez encountered the Apalachee people, although it did not reach the site of Tallahassee. Hernando de Soto and his mid-16th century expedition occupied the Apalachee town of Anhaica in the winter of 1538–1539. Based on archaeological excavations, this Anhaica site is now known to have been located about 0.5 miles east of the present Florida State Capitol. The De Soto encampment is believed to be the first place that Christmas was celebrated in the continental United States although there is no historical documentation to back this claim; the name "Tallahassee" is a Muskogean language word translated as "old fields" or "old town". It was an expression of the Creek people who migrated from areas of Georgia and Alabama to this region in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, under pressure from European-American encroachment on their territory, they found large areas of cleared land occupied by the Apalachee tribe.
During the First Seminole War, General Andrew Jackson fought two separate skirmishes in and around Tallahassee, Spanish territory. The first battle took place on November 12, 1817. Chief Neamathla, of the village of Fowltown just west of present-day Tallahassee, had refused Jackson's orders to relocate. Jackson responded by entering the village, burning it to the ground, driving off its occupants; the Indians retaliated, killing 50 soldiers and civilians. Jackson reentered Florida in March 1818. According to Jackson's adjutant, Colonel Robert Butler, they "advanced on the Indian village called Tallahasse two of the enemy were made prisoner." Florida became an American territory in September 1821, in accordance with the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819. The first session of the Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida met on July 22, 1822 at Pensacola, the former capital of West Florida. Members from St. Augustine, the former capital of East Florida, traveled fifty-nine days by water to attend; the second session was in St. Augustine, western delegates needed 28 days to travel perilously around the peninsula to reach Pensacola.
During this session, delegates decided to hold future meetings at a halfway point. Two appointed commissioners selected Tallahassee, at that point an Apalachee settlement abandoned after Andrew Jackson burned it in 1818, as a halfway point. In 1824 the third legislative session met there in a crude log building serving as the capitol. From 1821 through 1845, during Florida's territorial period, the rough-hewn frontier capital developed as a town; the Marquis de Lafayette, French hero of the American Revolution, returned to the United States in 1824 for a tour. The U. S. Congress voted to give him $200,000, US citizenship, the Lafayette Land Grant, 36 square miles of land that today includes large portions of Tallahassee. In 1845 a Greek revival masonry structure was erected as the Capitol building in time for statehood. Now known as the "old Capitol", it stands in front of the high-rise Capitol building, built in the 1970s. Tallahassee was in the heart of Florida's Cotton Belt—Leon County led the state in cotton production—and was the center of the slave trade in Florida.
During the American Civil War, Tallahassee was the only Confederate state capital east of the Mississippi River, not captured by Union forces, the only one n
Interstate 4 is an Interstate Highway in the U. S. state of Florida, maintained by the Florida Department of Transportation. Spanning 133 miles along a west–east axis, I-4 is concurrent with State Road 400. In the west, they begin at an interchange with I-275 in Tampa, they intersect with several major expressways as they traverse Central Florida, including US 41 in Tampa. In the east, I-4 ends at an interchange with I-95 in Daytona Beach, while SR 400 continues for another 4 miles and ends at an intersection with US 1 on the city line of Daytona Beach and South Daytona. Construction on I-4 began in 1958; the "I-4 Ultimate" project in progress, will oversee the construction of variable-toll express lanes and numerous redevelopments through the 21-mile stretch of highway extending from Kirkman Road in Orlando to SR 434 in Longwood. The project broke ground in 2015, is scheduled to be completed in 2021; the median of I-4 between Tampa and Orlando was the planned route of a now-cancelled high-speed rail line.
