Charlotte County History
|Charlotte County was established April 23, 1921. It was
named for the Bay of Charlotte Harbor. "Charlotte" came from
"Carlos" (English) or "Calos" (Calusa Indian). In
1565, the Spanish named "Carlos Bay," followed by the English
in 1775 who named the area Charlotte Harbor in tribute to the Queen Charlotte
Sophia, wife of King George III. Punta Gorda is the only incorporated
city in Charlotte
During the 1970s Charlotte County became one of Florida's fastest growing coutnies
More History on Charlotte county
Contrary to popular belief, American History began in Charlotte Harbor, Florida in 1513 with the officially sanctioned exploration of Florida's east and west coasts by Ponce de Leon. He returned to the Charlotte Harbor complex, probably at Pine Island, in 1521, to establish a colony -- a century before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.
After six weeks of labor to build a fort and church, the expedition was attacked by Calusa aborigines. Ponce was wounded in the thigh by an arrow, and gangrene set in. The entire colony returned in haste to Havana, where Ponce died of his wound.
The American mainland was opened for European settlement by the Hernando DeSoto expedition of 1539-42. Chronicles of survivors and research of 16th-century ship drafts by Sun-Herald historian-columnist Lindsey Williams indicate the explorer landed at Live Oak Point on the north shore of Charlotte Harbor. The official Florida DeSoto Trail Commission has acknowledged that the Charlotte Harbor landing is as feasible as any other -- pending archaeological proof.
The Spanish explorer Pedro Menedez D'Aviles, who established the first
American colony at St. Augustine, Florida, in 1565, built a mission-fort
named San Antonio somewhere in the Charlotte Harbor complex the following
year. After two years of alternate cooperation and bloody warfare between
the Spaniards and the Calusa, Menendez abandoned his efforts to pacify
the fierce Indians of southern Florida.
The only city in Charlotte County, Punta Gorda is about 100 miles south of Tampa on the Gulf Coast between Sarasota and Ft. Myers. The city originally was founded in 1887 on the idea that all the waterfront land would be public parks. That changed when homeowners eventually outvoted the man running the city and started a new destiny for the town by the harbor.
The name Punta Gorda, which means "fat point" when translated from Spanish, was given to the city because a broad part of the land in Punta Gorda juts into Charlotte Harbor. The harbor itself is somewhat unique, as it is the point where the Peace River meets the ocean.
The city is bounded by the harbor on one side and by rural land on the other. That rural land is home to large tracts of citrus, cattle and swamp with ranchettes that produce meat and fruits. The rural land eventually meets up with the borders of North Fort Myers.
The city of Punta Gorda is a rich mix of cultures and age groups, as families, retirees and winter residents share neighborhoods. One of the hallmarks of Punta Gorda is its bountiful offering of clubs, organizations and civic groups.
Civic involvement spills over into city commission meetings, where
the town is still small enough for folks to know the mayor on a first-name
Contributed by Norita Shepherd Moss
Cities, Town and Villages in Charlotte County
Charlotte Memorial Gardens
Indian Springs Cemetery
Restlawn Memorial Gardens
Royal Palm Memorial Gardens
History of Englewood., Fl
It is unicorperated area that lies in two counties Charolette and Sarasota counties. The town of Englewood is more than 100 years old, although artifacts found at the Indian Mound Park date back as far as 400 B.C. It is believed that this area was inhabited centuries ago by the Calusa Indians.
Many, many years later, in 1884, Herbert Nicholas, of Englewood, Ill., and his two brothers came to the area in hopes of building a business growing lemons.
Although initially a success, severe freezes in the 1890s killed all the citrus trees in the area. That was the end of the Englewood lemon industry, and promoters of the area decided to change their tactics and to lure investors instead. They advertised Englewood as a great place to raise a family, retire, or enjoy the coastal life, warm winters, and excellent fishing and hunting.
In 1897, a directory of the Lemon Bay area noted a population of 86,
which grew to 250 people before the turn of the century. Land was selling
at $30 an acre.
Real estate promotion continued, with the laid-back sub-tropical lifestyle touted up north. Englewood grew slowly, with no more heavy industry to spur rapid growth. In 1927 a bridge was built across Lemon Bay, joining Manasota Key and the Gulf beaches with the mainland. This bridge has been rebuilt twice, once in 1950 and again in 1964. A part of the old wooden bridge is now the Bill Ainger fishing pier.
In 1948, a Venice phone book listed 46 telephone numbers for Englewood,
with 22 being business phones and 24 for private use.
from Norita Shepherd Moss