History Happened Here

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Largo

Pinellas County

Year Founded: 1905Previously known as: None

History

Largo was named for Lake Largo, which came from the Spanish word for “large”, in 1887 and 1888 when the railroad came through the area. The Town of Largo was incorporated in 1905 and measured one square mile. By 1910 four citrus packing houses had opened and were operating at full capacity. In 1913 Largo became the first town in Florida and second in the nation to adopt the Commission-Manager form of government. In 1916 the first Town Library opened and by 1920 the population was 600 people. The first Town Attorney was hired in 1934. He codified all town ordinances and drafted a law that banned females without escorts from being on the streets after 9:30 pm. Largo’s first movie theater opened in 1948 in a metal building that was later moved to the Public Works Complex for use as a storage building. In 1950 Largo’s population was 1,547, however the town was in debt by over one million dollars. To overcome financial problems an annexation program was initiated and the town’s population grew to 5,000 by 1955. The citrus industry was destroyed by freezing temperatures in 1962 and, as a result, land that once was covered by citrus trees was developed as new subdivisions, shopping centers schools and recreation centers. Largo was able to get out of debt and held a “Largo Progress Festival” to celebrate. As a result of annexing 5,000 acres, Largo’s population grew to 22,079 by 1970 and to 46,414 by 1975. Largo was incorporated as a City in 1974. In 1984 Largo adopted the motto “City of Progress”. During the 1980′s and 1990′s the City of Largo successfully responded to the demands of residents by upgrading facilities and providing quality services. Largo Central Park opened in April 1995 and encompassed 70 acres in the heart of the City, including the Library (1977 building), Cultural Center and the historic Feed Store, which was moved from its original location downtown and fully restored. In order to encourage downtown development and house a growing City employee population City Hall moved in 2000 to a new location and townhouses and mixed use commercial spaces were developed in its place. In 2005 the City’s new 90,000 square foot Library opened and by 2012 Largo’s population reached 77,653.

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