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Orlando History

Orlando’s history dates back to 1838 and the height of the Seminole Wars. The U.S. Army built Fort Gatlin south of the present day Orlando City limits to protect settlers from attacks by Indians.


By 1840, a small community had grown up around the Fort. It was known as Jernigan, named after the Jernigan family, who had established the first permanent settlement in the area. Jernigan had a post office, established May 30th, 1850.


Six years later with the settlement expanding northward, the community officially changed its name to Orlando. In 1857, the U.S. Post Office adopted the name change. The Town of Orlando was incorporated in 1875 with 85 inhabitants, 22 of whom were qualified voters.


History is not as clear on where the name Orlando originated. There are four stories that are told. One involves Judge James Speer, who worked hard in getting Orlando as the county seat, naming Orlando after a man who once worked for him. Another is that Speer named it after a character from Shakespeare’s, "As You Like It".


A third version has Mr. Orlando on his way to Tampa with a caravan of ox. It is said that he got ill, died and was buried, and that folks would come by and say, "There lies Orlando"


The most common story is about a company of soldiers on duty during the height of the Seminole Wars. After battling Indians back into the swamps on the east side of Lake Minnie (now Cherokee), the military troop settled there for the night. Sentinel Orlando Reeves was guarding the camp when he spotted a log floating toward him. Recognizing the Indian disguise and wanting to warn his fellow soldiers, he fired his gun. Arrows felled the poor fellow as the Indians came out to ambush the camp. The Indians were chased back again, and the south side of Lake Eola was chosen to bury Orlando Reeves.


Today, Orlando is one of the world's premier travel destinations. More than 35-million people visit our area every year, enjoying the many attractions, beaches, and events that make Central Florida a great place to visit and live. There are plenty of neighborhoods to choose from with a variety of homes starting in the 200's up to the millions. Most of the homes are built after the 70's but there are a few historic estates in the downtown district of Orlando. House prices are competitive with other areas in Florida, but have increased considerably over the last couple of years.


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We hope you will find our Orlando luxury homes and real estate page informative, helpful and easy to navigate. We offer information on properties and provide further information for everybody interested in the Greater Orlando real estate market.

The recent real estate downturn had Central Florida homeowners wondering where we are. We are offering up to date information on current listings. Check out your neighborhood of choice and see where we are. Search the MLS (Realtor® Multi listing service) for available homes in Orlando and receive free email alerts on properties that come new on the market. Find out what your house is worth with a free market analysis on your property. Search properties with your smart phone while you are away from your computer. Find information on cities and towns like Windermere, Lake Mary, Winter Park or Longwood. We can not change the current market but we can help you to get the most out of it, regardless if you plan a purchase or consider to sell.

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Helene & Malte Strauss, Realtors ®

Here is a shortcut to the Central Florida City guide. Here you find information about the city or town as well as links to schools and information about subdivisions and neighborhoods.




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Here is the contact info to the different schools in the region. The list is sorted by County. We have listed the different public schools from the following counties:

Lake County Schools

Orange County Schools

Osceola County Schools

Polk County Schools

Seminole County Schools

Volusia County Schools

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