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From Miami to Key West: what's in a name? - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Florida History

So here are some more Floridian place names and their meanings.

MIAMI

Most of us have been to Miami at some point. And certainly in the early days you would have flown through Miami airport before you travelled on to Orlando. So what does it mean?

Well the Miami area was originally known as Biscayne Bay and was an absolute wilderness.

In the early days of the advent of the railroad, the local people wanted to call the area Flagler after the railroad pioneer (wherever he took his railways the people prospered)

However, for whatever private reason he declined the honour and they chose to call it after Lake Miami which originally was called Mayaimi.

KISSIMMEE

The general feeling is that Kissimmee was a bastardisation of Atissimi. And before that the area was called Cacama.

OSCEOLA


Osceola was named after ' Capatain' Osceola who was a Native American. He took a leading part in preserving the heritage and way of life of The Seminoles and was awarded an honorory title, which is why I put the Captain in quotes.

Osceola became the 40th State in Florida in 1887.

LAKE COUNTY

Lake County was formed in 1887 when it was created by taking parts of Orange County and Sumter County.

It' s name is derived from the 14000 lakes within it' s boundaries.

LAKE CITY

Lake City was named after the County but prior to that was known as alligator City. Given the public; s (mostly unfounded) fear of the ' gator it was maybe a wise move.

JACKSONVILLE

Jcksonville was originally called Pass of St Nicolas or sometimes The Place where Rivers Cross. These names were given to the area by the Native Americans known as The Timucuans.

It was late in 1832 that is was re named Jacksonville to honour the 7th American president Andrew Jackson who I mainly remember as someone who kept slaves. It is the largest City in Florida.

KEY WEST

This beautiful place was once known as Bone Island. This name was given to it by the Spanish explorers who made the gruesome discovery of piles of human bones when they landed here.

Nowadays it is known by its literal name of Key West. Another wise move, I think. Bone Island does not have the same romantic ring to it as Key West.

Wewll that is a few more place names to ponder over and when I have time I will add some more.

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Page added on: 6 January 2012
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