From a political standpoint, the "I-4 corridor" is a strategic region given the large number of undecided voters in a large swing state. I-4 maintains a diagonal, northeast–southwest route for much of its length, although it is signed east–west; the 132-mile-long highway's western terminus is with an interchange with Interstate 275—known as "Malfunction Junction"—near downtown Tampa and is the starting point for mile markers and exit numbers. Just east of Malfunction Junction, I-4 passes along the north side of Tampa's Ybor City district, where a mile-long connector links to the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway and Port Tampa Bay. I-4 continues east past the Florida State Fairgrounds towards a turbine interchange with Interstate 75. After passing near the eastern suburbs of Hillsborough County—including Brandon and Plant City—it enters Polk County, where I-4 crosses along the north side of Lakeland; the Polk Parkway forms a semi-loop through Lakeland's southern suburbs and returns to I-4 at the Florida Polytechnic University campus, near Polk City.
Just after the western junction with the Polk Parkway, I-4 turns from an eastward to a northeastward heading. Between SR 33 and US 27, I-4 passes through the fog-prone Green Swamp, although the landscape beside the highway is forest as opposed to water-logged swampland. Ten variable-message signs and dozens of cameras & vehicle detection systems monitor this stretch of mostly-rural highway as a result of several large, deadly pile-ups caused by dense fog. At mile 57, I-4 enters Osceola County and soon thereafter intersects the Orlando area's beltways: the incomplete Western Expressway on the western side and the Central Florida GreeneWay which rounds the eastern side before returning to I-4 in Sanford. Additionally, an exit to World Drive runs north as a limited-access highway into the Walt Disney World Resort and an electric pylon in the shape of Mickey Mouse can be seen on the southwest corner of the intersection; the single GreeneWay/World Drive exit marks an abrupt change from rural to suburban/urban landscape.
The highway passes beside Celebration and Kissimmee on the east side and Walt Disney World Resort on the west side. For the next 40 mi, I-4 passes through the Orlando metropolitan area, where the highway forms the main north-south artery, it enters Orange County, passes through Walt Disney World, by SeaWorld Orlando, & Universal Orlando—and intersects all of the area's major toll roads, including the Beachline Expressway and Florida's Turnpike. Orlando's main tourist strip—International Drive—runs parallel and no more than 1.5 mi from I-4 between Kissimmee and Florida's Turnpike. Between Michigan St. and Kaley Ave. I-4 changes to a north heading past downtown Orlando and its northern suburbs. A 21-mile section of I-4 from west of Kirkman Road to east of SR 434 is undergoing a $2.3 billion reconstruction, expected to be completed in 2021, that replaces most bridges, changes the configuration of many intersections, adds two express toll lanes—named 4 Express—in each direction. After passing along the west side of Downtown Orlando, I-4 continues through the city's northern suburbs—including Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Sanford.
Around mile 91, I-4 soon thereafter shifts to a northeast heading. The Seminole Expressway, after passing around the east side of the Orlando metropolitan area, has its northern terminus at I-4 in Sanford; this intersection will connect with the Wekiva Parkway under construction, when it is completed in 2021, at which point a full beltway around the Orlando metro area will be available. North of Sanford, I-4 is carried by the St. Johns River Veterans Memorial Bridge over the St. Johns River at the mouth of Lake Monroe. Along the bridge, I-4 enters passes Deltona & DeLand; the segment north of SR 44 has been widened from four to six lanes. Completed in winter 2016-17, the entire length of I-4 has at least 6 lanes. I-4 terminates at a junction with I-95 in Daytona Beach. SR 400 continues east into Daytona Beach 4 mi to US 1. I-4 has two pair
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
New Smyrna Beach is a city in Volusia County, United States, located on the central east coast of the state, with the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Its population was estimated to be 23,230 in 2013 by the United States Census Bureau; the downtown section of the city is located on the west side of the Indian River and the Indian River Lagoon system. The Coronado Beach Bridge crosses the Intracoastal Waterway just south of Ponce de Leon Inlet, connecting the mainland with the beach on the coastal barrier island; the surrounding area offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation: these include fishing, motorboating and hiking. Visitors participate in water sports of all kinds, including swimming, scuba diving and surfing. In July 2009, New Smyrna Beach was ranked number nine on the list of "best surf towns" in Surfer, it was recognized as "one of the world's top 20 surf towns" by National Geographic. In 2012; the area was first settled by Europeans in 1768, when Scottish physician Dr. Andrew Turnbull, a friend of James Grant, the governor of British East Florida, established the colony of New Smyrna.
