Sanford, Florida, nestled on the shores of Lake Monroe, boasts a history brimming with transformation. Originally inhabited by Seminole tribes, the area saw the establishment of Fort Mellon in the 1830s during the Seminole Wars. Soon after, the town of Mellonville sprouted, becoming a key distribution point thanks to steamboat traffic.

The arrival of Henry Shelton Sanford in 1870 marked a turning point. Envisioning a transportation hub, Sanford established the city of Sanford, which later absorbed Mellonville. With the advent of railroads, Sanford flourished as a citrus and vegetable shipping center, earning the nickname “Celery City” for its abundant crops. The early 20th century saw the creation of Seminole County with Sanford as its seat.

Sanford’s story extends beyond agriculture. From 1942 to 1968, the Sanford U.S. Naval Air Station was pivotal, influencing the city’s economic and social landscape. Today, the former station is Sanford’s International Airport, a testament to the city’s adaptability. Sanford’s vibrant downtown and rich history continue to attract visitors and residents alike.

63,154 (2022)