By Brad Haynes
Today, July 31st, Orlando turns 142 years old!
On July 31st, 1875, Orlando was first incorporated as a town with 85 residents (and 22 voters). 10 years later, in 1885, Orlando was incorporated as a city.
Here are some fun facts about Orlando. See how many you already knew.
1) The area was originally known as Fort Gatlin, named after military physician Dr. John S. Gatlin.
2) It was also once known as Jernigan, named for the first two permanent settlers in the area, Isaac and Aaron Jernigan.
3) Folklore claims that the name Orlando was taken from fallen soldier Orlando Reeves, although historians argue that he probably did not exist. There is a marker at Orlando’s Lake Eola which claims to mark the site where the city’s namesake fell.
4) Today, most believe that the name actually came from the Shakespeare play As You Like It, which had the character Orlando as one of its protagonists.
5) The SunTrust Center, built in 1988, is the city’s tallest skyscraper, at 441 feet.
6) The Orlando area has 7 of the 10 most visited theme parks in all of North America.
7) Orlando’s City Hall was imploded on film for Lethal Weapon 3, making room for the new City Hall.
8) Orlando has 9 international sister cities.
9) Lake Eola is actually a sinkhole and was named after a woman that the Summerlin brothers knew.
10) The oldest tree in Orlando is located at Big Tree Park, at 930 N. Thornton Avenue. The tree is thought to be more than 500 years old.