Due to the abundance of agriculture in the area, many visitors assume that Plant City in Florida got its name because of the flora, fruit and vegetables that can be found growing in large quantities all over this rich and fertile land. However, despite this burgeoning industry which consists of fields, orchards and nurseries growing produce to ship all over the country as well as to international markets the city was actually named after the lucrative railroad developer Henry B Plant who was convinced of the area’s potential when he came to the area after the Civil War ended in the 19th Century.
As a result of the war, most of the railroads in the South were ruined and many railroad companies went bankrupt after the depression of 1873 however Plant used this as an opportunity to revive this transport system and eventually transformed it into one of the most efficient networks in the country. He also acquired several steam shipping companies and developed numerous important hotels but it was providing the continuous transport service that really put his name on the map as this enabled Florida’s fruit growers – with orange crops initially proving to be the most popular – to transport their produce quicker and more economically thanks to the connections through lines to the North of the country. In modern times however it is the humble strawberry which provides the bulk of the state’s produce exports and in this respect Plant City has become known as the winter strawberry capital of the world which culminates in late February, early March with the Florida Strawberry Festival. Visitors flock to this from all over the world and you will see field after field, with row after row growing this succulent red berry.
Prior to the 1800’s, this land was a vast wilderness area inhabited by the indigenous people who originally called it Ichepucksassa after the native Indian village Iasukshed that originally stood there. The Seminole people had remained on the site after the Spanish conquistadors ceded the state of Florida to the USA and they were followed in the mid 19th century by pioneers who were given government funding to set up homesteads to work the land. This caused a great deal of confusion with both pronouncing and spelling the name so one of the pioneers, who was an Irish migrant renamed it Cork after his home town in Ireland for a brief period until Plant came along in 1884 and its modern day name was born. Initially, the prime agricultural produce here was cotton however due to the rich and fertile soil that covered the area combined with the state’s temperate climate, it soon became apparent that their was a great deal of prosperity to be gained by harvesting citrus fruit and berries instead. The city has gone from strength to strength ever since and is now one of the most prosperous in the country and it is renowned for its high standard of living thanks to the natural resources harvested from the surrounding land.