Dr. Turnbull had married in Greece the daughter of a Greek merchant from Smyrna and so named the settlement in honor of his wife's birthplace and the homeland of those in his future labor force who were Greek.. No one had attempted to settle so many people at one time in a town in North America. Turnbull recruited about 1300 settlers, intending for them to grow hemp and indigo, as well as to produce rum, at his plantation on the northeastern Atlantic coast of Florida; the majority of the colonists came from Menorca, one of the Mediterranean Balearic Islands of Spain, were of Catalan culture and language. Around 500 or so came from Greece. Although the colony produced large amounts of processed indigo in its first few years of operation, it collapsed after suffering major losses due to insect-borne diseases and Indian raids, growing tensions caused by mistreatment of the colonists on the part of Turnbull and his overseers; the survivors, about 600 in number, marched nearly 70 miles north on the King's Road and relocated to St. Augustine, where their descendants live to this day.
In 1783, East and West Florida were returned to the Spanish, Turnbull abandoned his colony to retire in Charleston, South Carolina. The St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine on St. George Street in St. Augustine honors the Greeks among the settlers of New Smyrna; the historical exhibit adjoining the chapel tells the story of their plight, with accompanying exhibits, of their contributions to the city. Central Florida remained sparsely populated by white settlers well into the 19th century, it was raided by Seminole Indians trying to protect their territory. United States troops fought against them in the Seminole Wars, but they were never dislodged. During the Civil War in the 1860s, the "Stone Wharf" of New Smyrna was shelled by Union gunboats. In 1887, when New Smyrna was incorporated, it had a population of 150. In 1892, Henry Flagler provided service to the town via his Florida East Coast Railway; this led to a rapid increase in the area's population. Its economy grew as tourism was added to commercial fishing industries.
During Prohibition in the 1920s, the city and its river islands were popular sites for moonshine stills and hideouts for rum-runners, who came from the Bahamas through Mosquito Inlet, now Ponce de León Inlet. "New Smyrna" became "New Smyrna Beach" in 1947, when the city annexed the seaside community of Coronado Beach. Today, it is a resort town of over 20,000 permanent residents. Like St. Augustine, established by the Spanish, New Smyrna has been under the rule of four "flags": the British, United States, the Confederate Jack. After the end of the Civil War in 1865, it returned with Florida to the United States. See also: New Smyrna Beach Historic District New Smyrna Beach's motto is cygnus inter anates, Latin for "a swan among ducks." The city is located in the so-called "Fun Coast" region of the state of Florida, a regional term created by the Daytona Beach/Halifax area Chamber of Commerce. This coincides with 386, which spells FUN on touchtone phones. According to the United States Census Bureau, it has a total area of 37.8 square miles.
34.6 square miles of it is land, 0.31 square miles of it is covered by water. It is bordered by the city of Port Orange to the northwest, unincorporated Volusia County to the north, the census-designated place of Samsula-Spruce Creek to the west, the cities of Edgewater and Bethune Beach and the Canaveral National Seashore to the south. Bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, New Smyrna Beach is on the Indian River; the city is connected to other parts of the state by Interstate 95, U. S. Route 1, State Road 44, State Road 442. Like the rest of Florida north of Lake Okeechobee, New Smyrna Beach has a humid subtropical climate characterized by hot, humid summers and mild dry winters; the rainy season lasts from May until October, the dry season, from November to April. New Smyrna averages only about four frosts per year, many species of subtropical plants and palms are grown in the area; the city has recorded snowfall only three times in its 250-year history. The summers are long and hot, with frequent severe thunderstorms in the afternoon, as central Florida is the lightning capital of North America.
