Auburndale – All About Polk County

 
Auburndale Florida

The roots of Auburndale can be traced back to 1873, when John Ledue became the first settler on Lake Ariana. Auburndale was founded in 1880 by Frank Fuller seeking refuge from chilly winters in the Northeast United States. The first house was built in July 1884, four months after the completion of the railroad through the area. Auburndale received its name in July 1884 when Major Louis McClain, the civil engineer in charge of laying out the downtown area described the location to a personal friend, the editor of the Boston Herald newspaper. The editor’s wife said the description reminded her of her hometown of Auburndale, Massachusetts.

Auburndale was a growing town; its main industry was agriculture, mainly citrus, as well as other crops that are still grown in Polk County today. E. M. Baynard, a wealthy merchant, cattle rancher and citrus grower, built his home in 1894 on West Lake Avenue. This Victorian structure in one of the oldest existing houses in Auburndale still standing today. The Baynard House Museum is open for regular or private house tours.

In May 1911 Governor Albert Gilchrist signed into laws legislation that incorporated Auburndale, Florida. The residential area that was established was centered around Lake Stella. The 1920′s brought major progression to the city. A $60,000 Spanish-style building was constructed to house the Police Department, Fire Department, City Library and firefighters sleeping barracks. Today, this building still houses the City Hall.

The city is home to many recreational parks, sports complexes and the Auburndale Municipal Beach. This beach is located on the shores of Lake Ariana and offers a great place to swim, fish or even picnic with friends and family.

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