Lakeland – All About Polk County

lakeland florida

Lakeland is nestled in the heart of Central Florida and is the largest city between Tampa and Orlando. Polk County was established in 1861. Although the county seat was established after the American Civil War in Bartow, it wasn’t until the 1870’s when settlers first came and development finally started in 1884 once the rail lines reached into Lakeland.

Guess who founded the area? Are you aware of the beautiful downtown Munn Park? A Kentucky resident, Abraham Munn purchased 80 acres in what we now call downtown Lakeland in the year 1882. Other names were considered tho and luckily for us the name Lakeland was chosen. Munnville, Red Bug and Rome City doesn’t even sound right!

Did you know that Lakeland is home to many structures on the National Register of Historic Places? This list is pretty long but does include places like the Terrace Hotel, Polk Theatre, Promenade of Lake Mirror and Polk Museum of Art. The city also has several historic districts with many large buildings built during the 1920s and 1940s. The Cleveland Indians held spring training there from 1923 to 1927 at Henley Field Ball Park.

The Detroit Tigers ( which owns the city’s Florida State League team, the Lakeland Flying Tigers ) has continued to train at Lakeland Joker Marchant Stadium since 1934. Another arrival in the 1930’s was the renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Florida Southern requested him to design a ” Great Education Temple in Florida ” and boy did he ever! Frank Lloyd Wright worked on his creation for 20 years and now it is the largest one-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the world!

Our city is known for it’s beautiful structures, 38 named lakes and the Swans. The first swans appeared around 1923 and they have a long history of being seen around the area. When driving thru our beautiful city, you will see swan sculptures placed in numerous locations throughout the area.