Winters are pleasant with dry weather. Weather hazards include hurricanes from June u
Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive, the 3rd-most populous, the 8th-most densely populated of the U. S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States; the Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital. Florida's $1.0 trillion economy is the fourth largest in the United States. If it were a country, Florida would be the 16th largest economy in the world, the 58th most populous as of 2018. In 2017, Florida's per capita personal income was ranking 26th in the nation; the unemployment rate in September 2018 was 3.5% and ranked as the 18th in the United States. Florida exports nearly $55 billion in goods made in the 8th highest among all states.
The Miami Metropolitan Area is by far the largest urban economy in Florida and the 12th largest in the United States with a GDP of $344.9 billion as of 2017. This is more than twice the number of the next metro area, the Tampa Bay Area, which has a GDP of $145.3 billion. Florida is home to 51 of the world's billionaires with most of them residing in South Florida; the first European contact was made in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who called it la Florida upon landing there in the Easter season, known in Spanish as Pascua Florida. Florida was a challenge for the European colonial powers before it gained statehood in the United States in 1845, it was a principal location of the Seminole Wars against the Native Americans, racial segregation after the American Civil War. Today, Florida is distinctive for its large Cuban expatriate community and high population growth, as well as for its increasing environmental issues; the state's economy relies on tourism and transportation, which developed in the late 19th century.
Florida is renowned for amusement parks, orange crops, winter vegetables, the Kennedy Space Center, as a popular destination for retirees. Florida is the flattest state in the United States. Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in the U. S. state of Florida. Florida's close proximity to the ocean influences many aspects of daily life. Florida is a reflection of multiple inheritance. Florida has attracted many writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, continues to attract celebrities and athletes, it is internationally known for golf, auto racing, water sports. Several beaches in Florida have emerald-colored coastal waters. About two-thirds of Florida occupies a peninsula between the Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States 1,350 miles, not including the contribution of the many barrier islands. Florida has a total of 4,510 islands; this is the second-highest number of islands of any state of the United States.
It is the only state that borders both the Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the state is characterized by sedimentary soil. Florida has the lowest high point of any U. S. state. The climate varies from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south; the American alligator, American crocodile, American flamingo, Roseate spoonbill, Florida panther, bottlenose dolphin, manatee can be found in Everglades National Park in the southern part of the state. Along with Hawaii, Florida is one of only two states that has a tropical climate, is the only continental state with either a tropical climate or a coral reef; the Florida Reef is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States, the third-largest coral barrier reef system in the world. By the 16th century, the earliest time for which there is a historical record, major Native American groups included the Apalachee of the Florida Panhandle, the Timucua of northern and central Florida, the Ais of the central Atlantic coast, the Tocobaga of the Tampa Bay area, the Calusa of southwest Florida and the Tequesta of the southeastern coast.
Florida was the first region of the continental United States to be visited and settled by Europeans. The earliest known European explorers came with the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León. Ponce de León spotted and landed on the peninsula on April 2, 1513, he named the region Florida. The story that he was searching for the Fountain of Youth is mythical and only appeared long after his death. In May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto skirted the coast of Florida, searching for a deep harbor to land, he described seeing a thick wall of red mangroves spread mile after mile, some reaching as high as 70 feet, with intertwined and elevated roots making landing difficult. The Spanish introduced Christianity, horses, the Castilian language, more to Florida. Spain established several settlements with varying degrees of success. In 1559, Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano established a settlement at present-day Pensacola, making it the first attempted settlement in Florida, but it was abandoned by 1561.
In 1565, the settlement of St. Augustine was established under the leadership of admiral and
Orlando is a city in the U. S. state of Florida and the county seat of Orange County. Located in Central Florida, it is the center of the Orlando metropolitan area, which had a population of 2,509,831, according to U. S. Census Bureau figures released in July 2017; these figures make it the 23rd-largest metropolitan area in the United States, the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States, the third-largest metropolitan area in Florida. As of 2015, Orlando had an estimated city-proper population of 280,257, making it the 73rd-largest city in the United States, the fourth-largest city in Florida, the state's largest inland city; the City of Orlando is nicknamed "The City Beautiful," and its symbol is the fountain at Lake Eola. Orlando is known as "The Theme Park Capital of the World" and in 2016 its tourist attractions and events drew more than 72 million visitors; the Orlando International Airport is the thirteenth-busiest airport in the United States and the 29th-busiest in the world.
