Fruitland Park, Florida
Fruitland Park, Florida
Fruitland Park predates the Civil War though it was not known by its current moniker. The name has an interesting history and its share of controversy. Major Rooks, who founded the city, named the area Fruitland Park after the nursery owned by his dear friend J. Berckmann. The main street was named after Berckmann himself.
When postal authorities refused to accept the name as there already was another Fruitland in the state, it was renamed Gardenia. The railroad authorities had printed the name as Fruitland Park in their literature and refused to accept the change. This confusion and controversy went on for about four years between 1884 and 1888 when the name was finally confirmed as Fruitland Park.
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About The Community
Today Fruitland Park is quiet, friendly and safe little town of 7 square miles with a multicultural population of about 8000. Situated in the Orlando metropolitan area of Lake County on the west of Lake Griffin, it is the gateway to Lake Griffin State Park. Numerous lakes dot the surrounding area and it is a popular area for fishing. Agriculture, particularly citrus is still an important occupation to this day.
Vicinity of Fruitland Park
The city offers opportunities for many activities, including swimming, walking, soccer, football, handball, inline skating, roller hockey, softball, baseball, T-ball, tennis, and basketball at Gardenia Park on Berckmann Street. Walkers can use a walking trail that meanders through the park. The Original Speedway Park on Racetrack Road in Fruitland Park is believed to be the oldest Dirt Kart Track in America. The 1/8 mile clay oval has hosted Saturday Night Dirt Kart Racing for Go Kart enthusiasts since opening in 1958.
Lake Griffin State Park consists of over 460 acres of woodlands and freshwater swamp. Developed in the late 1960’s, the park offers equipped campsites, picnic shelters, and nature trails. The state’s fifth largest live oak tree grows here and is over 150 feet tall and 10 feet in circumference. Canoe rentals are available in the park and do not miss a scenic canoe ride that provides you access to the Dead River and the southwest banks of Lake Griffin. The lake also offers fine fishing with bass, crappie, and catfish. The lake is one mile from the park’s boat ramp via a canal and tributary. Some of the lake’s best fishing is between the boat ramp and the lake.
Every year the Fruitland Park Day celebration is held in April to honor Armed Forces Day. It is an occasion for fun for the entire family all weekend. A Street Dance kicks off the celebration on Friday night. Professional musical entertainment is presented from a stage in Gardenia Park. A 5 Km run /walk is the highlight of Saturday morning and is followed by the Fruitland Park Day Parade. Floats, marching bands, baton twirlers and clowns provide a visual treat for all. Another highlight is the Custom Car / Truck and 4×4 Truck show. Enjoy the wide variety of entertainment, crafts, and food that are on display along Berckmann Street. The celebrations are a major local attraction and visitors flock there all weekend.