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Secretary Browning Designates Haines City Main Street as Florida Main Street Program of the Month

seal of florida

Florida Department of State
Kurt S. Browning
Secretary of State

For Immediate Release
September 01, 2011

Chris Cate

Secretary Browning Designates Haines City Main Street as Florida Main Street Program of the Month

Recognizes organization’s contribution to preservation and restoration

TALLAHASSEE – Secretary of State Kurt Browning today announced Haines City Main Street as the Florida Main Street Program of the Month for September 2011. The selection for this award is based on the Haines City program’s involvement and active participation in the Florida Main Street Program.

“Haines City Main Street was designated in 1990 and has continued to be a valued asset to the Florida Main Street Program,” said Secretary Browning.  “The Haines City organization is an example of the great social and economic successes that can be achieved when a community works diligently to preserve their cultural and historical heritage.”

Haines City is a dynamic community in Polk County, located between Lakeland and Kissimmee. In addition to the more than 18,000 residents living in the community, Haines City is visited each year by scores of tourists due to its proximity to many of Florida’s most popular attractions. Originally settled in 1885, near the time when the South Florida Railroad reached the area, Haines City was known as “Clay Cut.” This name was a reference to the railroad tracks that were built deep into cuts of clay. When a railroad station was built there, “Clay Cut” officially became Haines City, named for Colonel Henry Haines of the South Florida Railroad.

Early residents of Haines City were industrious, planting citrus groves, fishing, hunting and utilizing the nearby pine forests for lumber, turpentine and even the heart of palm delicacy, “swamp cabbage.” The citrus industry, always vital to the Haines City economy, was strengthened further in 1909 with the founding of The Haines City Growers Association. Still in business today, this organization became the city’s largest employer and one of the state’s largest co-ops.

Haines City has continued to grow in the last 40 years. More industries have developed in the community, including manufacturing, service and retail sectors. In 1971, Walt Disney built the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, a mere fifteen miles from Haines City. This move ushered in a new era of tourism in Haines City. With the growth of Walt Disney World and other popular attractions in nearby areas, tourism has become one of Haines City’s top economic engines.

The Florida Main Street Program designated Haines City a Main Street Community in 1990. As a Florida Main Street Community, Haines City has attracted a net gain of 236 new businesses and 262 jobs, as well as invested $9,500,000 in 304 public and private construction projects. Dedicated community members have contributed more than 3,719 volunteer hours in their Main Street Program.

To learn more about Haines City Main Street, contact program manager Ronni Wood by phone at 863.421.4100 or e-mail rawood2@msn.com.

About Florida Main Street

Florida Main Street is a technical assistance program of the Bureau of Historic Preservation, managed by the Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources. The bureau conducts statewide programs aimed at identifying, evaluating and preserving Florida’s historical resources. Main Street, with its emphasis on preservation, is an effective strategy for achieving these goals in Florida’s historic retail districts. Since 1985, the bureau has offered manager training, consultant team visits, design and other technical assistance, as well as the benefit of experience gained by other Florida Main Street programs.

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