During the war with the Seminole Indians, in 1937, the now Highland City was the site for the United State Army’s Fort Fraser. In 1885, the South Florida Railroad was completed between Lakeland and Bartow. The only stop between the two larger cities was named for the Haskell brothers but what we now call Highland City. There was a Haskell freight depot built by the railroad company along the roadway that would later become U.S. Highway 98.
The Lakeland Highlands area was developed in 1924 by W.F. Hallam. He also built the Hallam Country Clubhouse in the area we know of now as Clubhouse Road. The Florida legislature Incorporated the community of Haskell In 1925, in turn officially changing the community’s name to Highland City.
The City Volunteer Fire Department (HCVFD) works in conjunction with the Polk County Fire Department to provide fire protection for the Highland City area. For many years, HCVFD operated the fire service in the City on a completely volunteer basis. In the last quarter of the 20th century, Polk County consolidated many of its fire districts, and the Highland City fire station became an official Polk County Fire Station, under command of the Fire Chief of Polk County.
In 1996, the Highland City community wanted safer neighborhoods, utility upgrades and cleaning up the area so they organized an active community group.Ten years later, On December 9, 2006, the community was pleased to see the grand opening of the Fort Fraser Trail. Fort Fraser Trail is a 7.75-mile pedestrian and bicycle trail extending from the Polk State College campus south to Bartow.
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