Make your own free website on


Time Line


Purpose of the Society

Becoming a Member


Time Line

General Henry S. Sanford
Sanford Family Genealogy

The Henry Shelton Sanford Papers
Name Index - Sanford Papers
Henry S. Sanford Bibliography
Photos of Henry S. Sanford

Local Cemeteries

Historical Markers Located in Seminole County Florida



A Brief History & Walking Tour of Sanford

Contact Us

Guest Book

Below is a "Timeline" of the major events occuring in the history of Sanford from 2000 BC until 2004 AD.

2000 BC -1700s - Timucua Indians live on the shores of Lake Monroe.

1760's - Timucua disappear from Florida. Seminoles come to Florida from Alabama and Georgia.

1817 - Philip R. Younge receives Spanish land grant.

1819 - The United States acquires Florida from Spain.

1824 - Mosquito County is created with New Smyrna as the county seat.

1834 - Younge land grant becomes the Moses E. Levy grant.

1835 - 1842 - Second Seminole War.

1836 - Camp Monroe is established.

1837 - Captain Charles Mellon is killed on February 8 during an engagement with the Seminoles at Camp Monroe. The camp is renamed Fort Mellon.

1838 - Colonel Zachary Taylor surveys the road that will become Mellonville Avenue.

1840 - Town of Mellonville established at site of Fort Mellon.

1842 - Fort Mellon is closed.

1845 - Florida becomes a state on March 3. Orange County is created with Mellonville as the county seat.

1849 - General Joseph Finegan purchases the Levy Grant.

1856 - Orlando becomes the seat of Orange County.

1867 - St. James AME Church is organized.

General Henry S. Sanford
Photo Courtesy of the Library of Congress

1870 - Henry Sanford purchases 12,547 acres of land from General Joseph Finegan. A town plan based on a grid is drawn.

1871 - Henry Sanford begins to bring Swedish immigrants to Sanford to work in his groves.

1873 - Holy Cross Episcopal Church is built on the wishes of Mrs. Henry S. Sanford.

1874 - First Methodist Church is organized.

1875 - Sanford's first newspaper begins publication. The Sanford House Hotel is built on Commercial Street.

1876 - Mellonville is incorporated on June 27.

1877 - City of Sanford is incorporated on September 29.

1878 - St. Paul's Missionary Baptist Church organized.

1879 - Henry Sanford forms the Florida Land and Colonization Company in London to provide funds for his growing city.

1880 - Former President U.S. Grant attends the groundbreaking ceremony for the South Florida Railroad.

1882 - First Presbyterian Church organized.

1883 - Mellonville is annexed into Sanford. First public school built at 6th & Palmetto Avenue.

1884 - Chase & Co. is started by Sydney O. Chase and Joshua C. Chase.  First Baptist Church organized.

1886 - All Souls Catholic Church established.

1887 - The east side of Sanford burns to the ground, during the night of September 20.

1890 - Upsala Presbyterian Church organized.

1891 - Goldsboro is incorporated.


1894-95 - "The Great Freeze" wipes out the citrus industry in Sanford. Farmers begin to grow celery, "Apium Gravolens".

1902 - Sanford High School opens on 7th Street.

1908 - Sanford Herald established.

1909 - Sanford Traction Company builds streetcar line between downtown Sanford and Cameron City.

1911 - Sanford High School at 9th & Palmetto Ave. completed. Goldsboro is annexed into Sanford.

1913 - Seminole County is created on April 25 with Sanford as the county seat. Construction of the bulkhead on Sanford's waterfront begins.

1917 - Hopper Academy is built on Pine Ave.

1920 - Fernald-Laughton Memorial Hospital opens.

1923 - Milane Theatre (later Ritz Theatre) opens on August 2.

1924 - Sanford Public Library, designed by Elton Moughton, is built at 5th St. and Oak Ave. Bandshell and pier are built.

1925 - Sanford Zoo opens on the waterfront.

1926 - Hotel Forrest Lake (later Mayfair Inn) opens January 4 on First Street.

1927 - Seminole High School opens on French Avenue.

1934 - Florida's first State Farmers Market is established at Sanford.

1935 - Seminole Boulevard is completed.

1936 - National Guard Armory is completed.

1937 - Fort Mellon Park is created.

1942 - Sanford Naval Air Station opens as a training base for carrier pilots.

1946 - Sanford Naval Air Station is decommissioned. New York Giants baseball team move farm team operations to Sanford.

1951 - Memorial Stadium built on Mellonville Avenue.

1951 - Sanford Naval Air Station is reopened. New York Giants leave Sanford.

1956 - Seminole Memorial Hospital opens on First Street.

1960 - Hurricane Donna hits Sanford.

1961 - Seminole High School opens on Ridgewood Avenue.

1965 - Seminole Junior College established.

1968 - Sanford Naval Air Station closed permanently.

1969 - I-4 opens at Sanford.

1970 - Sanford becomes southern terminus of the Autotrain.

1971 - Seminole County Courthouse is built on Park Avenue.

1973 - Central Florida Zoo moves to North 17-92.

1976 - Sanford's commercial district is placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1989 - Sanford's downtown residential district is placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1994 - Green Way (Highway 417) reaches Sanford.

1995 - Sanford's airport (former Naval Air Station) becomes Orlando/Sanford International Airport. Seminole Towne Center shopping mall opens.

1998 - Tornado hits Sanford killing 12.

2002 - Sanford celebrates 125 years. Construction begins on Sanford's Riverwalk.

2003 - Naval Air Sanford Memorial Park Dedication occurred on May 30th.

2004 - Riverwalk completed. First Street downtown renovation begins. Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne hit Sanford.

Click Picture for a Larger View

   The picture to the left is the cover of a brochure published by the City of Sanford in 2002 to celebrate 125 years since the incorporation of the city in 1877.  The 8 page brochure contains many interesting articles and pictures that graphically portrays the history of Sanford, Florida.
   To read or print the brochure, click the link below and the brochure will open in a new window.

Celebrating 125 Years