Aug 12, Arcadia, Florida: Cowboys, Rodeos, and Watermelons
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Arcadia, Florida is a town of about 7,000 people located in DeSoto County, Florida. It is located south of Wauchula at the intersection of US-17 and SR-70.
Bird’s Eye View Downtown Arcadia, Florida
Some historians say that a Reverend Hendry named the town in honor of Arcadia Albritton, a daughter of pioneer settlers who baked him a birthday cake.
This part of Florida is cattle country, although citrus and watermelons are important also. Cowboys are seen everywhere in Arcadia and the surrounding farms and villages.
These aren’t drug store cowboys; they are the real thing.
In the 1880’s Arcadia was the county seat of a very large county – DeSoto County – that would be broken into several smaller ones.
Charlotte, Hardee, Glades and Highlands Counties were broken out of DeSoto County, with Arcadia remaining the County Seat of DeSoto.
These lands in the heart of south central and southwest Florida had some of the most extensive cattle ranching operations in the state.
On Thanksgiving Day 1905 Arcadia was nearly destroyed by a huge fire that burned down most of the business district. Most of the older buildings in town are