History Happened Here

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Oviedo

Seminole County

Year Founded: 1859Founded by: Walter Gwynn and FamilyPreviously known as: 1861-Lake Jesup Community, 1879- Town of Oviedo, 1967- City of Oviedo

History

The Town of Oviedo was incorporated in 1925 with a population of 800. Today the city’s population is approximately 34,000. Originally known as the Lake Jesup Community, Oviedo was settled in 1859, after the civil war. Homesteaders, including former slaves and primarily Swedish immigrants, came to the area along the shores of Lake Jesup to begin new lives. Prior to their arrival, the area was populated by the Timucua, a clan of native Americans who were a part of the Seminole tribe. No evidence of the early Timucuan settlements remains today; their hunting grounds and villages disappeared just prior to the establishment of the Lake Jesup Community.

Early settlers to the area relished the fertile land. They grew crops of celery, citrus, and watercress and traveled to Orlando and Sanford to sell their produce. Travel to Orlando was by wagon, but the primary means of travel to and from Oviedo was by steam boats like the Volusia or the Hattie Baker, or other small boats, which docked along the banks of Lake Jesup at Solary’s Wharf and Mitchell Dock. Mail arrived in the area via riverboat twice a week with the first post Office being established in 1874.

After coming to hunt along the St. Johns River and Lake Jesup, Dr. Henry Foster made the Oviedo Community his winter home. He purchased 26 acres on Lake Charm that became a winter resort and he was instrumental in establishing the Lake Jesup Steamboat Company and forming the Oviedo, Lake Charm and Lake Jesup Railroad so farmers could move their produce more quickly.

On March 13, 1879 the name Lake Jesup Community faded into history and the name Oviedo, pronounced O-vee-ay-dough in those days, was adopted by the post office and the surrounding town. Postmaster Andrew Aulin liked the idea of giving the post office a Spanish name to go along with the Spanish heritage of the State of Florida. Today we pronounce Oviedo, O-vee-dough, but the City’s link to Oviedo, Spain still exists through our sister city, Oviedo (O-vee-ay-dough) a city in northern Spain established in the 8th century and known for its architecture, magnificent ancient cathedral, and higher education through the University of Oviedo. The two cities established an informal sister city relationship in 1984. In 2005 the Mayor of Oviedo, Spain presented the City of Oviedo with a Coat of Arms which bears the inscription: Very Noble, Very Loyal, Worthy, Invincible Heroic and Good.
Oviedo is a residential community with ties to the University of Central Florida, five miles to the south; a perfect place to call home because of our top-notch schools, affordable housing, green-spaces, access to health care, low crime rate, financial stability and our giving and helping spirit.

On June 30, 2011, Family Circle magazine selected Oviedo to be one of the TEN BEST TOWNS FOR FAMILIES. Oviedo has also been selected by Relocate America as a top 100 place to live in 2009-2010-2011.

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