Florida Guide > Florida History
From Clearwater to Homossassas: what's in a name?
Well, back again with some more place name origins.
Clearwater is a lovely seaside town on The Gulf of Mexico. originally called Clearwater Harbor it was later shortened to Clearwater. They chose the name beacause of the crystal clear water that buubbles up from the spring.
Boca Raton is in Palm Beach County and derives from the Spanish Boca de Ratones. Does this sound romantic to you? well wait til I tell you that it translates as rats mouth! This was a term used by sea men to describe a hidden rock that they may run aground on.
Altomolte Springs is in Seminole County. The word Altamolte means high hill, again it is Spanish.
Anna Maria Island is a lovely, sleepy seaside island close to Bradenton. It was named by Ponce De Lean in honour of the wife of King Charles the second. King Charles had paid the expenses for this expedition.
If you have taken that splendid drive from Daytona to St Augustine then you will have passed Flagler Beach.
If you have read my previous article on Miami then you will note that Flagler turned down the honour of having that city named after him and it is not recorded whether he approved this. Henry Flagler was of course the railway tycoon who did much to improve the transport for Florida.
I have always wondered about the name Frostproof when I have seen it on signs and now I know that cowboys named it thus. They brought their cattle to this place in Polk County to protect them from the harsh weather. And now you know that too!
No not that Hollywood! but it was nicknamed Hollywood on Sea by Joseph Young. Joseph was a founder member of Hollywood and since he came from California, you could say he brought a little bit with him. Hollywood is in Broward County.
A familiar name of those interseted in war, Fort Pierce was named after the brother of President Franklin Pierce. His name was Benjamin Pierce and the fort was an army H. Q Fort Pierce is in St Lucie County.
Many of you will have gone to the wonderful State Park here and wondered about the name. Well, I can tell you that Homo (meaning pepper and sasi (is there) from which you may deduce that it is a place where pepper grows. . . and it does.
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