As one of the world's most visited tourist destinations, Orlando's famous attractions form the backbone of its tourism industry. The two most significant of these attractions are Walt Disney World, opened by the Walt Disney Company in 1971, located 21 miles southwest of Downtown Orlando in Bay Lake. With the exception of Walt Disney World, most major attractions are located along International Drive with one of these attractions being the Orlando Eye; the city is one of the busiest American cities for conferences and conventions. Like other major cities in the Sun Belt, Orlando grew from the 1980s up into the first decade of the 21st century. Orlando is home to the University of Central Florida, the largest university campus in the United States in terms of enrollment as of 2015. In 2010, Orlando was listed as a "Gamma−" level global city in the World Cities Study Group's inventory. Orlando ranks as the fourth-most popular American city based on where people want to live according to a 2009 Pew Research Center study.
Fort Gatlin, as the Orlando area was once known, was established at what is now just south of the city limits by the 4th U. S. Artillery under the command of Ltc. Alexander C. W. Fanning on November 9, 1838, during the construction of a series of fortified encampments across Florida during the Second Seminole War; the fort and surrounding area were named for Dr. John S. Gatlin, an Army physician, killed in Dade's Massacre on December 28, 1835; the site of construction for Fort Gatlin, a defensible position with fresh water between three small lakes, was chosen because the location was on a main trail and is less than 250 yards from a nearby Council Oak tree where Native Americans had traditionally met. King Phillip and Coacoochee frequented this area and the tree was alleged to be the place where the previous 1835 ambush that had killed over 100 soldiers had been planned; when the U. S. military abandoned the fort in 1839, the surrounding community was built up by settlers. Prior to being known by its current name, Orlando was once known as Jernigan.
This name originates from the first permanent settlers and Aaron Jernigan, cattlemen who acquired land two miles northwest of Fort Gatlin along the west end of Lake Holden in July 1843 by the terms of the Armed Occupation Act. Aaron Jernigan became Orange County's first State Representative in 1845 but his pleas for additional military protection went unanswered. Fort Gatlin was reoccupied by the military for a few weeks during October and November 1849 and subsequently a volunteer militia was left to defend the settlement. A historical marker indicates that by 1850 the Jernigan homestead served as the nucleus of a village named Jernigan. According to an account written years by his daughter, at that time, about 80 settlers were forced to shelter for about a year in "a stockade that Aaron Jernigan built on the north side of Lake Conway". One of the county's first records, a grand jury's report, mentions a stockade where it states homesteaders were "driven from their homes and forced to huddle together in hasty defences."
Aaron Jernigan led a local volunteer militia during 1852. A Post Office opened at Jernigan in 1850. Jernigan appears on an 1855 map of Florida and by 1856 the area had become the county seat of Orange County. In 1857, the Post Office was removed from Jernigan, opened under the name of Orlando at a new location in present-day downtown Orlando. During the American Civil War, the Post Office closed, but reopened in 1866; the move is believed to be sparked, in part, by Aaron Jernigan's fall from grace after he was relieved of his militia command by military officials in 1856. His behavior was so notorious that Secretary of War Jefferson Davis wrote, "It is said they are more dreadful than the Indians." In 1859, Jernigan and his sons were accused of committing a murder at the town's post office. They were transported to Ocala, but escaped. There are at least five stories as to; the most common stories are that the name Orlando originated from the tale of a man who died in 1835 during a attack by Native Americans in the area during the Second Seminole War.
Several of the stories relay an oral history of the marker for a person named Orlando, the double entendre, "Here lies Orlando." One variant includes a man named Orlando, passing by on his way to Tampa with a herd of oxen and was buried in a marked grave. At a meeting in 1857, debate had grown concerning the name of the town. Pioneer William B. Hull recalled