1. When was Lakeland founded?
The City of Lakeland was incorporated on January 1, 1885.
Abraham Munn of Louisville, Kentucky purchased 80 acres of land in
what now constitutes downtown Lakeland in 1882. In 1884, he
organized the Lakeland Improvement Company to lay out streets
and sell lots.
2. What are Lakeland's latitude and longitude?
Lakeland is located at 28 degrees 2 minutes North by 81 degrees
57 minutes West.
3. What is the current population of Lakeland?
As of July 1, 2010, the US Census Bureau estimated the population
of Lakeland to be 94,500. It is difficult to be more precise because
the city's population can increase significantly when it annexes
previously unincorporated areas of Polk County.
4. How many lakes are there in Lakeland?
There are 13 named "natural" lakes in Lakeland. There are several
other bodies of water that are not natural lakes, but abandoned
phosphate mine pits that have filled with water.
5. Which is the largest and which the smallest lake in Lakeland?
Lake Parker, covering 2,250 acres, is the largest. Lake Horney,
at just under 8 acres, is the smallest.
6. When did the Detroit Tigers begin holding spring training in
The Detroit Tigers and Lakeland have had a longer continuous
relationship than any other major league baseball team and its
spring training home. The Tigers first came to Lakeland for spring
training in 1934 and, except for a three year interruption during
World War II, have been here ever since. The team played its
spring training games at Henley Field until 1966, when Joker
Marchant Stadium opened.
7. Which Lakeland residents served as governor of Florida?
Park Trammell served as the governor from 1913 to 1917 and went
on to serve 20 years in the United States Senate. Lawton Chiles
served as governor of the state from 1991 to 1998 after
representing Florida in the United States Senate for 18 years. Both
men have buildings named after them in Lakeland. The middle
school (old high school) on South Florida Avenue is named after
Lawton Chiles. The building on the corner of Lake Morton Drive and
Massachusetts Avenue (the old library), which now houses the
Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce, is named after Park Trammell.
Another Polk County native, Spessard Holland of Bartow, was
governor from 1941 to 1945. He too went on to serve Florida in
the United States Senate for 24 years.
8. Where did the swans come from?
Swans were reported to be on the city's lakes as early as 1923.
Most likely, those early swans had been purchased as pets by lake
front residents, who later released them on the lakes. By 1954 the
last of these swans and their descendants had died, having fallen
prey to people, pet dogs, and/or alligators.
A Lakeland resident, Mrs Robert Pickardt who had enjoyed the
swans and mourned their passing, wrote to Queen Elizabeth of
England and inquired about purchasing a pair of swans from the
royal flock on the Thames River. A representative of the royal
family replied that the Queen would donate a pair of swans to
Lakeland if the city would pay the cost of capturing and shipping
the swans to the US. The money was raised for shipping the
swans, and two white mute swans were released on Lake Morton
on February 9, 1957.
Their descendants continue to grace Lake Morton and other lakes
throughout the city.